All posts filed under: About Us

Helen Cushing (Swami Ahimsadhara)

Ahimsa has coordinated weekly classes for war veterans in Australia since 2004. Ahimsa also taught women refugees from Afghanistan, Bhutan and Myanmar, and has worked one-to-one with individuals seeking recovery and healing from the deep pain of trauma. Prior to teaching yoga Ahimsa worked in the media, including in publishing and television. With her interest and experience in writing she began publishing articles and books on yoga. Her latest book, titled Hope: How Yoga Heals the Scars of Trauma, draws on her work with war veterans who have served in Vietnam, the Middle East and other conflicts.

Lisa Alessandra
Gautschi (Yogatara)

Lisa Alessandra Gautschi (Yogatara) is a certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP), transpersonal psychologist, as well as yoga instructor and therapist with extensive experience working in Nepal with trauma resolution. Living in Kathmandu for over 20 years, she is the founder and director of the Isha Institute, a centre of conscious living and holistic learning. Yogatara offers trainings, retreats and seminars globally.

Catherine Sylvia Nelson (Swami Shaktimurti)

Shaktimurti is an authentic and highly respected yoga instructor who teaches traditional yoga. Her own journey began in 1993 when she suffered a life-threatening illness and turned to yoga, which saved her life. After 12 years at the Rikhiapeeth Ashram in India, she has moved back to the UK in 2021 and works hard to impart the knowledge and wisdom she has learnt to our world which is still struggling with war, poverty and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Minna Järvenpää (Mantramala)

Minna originally discovered yoga and meditation as a means of maintaining balance under stressful – and occasionally dangerous – circumstances while she worked as an international diplomat in Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan. Yoga has been part of her daily life for almost ten years, giving inner strength, happiness and a deeper connection with life. In 2016, she completed a two-year training at the Bihar School of Yoga in India.

Prem Meli

Prem Meli (Premarpan)

Prem started practicing yoga at a young age. She originally trained with the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta centre in the US and India and started teaching yoga in 1992. In 1994 she met her teacher Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati and continued her training with the Bihar School of Yoga. She has recently spent five years living in ashrams in Australia and New Zealand. She is a passionate gardener, and while in Australia studied permaculture, organic farming, and conservation and land management. Over more than 20 years, she has put her heart into cultivating Grempoli as a place where people can come to regenerate and experience a deeper connection with nature.

Bryan Dalton

Bryan Dalton

Bryan Dalton served as a United States diplomat for 28 years, retiring after postings in Asia and Europe as consul, political officer and deputy chief of mission. In three decades of work in international affairs, he has observed the corrosive effects of stress and trauma on the overall wellbeing of many diplomatic, consular and military colleagues, counterparts in multi-national organisations and NGOs, relatives and friends working in crises and conflicts around the world. He has long benefited from yoga for wellbeing and managing stress; in January 2016 he completed a four-month training at the Bihar School of Yoga in India. He now lives in Washington, D.C. with his husband.

Yanar Alkayat

Yanar Alkayat

Yanar is a freelance writer and web editor based in London, specialising in health, beauty, fitness and wellbeing for national press, as well as running a digital consultancy. She has been practicing yoga and meditation for many years and finds it the perfect antidote to busy city life. Alongside work and yoga, Yanar writes a blog about ethical living and runs volunteer workshops with homelessness charities.