The Living Yoga Holidays Team
We all adopt an approach to yoga that follows the teachings of T.Krishnamacharya and his son T.K.V.Desikachar, which is commonly referred to as Viniyoga.
It is very much about working to the best of your ability but in recognition of your individual limitations…one size definitely does not fit all!
It uses a considered combination of asana (postures and sequences), pranayama (meditative breathing techniques), sound, meditation and philosophy with modifications and variations appropriate to the individual’s needs.
New for 2017! We're expanding our team of yoga teachers and warmly welcome New York based teacher, MICHELE RAFFERTY! Michele studied Kripalu yoga and is also a trained dancer. Although she's not trained in the Viniyoga approach, like our other teachers, her classes are adapted to the individual needs of her students. More info at the bottom of the page!
CHANTAL RAFFERTY originally trained in the Sivananda tradition, before taking a course at the Svyasa yoga therapy university in Bangalore, India. She then went on to study Viniyoga and continues to do so with her teacher Dave Charlton in the UK. She has practised and taught yoga for over 12 years and is both a member of the BWY (British Wheel of Yoga) and the aYs (Association of Yoga Studies). Her passion is Viniyoga and her classes reflect the belief that yoga is for everyone regardless of age, fitness and flexibility! Chantal also runs classes for people with C.F.S. and M.E.
Chantal has also completed the two year Sadhana Mala Art of Individual Teaching and Yoga Therapy Program endorsed by the aYs.
Complementing the yoga Chantal is an advanced Thai yoga massage practitioner, having trained with Kira Balaskas in London and Greece. She currently gives Thai yoga massage treatments in and around the Cheltenham area.
As well as practising the massage, she also works with her husband, Gareth, in training Thai yoga massage practitioners.
Anika first started teaching yoga in London in 2002. She moved to Brighton the following year, and qualified as an ASA Level 2 swimming instructor. At the same time, she set up and still runs regular yoga classes, workshops and foundation courses under the name 'Viniyoga Brighton and Hove'.
Having studied with Dave Charlton and Ranju Roy, she achieved the British Wheel of Yoga (BWY500hr) diploma and the yoga therapy diploma through the Association of Yoga Studies (AYS500hr). She then completed a pregnancy yoga and active birth course with Gail Reeves of Beautiful Birth and beyond. Anika also trained with Gareth Williams and Chantal Rafferty to become a Thai yoga massage practitioner. Most recently, Anika attended a two year Ayurveda course with Ann Johnston.
Anika is one of the organisers and a trustee of the 'Brighton Yoga Festival', a charity which aims to show that yoga is for everyone, but especially those who have never considered trying out this practice. As part of the festival Anika has been presenting a tv show all about different yoga backgrounds, which is shown on local TV.
In terms of the classes and holidays offered, Anika aims through this teaching approach to keep the focus on the individual, ensuring that the yoga practice is right for each person attending
GARETH WILLIAMS has over a decade of experience as a teacher, mainly with the Viniyoga approach to Hatha yoga.
He qualified as a British Wheel of Yoga teacher with Dave Charlton, (a senior Viniyoga teacher) who he continues to study with. In addition to his BWY diploma Gareth has also completed the two year Sadhana Mala Art of Individual Teaching and Yoga Therapy Program endorsed by the aYs. As a compliment to his yoga teaching, Gareth is an advanced Thai yoga massage practitioner, accredited by TTYMA. He trained with Kira Balaskas from The School of Thai Yoga Massage in London and attended several courses with Asokananda. Gareth also trains others to be practitioners in this ancient, yoga related art.
Gareth and Chantal run daily Viniyoga classes in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
MICHELE RAFFERTY has over 20 years experience in teaching, nurturing and communicating through dance and movement with people of all ages. She is a certified Kripalu Yoga Teacher (RYT) and movement specialist, trained at the prestigious Laban Centre for Movement and Dance in London. She has experience in the field of movement exploration, including modern dance technique, contact improvisation, Feldenkrais movement, social dance, and Ohashiatsu bodywork.
Michèle has found that all these modalities/techniques have tapped into her own spiritual growth. The simple act of movement co-ordinated with breath helps her to stay grounded and feel alive and joyous. At a cellular level, the body is pure energy and movement, and through safe and caring physical activities growth and healing can occur - both stimulating dopamine levels in the brain during high energy activities, while supplementing sustained breathing exercises to rest the heart, inducing relaxation and feeling better about ones self. Michèle designs a framework that keeps the student focused and grounded, and within it creates a dynamic experience that is spontaneous and creative. 'I want you to feel inspired to take care of your body and mind – Yoga, or any wellness/fitness program is not a quick fix, but an opportunity to reach your fullest potential, whatever your goal!'