Meet Your Yoga Teachers

Meet our lovely team of Yoga teachers (from Nijmegen and abroad) who are going to share their gift of Yoga and meditation with you. We are glad to tell you that these kind-hearted teachers are going to teach for free at the fest so that we can raise more funds for our partner charities and spread some Yoga love. Thank you, dear teachers.


Emma Slade

Emma Slade has taught all aspects of yoga for over 16 years. She teaches with great enthusiasm and a sense of humour.

In addition to being a BWY teacher and FC tutor she is the author of the book Set Free and the founder of the UK charity Opening Your Heart to Bhutan.Both of these reflect her deep love of the Himalayas and, in particular, the country of Bhutan where she was ordained as a Buddhist nun. Emma continues to spend significant time in Bhutan both taking teachings from her Lama there and doing the work of the charity.

Contact Doris: Website


Maria is a BWY certified Yoga teacher since 2005, and has been teaching in Essex  for over 6 years. Maria used to live in London following the busy rat race lifestyle until one day she stumbled into a local yoga class and became hooked!
Since becoming qualified, Maria believes Mazza yoga is all about bringing a happy balance into our lives in whatever we do. Our yoga practice includes a hatha background with a vinyasa energy.
No matter what level or age, its all about our journey of yoga using strength and steadiness to achieve better wellbeing.

Contact Maria: Facebook


Elisabeta Ciubotaru

I’m from a small country called Moldova, moved to Colchester only a month ago. I’ve been practicing Hatha and Laya Yoga for over 10 years. And it completely changed my life.
Once I thought that happiness is only an illusion,  but it’s not. By practicing Yoga you can find happiness,  and  more than that.  It’s an experience you can’t describe with words.. It creates this peace inside you that make you feel calm. So,  no more anxiety and stress!  I can assure you that you will achieve a state of relaxation and a boost of confidence from our energy gathered together.
Contact her: Facebook


Anna Caplin

Ania Caplin is an experienced yoga teacher providing the session locally in Essex since 2010. Her yoga journey began with the simple desire to use the practice as part of physiotherapy to address ongoing scoliosis and to treat the symptoms of ongoing depression.

‘Through yoga, I became a true believer that yoga does cure – lengthening and strengthening has improved my posture, continuously prevents me from chronic back pain and helps me grow mentally, emotionally, physically in ways I have never expected. Literally I have grown 2.5 cm!!!’

After graduating 200hr Yoga Alliance Teacher Training she explored the subject of Yoga in India where participated in Himalayan Iyanger Institute courses and many various styles of yoga across the whole country. She is also certified by Yoga Alliance UK with pregnancy and postnatal training and her desire to learn more never stop. In free time, she attends to the workshops with a great Yoga Teachers like R. Sharat Jois, David and Doug Swenson and others. Meeting those gurus influence and shape her style of teaching continuously.’

Contact Anna: Website

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Lauren Burles

Lauren Burles is a yoga teacher from Southend-on-Sea. Trained traditionally in Rishikesh, India, Lauren is inspired by the transformation that yoga can offer in mind, body and spirit. She’s on a mission to bring the ancient teachings of yoga to as many people as possible, demystifying the practice and making it relevant to our busy, modern lives.

Lauren used yoga in her own life to find a greater sense of peace and relief after suffering from anxiety, stress and burnout from a busy corporate job. The practice changed her life, and now she is passionate about helping others do the same.

Lauren teaches alignment-based hatha yoga, drawing inspiration from the ashtanga, vinyasa and jivamukti styles. Her classes are challenging, inspiring, insightful and above all – fun. A self-professed lover of rock and roll, Lauren is hugely inspired by music too and is definitely not your average yogi!

Contact Lauren: Website| Facebook

enrichd+speakingRichard Enion

Richard Enion is a well-known health coach and motivatonal speaker. He is the founder of He will teach a meditation class at the event.

Rich says, “I was an obese kid… with most of my fat enjoying itself residing in my buttocks, legs and ‘love handles’.  When I was 12 I was so self-conscious that I would carry my school back pack around to try and hide my fat bum!

Years of World travel focused on  training, nutrition, investigative journalism and experimentation has helped me create the physique and more importantly the perspective I now have.

At this ripe young age I am the proud co-author of Bite Me Dieting, have written one of the most in-depth and well researched Smoothie Ebook and have delivered countless strategic health talks to corporations around the World.”

Contact Richard: Website

Rachel Cox

Rachel has a background in dance, art, martial arts and law.  For years Rachel pursued a career in law after graduating from Queen Mary university, London and BPP Law School. She returned to her first love of holistic therapy. It came naturally to her as she had been raised in an environment that welcomed and encouraged complimentary therapies. One of her biggest influences is her mother who practiced homeopathy, reflexology, aromatherapy, iridology and massage for many years. Rachel has traveled the world to complete her various training and brings her unique zest for life to everything she does. Sometimes laughter really is the best medicine. She continues her personal and professional development on an annual basis, keeping up to date with the latest knowledge from around the world, developing her practice, therapies and of course, herself.

Contact Rachel: Website| Facebook


Tanya Bahari-Connor
I’m a vegan yoga teacher based in Leigh on sea.I’ve practiced yoga on and off for 15 years but my love grew for it during my first pregnancy as I really felt at peace and connected to my growing bump. I was hooked on how I felt physically and mentally on my mat as well as that feeling of bliss post practice! My home practice has developed over the years from having cats and children crawling under me in downward dog to having that lovely ‘me time’ calming session once the kids are in bed. Children respond really well to yoga and guided meditations to calm and relax them. I love that yoga has so many benefits on many levels and can be adapted to all. When you practice yoga you become aware of yoga off the mat, the mindfulness that you experience in your day to day life.
I run adult classes within Leigh for all levels. I also offer kids and family yoga classes incorporating games, singing, dancing, yoga and acro yoga to develop children’s social skills, confidence and mindfulness, with family yoga being a great bonding experience between parent(s) and child(ren).
Contact Tanya:  Facebook



Keira May Sussex

During pregnancy, Keira May found yoga which in turn transformed the lives of her and her family. Now a qualified yoga teacher for adults, children and those with autism, she has finally taken the step and brought her talents to the people of Southend.

Keira brings a special energy to every class encouraging a respect for the body, all round awareness and a stillness of the mind for all ages and abilities. Yoga is the perfect accompaniment to a happy and healthy vegan lifestyle. Keira looks forward to welcoming you on the mat!

Contact Keira: Facebook


After spending many years disillusioned with life Andre decided to explore Meditation as a way to find greater Peace and Happiness. He used Transcendental Meditation as the effortlessness of the technique appealed to him greatly.
However, so profound was his initial experience both in meditation and out in activity of everyday life…He couldn’t help but explore further
Over the following 8 years whilst sticking to a simple formula of meditating twice a day for just 20 minutes he found not only increased levels of Peace and Contentment but a new found Happiness that increased with each passing day.
In 2016, Andre became a teacher of Transcendental Meditation teaching in Wimbledon and Richmond for the Meditation Trust.
Visit Meditation Trust’s Website


Rob Gretton

I have been practising the Dynamic Yoga Training Method for around four years. Having previously practised Ashtanga Yoga for several years, the pursuit of ever-more-difficult postures and the ‘acceptance of pain without causing it’ were giving rise to questions about my daily mat time. If Yoga is the acceptance of and surrender to whatever is in the present moment, why was I trying so hard to better myself, and why was I doing it in a way which injured me so regularly?

Having first been introduced to ‘DYTM’ in the summer of 2012, I knew there was something different about it. Relaxation at the end of class was far more tranquil and longer than in other classes. Recognising that the clear instructions given by DYTM teachers were far beyond anything I’d heard from those teaching any other style I’d tried over the years and free from the mataphors and esoteric instructions I’d learned during my initial 200hrs teacher training, I decided to undertake the 400hrs teacher training with Godfrey Devereux. Initially my plan was to apply the methodology to teaching Ashtanga; however, the deeper I journeyed into sensitivity the more clearly I saw an easy, enjoyable and profoundly meditative practise in Dynamic Yoga Training Method…

This deepening intimacy with subtle sensation is singularly the most beautiful gift to experience in life – it is the foundation of my practise and what drives me to teach others.

Contact Rob: Website


Georgie G Deyn

Georgie G Deyn, founder of Angelic Harmony Therapy, is a teacher, singer, author and channel of Love in its purest forms. She works with the Angels, sharing healing through her voice, heart and hands.

If you are feeling stuck in any areas of your life a session with Georgie will help bring clarity and will release blocks that are holding you back in your life.

Since 1999, Georgie has worked with groups and individuals of all ages to help them connect to their most Divine selves; nurturing and inspiring through healing meditation, music and movement.

Contact Georgie: Website

Ben Saxon

Ben Saxon

Ben Saxon is an experienced yoga teacher and has been hosting popular gong baths in Essex and London for the last 5 years. He trained under the renowned UK Gong Master, Mark Swan and uses only hand-made mallets to play the gong which enhances the sound, crystal bowls, rattles and chimes are also used to add texture to the soundscape.

His own unique brand of Yoga is called Total Yoga. Total Yoga draws from three distinct areas; Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, and Zen Mindfulness. The three combine to provide a therapeutic, meditative experience which targets the body, the breath and the mind. Ben believes that these exercises can create a heightened state of awareness, releasing ‘feel good’ hormones whilst simultaneously alleviating physical stress.

Contact Ben: Facebook

SarahSarah Grattan

Here’s a nice message from Sarah: Welcome, I am qualified and experienced yoga teacher and natural therapist who has studied and travelled the world integrating knowledge, cultures and life experience to share wholly with the people I meet on a daily basis.

My first Yoga class was in 1992 aged 17, I became fascinated by the ease of movement and sometimes total lack of movement each posture would bring, my chaotic breath and chattering mind, which led to a stillness within I recognised. This experience had a profound effect on me igniting a spark, a passion to discover more and ultimately share with you.

I travelled and lived in different countries and communities studying; Sivananda Hatha Yoga (500 hours) India, Yin Yoga in London, Bach Flower Remedies (practitioner level), Reiki Master/practitioner, EFT (level 1) in Australia, Holistic Oil Massage, Anatomy and Physiology several times!, Thai Yoga Massage in London, Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist and currently specialising in Raw food nutrition and have begun a 3 year training to become a Shamanic Practitioner.

I believe that health and well-being are our natural “human” state and the “being” part of us comes when the human has been nurtured and loved, so we feel connected throughout the mind, emotion, body system. With each therapy learned a whole new part of me has been revealed, so each therapy has an integrated influence on each treatment I give, creating a unique and beautiful experience for my clients.

Contact Sarah: Facebook

22539930_1985030361775659_7812344167449798234_nLauren McAvoy

I trained at the Tibetan Buddhist Centre Kagyu Samya Dzong, YogaLondon. I am qualified as an Ashtanga Vinyasa/ restorative based yoga teacher as well as pregnancy yoga. I have been practicing yoga internationally for over 10 years, teaching in Bali Indonesia, Kerala India, Rainbow City Portugal, and in London.
In my pregnancy yoga classes I start with a short guided meditation (either laying on our sides or seated) followed by gentle mindfulness based asana that will allow the body to release any tensions, aches and pains. Suitable for all trimesters.

Yoga is a beautiful practice, the coming together of mind, body and spirit. Yoga can be highly beneficial during Pregnancy, helping to relieve discomfort and pain. Through the use of breath awareness and asana (postures) we can learn to control the mind (the monkey mind**) and create strong flexible bodies, working wonders to help prepare for your child birth.

Contact Lauren: Website

EmmaEmma from Brazilarte Academy

Brazilarte Academy, Southend on Sea, was founded to promote and preserve Brazilian culture through Capoeira, Dance, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Music. Our Brazilarte Tribe is a family that supports like minded wanderers from the age of 4 years old and introduces educative, healthy and fun ways to keep the body moving whilst learning valuable skills and living life.

Emma Gibbs De Oliveira, one of the Brazilarte founders, has been practicing Capoeira and Brazilian Percussion for the last 17 years. Also the founder of CapoYoga which bridges the gap between Yoga and Capoeira. A fun and explorative movement which re connects the mind and body challenging mobility, strength and flexibility.

Contact Emma: Facebook

Sneha RamjiSneha Ramji

Sneha Ramji who is a qualified Reiki master . Her training commenced with a spiritual healing course at the renowned College of Psychic Studies, leading to further studies of Reiki and Crystal healing, as well as attending classes in psychic development at the famous Mysteries of London. She has learnt this ancient art of healing from an Indian Grand Master who’s lineage traces back to the original founder of Reiki.

Sneha has an emphatic and compassionate nature, which people are naturally drawn to. She is a good listener and is quickly able pinpoint the root of your problem. She has experienced many challenges in her own life, so understands people and is able to put herself in their position. This makes her a perfect candidate to be a healer and spiritual life coach.

Contact Sneha: Website

Emma Harding


Hello x I’m Emma… British Wheel of Yoga teacher, lifestyle coach and Chakradance facilitator. Dancing is a passion, it links beautifully with yoga and helps you switch off the mind and connect with your instincts. It’s also fun, joyful, energising and uplifting! When you walk out of a Chakradance class you feel peaceful and have an inner glow. By tuning into the knowledge you have you unravel, discover and celebrate all that you are… that’s powerful… that’s Chakradance! Message me for info on classes, 1:1s, events etc… I look forward to meeting you x

There’s a lot happening in the world right now and those in the know are tuning into the benefits of conscious living, working and relating and mindful practices like dance meditation. Chakradance links beautifully with yoga and helps you to switch off and connect deep down. Dance with freedom to uplifting music, feel physical and emotional blocks release, experience joy and relax the nervous system. This is profound dance journeying that reveals and heals. By tapping into the knowledge of your true self you rediscover and celebrate all that you are.

Contact Emma: Facebook

Caroline Voigt

Carolin Voigt

I am a yoga teacher in Leigh-on-Sea and my yoga journey started 13 years ago. Back then I was working long hours in corporate jobs and worried a lot. My back, shoulders and neck were stiff, I bit my fingernails and I had frequent migraines that knocked me out for whole weekends.

I noticed how yoga was changing me. After a yoga class my body felt light and my mind calm, and it was slowly transferring into my life. And this exact feeling I aim to bring to my students. I believe yoga is for every body, whatever age, size or shape. You don’t have to look, feel and be a certain way to benefit from yoga.

Contact Carolin: Facebook

Ann Reck

Ann Behennah Reck

Ann Behennah Reck has a background in Canadian law, teaching English and yoga.  She began her yoga journey over 10 years ago in Canada and has been hooked ever since.  Since completing her Level 3 CYQ YMCA Yoga qualification in 2016, Ann has taught yoga at local gyms, to staff at a local school, and at Body Bliss Hot Yoga studio in Leigh-on-Sea as well as privately in her home studio.

Ann particularly finds yoga beneficial for restoring the body to its state of original vigour and strength – and making it stronger than ever.  Ann believes that there is a style or lineage of yoga for everyone and that while every journey is different, the mental and physical benefits are boundless for everyone.

Contact Ann: Facebook


Natalie Claxton

My interest in Yoga developed over the last 12 years while I was traveling the world as a professional dancer to help increase my strength and flexibility. I’d always been inspired by the Yoga you see in the media… headstands, interesting postures, 90 year old ladies balancing on one arm. But it wasn’t until I succumbed to an injury that I started to experience the many benefits of Yoga for myself.

Not only did it aid in my recovery but it also had a sense of keeping me calm through the uncertainty of my dancing career. I began to notice small changes in myself… how i viewed situations differently, the feeling I had after my practice and the way it would set me up for the day ahead to make the most of everything. This intrigued me so much that I started to delve a little deeper into yoga and it was then that I realized I wanted to help other people experience the many benefits of yoga and decided to part take on my Yoga teacher training course with Yoga London.

Since completing my training my love and passion for Yoga keeps on growing, I am lucky enough to be teaching full time and continuing to delve further into Yoga and what it has to offer. I love that I can combine my two passions – Yoga & Travel. And that no matter what country you’re in, what language they speak, when you’re on your mat it feels like home and brings everyone together. Yoga is an universal language.

Contact Natalie: Website


Emily Morris

I feel like yoga has always been there just waiting to come out! And while I was at university it made its appearance. At a time when stress, chaos and uncertainty were at the forefront, yoga came to the rescue and offered me a calm and blissful space.

Coming from an alternative background of artist parents with an interest in culture and meditation, the calling to explore a holistic way of life became stronger and stronger. After years of living in and then commuting to London, burying my inner self in trying to find my way in fashion, marketing and advertising, my yoga practice switched on a light and I found the courage to accept who I was and the life I wanted to lead.

In 2014 I completed my year-long Ashtanga teacher training course and am so grateful to work full time in bringing my experience and knowledge to help all kinds of people find their own clarity, calm and space for self-exploration and expression. I have been able to nurture my creativity in designing unique classes that integrate the breath, movement, relaxation and meditation to empower and inspire each individual.

Two of the Yamas from the 8 Limbs of Yoga that stand out to me are Ahimsa and Satya.
Ahimsa = non harming
Satya = truthfulness

Acceptance of where you are in your practice by letting go of the ego and the urge to push harder to go beyond your boundary allows you the space to bring your inner self to the surface and glow.


Contact Emily: Website

Roger NewtonRoger

Roger has had a lifelong fascination with yoga & various ancient Eastern philosophies.  He has studied widely and deeply: TCM, Shiatsu, Shamanic indigenous Native North & South American cultures as well as with some of the world’s foremost names in yoga. He started a Hatha yoga practice, initially and principally self study from books in 1972.  His teaching is thoughtful, intelligent, insightful and often playful. Using Nada Yoga (Sound – Gongs, Himalayan Singing Bowls and other traditional instruments) in class to raise consciousness.

Classes are tailored to students needs – with neither age, inexperience nor injury being a barrier.  Breath & body are encouraged to work together, allowing progressive opening and release.

Roger has explored and practised many avenues of yoga and truly believes that there is only one style; ‘no style’ as each and every one of us is unique. The umbrella term ‘Hat-Ha’ Yoga in terms of  ‘Yoga of Determined Effort’ is a reminder that focus and discipline are at the core of our practice as in every other walk of life.   Flowing; sometimes dynamic – sometimes passive. Balancing energy flow. Balancing flexibility with strength … Classes are thus an eclectic mix, always tailored to the group or individual situation.

Roger has studied extensively in India and is a certified senior teacher with the Yoga Alliance.

Contact Roger: Website

Lisa Horwell

Lisa Horwell – Yoga Therapist C-IAYT, BWY Dip, CNHC, Y12SR leader.

Hello, I am gratefulyogi! I discovered yoga due to severe mental illness called PTSD, PND andaddiction. I have a 23 year old personal practise, 15 year teaching experience which continues to expand into sound healing and as a yoga retreat host. I specialise in 1:1 yoga therapy sessions, small group therapy community classes, women’s wellbeing workshops, sound journeys and gong baths. My own experience off addiction and the effects of 12 step programs mean that volunteer by offering a weekly Y12SR ‘yoga and recovery ‘in Southend, alongside teaching at the private rehabs.
Last year I opened ‘Grateful Retreat’ in Brittany. We host truly transformational healing retreats open to all.  I here representing the wonderful women’s circle called ‘Red Tent Rayleigh ‘ .

Contact Lisa: Website

TraceyNikki Nicholas

I have practiced yoga for 21 years and completed the yoga teacher training diploma with Paula at the Mayura Yoga Academy in 2010. As well as general yoga classes I now offer Yoga Foundation at the academy. My yoga is constantly evolving and I take my inspiration from spine-kind practitioners old and new – applying my specialist knowledge in back care and promoting a mindful approach to yoga practice.  I am also a practitioner and teacher of Yin Yoga

I am perpetually learning in both of my beloved disciplines.  I am currently working towards my Yoga Therapy Diploma with YogaCampus. I am filled with gratitude to be on this journey and to be able to share my insights with others

My classes are relaxed, often fun while encouraging my students to develop a sense of presence, awareness and mindfulness in their practice and allowing space for them to build a positive relationship with themselves and their bodies.

Contact Nikki: Website

eltonElton Paine

Elton is a natural Yogi and he has grown on the mat both physically and spiritually.  He began his Teacher Training journey with Mayura Yoga Academy and graduated in April 2016, offering his very own style of Hatha class at Mayura on Wednesday evenings. Be prepared to bring your A game and make full use of our sweat towels. Elton encourages you to experience your full potential on the mat and enjoys helping you grow your physical practice and your confidence.
Contact Elton: Website


Roanna Harstad

Ro’s introduction to meditation and yoga began in 2000 as she began to explore new ways to work through eating disorders and addictions.

That began a love affair that’s only grown deeper. compelled by her passion and curiosity, Ro has trained around the world with masters in personal development, asana, meditation, pranayama, shamanic studies, energy work, and her training as a level-five Thai Massage Trainer and practitioner. Ro is inspired by many areas including the practices of restorative Yin Yoga, Acro yoga and Ashtanga. She is a Yoga Alliance UK Senior teacher and trainer offering retreats, training and business mentoring.

Ro’s life long dedication is to inspire others to step into their power and create deep and long lasting healing experiences. Roanna is a genuine yoga practitioner, a devoted Yoga teacher and healer with a huge range of experience and insights.With a background in personal empowerment through leading Firewalks, retreats, physiotherapy and body therapeutics, Ro’s approach to yoga is one that honours the need for individual self study with the aim of improving inner strength and taking positive action towards stepping into our power.

Ro says, “Yoga is a way to focus within, and by doing so expand our awareness, bringing increased responsibility to live in alignment with the planet in which we walk. We must walk sensitively and powerfully through our lives and using the practice of all 8 paths of yoga doing so in love and with responsibility.”

Contact Roanna: Website



I came to yoga 11 years ago due to injuries acquired in the gym. I used yoga to re-balance my body, and then discovered it helped to re-balance all of me; mind, body and spirit. As I personally got so much from yoga, I decided I would like to do the teacher training course for my own development, and to teach others regardless of any physical ability they think they may or may not have – because yoga deals with the whole person, and not just the physical.

Since qualifying, I have taught personal clients and classes at L.A. Fitness and now at Mayura Yoga Studio. I have also taught spontaneous classes in the gym where people have witnessed me practising my own yoga and asked me to teach them; it’s nice to know I can inspire others! In fact, young people seem fascinated how an ‘old boy’ like me can move so freely (their words, not mine – I think that there’s a compliment in there somewhere!) I really enjoy teaching and hope that my enthusiasm for yoga is contagious – it’s one of the best things to happen in my life!

Contact Terry: Website


Tracey Bailey

Tracey is the founder of Body Bliss and the director of the teacher training school.

Tracey has been practising yoga for 30 years and teaching for 15. Yoga has always been a big part of her life since an early age watching her mother practice. She also suffered panic attacks in her early 20s and found yoga and meditation essential to control and manage them.

Originally qualified in YMCA 500 Hour Diploma in Hatha, Tracey has since trained in Hot Yoga and Vinyasa. Combining her love of yoga and knowledge of fitness, she opened her own Hot Yoga studio in Leigh-on-Sea in 2012 and her Training School in 2014.

Tracey says, “I particularly love teaching hot yoga. The heat is incredibly healing and after practice my body feels energised, rejuvenated and cleansed. It’s also an enjoyable way of losing weight and strengthening your body.”

Contact Tracey: Facebook