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 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 and courses are some of the most respected, traditional and original in the world.

He has studied both yoga and health to a very high level and uses his knowledge as the foundation of his highly respected system of teaching, which his students benefit from at his retreat centre in Spain: Yoga Sutra Shala.

Namit has written several articles about yoga and health for ezine online magazine; a short story called “Yoga Sutra – A Seeker’s Story” (published on Amazon); and is currently writing a book, called “Yoga – The Journey Within”.


Some of his guided meditations are published and available free of charge on the app named Insight Timer, by searching for 'Yoga Sutra Shala Retreat Centre' and can also be found on YouTube.

Namit began studying yoga and meditation as a child from his maternal uncles and pranayama (techniques for breath control) from his father.

Having a maternal family from the  Himalayas, he has always been deeply inspired to receive greater teachings about yoga.
 

He was educated in the philosophy of yoga by his mother and his maternal grandmother, who later introduced him to a Nepalese yogi staying in India.

This yogi passed on to him the foundations of the yoga system, which Namit has  developed himself and which he now teaches 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).


He has spent time teaching advanced yoga in Dharamsala and has deepened his own practice in various shalas in Mysore (India), where he learnt different systems of yoga such as vinyasa and hatha yoga.

During his twenties, Namit studied martial arts in China and had his first insights into traditional yin yoga. While at university in the UK, he studied and practised martial arts, which added to the depth of knowledge in anatomy and physiology that he was gaining from his university degrees and allowed him to further develop his practise of yoga (in terms of anatomy), later in his life.

While he was in China, Namit heard about an American Chiropractor (who had previously lived in China and Taiwan) and who applied principles of anatomy to his practice.

Inspired by this, Namit travelled to the US in order to learn from him and to understand his principles of alignment and structure, as related to the human body.

 

These experiences led Namit to study anatomy further with a chiropractor in India and later to study there with a physiotherapist, both of whom had backgrounds in yoga and led courses in Yoga Anatomy for health professionals.

 

Completing these courses gave Namit insights in to yoga-related injuries and how to avoid them, as well as using yoga anatomy to guide students to go deeper into their postures and in doing so, help them to release deep underlying tensions in their bodies and hence in their minds.

As he progressed in his yoga practice, Namit also travelled in Europe and returned to 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 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.

As a health professional, Namit 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 also worked 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 trainings and other studies in India.
As a result he has made his classes very health-orientated.

After studying health sciences, Namit studied ethical business management, including social responsibility and fair trade at Masters Degree level at De Montfort University Leicester, aiding him in establishing Yoga Sutra Shala in Spain, where he lives his dream of raising awareness, by sharing his knowledge with those who want to learn about health and happiness and fully engage with life.

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

 

Namit is recognised as an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 500) with Yoga Alliance, which acknowledges the completion of a yoga teacher training with a Registered Yoga School (RYS), and an accumulation of a minimum of 500 hours of teaching.


He is also a registered Senior Yoga Teacher (SYT) with Yoga Alliance Professionals. This accreditation demonstrates excellent standards as set by them and recognises that he has been teaching for more than 8 years (over 4000 hours).

 

Namit is a member of the General Pharmaceutical Society and has been a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain for over 25 years.
As a Clinical Pharmacist he diligently follows Continuing Professional Development (CPD) on an annual basis.

Henna Okker

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Henna, originally from Finland, has been travelling around this beautiful planet for most of
her adult life. Since her studies in sociology, sustainable development and human rights, she's been touring the world studying, volunteering and working in hospitality as well as just enjoying
nature and discovering other cultures.

Her first university exchange to Uganda showed her that the way to change the world truly starts from inside the individual. Travelling made her realise that learning and teaching happen at the same time and that the roles of student and teacher are both always active in a person and that the energy exchange between them is beautiful.

She brings that idea to her yoga classes and believes that teaching yoga is about sharing, giving space andoffering support. Yoga has been in Henna's life in different forms for almost a decade and it has brought her serenity, strength and resilience - both physically and emotionally. She still remembers the powerful moment in a yoga class when she first experienced the true balanced connection of mind, body and spirit. Her own journey in yoga started from asana classes and spread to other areas of her life. She loves plant-based food, ayurveda and holistic healing practises.
 

All this inspired Henna to learn more, to enable her to help other people find the beautiful world of yoga too. She lived in India for almost a year, practising and living yoga and meditation in different centres all around the country and completed her teaching training in Traditional Hatha Yoga in Rishikesh. She also teaches Yin Yoga, Vinyasa and Aerial yoga.

Denise Lindfors

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Originally from Stockholm, Denise's home is where her heart is. She loves travelling and meeting new friends from all over the world. Denise’s heart is in everything she does and she enjoys sharing her light energy. 

Having been a keen soccer player for almost 14 years, Denise was introduced to yoga in her home town, but it wasn’t until a long trip to Asia at the age of 28 that she really appreciated yoga and also found her love for vegan food. Her life changed: She felt so good in her body by practising yoga and following her new diet, that she couldn’t go back.


Denise has always loved to be in the kitchen. Before she came to work with us, she worked at a vegan yoga retreat in Thailand. The combination of vegan food and yoga drew her to Yoga Sutra Shala in September 2019, when she began as our breakfast volunteer. When she left, she knew she was coming back!

 

In February 2020 she returned to complete her yoga teacher training with Namit and she joins us this year as an apprentice yoga teacher, assisting the lead teachers on our retreats and courses and leading the workshops on the Plant-based food preparation & Nutrition retreats, together with Emily.

She enjoys sharing yoga and vegan food with others, especially with those that are new to it, opening the door to something that can heal them inside and outside. Her hope is to make it easy for people to start on a healthy vegan diet and to make it easy for them to begin yoga as well.

Her belief is that: ”You yourself, are the best person to create your own diet and your own yoga. You know your body best and you know what it needs”.

In her teaching she specifically guides her students to connect within, explore their bodies and release anything they no longer need.

Denise loves to be active: When she is not in the kitchen or in the shala she is probably out hiking and she also enjoys skiing and snowboarding.

Join her on a lovely hike up to the top of the mountain peak called “La Forada” when you visit us.

Judy Nagy

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Born in Hungary (though not really a local patriot), Judy lived the new traditional way of life: She finished university, worked here and there and occupied herself with social and creative activities.


From a young age Judy has been interested in yoga and the big spark between them happened 4 years ago, when she moved to the countryside and joined a local yoga class.

 

With a strong enthusiasm, she started to practice on her own and with time her interest grew so much that she decided to discover more about yoga and so travelled to India.


During that year of travel and exploration Judy completed 2 courses and met Herself. She decided to continue her journey and explore more of Asia, though in 2020 this was brought to an abrupt end because of the world situation.
 

Judy believes that nothing greater can happen to anyone other than getting closer to the Self; realising our true needs (which are not material); and dealing with the nature of ego correctly.


Judy enjoys spending her time outdoors as much as she can, cycling and hiking. She is also a big animal lover. In short: She loves everything that lives! And she believes that actions speak louder than words. When it comes to yoga she sees that this is also true and that nothing else is going to do the work other than stillness and that it is one’s choice to focus on the inner and outer - it cannot be shown. Some say it is a lonely journey to be on the spiritual path and in a way it can sometimes feel like that, but Judy believes that there is no richer journey.

Judy is a trained yoga teacher having a rest from teaching classes. As a Karma Yogi with us, she will be helping to serve your delicious meals and she will be keeping the retreat centre comfortable, clean and tidy.

 

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. 

Natalie Marshall

Natalie has lived and worked in many Buddhist Communities throughout the UK over the
past 20 years. Her cooking skills were developed whilst serving spiritual communities, retreat guests and festival attendees.


As a teenager Natalie remembers preparing vegetables in the kitchen at a yoga summer
festival. Her mother, a yoga teacher (who still teaches 5 classes a week at the age of 75!),
had taken her to this wonderful yoga festival and Natalie credits her mother with planting
the seeds of love for spirituality, community and cooking for others, in her heart.

 

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Natalie was a Buddhist nun for nine years and was fortunate to receive many teachings on love, compassion and wisdom. She has completed a silent retreat in the Sierra Nevada mountains and is happy to be returning to her country of birth, Spain.

Bobbie Hudson

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Bobbie is almost always found barefoot, exploring peace and harmony within the forest or the ocean. She believes that to be at home within nature, and to appreciate the divine in another - without comparison - is true beauty.

 

She spends most of her time in the outdoors, enjoying hiking, cycling, skateboarding and  kayaking. One of her favourite things to do is taking mindful walks through the forest, spotting wildlife and finding a quiet spot to read, practice yoga and meditate.

 

Bobbie grasps any opportunity to source local vegetables and to cook outside, whether on

 a fire or the little portable gas-ring in her rucksack.

She often fills her pockets with rocks, clay, shells, plants, leaves, seaweed - anything she can forage to continue her experiments in producing natural dyes and earth pigments to create paints, inks, and textiles. She then uses the naturally dyed materials to make clothes and interior textiles. A few years ago Bobbie set out with a goal to explore this beautiful planet; to learn about other cultures, nature, food, and to explore ways to be mindful of our environment. She began learning methods to live a sustainable life; to aid in leaving a positive impact on the environment through her daily decisions. 

 

She has spent these years travelling and developing her knowledge, particularly in plant-based nutrition, yoga, ceramics, natural dye production from food waste and plant material, painting, creating textiles, and volunteering within different communities.

 

Having completed her 200-hour teacher training, Bobbie joins our team as a Yoga Teacher Apprentice and Breakfast Karma Yogi. She is very happy to have this opportunity to share knowledge and joy with others, through the beautiful practice of yoga and interesting conversation over delicious, nutritional plant-based food, whilst being surrounded by the beautiful nature.

 

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 Carinthia (Austria).

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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Fiona Bringmann

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Fiona is our Manager and will also lead some yoga classes here at Yoga Sutra Shala. She has a passion for people’s well-being and appreciates harmony in her environment and workplace.

Having fallen in love with yoga at an early age, it has been an integral practice in the development of her Self.

She teaches vinyasa, hatha, yin and restorative yoga, as well as guiding yoga nidra, pranayama and meditation practices.

Her teaching style focuses on creativity and harmony and her classes incorporate many aspects of mind and body awareness through balance, strengthening, stretching, breath-work and meditation.

The passion Fiona has for yogic philosophy and a yogic way of life continues, and though she loves to teach, she is also forever a student, always seeking new knowledge and growth. 

Malwina Janiak

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Malwina is a Polish yogini who began her heart-journey about 12 years ago. She studied International Relations and Human Resources Management and has worked and volunteered in different professions in many different countries
including Poland, Cyprus, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, The UK, Mexico, Peru, India, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.


While travelling in India she became a Zen Meditation Teacher (in 2012) and a Therapy Yoga Teacher (in 2015) and is also a Reiki healer and Ayurvedic Masseuse.

Through her travels and vipassana practices, she has realised that although travelling is fun and it opens the mind, she doesn't need to go anywhere because with the help of the breath she has already arrived home in her heart.
To Malwina yoga is life, life is yoga. And meditation is for her the quality of being aware and being alert, where you just simply are, just being. Malwina will be your Host, available to assist you throughout your stay.

 

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

'Go to your bosom; Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know ...'
​William Shakespeare
Rajkapotasana