MEET THE GRATITUDE TEAM

Join us at this exclusive day retreat featuring international yoga teachers, thought leaders, authors and wellbeing experts. All profits from tickets and merchandise sales to our registered charity partners.

Jonny Penn
Grace Woodward
Hannah Barrett
Mariel Witmond Bateman
Esther Marie Da Costa
Nicola Gibb
Sorrel Drake
Jennie Lee Gelling
Aimee Garcia Marshall
Annie Auerbach
Zephyr Wildman
Kim Hartwell
Emily Brett
Danni Pomplun
Kristi Mae Rodelli
Tracey Martin
Pip Johnson
Lois Tirrel
Kate Turner
Jess Clark
Helen Flower
Anita Tambala
Alex Flatman
Alex Ritchie
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Annie

Auerbach

S P E A K E R

Annie Auerbach is a speaker, consultant, author and the co-founder of trends agency Starling. Her book FLEX: The Modern Woman's Handbook is a revolutionary guide to living and working on your own terms, published by HQ in April 2019.

She has worked flexibly for 20 years in many different guises - part-time, remote working, freelancing, through a portfolio career and returning to work after having her two daughters. 

With 15 years of experience in brand strategy and insight, she co-founded Starling, a trends agency which specialises in helping brands understand cultural change in order to stay relevant. Starling's clients include Pepsico, Nike, Google and Unilever. 

Annie is proud to be named a 2019 Timewise Power Founder on #timewisepower50 alongside a range of flex working trailblazers who are changing the future of work. 

 

Danni 

Pomplum

F I E R C E  C A L M  G L O B A L  A M B A S S A D O R

I am a 500-hr Registered Yoga Instructor, a real person, and I recognize that I’m teaching real people.

 

I’m truly grateful to now be able to share what I’ve learned with others and honored to be joining a team of amazing people who can see change in the world. Fierce Calm brings awareness as to how yoga can change lives & I am humbled to be their global ambassador & working with them to help more people say 'Yoga saved my life'

 

Asana after asana, breath by breath, we foster a community of mutual love & respect from which we grow from, nurture each other, & support each other. That’s what I love about this practice & this Fierce Calm community

 

I identify strongly with everyone here because I recognise, we all have our own stories

 

Mine has some twists and turns through a tough childhood and young adult years blurred by frustration, drugs, alcohol, and a near-death brush with cancer, and I credit yoga with helping me to become healthy and opening my eyes to a world of positive opportunities.

 

Now here I am, teaching yoga full-time, running workshops, leading teacher trainings & fundraising to support the most vulnerable.

 

This practice we do, we don’t do alone. We come to our mats & dedicate the time for ourselves to better ourselves, which better serves the people we interact with. I look forward to sharing my passion for yoga with you and helping you find its place in your story.

 

Aimee Garcia Marshall

Y O G A  T E A C H E R

We are very pleased to announce that Aimee will be joining us for the 108 representing her studio Yoga Collective in Hatch End. 

Over the last year Aimee has escalated her Yoga journey. She appeared on the front cover of Om Yoga Magazine, was welcomed as a brand ambassador for Yogangster completed her 500hr Advanced Yoga Teacher Training and now has opened her first Yoga studio.

 

It was in 2013 Aimee gained her RYT200 and vowed to leave the corporate world for good, become a full-time Yoga teacher and have a Yoga studio of her own. Being the strong minded individual that she is, she is proud to say that she has done everything she set out to do. Aimee's mantra is: 'If it does't challenge you, it won't change you - and all of us want to change ourselves in some way'.

 

Now Aimee simply wants to share her passion, knowledge and experience of Yoga with others. Since first coming to the practice in 2004 it was always the more dynamic styles of the practice that drew her in - challenging but fun! She firmly believes there is no such thing as the perfect pose - it's about giving things a go and having fun on the mat. Let that bad-boy ego go!

 

She continues to be a student of the practice of Yoga and is forever grateful to all of her teachers past, present and future.

 

Alex

Ritchie

Y O G A  T E A C H E R

“If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sun beans and you will always look lovely” Roald Dahl 

 

My yoga journey began in 2006 when I was pregnant with my daughter Daisy. However it wasn’t until I moved to Chicago in 2014 that yoga then became part of my life. The move allowed me to take some time out to focus on Yoga and complete my teacher training at Yogaview. 5 years later I’m learning to use crystals within my teaching and play the gong! I love to teach vinyasa flow, children yoga and having completed my 50 hour yin training with Norman Blair I love my regular yin classes. My teaching reflects my light hearted, open and compassionate approach to life. My hope is for you to leave class feeling more open, light and energised (perhaps with a dreamy afterglow from yin) as you learn to connect and enjoy the union of mind, body and soul. Expect a well balanced class, full of smiles.

 

Alexandra

Flatman

Y O G A  T H E R A P I S T  &  Y O G A  T E A C H E R

“You can’t stop the waves but you can learn to surf” John Kabat-Zinn

 

 

My journey began some years ago, pursuing yoga as a form of exercise, however I soon realised it was so much more than that and it became an integral part of my life.

 

Having worked for many years with young people who have social and emotional difficulties in schools I felt the need to develop a more holistic approach so I began to introduce the yoga practices I had learnt in my classes, and quickly saw the benefit.  This lead me on the path to completing my 500 hour yoga therapy training specialising in mental health.  I have since also trained in Yin yoga.  I really enjoy teaching yin and meditation classes; it is a pleasure to enable people to find that place of deep relaxation.

 

Yoga is at the heart of my own wellbeing and I am passionate about sharing this.

 

Anita 

Tambala

Y O G A  T E A C H E R

“Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and righting there is a field. Ill meet you there” Rumi.

I have been practising yoga for 18 years and teaching for 6, having qualified as a teacher with the RYT 500 hours Feel Hot Yoga training diploma.

I teach all levels and abilities. I have experience teaching athletes, equestrians, and people with conditions including back problems.

My passion for yoga comes from the joy I experience both as student and teacher.

My yoga practice is part of my daily life and brings me inner and outer strength and flexibility. It helps me to accept life as it comes.

As a teacher I witness the positive difference a regular practice makes to the lives of others.

 

I am grateful for the opportunity to pass on my love and knowledge of yoga to others. Yoga makes the world a better and happier place to be.

 

Helen

Flower

Y O G A  T E A C H E R

You are not separate from the whole. You are one with the sun, the earth, the air. You don’t have a life. You are life.

My Mum had taught me yoga as a child and at University I bought a yoga video and to practice in my student house! So where my yoga began I’m not exactly sure!

Travelling to India, South East Asia, New Zealand and Australia introduced me to many styles and the first “true” experience of yoga. I think my yoga journey started somewhere in my backpacking time as I for the first time in my life felt a quietening, calming and deep connection from the practice.

I experienced a healing and strengthening response from yoga after a car accident resulted in spinal surgery. Accepting my body’s limitations and learning more about the relationship of breath, mind and body lead me to embark on my teacher training with The British Wheel of Yoga. 

The training, further experience and continued learning from others has helped me to explore my own style. I love dynamic flow yoga but am also trained in yin (by Norman Blair) and love how different approaches and styles can bring endless benefits and responses to mind and body. I am inspired by students and teachers and learn continuously. My body also over the years with injuries, pregnancy, recovery etc has taught me to patient, kind and strong.  I love teaching Vinyasa classes focussing highly on creativity, seamless development and linking the breath with movement . I put time and love into the theme of each class. I am always moved by the influence yoga can have physically, emotionally and spiritually.

 

To own a yoga studio was a dream I had for years. To share my passion for yoga with so many others is a blessing and to spend my days ensuring each and everyone who walks into the studio walks out happier and calmer, sweatier and stronger, balanced and energised is the best job I could imagine.

Helen

Flower

Y O G A  T E A C H E R

You are not separate from the whole. You are one with the sun, the earth, the air. You don’t have a life. You are life.

My Mum had taught me yoga as a child and at University I bought a yoga video and to practice in my student house! So where my yoga began I’m not exactly sure!

Travelling to India, South East Asia, New Zealand and Australia introduced me to many styles and the first “true” experience of yoga. I think my yoga journey started somewhere in my backpacking time as I for the first time in my life felt a quietening, calming and deep connection from the practice.

I experienced a healing and strengthening response from yoga after a car accident resulted in spinal surgery. Accepting my body’s limitations and learning more about the relationship of breath, mind and body lead me to embark on my teacher training with The British Wheel of Yoga. 

The training, further experience and continued learning from others has helped me to explore my own style. I love dynamic flow yoga but am also trained in yin (by Norman Blair) and love how different approaches and styles can bring endless benefits and responses to mind and body. I am inspired by students and teachers and learn continuously. My body also over the years with injuries, pregnancy, recovery etc has taught me to patient, kind and strong.  I love teaching Vinyasa classes focussing highly on creativity, seamless development and linking the breath with movement . I put time and love into the theme of each class. I am always moved by the influence yoga can have physically, emotionally and spiritually.

 

To own a yoga studio was a dream I had for years. To share my passion for yoga with so many others is a blessing and to spend my days ensuring each and everyone who walks into the studio walks out happier and calmer, sweatier and stronger, balanced and energised is the best job I could imagine.

 

JENNIE-LEE

GELLING

Y O G A  T E A C H E R

“Feel the aliveness within your body. That anchors you in the Now”

Eckhart Tolle

 

 

For me yoga is a constant journey with so many different paths and lessons. The more I learn, the more there is to learn and explore!

 

I trained as a vinyasa flow teacher in 2009 with Frog Lotus Yoga International and in 2011 when I was expecting my second child, I also qualified as a pre- and postnatal teacher with CamYoga. In 2016 I trained as a Positive Movement teacher with a teacher from Adaptive Yoga UK, and I have since then worked with adaptive yoga for clients with special needs alongside my standard yoga classes.

 

Vinyasa flow, with its rhythmic movement and breath, is a huge influence in my teaching. But over the years I have had the opportunity to practice and learn from many great teachers with various styles, so I have also learnt to appreciate the stillness and importance of great alignment from the inside and out.

 

I am passionate about discovering new ways of teaching how to activate and create a deeper awareness of body and mind and hopefully take the student to that new place. It can range from building up to variations in a headstand to be able to relax an over-tense neck in a warrior or even maybe for the first time find stillness in shavasana.

 

Jess

Clarke

Y O G A  T E A C H E R

“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace within ourselves”. Dalai Lama

 

I began practicing yoga five years ago when I needed a refuge from the noise and stress of my life at the time. The 90 minutes spent in a studio with the sound of my breath took me to a place of steadiness and calm where I felt grounded and clear to a completely new level. From there I let go of the stressful job and lifestyle but the yoga remained a constant.

My yoga Teacher Training was completed with Frog Lotus Yoga in Andalusia, Spain in 2017. Ive been teaching ever since.

 

Two of my big influences of modern yoga are Jason Crandell and Jeff Phenix whom I have taken courses and workshops with over the last year. The thing I love about yoga is that it provides a lifetime of ongoing learning, there is always new territory to explore.

 

My aim is to lead classes with focus on the physical practice and the breath, with emphasis on anatomy and alignment to allow people to explore their own practice and self enquiry, to bring out the best in themselves.

 

Jonny

Penn

Y O G A  &  S O U N D  M E D I T A T I O N  T E A C H E R

“Travel Light. Be Light. Spread the Light.  Live Light” Yogi Bhajan

I am an Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga teacher, trained in the hills of Andalusia, Spain and the Himalayan foothills of Rishikesh, India. 

 

Since 2005, I have been in constant practice and learning in the fields of Ashtanga Vinyasa, Meditation and Sound, whilst also living in South East Asia for three years. 

 

I have more recently trained in the study and practice of Gong Meditation with grand gong master Don Conreaux. I teach yoga, sound meditations and Gong Baths.

 

Kate

Turner

Y O G A  T E A C H E R

“No one is you and that is your power” Dave Grohl

 

My love of yoga started when I went travelling 15 years ago, it taught me to see my body from a different perspective. I started to practice regularly when I realized how much yoga helped me in my other passion, triathlons. My practice started very much from a strength basis, seeing how my body reacted, what it could do and how it could grow in strength and flexibility. However, it took me by surprise when that pretty quickly changed and I grew to rely on the breath work, what a powerful tool that is, how pranayama can change your state of mind and how that opened up previously closed areas of my mind and body. I became hooked! I did my 500 hour teacher training in 2017. Sorrel and Helen have been fundamental in me growing as a teacher and I feel honoured to be part of the mad yogi Shed family!

 

My classes are Vinyasa Flow, with an emphasis on Strength, but more important than anything to take the time to tune into your body, to listen to what it needs, to find that balance. When to hold back, how to find the edge and to learn when to soften and let go.

 

Kristi 

Rodelli

Y O G A  T E A C H E R

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us”. Marianne Williamson

I first discovered yoga in my native country of New Zealand.  I travelled to Hong Kong and China in 2003 where I explored more deeply the physical, emotional and spiritual practice of yoga.  

 

I completed my first 200 hr training (Anusara) in Hong Kong in 2007 and have been teaching full-time ever since. I worked at PURE Yoga in Hong Kong for several years, and gathered a rich amount of experience teaching diverse styles and classes (Power, Hot, Yin, Pre-Natal), while furthering my training with teachers from all over the world. 

 

It was while teaching for PURE that I experienced my first Forrest Yoga teacher training with Ana Forrest (2010) and from then traveled to Texas to complete a 200 hr training (2011) to become a fully certified Forrest Yoga Teacher. 

 

I moved to London in 2012 and have spent the past few years teaching classes and workshops in London and Europe, offering assisting programmes, and mentorship sessions for teachers, and assisting Ana Forrest in Teacher trainings and workshops world wide.  

 

I believe in working hard, but working mindfully, and I offer modifications for different levels and injuries, sharing compassionate hands on assists. 

 

LOIS

TIRRELL

Dietitian BSc R

“There is nothing outside of us. It’s all in us” Yogi Bhajan

 

Nutrition and health has always been a huge passion in my life. After graduating with a first class honours degree in dietetics I worked with the gastroenterology team at Addenbrookes where I gained specialist knowledge in a variety of digestive disorders and expanded my experience of advising clients on a wide range of nutritional issues such as weight management and diabetes, food allergies/intolerances, and specialised diets.

 I conduct 1:1 consultations here at The Yoga Shed and Im also fortunate enough to be involved in some exciting projects outside of Hitchin. ‘Thrive’ is a lifestyle programme myself and two colleagues developed to reverse Type 2 diabetes. We have had some fantastic results to date that have been life changing for those involved. I am also the consultant dietitian for a research project called SPRINTT in Bedfordshire focusing on reducing sarcopenia and frailty in the elderly.

 

I love what I do and pride myself in always taking a holistic and compassionate approach with clients, providing individualised and detailed dietary advice to optimise wellbeing through nutrition.

 

“Nourish the body. Nourish the mind. Nourish the soul.”

 

PIP

JOHNSON

Y O G A  T E A C H E R

"Yoga is a light, which once lit will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter your flame." B.K.S Iyengar

 

I was properly introduced to yoga during my training at Cambridge Performing Arts Theatre School to support my dance training and was instantly hooked on the relief it gave me both physically and emotionally. Having always had a passion for fitness & nutrition as well, I qualified as a fitness instructor and later competed as a fitness model which gave me greater understanding of how I could enhance my physical wellbeing through an asana practice. 

 

Throughout this journey, yoga was a deep rooted love of mine, and had already given me so much healing. After graduating from theatre school I went on to complete my 200 hour teacher training at CamYoga which utterly changed my life, and I was offered teaching opportunities straight away. I am since also trained to teach Yin yoga which offers a real personal blessing around running 3 business, and I love that I can share this empathy with busy students that need some rest and relaxation too! I believe it is important to allow my practise (and therefore my teaching) to evolve as I continue to learn from the students I work with and understand new elements of my personal practice. I am deeply in love with the freedom of Vinyasa choreography, but I love the strength challenges of Ashtanga, Rocket and Forest Yoga styles. I am delighted to be undergoing Forest Yoga teacher training in 2019.

My journey as a teacher and as a yogi continues to be blossoming, I love how much I am still learning and hold eternal gratitude for every student, every teacher and every practice.

 

SORREL

DRAKE

Y O G A  T E A C H E R

“Practice and all is Coming” Pattabhi Jois

 

I stumbled across my first yoga class in 2012 after graduating from dance school and knew from that very first class that yoga was going to play a huge part of my life. My practice hasn’t been without it’s challenges but I quickly realised that yoga was an essential constant that gave me strength both physically and mentally. I received my 500 hour teaching qualification a couple of years later and I have loved teaching from day one.

 

My drive to build a studio came from both a teacher and pupil perspective, to create a place I would be proud to teach in and an all inclusive community led atmosphere that created a second home for yogis. I’m an advocate in raising the standards of yoga teaching and am determined that The Yoga Shed will provide the highest level. 

 

I personally continue to strive to become a better teacher and am privileged to have continued my training with some world famous teachers including Kathryn Budig, David Swenson, Adam Husler, Stewart Gilchrist, Cat Alip-Douglas, Bridget Woods Kramer, Emma Henry, David Williams, Dharma Mittra and Jason Crandall as well as some of The Shed’s favourite Senior Teachers Matt Gluck and Marianne Williams. I also completed my prenatal and postnatal yoga teaching qualification in 2016. 

 

Tracy

Martin

Y O G A  T E A C H E R

"Yoga is not about touching your toes, it is what you learn on the way down" Jigar Gor

 

My passion lies in helping people to discover their own yoga practice, regardless of age, fitness, or physical limitations.  I have witnessed how yoga can transform emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing, and my aim is to make it accessible to all.  I work mainly 1:2:1 which has given me the ability to modify for individual needs and understand what can hold us back, both physically and mentally. Continued professional development is very important to me.  Since The Yoga Shed has opened I have studied twice with New York teacher Tara Stiles -founder of Stråla Yoga -  qualifying as certified Stråla guide; and also twice with Leslie Kaminoff - founder of The Breathing Project. Both these teachers have had a huge influence on my style of teaching and the way in which I relate to students.   I am continually fascinated by anatomy, recently studying hyper-mobility and joint functionality with Alexandria Crow - founder of Yoga Physics.  My teaching approach encourages you to feel good in yourself and what you are doing in your yoga practice.  I hold a space for you to be truly and uniquely, authentically you.

 

Nicola

Gibb

Coach

 Nicola, a trained Co-Active coach (Coaches Training Institute), avid tea-drinker, good food junkie and fitness geek.  She works with mothers-to-be, new mothers and stuck mamas to help them build purposeful lives, created to honour what's important to them, and light them up every day. 

 

In this ‘creating space’ fire pit talk she will encourage all of us (not just mothers) to breathe into our full potential and inhabit a positive physical and mental space of our own.

 

Emily

Brett

Fierce Calm UK Ambassador

Emily Brett - CEO of OURMALA and Fierce Calm UK Ambassador

I am a 500 hour registered yoga teacher with training that includes Suicide Awareness by the Samaritans and Yoga for Post-Traumatic -Stress-Syndrome from The Minded Institute. 

 

Teaching yoga to people who have survived war, torture, trafficking, slavery and persecution is my job here in London. These are some of the most amazing people I have ever met. In yoga what we teach, really, is how to get in touch with the breath, how to let it in, how to let oneself into 'it'. And how to get to know the different parts of the breath so that it becomes a safe and constant place of refuge and empowerment which gives you strength and builds your resilience and choices about how to respond ~ regardless of what is going on in life. 

 

Fierce Calm is doing brilliant work raising awareness of how yoga helps in so many different ways, especially for those who haven't had the smoothest ride and de-stigmatising mental health issues. I think they are really inspiring and I love it when people actually demonstrate yoga. Not superficially for social media but actually in the world. These guys are doing that.

 

Yoga's an invitation to discover who you are; what your deepest values are and how to 'live them'. It also gives you all the tools you need. My own journey hasn't all been plain sailing by any means but I wouldn't change it for the world. In the past, I experienced gender based violence and childhood trauma and these led to some pretty hard times. I had to consciously learn about self-esteem, how to recognise what I felt and thought, how to trust, how say no, how to keep myself safe and stay true to myself.

 

With the exception of travelling and living abroad a bit, I've been in England, the country where I was born with family and friends around and at times it's been tough. The people I founded OURMALA to help have none of that security. Most have experienced atrocities worse than what is really imaginable and have so little support. I just want to help in any way I can so they can rebuild their lives and find dignity and fulfilment too. 

 

Rough storms have made me appreciate the the clear water and sunrises and sunsets and even more. ONE thing I like about this path of yoga and seriously following your own heart is that whatever happens in life, no one can take that integrity away from you. I value compassion immensely and feel very strongly about inequality and social justice. I've stood at some extreme edges and over time and with sincere practice, yoga can free you from what's happened in the past to live more freely and happily.

 

Hannah 

Barret

F I E R C E  C A L M  A M B A S S A D O R

Hannah Barrett - Fierce Calm Community Champion

I  am a 200hr registered Yoga teacher with training in Vinyasa Flow, 42hr Pregnancy Teacher Training with Uma Dinsmore-Tuli and 75hr Postnatal Mum & Baby Yoga with Yoga Gro and Allwoman.

 

i was drawn to yoga in 2014 while pregnant with my son. At the time, I had a stressful job in finance with long hours. I had always loved working out in the gym and had assumed yoga wasn’t for me. I could barely touch my toes, I didn’t think I was spiritual enough and I was convinced it wouldn’t give me a ‘real’ workout.

 

After my first class, what brought me back to my yoga mat time and time again was the strength I found inside. The mindfulness yoga teaches helped me to shift my outlook on life. And it made me sweat and work harder than I had in the gym!

 

Being a mother can be tough. My daughter was born in the summer of 2017, and her birth and start to life were very traumatic. I don’t think you can ever be prepared for having a child in intensive care, and I was hit with postnatal depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. The breathing techniques, meditation and physical practice of yoga gave me an outlet to cope and feel strong again in both my mind and body. And today my daughter is a beautiful soldier who loves nothing better than to sit beside me while I practice.

 

Through yoga I am happier and spend more time enjoying the present rather than living in the past or worrying about the future. Those days of wishing to be in ‘a future place where I am happy’ are gone. I’ve seen a big difference in my stress levels and the way I handle situations that in the past would challenge me. AND I’m stronger and more flexible than I’ve ever been.

 

I am so excited to have just released my first eBook ‘Strength Through Yoga’ with Finola Burrell, an incredible Physiotherapist and Pilates teachers. The book is bespoke and evidence based. It’s physio, midwife, women’s health and doctor approved. 

 

When Lee asked me to become a community champion and how I could help the charity Borne, I couldn’t say yes fast enough. My aim is to share the incredible benefits of yoga with as many people as possible. It’s had such an amazing impact on my life, shifting my outlook and making me happy, healthy and calm. Reach out, share, seek professional help and advice. I want you to know you are not alone.

Helen Bashford - Fierce Calm Community Champion

I first became interested in the mind when a mother came into our school to talk about her son who had autism.  I was about 14 and had never heard of it before, but it fascinated me.  Therein started my complete love affair with learning about the mind. I went on to study psychology to masters level and throughout this training and my career until having children, I worked in various mental health and learning disability settings.

 

I am very analytical, and have often been asked if I studied psychology because of my analytical nature or whether studying psychology is what made me analytical  - a chicken or egg scenario.  It took me many years to work out the answer to this question, but I think I first became interested in psychology in an attempt to understand my own upbringing. In hindsight I grew up surrounded by people with undiagnosed mental health issues, but I had no idea.  All I knew is I just didn’t really understand anyone.

 

I started yoga when I was 18, and it’s been keeping me afloat for the best part of 20 years, however yoga to me was exercise.  I didn’t realise how much I was relying on it for my wellbeing until I experienced birth trauma after the birth of my first son and yoga was the first thing I turned to.

 

I started my YTT and suddenly the link between yoga and mental health was so obvious.  Once I had seen it I couldn’t unsee it, and I now spend a huge amount of my time studying how and why yoga is so therapeutic for mental health, and teaching people struggling with their mental health.   Officially 1 in 4 people experience mental health issues, but my personal opinion is that it's way more.  Most people don’t know what they can do to help themselves, and mental health services are so stretched that many people end up struggling along on their own for years.  It doesn’t need to be this way.  I am a Yoga therapist, trained in Yoga for PTSD and Trauma and I am passionate about promoting, educating, and teaching yoga for mental health.  To me, yoga is a mental health life jacket and I really think everyone should know.

Zephyr

Wildman

O U R  M A L A  A M B A S S A D O R

Zephyr Wildman - Ourmala ambassador and Senior Yoga teacher 

I have been teaching Yoga since 2002 in London, trained via Yoga Campus Intake 1 and I've been a Mentor on their yoga training program since 2005. I teach at The Life Centre, Yoga Centres around London, private tuition, and at The Recovery Centre (treatment centre for addiction, depression and other dependency problems). My teachings focus on combining the elements of creative movement, flow and dynamic sequencing, focusing on alignment, prana vayus and kinesiology. I also have experience in practicing Deep Tissue Massage Therapy since 1991, which compliments Yoga Teaching. As well as the physical side to Yoga Asana, I have a great interest in integrating psychology, yogic philosophy, and the attraction of self study within my practice, teaching and life style. I am inspired to share the courage, strength and blessings found in Tantra, Ayurveda, and the art of energetically sequencing, bespoking therapeutic practices for students of all different abilities. I am a registered with Yoga Alliance UK as a 500 hour Yoga Teacher.

 
 

Esther

Marie da Costa

F I E R C E  C A L M  A M B A S S A D O R

The first time I made the connection between yoga and healing was in 2015 when I came to the mat after a stressful and anxious day at work. When my feet touched the cool rubber and my breath began to deepen suddenly the intrusive thoughts and whirling list of things to do stopped. I heard nothing. I felt calm and for the first time in my life I felt a sense of inner peace. 

 

I taught myself yoga predominantly at home over 2015-16 and in 2017 I made the decision to embark on my YTT. 

 

I first tried yoga when I was 20 but it was more as an exercise class. I lost interest pretty quickly because it wasn’t intense enough, I couldn’t calculate a calorie burn; essentially it was too kind to do for myself. 

 

However, after years of practising mindfulness and my training as an emotional and behavioural mentor for children experiencing mental and social health difficulties, i began to notice how mindfulness techniques applied in yoga could ease mental angst and offer a sense of respite to the mind.

 

With a history of battling mental health myself since age 12 and defeating a 17 yr battle anorexia and depression, I’ve always wanted to give back to the world of recovery and contribute to ending the stigma of what managing mental health looks like. 

 

I truly believe i was given my second chance at life, after liver failure, malnutrition and heart dysfunction to begin the journey I’m on now, of speaking out about mental health and helping others heal themselves through mindfulness and yoga. 

 

Some Yoga practices reminded me greatly of CBT I practiced in treatment; like separating out from ego and practicing non harm towards oneself. Due to these parallels, when my treatment for anorexia and orthorexia ended, I found that yoga took its place beautifully. 

 

Yoga has taught me how to let go of my painful past, to accept myself and how to live a life with more kindness gentleness and love.  These are the reasons why I became a yoga teacher. To teach, educate and share the powerful benefits of yoga for mental health and living a life free from internal discomfort. 

 

I’ve been there; I’ve experienced the pain and it’s my passion to pass this light on to as many others I can.

 

Kim

Hartwell

F I E R C E  C A L M  A M B A S S A D O R

I am an international model, personal trainer, yoga teacher, Lululemon ambassador, content creator and travel and wellness blogger. I teach HIIT classes and Yoga in London's premium fitness boutiques with an emphasis on functional human movement. My ethos is “Tone What You Own” which stems from the belief that everyone, no matter what shape or size, has the ability to tone what they own and be the best version of themselves. I’m a firm believer that you can embrace your body in all its glory, no matter who you are, where you’re from, YOUR body is incredible. Own it.  By becoming present in our practice of yoga we have the ability to listen to the body and mind which is much needed in today's society.

 

We have two homes: Our bodies and this planet. We owe it to ourselves, to each other and to future generations to take care of both. 

 

Global warming is a problem faced by all of us and we need to all be part of the solution. Its why I've joined up with Fierce Calm. As well as sharing a passion for helping each other, we share a passion for helping save this beautiful planet we call home. Through my retreats, I love bringing people together and enjoying the best of what nature has to offer us: celebration of ourselves, of others and our environment . Alongside Fierce Calm we'll be helping each other, raising awareness of environmental issues and connecting through green campaigns. 

 

Mariel

Witmond-Bateman

F I E R C E  C A L M  A M B A S S A D O R

I am a 580 hour registered yoga teacher, life coach and integrative health coach, and a Lululemon ambassador. Half English, half Mexican (with an American accent), I have practiced ashtanga and vinyasa flow yoga around the world for over a decade. Born in Puerto Rico to a Mexican mother and English father, I have lived in Connecticut, England, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Italy, Argentina, Malaysia, Mexico, India, NY, and LA. I currently reside in London.

Looking back, I lived my life in overdrive – adapting to my surroundings as I hid the uncertainty of who I was beneath malleable masks of conformity. I made friends easily everywhere, but never truly felt I fit in anywhere.

At the end of 2015 I left what many would consider to be a dream job. I had finally come to the realisation that I wasn’t being true to myself or what I wanted out of life. I left a job and position I thought defined me as a person, to start all over again. It was the hardest and yet most rewarding decision I have made so far in my life.

As often happens following years of burning the candle at both ends, my body decided it was time to let me know what was going wrong with my health. The day I left my job I also quit taking – cold turkey – my attention deficit medication after 10 years of using it to “perform” better, and the effects of this were (and at times continue to feel) crippling. 

My decision to take control of my life was one that countless of us struggle with every day. Yet in making that decision, my life changed as if by magic – and though it wasn’t magic… it was magical. I am now a certified yoga instructor and life coach with a passion for health and nutrition. I’ve been fortunate enough, since starting this journey, to follow a path that I hope will allow me to help others take control of their lives too.

Rebccea

Somewhat Rad Yoga

F I E R C E  C A L M  A M B A S S A D O R

Getting hit by a van while cycling to work in July 2014 and breaking my collarbone/generally messing up my right shoulder was the catalyst for the start of my yoga journey. Somewhat Fierce Calm! But even then it took me a good long while to realise the damage wasn't going to magically undo itself before I got tentatively on a mat. There's a whole other story in the middle of this journey involving me nearly dying and being diagnosed with multiple bilateral pulmonary embolisms and a partially collapsed lung. But that's whole other, very Fierce Calm episode.  Yoga is a tool like no other when it comes to connecting to your body and ultimately your mind. And to reach a place where what you do on your mat is less and less about what it looks like and more and more and more about the quiet that comes over the internal chatter in your head. It's a lesson I had to learn and, to be honest, still learning constantly. 

 

In that beginning, I could not touch my toes or do a single push up (I have ZERO background in sport/dance/gymnastics). I began with a regular Iyengar practice then started adding vinyasa yoga classes to my routine. And the rest, as they say, is history. 

 

I later qualified as a 200hr RYT with Dylan Werner. Deciding to take a teacher training was somewhat of a spur of the moment decision, and I went into the training with zero expectations of actually teaching at the end of it. All I knew was that I wanted to learn more about yoga, and from someone who's personal practice and journey deeply inspired me. 

 

Three mind-blowing weeks later and I left the training with commitments to teach when I got home to London. 

 

Currently, my yoga practice is a real mixed bag. Which I love. I attend a mixture of Vinyasa, Iyengar, Rocket yoga classes, though my self-practice is nearly always Vinyasa. At this is where my heart really lies. 

 

I am PASSIONATE about the impact an independent self-practice can have on both your yoga and your life, and creative Vinyasa is the type of yoga that inspires me the most.

 
 

Grace 

Woodward

T H E  B O D Y W O R K S  P R O J E C T

Broadcaster, Social Change Ambassador and driving force behind #bodyworksproject - on Body Positivity and Gratitude  

Grace is campaigning for body positivity, having ‘grown-up’ under the wing of the fickle and brutal fashion industry she has confronted her own demons and now for the sake of others is speaking out. Years of viewing self-worth through the lense of the industry that sets out to “define” beauty, Grace had a realisation that it was wrong. Wrong and dangerous. Through her body positivity project Grace is looking to promote positive thoughts about our bodies, freeing them from the shackles of societal pressure and breathing into them gratitude.  

 

MALBERT

LEE

G O N G  M E D I T A T I O N  T E A C H E R 

Malbert Lee is from Hong Kong. An international traveller who spends lots of time on the plane, crossing different time zones and fighting jet lag. The constant travelling has affected his health so he’s been searching for ways to de-stress and improve his well-being. He found that yoga and meditation help him to stay healthy and grounded.

 

After years of yoga practice he became a yoga teacher in 2016 and in the same year he discovered the power of sound. He has been going on the sound healing journey ever since. The very first sacred instrument he got was a crystal singing bowl and the sound vibration improved his health physically and emotionally. He slowly built up his sacred instrument collection of a variety of gongs and singing bowls. Since then he has undertaken over hundreds of hours of yoga teacher, singing bowl and gong master training with international masters.

 

Malbert shares his passion for sound and uses it to de-stress people from all walks of life. He has offered over hundreds of sound bath in Hongkong, London and New York, collaborates with international luxury hotels, corporations, workshop for teenage students and cancer patients and wellness festivals in Hong Kong. He also has his own crystal sound music album available for streaming worldwide.

 

© 2019 GRATITUDE FESTIVAL UNITED KINGDOM

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