Yoga Teachers

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'By practicing yoga, impurities dwindle away and the light of wisdom dawns.'

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Namit Kathoria

Namit's teaching style is designed to help each student gain what he or she individually wants to achieve from their yoga. Namit has a strong family tradition of yoga and has studied yoga all over the world including in his native India. He has also travelled throughout North and South America and Europe learning from recognised teachers and constantly developing his teaching style. His background as a leading health professional allows him to apply and explain the health benefits of yoga at every level. As a result, his yoga retreats are some of the most respected, traditional and original yoga retreats in the world.

Namit is committed to being focused towards what you want to achieve from your yoga.

He has studied both yoga and health to a very high level and has used all of his knowledge to found his highly respected system of teaching yoga which he uses at the workshops at Yoga Sutra Shala. Namit has written several articles about yoga and health for ezine articles online magazine, which you can read by clicking here.

Namit started studying yoga and meditation as a child from his mother and maternal uncles and pranayama (techniques for breath control) from his father. Having a maternal family from the Himalayas, he was always been deeply inspired to receive greater teachings about yoga. He was steeped deeply in the philosophy of yoga by his maternal grandmother who later introduced him to a Nepalese yogi staying in India. The Nepalese yogi passed onto him the foundations of the yoga system which Namit has now developed himself and which he now teaches himself to his students.

As well as having a strong family background in yoga, Namit has yoga teaching qualifications from Rishikesh in India (the birthplace of yoga) and also from Dharamsala in the Himalayas in India (the current residence of His Royal Holiness the Dalai Lama). Namit has spent time teaching advanced yoga in Dharamsala, India. He has also spent time deepening his own practice in the Shala of Shri K. Pattabhi Jois (the founder of Ashtanga Yoga) in Mysore, India.



He has travelled as well in Europe and the Americas learning different teaching styles of yoga and adding techniques from these to his own teaching style. He taught yoga regularly in the UK before moving to Spain.

Namit is a registered Senior Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance Professionals and an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance. These accreditations demonstrate excellent standards as set by the organisations and recognise that he has been teaching for more than 8 years (over 4000 hours).



He has studied life sciences including Pharmacy at King's College London and Clinical Pharmacy at Queen's University Belfast where he graduated to Masters Degree level. He has worked in roles advising on the use of medication in various specialities such as Neurology and Cardiology at some of the largest hospital teaching trusts in the UK including the Oxford University Trust ORH. He worked as well as the first Pharmacist Advisor to the national NHS Direct service. As such Namit has a very deep knowledge of the body and how it functions optimally. He has also studied the health benefits of yoga as part of his teacher training in India. As a result he has made his classes very health orientated.

After studying health sciences, Namit studied management at Masters Degree level at De Montfort University Leicester in order to establish Yoga Sutra Shala and follow his dream of teaching people to be healthy.



As well as yoga, Namit teaches Tai Chi, Qi Gong and Kung Fu and has learnt from masters across the world including both Northern and Southern China.

Diego Crespillo

Diego is an artist and explorer from Mexico City.  Having grown up in the ghetto, he graduated as an engineer and worked in the corporate world for a few years before he started travelling.

 

He has been practising yoga since he first came across it, in London in 2010.

His subsequent travels to India and Southeast Asia broadened his experience of this sacred practice.

His devotion ('bhakti') led him to join “Mantrika”, a Mantra Band offering Kirtan mainly in Riviera Maya in Mexico and recently also in a lovely Ananda Spirit Yoga Festival in Dresden, Germany.

Diego has learned Shree Vidya tantric teachings from Maa Parvati Nath and his journey continues on this path today, as he travels around sharing from his heart, these sacred practices.

Silvia Quach

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Coming from an Asian immigrant family, Silvia was born in Germany and spent her gap-year in Australia, where her passion for yoga and travelling grew and led her to complete her yoga teacher training in Spain earlier this year.
 

Travelling has opened up her mind and changed her world view completely, allowing her to dive deeper into - and express - her interest in spirituality and healing.

 

Yoga has helped her to live her life more mindfully and connected to herself. Through practising yoga asanas she discovers her unconscious imbalances within and is able to release the pain associated with them.

 

Silvia is excited to be part of the positive change that yoga brings to this world and enjoys each experience she has as a yoga teacher. She is inspired by the sensation she feels after sharing yoga, Reiki and anything that allows people to feel connected, cared for and at ease.

Marina Haver

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Marina is a yoga teacher certified through vinyasa schools with additional training in Trauma Informed Yoga Therapy, Kundalini and Kids Yoga.


She is actively involved in teaching community classes and loves to bring people together- sharing yoga and meditation through classes and educational workshops.


Her own practice allows her to broaden her awareness, find deeper peace and feel into her body more and she greatly values sharing these tools with others. 


Marina teaches with a focus on breath, mindfulness and connection. In her classes you will experience an emphasis on mind-body awareness and intentional movement.

She leads guided meditations as well as workshops which may cover stress relief techniques, chakras and the energy body, polyvagal theory and the nervous system, and breathwork.

Born in the US, with roots in Spain, Puerto Rico and Canada, she loves to connect with other cultures and currently spends her time traveling and teaching in various countries. Beyond yoga, she is also passionate about preparing love-filled meals with plant-based whole foods, connecting with nature, exploring energy work and dabbling in various arts and creative projects.

Elise Garnaut

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Yoga came into Elise's life over 10 years ago, uplifting her mood from a dark place and
transforming her awareness of self and place in the world.

 

She completed her Hatha TTC at Mathatitu Ashram in Kerala, India. She is deeply grateful for the wisdom that her teachers shared with her and she is honoured to be able to share the joy and
sense of centredness that yoga brings with others.


As an advocate of universal compassion and self care, Elise strives to help beginners as well as advanced practitioners of yoga learn essential postures in a mindful and harmonious class and to provide gentle individualised attention.

 

As well as teaching yoga asanas, she especially enjoys sharing the meditative side of yoga and the peace of mind that this can bring to those in need.

Anna Eveleigh

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Anna’s yoga journey began in New Zealand in 2016, when she attended a yoga class that sparked her spiritual awakening: The sense of clarity, peace and achievement she felt after this particular Vinyasa class was overwhelming, as was the message she received during it: Yoga had to be a part of her everyday life!
From that day on, she attended yoga studios and classes all around New Zealand and eventually did her Yoga Teacher Training in Prague.

 

Through her yoga teaching, Anna has built a reputation of integrity, honesty and compassion.

After 2 years teaching in Australia her path lead her back to the UK, where a shoulder injury stopped her yoga practice. However, her sheer determination to heal allowed her to find the root cause of the injury and through trying many forms of exercise, she found a balance of movement that works well with the strengths and weaknesses of her body and mind and she learnt a valuable lesson!

 

Ever since Anna completed her teacher training she has dreamt of travelling the world and visiting retreat centres, meeting, assisting and healing those that seek a better and more balanced life.
This dream has now become a reality with her first stop being at Yoga Sutra Shala. 

David Hirtenstein

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Whenever possible you will see David walking barefoot in nature. Through physical Yoga practice, he loves to connect the wild within and without, and to share traditional vedic mantra and chanting. He believes that Yoga is quite literally making love with life! He has been practicing for more than 9 years, but there was always one question on his mind - how is this all actually applicable to life?

Through an intimate, daily practice of Yoga, linking the breath movement to the body movement, we connect directly to the heart, the source of life within. Through a practice of giving and receiving, we are able be more loving, harmonious and peaceful in our relationship with ourselves and others.

David has been nomading around for a while, and 6 years ago decided it was time to set out to answer some of the BIG questions in  life. He started by coming up with a great plan: travel from Europe to India...by foot! After walking for 2 and a half years he realised that transport existed for carrying luggage! One of life's questions was answered, but there were so many more.

During these years on the road, David studied and practiced yoga and meditation with many different masters. In February 2019 he met his teacher Mark Whitwell, and received direct transmission of the ancient lineage of  T. Krishnamacharya and his son TKV Desikachar. He knew he had found what he was searching for. 

David feels priveleged to share the great tradition as it has been passed on to him - yoga that is right for each individual as participation in a full body prayer to life. As we give to ourselves, and know the beauty of taking time to appreciate ones own unique perfection, we are then able to share it with others.

 

Chefs

Fernanda Moreira

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Fernanda had a passion for cooking from an early age:  When she was 17 years old began her career cooking in São Paulo, where she discovered the fascinating world of flavours and aromas. 

 

At the age of 24 she worked at a biodynamic farm in Palencia in northern Spain, where she learned a lot about organic and biodynamic food.

During the last few years Fernanda has dedicated her free time to reading and learning more about food and nutrition, so that she can feed her family, the team and all the retreat guests a delicious,  healthy and balanced diet. 

Ruth Jackson

Ruth has been passionate about cooking since going to university and finding that processed food and ready meals disagreed with her stomach and didn't taste that good.  She set out to learn how to cook well, simply, easily, quickly and healthily.  This is still her approach although much has changed over the years as she's learnt more about nutrition, health and wellbeing. 

 

Ruth had a food blog for a while which set out to share simple, easy to make recipes for everyone to demonstrate that cooking doesn't need to be hard, complicated, use weird ingredients or take a long time. 

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After moving to London 6 years ago, she closed the blog but carried on photographing her food for her instagram site, and she often lists the ingredients with the photos. 

 

Ruth has very eclectic tastes in food, and loves to experience new and different foods and spices.  She loves to work with a wide range of spices from around the world.  Having grown up in Asia, her food is often Asian inspired or fusion.  More recently, Ruth has taken the leap from cooking being a passion and hobby at home to something she is doing for others, as part of her life. 

 

Deciding to leave a career in the charity sector, she has been cooking vegetarian and vegan food at a yoga retreat in Ibiza and is keen to learn and experience more about vegan, organic, biodynamic and ayurvedic cooking at Sutra Shala, and to share these experiences with guests to support their health, wellbeing, nourishment and yoga. 

 

Apart from cooking, Ruth also loves to practice yoga meditation, and has been practising different styles for 10 years.  She also loves to travel and experience new cultures, especially picking up their spices and cooking techniques. 
She also loves dancing, a nice glass of wine, reading good books, swimming, her cat and her husband - although not necessarily in that order!

Deborah Obodo

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Deborah has been travelling for the best part of 30 years, possibly subconsciously searching for the meaning of life. Although she may never understand this thing called “life,” she has learned that  she is completely responsible for the authorship of her own unique story.

Some years ago, her journey led her to yoga, pranayama, meditation; through these she found a stillness, the courage to surrender; trust in her intuition; to follow her heart. In June of this year she completed a Teacher Training in Italy, after which she volunteered in the kitchen at a yoga ashram in Canada sharing special moments with like- minded people.

She is writing and embracing the new chapter of her life which is filled with the most educational, rewarding; meaningful experiences. It’s here in these ever-increasing moments that she feels a true sense of vibrancy, peace, gratitude, joy & Love, not just for herself, but for & from others.

She followed her heart to Yoga Sutra Shala to volunteer as part of the kitchen team, within the Yoga Sutra Shala family and is excited to share her delicious food with you.

Admin

 

Charlotte Toomey

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Charlotte is our online co-administrator, working remotely from her home in The Alpujarras (Andalucia).
During her last 16 years of working within various retreats she has experienced all areas, beginning as a volunteer Karma Yogi and massage therapist and ending up as a manager and then as a co-founder.

She feels a satisfaction in organising and finding effective and efficient solutions and enjoys being part of a well-oiled engine running smoothly in an inspiring direction.

Charlotte balances her administration work with single-parenting, giving therapeutic massage treatments
and making organic skincare products:
Variety is the spice of her life!

She very much enjoys foreign travel and getting her hands either in oil (with her massage) or earth
(in her garden).

Charlotte is available to assist you with your enquiry, booking, travel arrangements and any queries you may have.

Kathrin Trattler

Kathi is our other online co-administrator working remotely from Salzburg (Austria) where she is studying languages and economy.

Her love for movement began at an early age when she began training in classical ballet. Spending some time in Sri Lanka and working in an Ayurvedic Spa, she got attracted to the mindfulness aspects of yoga and eventually did an intensive training to become a certified yoga teacher.

​Her journey continues as she shares the practice with joy and care. In addition to dance and yoga, Kathi is passionate about music and all things culinary.

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Alison Fuller

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We're very happy that Alison will join the retreat team again in October (having been with us in earlier in the year), to be your Host.

 

With her positive and friendly soul, she will be available throughout your retreat to guide and support you during your stay, to share her knowledge and experience and answer any questions that you may have.
 

Aside from yoga, Alison enjoys travelling and hiking - so be sure to join her in exploring this beautiful region of Vall De Gallinera.

Alison completed her Hatha and Vinyasa teacher trainings in Rishikesh and Dharamshala in 2015 and in the UK she teaches yoga on mental health wards around hospitals in Sussex.  She finds her work extremely rewarding and can see the transformational benefits of yoga within this sector almost instantly.

In addition to being your Host, Alison will be offering one-to-one private yoga classes upon request.

Petra Luiken

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Helping others and promoting equality are very important to Petra.

She is originally from the Netherlands and loves her country, but has a passion for travelling.

After graduating from University in 2005, she backpacked through Australia and New Zealand for six months before joining the corporate world, where she worked for many years in big organisations; was President of a LGBT (Lesbian, Gay Biseksual and Transgender) organisation; and continued her work in other human rights organisations.

In 2018 a strong call to continue travelling the world and meet new people and cultures, led her to leave her job and sell almost everything she had.

She travelled solo for 20 months, visiting 21 countries and discovering the world of meditation and yoga working in management jobs at centres in Mexico, Guatemala and Australia, joining some retreats herself and twice enjoying a ten day silent retreat (Vipassana) in Indonesia.

 

Therapists

Miguel Sales Franco

Miguel studied at the Quirosoma centre in Valencia, where he learned many different massage techniques. He expanded his training with further study of natural therapies on a course endorsed by the University of Barcelona.


During his career as a therapist his knowledge has grown and having met Namit a while ago, he began offering treatments at Yoga Sutra Shala, where he enjoys a space full of energy, gratitude and charming people.


The treatment he offers is an excellent complement to the sharing of yoga and life practices available to guests.

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Miguel’s Deep Tissue Massage brings a balance to body and mind, encouraging energy exchange, where tension points are released and emotional states of the body and mind are opened.

He invites you to feel what you are and enjoy life!

Miguel’s treatments are usually available on Mondays and Thursdays.

Remei Sendra

Having discovered the world of personal growth and meditation, mainly through teachings she received in India, Remei decided in 2015 to train in Bioenergetic Ayurvedic Massage, at the Innova School in Valencia.

Passionate and captivated by her new tool to work the body while being connected to the heart and quietening the mind, Reme furthered this training in Kerala, India in 2017.


Since then she has been working and developing her treatment, by adding additional approaches to therapy, including Reiki (level 3); Thai Massage; Californian Massage; Active Mediation; and Bioenergetic Respiration.

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Remei sees the body as an internal exploratory key that guides us towards silence and the intrinsic joys of life.

​The most important difference between different types of massage is where the focus is placed: For Remei, massage is a time for meditation, by means of overcoming the mind and connecting intuition and the heart into her hands.

By using long movements, Remei goes over the body to create a smoothness which will relax your nervous system. Different rhythms are used and much of the work is done with both thumbs, then elbows and forearms, so as to work into your deeper muscles. This creates a state of relaxation and confidence which allows energy to move and express itself in order to become nourishment for the body, mind and heart.

The aim of this type of massage is to free your energy into motion. It gradually turns into a healing practice, where different rhythms are considered. This massage helps you to get connected to a silent, quiet place, where your mind can rest in your heart, as it is there that health is restored.

​Remei also uses techniques from Reiki, Reflexology, Hot Stone Massage and Herbal Pouch Massage as part of her treatments.

Remei's treatments are usually available on Wednesdays

María Morera

Through the different tools that she has acquired, Maria offers you a healing space where you can choose your treatment or leave the treatment options in her hands.

She can offer you:

 

Chiromassage provides increased muscle tone and body flexibility. It is indicated for contractures and muscle pains.

Cranio-sacral is a soft and deep therapy that balances the pumping of the liquid in the cerebro-spinal fluid. It is recommended to help with stress, tension, insomnia and to reduce grinding of the teeth.

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Lymphatic Drainage helps to purify the body, reduce inflammation, helps with migraines, fluid retention, cellulite build up and so forth.

Geothermal Therapy provides deep muscle relaxation and is achieved through hot stones. Maria then tones and vitalises the body using cooler stones.

Foot Reflexology involves manipulating the reflex points on the feet to improve the working of the body and the internal organs.

Reiki is the channelling of the universal energy with the hands, so you can reach an integration and harmonisation of the body, mind and spirit.

Bamboo Therapy involves massage with bamboo canes and deep stimulation of the skin in order to tone, purify and to drain waste from the body.

Shiatsu engages with energy points in the body called meridians, activating or calming them to increase your vitality and reinforce your immune system as well as improving your mental and physical performance.

All of these techniques are enriched by Aromatherapy, using 100% organic essential oils.

You can expect to benefit from increased vitality, relief of tension and stress, reinforcement of the immune system and the nervous system, integration of the mind, body and spirit, restoration of balance and harmonisation of your energy.

​Maria has qualifications and experience in Naturopathy, Osteopathy, Chiromassage, Natural Beauty, Shiatsu and Reiki, Integrative Body Therapy, Energetics Therapy, Reflexology as well as Integrative Psychology and Ritual Art.

'Go to your bosom; Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know ...'
​William Shakespeare
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Yoga Sutra Shala,
Calle Raval, 24

Benissiva, Valencia

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