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Raj Sharma

My yoga journey started in 2002. I can clearly remember my first Bikram class like it was yesterday. Little did I know then that it would change and take my life in a totally different direction.

Having worked 50/60 hours a week in the restaurant industry for over 30 years. I was amazed at how my practice alleviated stress and helped to keep me grounded and sane. At the same time bringing a lot more clarity and balance into my life.

We all have eureka moments in our lives! And mine was “I need to stop doing what I’m doing”… My practice gave me so much strength and support to make the jump…

So in 2008 I decided to sell up and go to teacher training. I never looked back. I opened the studio in 2010 and it feels like my second home. It continues to make me grow and nurture this amazing relationship with myself.

The introduction of Yin Yoga into my life has again changed everything... Personally I have had more insights and eureka moments on my mat practising Yin. It really goes to the heart of yoga, its essence! I love having a space which allows me to share my passion and love for yoga through teaching, practicing and nurturing others.

And I still love teaching now, more than ever before.

“When you find something that you love doing… you never have to work again!”

Shona Langridge

Yoga is the only activity I’ve ever done where all elements of myself are challenged… physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

I’ve been practising yoga for six years and teaching for three.

My first introduction to Yoga was through the practise of Bikram. I swore after my first class I would never do it again….and 6 years on, here I am, teaching it, loving it, passionate about it, invigorated by it and above all, inspired by the students that travel with me on their journeys when they step onto their mats.

I did my Bikram Teacher Training in Thailand in 2014 and since then have taught in Australia, UK and USA.

We all have to start somewhere and there is never any ending to where Yoga can take you…everything we do in our lives is some form of Yoga. There are always places to grow and develop. After 2 years of teaching Bikram, I was inspired to further my Yoga knowledge in India – training in Vinyasa and Ashtanga.

This year I plan to extend my training into Yin Yoga.

It’s hard to articulate the benefits that Yoga has brought to me – but every time I step into the hot room, I simply feel at peace and at rest: like I’ve come home, no matter how difficult it may be that day. A sanctuary that supports, nurtures, challenges, forgives and encourages growth and self reflection. There is no greater gift that we can give ourselves than being present to ourselves. Yoga, in any form, does that. It’s been a blessing that has allowed me to deal with many good, bad and ugly moments in my life. Thankfully it’s not WHAT we practise, but HOW we practise that has the impact.

One of my favourite quotes is by a Tibetan Monk:

“A human being present to himself is more precious than the rarest of gems”

Yoga has given me the gift of presence and awareness to myself which in turn has transformed my relationships externally and internally.

I would encourage anyone to use Yoga as a beautiful tool to combine physical, mental, emotional and spiritual growth.

Eugene Sabala

From a very young age, I took a keen interest in fitness and the body, developing a wealth of knowledge through self-training.

I went on to further my knowledge academically and hold several qualifications including a Diploma in Fitness and Nutrition and a Personal Trainer qualification. I recently qualified as a Physical Therapy Aide and continue developing my knowledge and understanding of the body and health with passion and dedication.

I started practising Bikram yoga in 2006 in Dallas and started competing in the Annual Yoga Asana Competitions in 2007. I was silver medallist in the 2009 Texas Regional and placed in the top 10 at the 2010 National Yoga Asana Competition. I was bronze medallist in the 2013 Texas Regional.

In 2010 I embarked on the intense Teacher Training Program and graduated as a qualified Bikram yoga teacher; since then I’ve been teaching the Bikram beginners series across studios in the US, Asia and Europe. I’ve attended several advanced seminars and lead advanced classes for many years in Texas. I treasure the opportunity to share my love of yoga with my students and see their lives change for the better through a regular practice.

Through depending my yoga practice I developed an interest in the meditative aspect of it: I’ve been attending annual Vipassana meditation retreats since 2009 also volunteering on site as a senior meditator. I am also a long time student of energy work and have learned how to work with energy centres to release stress and tension, which are the primary sources of illness.

Kee Chan

I originally started Bikram Yoga in 2011 to help with my lower back pain and to improve my posture and flexibility.

I loved the heat from very first moment and felt the healing benefits immediately! Over the next few months, I realised the benefits were more than just physical, there was a mental challenge too. I had become more self-aware and gained more clarity both on and off the mat.

This in turn helped me to deal with some relationship stresses and reassess my work-life balance. After 16 months I decided to quit my job in the IT sector to pursue something I was actually passionate about! In Autumn 2012, I completed my Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in Los Angeles.

A year into teaching full time, I developed chronic pain down my sciatic nerve, I was sometimes unable to walk or move for 10 days at a time. I saw a specialist and was diagnosed with sciatica down my left side (caused by a herniated disc L5/S1), doctors advised of 3 options going forward: surgery, steroid injections or to continue with yoga – I chose YOGA! I practised hot yoga consistently and consciously over the period of 6 months focusing on alignment rather than depth and managed to heal my body, mind and spirit.

After teaching for a couple of years and exploring various forms of yoga – heated and non heated, I decided to broaden my yoga knowledge and completed my Vinyasa Flow and Hot Power Teacher Training at Yoga Venue Oxford in 2015. Later this year, I will deepen my practice again and complete a Yin Yoga Teacher Training with Jo Phee.

I am grateful for the opportunities that yoga brings. Since 2015, I’ve been travelling and teaching abroad, and have made some wonderful connections and friendships on my travels around the world.

In my classes I create a calm and compassionate environment to bring awareness to your breath and attention to your alignment. My goal for you is to leave the class feeling better, lighter and happier. Be mindful in your movement. Be aware of how your body feels today. Be happy with whatever the outcome.

Yoga has been a transformational journey for me, both physically and mentally. I am comfortable with who I am, I see things more clearly, and I appreciate the simple things that life brings.

Salma El-Ansary

I decided to become a yoga teacher when I noticed a major shift in how I reacted to difficult situations in my life. Yoga makes me an overall better person; mentally, physically and spiritually.

I am Canadian of Egyptian descent. Having lived most of my life in Toronto, I moved to Abu Dhabi 9 years ago and recently decided to move to London in 2017. Having moved to many different parts of the world, I believe that connections and relationships don’t just happen by coincidence. Being a part of yoga communities in various places is such a blessing in my life and I am so excited to be a part of HYW’s vibrant and beautiful community.

Trained in heated and non-heated Hatha and Vinyasa yoga, I am certified in over 600 hours of Yoga Alliance recognised certifications from Moksha / Moda Yoga.

I love sharing my knowledge and passion for the practice of yoga with everyone; beginners and advanced practitioners are most welcome. Yoga may start off as a physical practice and a nice way to stretch / tone the body, but eventually it becomes much more than that. It becomes the practice of self-love, self-regulation and balance of mind, body and spirit. All of those things combined will create a better version of an already-amazing you.

Tara Clark

It was in my early 30’s in this fast moving ever-changing modern world that we live in, when I realised things were starting to take a toll on me and I was constantly feeling tired, anxious, and run down!

Having always been the active/sporty type as well nothing seemed to work for me anymore. I decided to go to a yoga studio and give a class a go. I will never forget my first yoga class, though I just sat down and watched for part of it! It was an absolute revelation – even after my first class, I could feel that my body felt re-energised and my mind felt calmer and more spacious. I was instantly curious..

Going to yoga and my practice became more and more a part of me, learning and growing through guidance and patience, and to practice through whatever we are feeling through one’s own life experiences. Over time understanding that with focus and being the witness of our breath in stillness or through movement – it brings change. Feeling and experiencing internal shifts mentally and emotionally – we make better choices. My body shape changed physically while growing in strength, balance and flexibility. Yoga and it’s many facets are infinite.

My journey really began here at HYW, my practice and passion has never left me. I progressed with my studies and completed my Teacher Training. I am a 500hr Yoga Alliance registered teacher and I am grateful to be able to now guide others within this inspiring studio, which has such a great energy and wonderful community. Yoga is a discipline – it is a slow but true honest medicine for your whole being and it is a journey that I have truly fallen in love with.

Have fun – keep life simple – live fully, not in the past or the future but knowing that every moment of which you are – is the only moment.

Serena Sabala

I’m a Wellness Coach, Certified Bikram Teacher and Plant Based Nutrition Consultant.

My interests in wellness started at a very young age as a result of wanting to learn the best possible ways to take care of myself and fulfil my potential. I learnt early on of the profound connection between our mind and body and of it’s delicate, precious balance so I’ve always been a passionate advocate of self care on all levels.

Yoga made its appearance in my life way back in 2008: not many know that Raj himself was my first ever teacher!

It has touched and transformed my life in SO many ways, most of which I find hard to even verbalise: it continues to provide the space for ongoing self- development and transformation from the inside out. It has allowed me to tap into such strength (physically, psychologically, spiritually), I didn’t even know I possessed.

It has allowed me to travel around the entire globe and make a living all the while: most importantly, it created the opportunity for me to meet my soul mate and now husband, Eugene.

I feel honoured and privileged to be able to share with our students this powerful practice: I’m often a teacher but forever a student myself and remain humble in knowing that in yoga, much like in life, we’re really never “done” until our very last day in this realm.

Yaz Smith

When I first stepped onto a yoga mat in 2011 at the age of 16, I had no idea how much my practice was going to transform my life.

My practice has made me the person I am today and I am so grateful for every single lesson I have learned on my mat. Alongside teaching yoga, I am also a Reiki Practitioner. I am passionate about astrology, tarot, crystals and music and I integrate all these practices into my approach to healing. It is my mission to inspire others on this journey to self love and self healing; when you bring these practices into your life, they bring life changing results.

Ufoma Asagba

I teach Bikram and yin yoga, and love how these polar opposites, perfectly compliment each other.

Both enabling you to find a calming meditative state, working both the mind and body.  I love the physical intensity and the mental calmness yoga brings. Through the focus, meditation, and stillness, it can bring calmness and clarity of mind which can be integrated into your everyday life!  We are all unique in our shape, bones and structure, so every posture is going to take on a different form to each individual. I encourage a strong focus in alignment, and hope to motivate and inspire others to achieve their maximum potential. 

Ashim Bhalla

Ashim was born in Bombay, Maharashtra.

His grandfather was a yogi and his first yoga teacher was his mother. Ashim came to London as a child and played basketball in his teens but abandoned aspirations of turning professional after a series of injuries. Based on medical advice, Ashim refrained from sports but ultimately yoga enabled him to overcome physical challenges and return to an active lifestyle. Ashim studied Indian and Western Philosophy at University College London and after practicing yoga with several different teachers he eventually found Subramaniam Manoharan (a.k.a. ‘Mano’) renowned for his discipline, intensity, and spirituality. Mano transformed Ashim’s yoga practice and trained him as a teacher. Today Ashim is a yogi, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu player, and a lover of stories.

“For me yoga is all about the power of the practice. Don’t believe — find out for yourself.”

Nicole Van Dyk

Yoga in all its forms has been my life for many years.

Taking my first training in 2013 I began my journey not only as a teacher but as a committed practitioner.

Understanding the transformative nature and healing qualities of a regular practice it quite literally changed my world. Having been immersed in a corporate environment for many years it gave me the tools to effectively manage this fast-paced life, eventually presenting itself as an opportunity to break away.

Wanting to share the countless benefits of yoga I took a leap of faith and ditched the corporate world in favour of teaching and sharing this life-changing practice. Seeing the positive changes that develop across all areas of a student’s life has been truly transformative for me.

Having completed numerous trainings in a variety of disciplines I draw inspiration from all of my learnings to create classes that are safe, creative, with a focus on alignment, breath and full body awareness, encouraging students to take their practice off their mats and into their everyday life, providing them with the cornerstone for living life well.