Hi! I’m Helen. Yoga teacher, plant power nutrition enthusiast and anatomy nerd. I’m a lover of life and travel, trail running and surfing, plant-based food and sunshine. I believe in living life to the fullest, by doing what I can to feel optimal every day. My passion is sharing all that I’ve learned through yoga, meditation, nutrition and coaching, with others to feel their best too.
I want to help you to be the best version of yourself: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, each and every day, because I know that yoga works profoundly on all these levels in making positive changes and improving lives.
My first experience of yoga was with Katy Appleton’s, Geri Halliwell DVD at age 15, that my mum gave me! Being a competitive swimmer at the time and completely focussed on my sport, I wasn’t impressed – I found it slow and boring. It wasn’t enough of a work out and I didn’t see the point (sorry Katy, I think you’re amazing now!). Oh, young Helen, how little you understood! Although I didn’t ‘get’ it at the time, I firmly believe that this was still a poignant introduction to yoga, something that would change my life in just a few years to come – thanks mum!
Fast forward a few years, when I was 23 and teaching english as a foreign language in Japan. I started Karate lessons with one of my students and realised just how incredibly inflexible I was. One of my other students was training to become a yoga teacher and my interest was sparked. I started practising in my 11th story apartment (overlooking Mt Fuji nonetheless) several times a week to a Bryan Kest DVD and I became hooked on his Power Yoga style. This was more like it. The same year, one of my flat mates gave me a copy of The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle, and for me this was a turning point in my way of thinking, literally. I realised that we can be in control of our minds and that our minds should not control us.
As my practice developed and I met and trained with great teachers, what began as a purely physical practice, evolved into something so much more. Yoga is a practice of the mind, body and spirit but we all have our own entry points. For most of us in the West, it is the physicality that attracts us. For some it is the desire for relaxation. But sooner or later, we find we’re gaining so much more than what we originally signed up for.
It is this whole body and mind approach and the transformative effects that yoga has, that I want to share with you. Whether you’re new to yoga and curious, or more experienced in your practice and what to delve deeper, join me for a class, private session online or in person, or training.
My Teachers and Training
- 2009 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training – Sivananda Vedanta Yoga
- 2010 – 2012 Advanced Teacher Training and workshops with Bridget Woods Kramer, Sianna Sherman, Kathryn Budig, Kino MacGregor and Katy Appleton
- 2013 onwards, 500 hour Advanced Yoga Medicine Teacher Training, with Tiffany Cruikshank – including focussed study on yoga for the Spine, Hips and Shoulders
- 2014 TeenYoga Training, with Charlotta Martinus
- 2015 Children’s Yoga Training, with Jo Manual
- 2016 100 hour Ashtanga Vinyasa Teacher Training, with John Scott
- 2017 MBit Diploma (Coherence Life Coaching), with Lizzi Larbalestier
- 2017 1 month self-practice, with Matthew Sweeney
- 2018 Sports Nutrition
- 2018 200 hour Vinyasa Krama Teacher Training, with Matthew Sweeney
Yoga for Athletes
Between the ages of 8 and 18, I was swimming competitively and training up 8 or 9 times a week, up to 50,000 metres a week in the pool. This got me pretty fit, so I was good at running too and it set me up for a life with physical fitness being a natural part of it. I no longer swim laps in a pool, preferring to walk from my house down the hill to the beach for a sea swim (who wouldn’t?) and I try my best at surfing. But, other than my daily yoga practice, trail running is most often how I now choose to spend my time staying fit and active.
Yoga goes so perfectly together with running, I would say it’s essential. Runners are notoriously bad at not stretching, so are unsurprisingly stiff and frequently injured, often due to bad technique and lack of strength in key areas, all of which yoga is ideal for preventing. To get this message out into the world I’ve had articles published in Trail Running, Running Fitness, Outdoor Fitness, Women’s Running and Triathlon Plus magazines. I’ve taught yoga to hundreds of runners at clubs events, public classes, workshops, privates and retreats, with athletes of all capabilities.
Yoga Flow Running retreats are one of my proudest creations. They are a chance for runners, of any speed and distance, to experience several days of yoga, designed specifically for a runner’s needs. Plus, importantly, practising how to take the principles of yoga into their running.
Yoga for Children and Young People
So, I’m also a primary school teacher! I took my PGCE with Spanish in 2009 and worked full time as a teacher for two years and part time for another two years. Going into teaching, already practising and trained to teach yoga, I could see the clear benefit to children at school and I left school teaching so that I could share yoga with more children in more schools. In 2016 I co-founded Class Yoga, an online platform to provide excellent quality yoga for children to schools and homes, in an affordable and sustainable way. I speak around the country at education events and provide training in teaching yoga and mindfulness to children, in and out of schools. You should check out what we’re doing at classyoga.com!
I hope you find what you need on this site, if not, please get in touch.