... a place of spiritual practice & healing
The Shala Teachers
The yoga teachers at the Shala all share a deep love and respect for yoga and have a passion for sharing their knowledge with the students at the centre. They come from all walks of life, have travelled widely and have spent years studying yoga and working on their own practices. Most have worked with Gingi Lee in his self practice mysore classes for years and have became strong and respected teachers in their own right. They have also grown with the centre making it the special hub and community it has become.
Gingi founded the Shala, (formerly the Sangam Yoga Centre in Battersea), as a dedicated ashtanga yoga centre in 1998. He has been teaching yoga for nearly 20 years and is one of the country's most established ashtanga yoga teachers. Gingi began studying and teaching martial arts in the 1980s with his father, Sensei Richard Taibong Lee who currently lives and teaches in France. During an early trip to India, Gingi came into contact with yoga and spent many years returning to India to study and devote himself to the discipline. For two years he apprenticed with the late Derek Ireland, completing a final training course in Goa. He then went to Mysore to continue his studies with Sri Pattabhi Jois and then completed a two-year teacher training course with Graeme Northfield of Australia.
Gingi has hosted many yoga holidays and workshops in this country and abroad, including combined retreats with John and Lucy Scott, and Kristina Ireland. He continues to run regular workshops and retreats, which regularly include elements of pranayama, meditation and tai chi. He is a well-respected teacher who has remained at the forefront of the ashtanga yoga community. He has taught, trained and inspired many British ashtanga yoga teachers and has played a key role in popularizing ashtanga yoga in the UK. His teaching is characterised by sensitivity, warmth and a deep commitment to the practice. Click here for testimonials.
Nikos has been teaching Ashtanga Yoga since 2003. He has studied the system with Hamish Hendry, Roberta Giannotti, Denise Christian and Anna Wise and through his ongoing apprenticeship at Astanga Yoga London he has gained invaluable knowledge and experience in teaching it. He is also a qualified Reiki Master and classical musician.
Inna first discovered yoga in London in 2000. She experimented with a variety of yoga paths, before deciding to trade her media desk for a yoga mat, and embark on an intensive Yoga training course in India. Currently she practices with and assists Hamish Hendry, and carries on learning through workshops and with her teachers. She has studied with a number of inspiring teachers such as R. Sharath Jois, David Swenson, Rolf Naujokat, Emil Wendel and Norman Blair.
Inna is fascinated by yoga in all its forms, its effects, and the intricate links between physical and mental well-being. She loves helping and watching students develop, and believes yoga is a lifelong learning process: a dedicated, regular – and yet fun – practice can only bring forth increased energy and happiness. Inna is also a freelance writer and loves sharing her passion for yoga, travel and the environment.
Olivia Dal Cin
Olivia was first introduced to yoga by her mother as a young child and has undertaken a regular practice for the last ten years. The last five years she has focused on her Astanga Self-Practice, and has just started fourth series with her long-time, inspirational teacher Eileen Gauthier. Olivia's teaching style comes from the heart, she tries to inspire her students with the love and passion she feels for the practice. She keeps a high energy in her classes and pays close attention to the individual student, helping develop the student's understanding of their own full potential, while allowing space for playfulness and fun.
Her desire to develop her teaching and her own practice has taken her on many travels to study with senior teachers around the world for extended periods of time, some of which have included Rolf and Marci Naujokat, Louise Ellis, Hamish Hendry, John Scott, Danny Paradise, and David Swenson.
With over 20 years experience of yoga, Kath has incredible knowledge of the yoga practice; this combined with her lovely manner make her teaching particularly special. Her strong sense of alignment comes from years of studying Iyengar yoga. Her formal training includes Iyengar Teachers Training Course, Yoga Therapy Diploma and a three year Teacher Training course with Graeme Northfield. She has also worked with Dona Holleman, who has greatly influenced her yoga and style of teaching. Kath is now working on the third series in the ashtanga system.
Andy has been practicing yoga since 1991, covering both the iyenger and ashtanga vinyasa yoga styles. His studies have seen him practice with John Scott, David Williams, Danny Paradise, Rolf and Marci Naurojat, Dena Kingsberg, David and Doug Swenson and Gingi Lee with whom Andy has served a teaching apprenticeship. Andy brings an informed and non-dogmatic approach to his teaching whilst remaining consistent and true to the ashtanga vinyasa yoga system. Students will find his approach to the practice of yoga both challenging and rewarding. Andy strives to understand the individual needs of each of his students and is passionate about the healing power of yoga, something he has experienced himself in his recovery of two spinal injuries. Andy's classes are full of joy which comes from his generosity as a teacher and his natural approach to teach from the heart.
Ingrid's love for yoga began in 1989 when she took initiation into Kriya Yoga in Varanasi, India. She then trained as a Sivananda Yoga and Birthlight Yoga teacher & tutor and with Donna Farhi. Ingrid is also a qualified Physiotherapist, Public Health Professional, Reflexologist, Reiki-Teacher, Bach Flower Practitioner, Chinese Quantum Method Practitioner and Doula. As a Birthlight Trustee & Tutor she helps to make the Birthlight approach available in English and German speaking countries. She teaches regular classes and workshops in London and runs teacher training courses in England and abroad. Ingrid also works in public health in developing countries and complementary medicine specialising in perinatal and women's health.
Ingrid has worked in Germany, the UK and Central Africa in both, allopathic and complementary medicine for over 20 years. While living in Congo (Central Africa) she was initiated by Aka hunter-gatherer women into their secret knowledge and ancestral rites. It is vital to reconsider ancient knowledge about the unique female power of reproduction & birth if we are to change the current trend towards intervention during pregnancy, labour and birth. The Aka women have allowed Ingrid to share their wisdom with women in the West to help them birth well. Ingrid's aim is to enable women to be in charge of their own bodies, birth in dignity and rejoice in their femininity and motherhood. Visit Ingrid's website for more information or click here for testimonials.
Sophia showed an early interest in the mechanics of the body, originally studying and then teaching dance. Her quest for a deeper understanding of the body and mind led her to study a degree in Therapeutic Massage and Neuromuscular Therapy. Her studies sparked an interest in Movement Awareness and the life-enriching Hakomi Method that she studied, which brought her to her current life principles of ’just being’ and ‘holding’ a space which allows the spontaneity of healing to take place. In 2009 she completed her studies and moved to Greece where she worked as a body therapist. Here she was a student of Swami Vedavyasanada Saraswati who saw her talent of dance, blended it with asanas and music and together they created Dance through Yoga.
In 2010 Sophia's daughter was born and she was initiated into the wonderful world of baby massage. Seeing how important this gift was for the mother and child, she wanted to share it with others. She trained in London with the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM) and in 2011 became an IAIM Certified Infant Massage Instructor. She feels blessed to witness the joy on parent’s faces when they see their babies respond to their nurturing touch.
Ori-Shemma has been a practitioner of yoga for over 10 years. She first encountered pregnancy yoga whilst carrying her daughter, (now 7yrs) and was overwhelmed by the benefits. Feeling a heartfelt passion that all women should have the opportunity to be empowered physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually during pregnancy and childbirth, she trained with the world renowned Francoise Barbara Freedman of Birthlight to become a perinatal yoga instructor in 2005. After having her son in 2006, Ori-Shemma trained as a baby yoga instructor. Her classes are engaging, filled with vitality and joy but always leaving you with a feeling of serenity. Ori-Shemma is also a holistic health therapist with disciplines including: homeopathy, nutrition and massage.
Nathalie began her yoga journey in 1997, taking her first class in Paris with Gingi Lee. Further on, she studied in India at the Bihar School of Yoga and trained with the Sivananda Yoga Organisation. She worked and taught in International Teachers Training Courses and Yoga Kids Camps for over 8 years. She is now pursuing an Ashtanga Yoga practice with John and Lucy Scott with whom she has trained and with Gingi Lee in London. Nathalie has taught numerous Yoga and Philosophy classes and workshops all over the world. Her teaching and practice rest upon dedication, simplicity and joy. She is an enthousiastic and intuitive teacher whose contact has inspired many students to build and maintain a regular yoga practice in their daily life.
Rachel has been a yoga practitioner since 2001 and teaching full-time since 2006. She teaches yoga with warmth, compassion and humour. She hopes to inspire her students through her own commitment to the practice of Astanga Vinyasa yoga and her passion for yoga and understanding of movement. Rachel continues to be inspired by both the students she teaches and the teachers she practices with. Rachel also has a BTEC Diploma in sport and remedial massage therapy and is undergoing teacher training in sport and remedial massage.