Yoga saved my life. I was depressed for decades, even though I hid it successfully and few people ever knew. Sometimes the black dog still bites me. If it wasn’t for yoga I wouldn’t be here. I owe my life to yoga. So the purpose of yoga for me is to help diminish suffering for all sentient beings. Yes I love handstands and the physical experience of yoga, but all of that is impermanent. I’m dedicated to being a Bodhisattva.
Ultimately, I want freedom from Samsara – from the cyclical suffering of life. Moksha. I practice yoga so I’ll be able to choose the time of my death in that classic yogic way and go out in a graceful Samadhi. I have unshakable faith in the path. I practice to attain relative sanity in a sometimes very difficult world.
An important part of my spiritual path is travelling to sacred sites. My sadhana has been a pilgrimage through India and the Himalayan regions to have darshan with places, deities and yogis. The act of seeing and being seen. Ultimately, I found the outer and inner guru.
The energy in these holy places helps me to cultivate devotion towards my life and others and feel connected to the planet. It’s been a beautiful journey that has led from darkness to light. It has healed my existential wounds and given true meaning in my life. I’m immensely grateful that this has occurred and bow down in gratitude to all my teachers. Without devotion there is no path.
Let me take you to the spiritual heart of the practice.
“I’ve seen Heather single-handedly lead the group of 20 – 60 year olds, from first day beginners to qualified yoga teachers, into a varied and dynamic journey. We all gained insight from her yoga philosophy, calmed ourselves through her guided pranayama and I had some of the best yoga sessions of my life. I wasn’t bored for a moment. No matter age, ability or experience Heather will guide you to peace on her yoga retreats.”
– Ana Mackay, Osteopath, London.
I’ve taught Astanga and Vinyasa Flow yoga, as well as traditional forms of Hatha yoga, restorative yoga, pranayama and meditation in London since 2002. I consider Sri T Krishnamacharya to be the Grandfather of Modern Postural Yoga. The two main teachers in his lineage are BKS Iyengar and Sri K Pattabhi Jois. I’ve studied both BKS Iyengar methodology and Astanga Vinyasa Yoga. My own practice and teaching style is inspired by these lineages.
I’m interested in the historic roots of traditional Hatha Yoga. I endeavor to teach all 8 limbs of ‘classical’ Astanga in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras on the mat, and integrate ancient wisdom traditions with contemporary psychology in a mindful practice designed to diminish suffering in our lives.
My approach is a deep physical and psychological practice that moves beyond a mere physical experience to make the yogic inquiry authentic and relevant to real life. My idea of an ‘advanced’ practice is to work with more subtle awareness;
a movement inwards towards Dharana and the inner limbs of yoga. I aspire to unshakeable equanimity. A true test that the yogic skills are working is if I can remain calm in challenging situations.
What does this feel like? A ‘slow mindful flow’ with an emphasis on breath and alignment techniques, rather than mindless flailing about in space. An embodied movement meditation. Moving towards stillness.
I’m interested in the historic roots of traditional Hatha Yoga and integrate ancient wisdom traditions with contemporary psychology into a mindful practice designed to diminish suffering in our lives.
I aim to reveal the ‘authentic’ spiritual path underlying the practice and the technology to stabilize the mind, shed the veils of Maya perpetuated by the ego, glimpse at our true nature, find purpose and meaning in life, and liberate ourselves from suffering.
The ultimate aim of yoga is love, liberation and freedom. Moksha.
“I have learned so much about yoga, philosophy, but also about myself. I feel that this experience has opened me up to new ideas and beliefs. I really enjoyed the asana training and the sequences were great. The instruction was clear and very helpful. I learned a great deal about alignment and a safe practice of yoga. All the information about alignment and anatomy was practical and I’ll be able to apply it in future classes.”
– Marian van Sprakelaar
I began studying Modern Postural Yoga in Canada in 1986. At that time, the only style of yoga was BKS Iyengar technique and I was extremely lucky to have Dona Holleman as my first teacher. I was magnetised by her presence. Since then, my yoga path has involved extensive studies with brilliant teachers around the world, many who have had a profound influence of my unique style.
I practiced Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga for 12 years, during which time I studied with Sri K Pattabhi Jois in Mysore and some of his senior students – Manju Jois, John Scott, David Swenson, Matthew Sweeney and Rolf Naujokat. Nancy Gilgoff was my first Ashtanga teacher and I attended many of her ‘Adjustment Clinics’ to learn how to safely assist people in the Primary and Intermediate Series. I completed a 200-level Yoga Teacher Training with Richard Freeman (2004) and attend his annual yoga intensives in London. I also completed a 200+ level training focusing on the traditional Krishnamacharya method of Asana, Pranayama and Kundalini Metaphysics with Sri BNS lyengar at the Patanajala Yoga Shala in Mysore (2008). And later his course on full body Mudras (2011).
On the Vinyasa Flow side of yoga, I completed the Tripsichore Yoga Theatre Teacher Training with Edward Clark (2002).
David Life and Sharon Gannon (Jivamukti Studios) and Emil Wendel (Beyond the Asana) are also inspirational people and teachers.
For the past decade, my yogic path has returned to its roots and I feel as if I’ve come ‘home’ in the precise alignment techniques of BKS Iyengar. My main teacher is Alaric Newcombe and I study with him on a regular basis in London. I’ve also taken many workshops with Glenn Ceresoli. I attended classes at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (RIMYI) in February 2020.
I love the practice of asana and view it as extremely important on the spiritual path, but it alone will not take me to enlightenment. Hence, I shifted my gaze to Tantric practices. Tibetans have turned out enlightened beings on a treadmill since 8 C.E. I’m now a Buddhist practitioner and am blessed to be a student of Dzongsar Khentsye Rinpoche.
As a result of my extensive sadhana in Asia, I met my guru. In 2017, I was initiated into the Nath Sampradaya as an Aghori Nath yogini at Pashupati in Nepal. Throughout my yogic journey, I keep an open mind about the practice and try not to succumb to dogma.
I’m qualified as a Senior Yoga Teacher with both the Yoga Alliance USA and Yoga Alliance Professionals UK.
“I learned so much about alignment. I’ll have fewer injuries. The most profound thing that happened was the change inside myself. It got into me deeply and transformed the way I am. I’ve changed the way I behave, how I react to situations and the way I deal with them. My mind is more controlled and I can get out of my daydream and focus on something else. I feel as if I have my life back.”
– Ines Romanelli
While I’m considered to be a ‘teacher’s teacher’ with over 35 years experience on the mat, I also like to make yoga accessible for everyone regardless of ability. I love to teach restorative yoga and be creative with the use of props. As part of my charity work, I’ve taught yoga to addicts for the Westminster Drug Project and to homeless people for Crisis, and to young Aghori yogis in Pashupati, Nepal. If you need SANITY in your life and a yoga practice that will sustain it, please contact me to find out more.
I’m currently in Goa for the Covid pandemic. All my ‘live’ yoga projects are cancelled for 2020. What yoga will look like in the future is unknown. After teaching 100 hours the 2020 Goa TTC (cancelled part way due to Covid) as an online course, I’m pleased with the results. I’ve decided to embrace the new ‘online’ world of yoga and am happy to teach private yoga classes, or small groups, online via Zoom. But what I’m most excited about is my new Yoga Mentorship Program – 1:2:1 private yoga sessions designed for all your yoga needs. Refine your personal practice or teaching skills. Develop a spiritual practice. I can assist you so many ways. Now is the perfect time.
I pray that we will meet ‘in person’ in 2021. If you’re ready for a life-changing experience, why not take a look at one of my high-quality Yoga Teacher Training courses or Himalayan Yoga Adventures to sacred yogic sites, where we study yoga philosophy ‘On the Road’ within the cultural context of living Tantra.
Be guided by Heather Elton through a deeply relaxing Savasana that slowly moves through the chakras as you feel yourself letting go of tension, worry and stress.
The act of seeing and being seen. Viewpoint.
Are you wondering what all the eyes are about? They are the eyes of deities that I’ve had Darshan with during my spiritual travels.
Ultimately, these deities reveal your own inner essence to yourself. Your true Buddha Nature.
Darshan means GAZE, as suggested by its Sanskrit root, Drik, to see, but it is to see differently, to see and meet at the same time, having seen and known having seen, and feeling blessed to have been there, sensing a positive and beneficial inspiration from it. Darshan of a saint or sage, or an idol, a sacred object, a striking view, a mountain, a tree a light, the sweetness of the moment, a truth, – these sights transport us and reveal something else, something pertaining to interiority. A Darshan is an opportunity to face the Real. To be present. Free from the past (which no longer exists) and of the future (which is not there.)
The ultimate Darshan occurs when the veil of duality dissolves in the non-dual state of yoga –
samadhi, nirvana, moksha, pure vision, shunyata, dharmakaya.