Heather is the Founder/Director of Elton Yoga and designs the TTC programs in London, Goa and Nepal. Heather teaches Asana technique, Vinyasa Flow, Yoga Adjustments, Sequencing Asana, Pranayama & Meditation, ‘Yoga Off the Mat’ philosophy and Teaching Methodology. Yoga philosophy is integrated into the practice to reveal the spiritual path underlying yoga, and the technology to stabilise the mind and realise our true nature. It works on a deep physical and psychological level. She is a believer in the ancient yogic path to Self-Realisation.
Heather has practiced Yoga since 1986 and is a Buddhist dharma practitioner. She is student of Dzongsar Jamyang Khentsye Rinpoche and has been initiated as a Nath Aghori yogini at Pashupati. To see Heather’s full yoga bio please click here.
Ruth is fascinated by yoga both in academia and practice. She practices Ashtanga yoga and is researching for a doctoral degree on gendered conceptions in haṭha yoga at SOAS under the supervision of James Mallinson. She began teaching posture-based classes in 2004. She was awarded an MA in Indian Religions from SOAS in 2010 with Distinction. Since then she has been teaching yoga history and philosophy on workshops and teacher trainings, and studying Sanskrit. Ruth’s main teachers are Hamish Hendry, Richard Freeman and Sharat Jois. In 2015 she was authorized by Sharat to teach Ashtanga level 2.
Ruth collaborated in 2016 and 2017 with SOAS’s Haṭha Yoga Project interpreting postures from the Sanskrit text the Haṭhābhyāsapaddhati shortly to be released as a documentary. Ruth is the forum facilitator on Yogacampus’s online course A History of Yoga: The Latest Research. She works on teacher trainings with Bridget Woods-Kramer at triyoga, Naomi Reynolds at Yoga on the Lane and Gingi Lee at The Shala. Ruth helps run the SOAS Centre of Yoga Studies and the Sanskrit Reading Room, and writes for the practitioner magazine Pushpam.
Daniela Bevilacqua is an Indianist who uses ethnographic and historical methodologies to dig into religious issues of Indian culture. In 2006 she accomplished her BA in Oriental Languages at the University of Rome, Sapienza, presenting the thesis Nityasumangali, the ritual and propitiatory role of the Devadasi. In 2009 she completed her MD, specializing in Modern and Contemporary Indian History. Her thesis, Rāmjanmabhūmi: Myth, Religion, History and Politics, analysed historically the origin and development of the Rāmjanmabhūmi issue. On the wave of this work, she decided to focus on the Rām bhakti and especially on the Rāmānandī sampradāya for her PhD. She received her doctorate in 2015 in “Civilizations, Cultures and Societies of Asia and Africa”, supervised by Professor Mario Prayer at University of Rome, Sapienza, and a doctorate in Anthropology at the University of Paris X Nanterre Ouest La Défense, supervised by Professor Véronique Bouillier. Her work based on a multidisciplinary approach titled A Past for the Present:The Role of the Śrī Maṭh and the Jagadgurū in the Evolution of the Rāmānandī Sampradāya. Through this work, she came to know Dr Mallinson, who asked her to join the HYP team due to her ethnographic work among ascetics.
Her role in the project is to collect, through fieldwork, historical evidence of yoga practice and ethnographic data among living ascetic practitioners of yoga.
For more info about Daniela:
Westin Harris (Répa Senge Drayang) is a PhD candidate at the University of California, Davis and Berkeley. His research looks at the intersections of Vajrayana Buddhist and Nāth hāṭhayoga traditions, particularly in relation to the legacy of the mahāsiddha Virūpā (Virūpākṣa, Virūpākṣanāth). His secondary research interests include the connections between mahāsiddha Virūpā and the Zhijé tradition of Phadampa Sangyé and the Chöd (‘severance’) tradition of Machik Labdrön. As a scholar-practitioner, Westin is also a recognized ‘répa’ or ‘cotton-robed yogī’ and an initiated member of the ‘gökar changlodé’ or the “community of white-robed, dreadlocked yogis” in both the Nyingma and the Sarma traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Westin’s engaging teaching style is augmented by his infectious passion and his down-to-earth approachability.
Andrew teaches Anatomy and Physiology on the Nepal TTC. He lives in London where he teaches Astanga Yoga and hot yoga at Triyoga. He originally trained to become a doctor, but moved away from western medicine to pursue a career as a yoga teacher and massage therapist. His current passion is using his wealth of experience as a doctor to teach anatomy and physiology on Yoga Teacher Training courses. Andrew’s yoga teachers include Hamish Henry, Paul Dallaghan, Eileen Gauthier and Kristin Campbell.
For more info about Dr. Yogi:
Kat teaches Trauma Sensitive Yoga on the London TTC.
Kelly McHugh is a yoga teacher and digital marketer who helps yoga teachers to learn how to effectively share their message and build their communities.
She’s a pioneer of yoga business and marketing education, founding Digital Yoga Academy, an online platform that enhances the business and marketing skills of yoga teachers worldwide.
Before qualifying as a yoga teacher, Kelly spent 15+ years working in global businesses, agencies and tech start-ups, managing marketing teams and multi million pound budgets.
She’s also the founder of Good Yoga Life, a successful retreat business that offers yoga retreats abroad.
Kelly is passionate about supporting yoga teachers to turn their passion and expertise into a successful yoga business.
Matthew Clark (MA, PhD) teaches Philosophy on the London TTC. Matthew is a Research Associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS – University of London), where he taught Hinduism between 1999 and 2003. Matthew has taught on various yoga teacher trainings since 2002, and has been invited to teach in the UK, Europe, Israel, India, Sri Lanka and the USA.
Matthew has published articles and books on yoga, soma/haoma (the ritual drink of brahmans and Zoroastrians) and sadhus (yogis). Matthew first travelled in India in 1977 and has been a regular visitor ever since. He spent about 12 years in India, visiting hundreds of pilgrimage sites and trekking over 2,000 miles in the Himalayas. He began experimenting with yoga as a teenager and since 1990 has had a regular practice of modified Ashtanga Yoga. Matthew also writes songs, plays guitar, and makes records as Mahabongo.
James Mallinson taught Yoga Philosophy on the London 2013 & 2014 TTCs. After leaving school in 1987 at the age of 17, Jim Mallinson spent 7 months in India and has been back every year since, spending a total of ten years there, much of it wandering with traditional sadhus and yogis. In 1992, he attended his first Kumbh Mela, where he met Ram Balak Das, his guru, perhaps the last remaining practitioner of Vajroli, the ultimate practice of traditional yoga. He read Sanskrit at Oxford, then did an MA at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, for which his prize-winning thesis was on Indian asceticism. He did his PhD at Oxford under the world’s leading scholar of Tantra, Professor Alexis Sanderson. His thesis was a translation of a 14th-century Sanskrit text on Khecarīmudrā, the yogic technique of cutting free the tongue so that it can be turned into the top of the skull to taste the nectar of immortality. In India he found the few remaining yogis who continue the practice and he went as far as to learn it for himself. From 2002 to 2008 he was the most prolific translator for the Clay Sanskrit Library.
James is currently a professor at SOAS in London. He is also affiliated with Oxford once again, where he is setting up a research project to edit and translate the six earliest Sanskrit texts on the roots of Hatha Yoga. James traveled to the 2013 Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, India – the largest gathering of human beings the world has ever seen. He was accompanied by actor Dominic West to make a ground-breaking documentary film.
Emil has taught Pranayama and Yoga Philosophy on the Goa TTC since it’s inception in 2008. Emil is deeply passionate about yoga, in particular, the aspects of breath and meditation in both the Buddhist and Hindu traditions. His many years of residency in Nepal and India have brought about exceptional insight into the depth of Indian civilization and its underlying currents. His study of Âshram traditions, and treasured time with Sadhus and living Buddhist masters, have brought a strong appreciation of the subjects of Mantras and Mudrâs, as well as other methods of Pratyâhâra (sense-withdrawal) and Dhâranâ (concentration), the ancient yogic tools which may, over time, bring about that delightful state of true meditation (Dhyâna).
Ian Baker taught Tantra on the London 2016 TTC. He was lead curator for the 2015-2016 Tibet’s Secret Temple: Body, Mind and Meditation in Tantric Buddhism exhibition at London’s Wellcome Collection. He is the author of several books and academic articles on yogic practice within Tibetan Buddhism, including The Dalai Lamas Secret Temple: Tantric Wall Paintings from Tibet and the forthcoming Tibetan Yoga: Secrets from the Source. He lived for more than twenty-five years in India and Nepal and is an initiate of both Tibetan Buddhism and Tantric Saivism.
Matteo Pistono taught Buddhist meditation and philosophy on the Goa 2016 TTC. He began studying Buddhism and yoga in Nepal in the early 1990s, and later lived and worked in Tibet and the Himalayas for a decade, which he has written about in Fearless in Tibet: The Life of the Mystic Tertön Sogyal (Hay House, 2014) and In the Shadow of the Buddha: Secret Journeys, Sacred Histories, and Spiritual Discovery in Tibet (Dutton-Penguin, 2011). Matteo earned a Masters in Indian Philosophy from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London in 1998. He studied Buddhism under Tibetan meditation masters and engaged regularly in extensive retreats over the last 20 years. Matteo maintains a daily Asthanga yoga practice.
Daniel taught yoga philosophy on the 2016 London TTC. He first visited India in 1998, and has spent more than two years there, immersed in practice with a wide range of yogis, from traditional sadhus to BKS Iyengar and his family. Back in London, he has studied a master’s degree at SOAS in Traditions of Yoga and Meditation, where his teachers of Sanskrit and yoga history included James Mallinson.
A former reporter, Daniel has a passion for communicating clearly and exploring ideas in accessible ways. He uses extracts from texts and multimedia slides to explain how yoga’s timeless wisdom has evolved. His presentations include group discussions and practical exercises, drawing on his own experience of teaching asana, pranayama and meditation. Having felt transformed by devotion to yoga, he loves sharing it with others.
John Weddepohl taught Self Knowledge on the Goa TTC. He opened his first yoga studio in 1969 in Johannesburg at the age of 19. Since then, he has spent his life in the pursuit of music, freedom, happiness and knowledge. An accomplished musician, John found success as a session singer working in local South African bands and later as a music composer and producer for film and TV where he was awarded internationally for his work.
John travelled to India in 2004 to explore different yoga traditions. He spent time at the ashram of Swami Satyananda Saraswati of Bihar, travelled to Pasupathinath in Nepal to stay with the Aghori yogis and Babas, and did pilgrimage in Varanasi, Ganghotri and Orissa. He has been initiated into the Dravidian tradition of the Tamil Siddhas in Tamil Nadu. And studied Advaita Vedanta with Swami Dayananda Saraswati in Rishikesh.
Stuart has taught anatomy and sports injury on the Goa TTC since 2011. He has a clinical practice specializing in yoga-related injuries and tension patterns. Stuart brings his passion for yoga anatomy into the classroom and teaches in a way that makes the learning experience fun, relevant and, above all, useful to the asana practice. He believes that a good understanding of yoga-related anatomy and physiology is an excellent tool in a teachers toolbox to help balance and progress a student’s practice.
Stu is also the creator of LoveAntomy.com, a brilliant yoga anatomy resource website.
Richelle Ricard (LMP, RYT) has been studying, practicing and teaching within the bodywork and yoga world since 1994. Her career began in sports medicine, moved on to a focus on clinical massage therapy in 2000, and has been teaching and developing anatomy curriculum for yoga students, teachers and teacher trainees since 2007. Her anatomy curriculum has been taught in workshops, YTT programs, and advanced trainings across the USA and Canada.
Her own practice is one of unification between the physical and the ephemeral, though her true passion is making the intricate workings of the body in yoga accessible to the masses. She is currently writing an anatomy manual that will be essential reading in any YTT. Her charismatic approach to teaching makes even the most dry information seem fascinating. She hopes to build within her students a deep curiosity about functional movement, safe practice, and the nature of the human body that lasts long after they leave the classroom, and drives them to continue seeking deeper understanding.
For more info:
Edward Clark taught the Vinyasa module on the London TTC in 2013 & 2014. Edward is internationally recognised as a teacher of advanced yoga technique and philosophy. He is the creator of Tripsichore, the London-based yoga performance group that has delighted audiences around the world.
Edward says, “VINYASA in our definition, is the evenly metered flow of movement, breath and thought resulting in a smooth, uninflected state of being. The vinyasa techniques are pursued to bring about clarity and stability to one’s thoughts and actions.”
Most yoga discipline has worked on refining one’s self in the direction of greater stillness – an absence of movement in the mind and body. Superficially, vinyasa would seem to contradict this. However, the mental focus and physical technique needed to bring about continuous fluid movement can also bring one to a “seat” of great stability and clarity. The stability is not only in the posture, but in the transition between postures – to the point where there is no distinction between movement and stillness.”
Leela teaches Yoga Nidra on the London TTC. She has been teaching yoga since 1986 when she completed the Sivananda teacher training program. She later went on to study Ashtanga, Iyengar and Shadow yoga. She loves the beauty, power and serenity of merging alignment, movement and breath. Leela weaves the precision of Iyengar alignment, the energetics of Shadow Yoga and the spiritual commitment of Sivananda Yoga into her love of Ashtanga.
A subsequent diagnosis of glaucoma led Leela on a personal search for the underpinnings of health. Through her study of anatomy and physiology, and craniosacral therapy with the Craniosacral Education Trust under the guidance of Michael Kern she began to understand and apply the healing power of dynamic stillness – the ground substance of consciousness – that underpins all movement, and ultimately life. This led her back to yoga, her Sivananda lineage and the study of Yoga Nidra as taught by Swami Satyananda.
Heather taught the module on Mental Health for the London 2016 TTC. She is the founder of The Minded Institute in London. After years of depression and anxiety, Heather moved to SE Asia to practice Buddhist meditation. In 2003, she did an MA in Buddhist Studies at SOAS University London, followed by an MA in Buddhism-based Psychotherapy. Heather developed an 8-week course for depression, anxiety, and stress, combining the insights of therapeutic yoga, mindfulness, and psychotherapy. She was the first person in the UK to train people to teach trauma-sensitive yoga under the guidance of the Boston Trauma Center.
Heather taught mind-body medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine, developed the first MA of Science degree in Yoga Therapy at Harvard, and lectured on Neuroscience and PTSD with the Boston Trauma Center, as well as for organisations throughout the world.
Rachel was our Bhakti queen and Ayurveda teacher on the Goa TTC. She originally trained in Iyengar and Astanga and has practiced yoga for 25 years; and taught for 18. She also trained as a professional dancer and choreographer in the USA and in Australia. Rachel is an award-winning musician for her album of chanting and devotional song, Sita Ram, and is a published poet. Her teaching style continues to reflect her deep engagement with the arts – dynamic and precise with an emphasis on mindfulness.
While living in New York from 2000–2004, Rachel taught with Alan Finger (Yoga Works and ISHTA yoga founder) , and co-created and coordinated his Be Yoga Teacher Training Program, becoming a senior facilitator and mentor.
Rachel returned to Australia to teach in the Yoga Arts Teacher Training, and since 2005 has created and facilitated her own teacher trainings and workshops in the ISHTA System in Australia, India, Bali, Japan, New York and in many major cities in Europe. In 2006, she began practicing Bhakti Yoga and has incorporated Yantra, Mantra, Mudra and Tantric rituals into her workshops and trainings.
Shirin is ‘The Assistant’ and asana teacher on the Goa TTC. She lives in Bombay where she teaches at Yoga Cara Healing Arts. Shirin first discovered yoga as a method to overcome injuries from her youth working as a jockey and racing horses and later as a means to dealing with the chaotic streets of Bombay. She has studied both Astanga and BKS Iyengar yoga. Her teachers include Jehangir Palkhivala and Nirav Gandhi from the Iyengar lineage and Deepika Mehta, a student of Pattabhi Jois. She has also studied with David Swenson at the Purple Valley Retreat in Goa. In 2013, she completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training with Heather Elton and Emil Wendel at the Satsanga Retreat in Goa.
Bhuwan lives in Nepal. His spiritual journey began in the cremation grounds of Pashupatinath temple when he first met his Guru, Maharaj Isha Nath Aghori Baba. The charismatic character of Isha Nath changed his life and Bhuwan has learned a lot by experiencing the yogi’s lifestyle and environment.
Bhuwan met Heather Elton at Ishanath’s temple in Pashupati where she was teaching the chelas Astanga Vinyasa Yoga. He studied with Heather at Pashupati and later was offered a scholarship to take her Yoga Teacher Training program in Nepal. Bhuwan graduated in 2018 and since then has been teaching yoga at Pranayama Studios in Kathmandu and Patan. He also has an MA in Tourism and runs a trekking company.
For Bhuwan, Yoga is being with body, mind and breath to connect with soul where we experience infinite light and happiness. His mission is to connect with others and make life more blissful and beautiful. Bhuwan loves to share his skills, knowledge and experience for the benefit of all beings. He welcomes you all with deep respect and gratitude.
Louise is ‘The Assistant’ on the London TTC. She has studied yoga for the past 10 years. While living in lndia (2012 – 2016) she felt a strong connection to yoga and its roots and developed a regular practice. Louise has studied mainly under the guidance of Deepika Mehta (KPJAYI certified) in the traditional Ashtanga method. And her love for this method took her to Mysore to study with Sharath Jois at KPJAYI (K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute). In 2016, Louise did her Yoga Teacher Training with Heather Elton in Goa and is certified by the Yoga Alliance. Now back in London (where she is originally from), Louise is teaching Vinyasa Flow classes that draw from both Ashtanga and Iyengar techniques.