The first (Iyengar) yoga studio opened in the city in 1969. Since then, the yoga community has grown and grown. But who started it? Who were the early teachers in the city? How did it become so big that “everyone in Brighton knows someone who does yoga”?

We’re documenting the history of yoga in Brighton and Hove from its early beginnings to the present day. And how the evolution of the city itself has interacted with the history of the yoga and well-being movements. We’re capturing the personal stories of teachers and people involved along the way, offering multiple perspectives and voices on yoga and its connection to the city.

First of all, you may wish to listen to this podcast where we interview Davy Jones (BYF Chair) about the project.

In addition, we recorded some interviews at past Brighton Yoga Festivals highlighting people and traditions that have been integral to the development of yoga in the city.

Jenny Deadman outlines the way in which yoga arrived in Brighton. B.K.S Iyengar, a regular visitor to Brighton, dedicated the first Iyengar yoga centre which was opened by Helena Thomas in Bristol Gardens, Kemptown in 1969. A talk recorded at the Brighton Yoga Festival in 2017 describes these early days:

Derek Ireland was a legendary Ashtanga teacher who pioneered the style in Brighton before his untimely death 20 years ago. His partner, Kristina Karitinou-Ireland, was interviewed about Derek and the early days of Ashtanga yoga in Brighton at Brighton Yoga Festival in 2018. You can read the interview and access more resources here.

More recently, we have recorded some fascinating interviews on zoom or on audio with a range of people who have played important roles in developing the yoga community in the city - either as teachers or studio owners. Below are interviews with:

Gary Carter - an internationally known expert on fascia who ran the local Natural Bodies studio

Gary Carter


Pete Blackaby - an osteopath and yoga teacher who set up the local Unit 4 studio




Julie Martin - who taught at Brighton Natural Health Centre and then set up Brahmani Yoga in India




Allie Hill - who set up Yogahaven initially in Brighton & Hove, and then in London and Birmingham



Jim Tarran has been an integral part of the yoga scene in Brighton since the 1990s, founding Vajrasati Yoga teacher training course in 2000.  Here, as part of our series on the history of yoga in Brighton, BYF co-founder and trustee Davy Jones and outreach trustee Sam Hart find out about his journey from 'naughty teenager' to owning his own yoga school.



We plan to publish our interviews and hold more sessions about the history of yoga in the city over the coming years.

If you have a story to tell or you would like to get involved in helping to develop this project, then please contact us: relax@brightonyogafoundation.org 

Our project team at the moment comprises Jo Lambert and Davy Jones. Please contact us if you would like to join the team.