MEET THE BYF TEAM
Brighton Yoga foundation has a group of trustees which steer the charity to achieve its aims and ensure it is in alignment with the charities mission to provide Yoga to people who need it the most in Brighton and Hove.
As well as being the Managing Director of The Float Spa, Camille is also a mum of two. In 2014 Camille found herself suffering from PTSD and used floatation to overcome this. She was so impressed with the results she decided to open her own well being centre here in Brighton and Hove as there wasn’t one in the area. Since opening on Third Avenue in Hove, Camille has trained as a Naturopathic Health Coach, Cognitive Behavioural Scientist Meditation Teacher to spread the benefits of wellbeing specifically to the corporate sector. But also her experience of yoga has also been so positive that she joined as a trustee back in 2015. www.thefloatspa.co.uk / www.camillepierson.co.uk
Davy Jones co-founded the Brighton Yoga Festival in late 2013 with Mikaela Perera. He has been centrally involved in the annual festivals since 2014, and the establishment of Brighton Yoga Foundation as a registered charity. Davy has been a yoga student since 1999 and a teacher for over eleven years. He teaches in Brighton & Sussex and runs yoga holidays around the world with his partner Janaki as part of InspirationYoga. He passionately believes in the power of yoga to effect not just physical and mental change, but also social and political change. Davy grew up as a teenager in Saltdean and moved back here in 2002. He stood as the Green Party’s parliamentary candidate in the 2015 General Election – the first yoga teacher in the UK to stand for parliament. Davy was the chair of the trustees from the inception of the charity in May 2016 to the end of 2021. www.inspirationyoga.net
Alina is a cybersecurity professional, working in the industry for around 8 years now. She is an active member of the CSR committee at work and also a volunteer at The Cyber Helpline, where they help victims of cybercrime. She was introduced to yoga at the age of 16 and it's been with her since then. She found it very therapeutic for her mind and body and it works like magic with recovering from sports. She is happy to be part of the BYF Trustee team where she can combine my love for yoga and all things security. She is grateful for the opportunity to support those who are in need. For her, charitable work is all about giving back to the community and making someone's life better. She truly believe that with tiny actions we can make a big difference.
Clare first fell in love with Yoga in 2010 when she took up classes in Dublin, where she is originally from. After completing Yoga teacher training in India in 2016, she began teaching that same year when she relocated to Brighton. Clare has been involved with Brighton Yoga Foundation for 3 years, supporting with coordination of our annual free festival and is really looking forward to a formal role as trustee/secretary. Clare works full time in governance for a large International development agency and is also a trustee for the Kent (Folkestone) branch of the RSPCA.
Sam has worked in social justice starting as a journalist with a focus on mental health. She has since worked in criminal justice and education in a variety of different roles and in 2013 co-founded a not for profit organisation which supports families when a loved-one has gone to prison. She believes that there is a strong link between social justice, yoga and wellbeing which she is keen to pursue through her work at the foundation.
David initially trained as a solicitor specialising in corporate law before switching to freelance accounting, becoming a chartered member of the ACCA in 2015. With a passion for the Film/TV industry, he has recently become involved in Film Production Accounting for various studios. His previous background has been in various Financial Services, Leisure & Education industries. Based in Brighton, David joined BYF as a Trustee in 2020 and is keen to offer advice and support on various Finance aspects as the charity develops.
Nataliya is a dedicated yoga student of over 10 years and mother from Brighton. The positive impact Yoga has had on her life off the mat, led her to embarking on her Teacher Training with the Sun Power Yoga School in 2017. She now teaches a variety of classes across Brighton, including 'Teens Yoga' and 'Yoga with Young Homeless people' and is working towards getting Yoga into Schools as part of the core curriculum. Her background before yoga was as an Events Coordinator where she ran a variety of high profile Events across London. Nataliya is also on the Executive Committee of the Lovey Foundation UK, a Charity that works with a sister organisation in Ghana to support children in Ghana to attend school. She brings her passion for supporting her Community, Event and Charity work experience to the team of Trustees. She is honoured to be part of the team and is keen to find further opportunities to support those who may not have access to these life enhancing practices.
Amy works in a strategy and business transformation role in the corporate insurance sector, project managing large growth and change initiatives. Having spent her 20s living and working in Germany, Spain and Singapore, Amy returned to the UK in 2008 and has since studied for a degree in Law and volunteered on several committees. Most recently she wrote a successful bid to Sport England on behalf of a local community school and currently advises a digital start-up on their go-to-market strategy and operating model. In her spare time, Amy loves watching F1 and cricket or training for long runs. She discovered yoga about 10 years ago and reaps the physical and mental benefits of a regular practice. Now living in Burgess Hill, Amy joined BYF as a Trustee in 2021 and is excited about supporting their ambitious growth plans.
Indie is a Yoga and meditation guide, Ayurveda Consultant and Freelance Marketing consultant. She has had a varied career across several different industries before landing on a more holistic approach to life in recent years. Yoga is an ancestral practice for her and after reconnecting to the practice, teacher training was a natural progression. She believes there is a strong link between the teachings of yoga and social justice and is something she continues to be vocal about alongside race, collective care and spaces for BIPOC.
Tammy has a wealth of experience both in project management and yoga teaching. For 10 years she worked in an international development organisation focusing on improving maternal health, mainly in Nigeria. At the same time her love of yoga deepened and in 2018 she completed Vajrasati YTT 500hrs. Tammy has taught a variety of classes over the last 4 years; her passion and teaching is now moving towards a more therapeutic style. She currently teaches classes for mental health recovery, stress reduction and restorative yoga. She is delighted to utilise her skills to support the BYF.
Mark is part of the marketing team that gets to share all of the wonderful news and events with you all. “A keen runner, he is a Regional Ambassador for parkrun UK so appreciates all too well the importance of community and well-being and loves the positive interactions that the BYF enjoy.
Neil has worked in the community and voluntary sector for 18 years in the field of mental health, working to develop, grow and sustain charities and community groups. He is passionate about neighbourhoods and communities and the role of the third sector within these. He is committed to influencing health inequalities and social injustice, in particular issues relating to well-being and mental health. Neil believes in challenging prejudice, discrimination and stigma. He is a keen walker, swimmer and trys to play the piano!
COMMUNITY YOGA TEACHING TEAM
Hannah qualified as a yoga teacher in 2015, after an initial career as a dancer, choreographer and theatre producer. During this time, she had always had a personal yoga practice, so the move into yoga teaching felt like a very natural one. Once qualified, Hannah felt compelled to use her skills in community and outreach settings - so she could be part of a movement to bring the benefits of yoga to those least able to access it. So she began to specialise in therapeutic and trauma informed work, and develop pay-it-forward models of pricing structures for classes and retreats, so low/no cost sessions could be offered to participants on low incomes. She became a trustee of Brighton Yoga Foundation in 2018, with a specific focus on developing the community and outreach programme. Working on strategy, implementation and teaching over the past 3 years, the programme has grown into a robust and varied offering, with online and face to face classes being offered to many groups who may not otherwise access the benefits of yoga. Hannah is really proud of the amount of sessions and people we are now reaching, and particularly loves hosting face to face sessions in the community, and connecting with our wonderful participants.
Charlie is a BYF teacher, co-founder of Om Retreats and founder of Akin Yoga. She has always loved yoga, and took her teacher training in Italy and India 10 years ago. Her passion is to help people feel happy and connected through yoga. She started Om Retreats back in 2007 with fellow BYF teacher and trustee Hannah, where guests enjoy a yoga retreat, but also get to be part of 'paying it forward’, in the form of profits from each retreat funding yoga for people who may not otherwise access the benefits of yoga. This then flourished into more collaboration and outreach opportunities with BYF, where Charlie taught Therapeutic Yoga to many different participants. Charlie brings a natural and welcoming warmth to her teaching, and is very proud to be part of the vibrant and multi-faceted teaching team at BYF. She is also qualified in Pilates, pre-natal yoga and Les Mills Bodybalance.
Tammy's practice is rooted in Buddhism, and she has explored the teachings and practises of many different traditions, which fuelled her love of philosophy and inquiry. Yoga played an important part throughout these earlier explorations and led her to the decision to train formally. She completed a two-year 500-hour yoga teacher training that gave her a solid grounding in yoga’s spiritual and physical elements. The training explored the eight limbs of yoga, and as she studied she found her home in the practice. Since then she has completed extra training in restorative and somatic yoga and is passionate about sharing the benefits of these practices. Tammy's classes are playful and accessible, while also being heartfelt and informed by a deep belief in the healing power of yoga.
Helen Moss @nidrarestore delivers online yoga classes for the Brighton Yoga Foundation and will be running her first workshop for us next month 'Yoga is a collaboration, not a one size fits all or a teacher knows the best situation. What is comfortable, challenging or restful for someone is unique to them. In classes I invite people to uncover ways they can bring ease of movement, breath and thought. All of my work is done with kindness, humility, invitation and at its heart, a deep sense of welcome. ' As a yoga therapist, trainer and teacher Helen believes she is still learning and evolving her understanding of yoga as a conversation, a conversation between body and mind, between herself and others and the world around her. Helen qualified as yoga therapist with the Minded Institute (580hrs, 2020) and as a BWY teacher (500hrs, 2008) She is a mother of two boys living in Brighton. She teaches weekly online classes, runs training courses and offers yoga therapy 121s.
Marie-Louise has been practicing yoga for over fifteen years which coincidentally is around the same time she started a career in the NHS. As a registered Occupational Therapist, trained in both physical and mental health and sensory awareness her work has spread across a wide range of settings within both acute, community settings, group treatment programmes and more recently as a Mental Health Practitioner within Primary care. This fascination with the mind-body connection led her to undertake further training in disciplines such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing therapy), and of course yoga.
Marie-Louise trained initially in vinyasa flow yoga and has undertaken subsequent trainings in somatics, restorative yoga, and embodied awareness and how these approaches can support those struggling with mental health difficulties. Her approach is trauma informed, be that in her NHS, private therapy work or on the mat. She provides a warm welcome and a compassionate approach to sensing, exploring, moving and resting and the space to work out what feels right for you in that moment.
When not teaching and working she loves spending time with family and friends and getting out on the downs or by the sea whenever possible.
Indie a yoga guide with a focus on rest, intentional movement and breath. She teaches in a way that invites curiosity, reflection and a space to allow whatever comes up to be felt. With much of her training completed with Susanna Barkataki, Indie sits at the intersection of Yoga and Social justice. The belief that the practice and ethics of Yoga are intertwined with social change, community and equity and span much further than the physical practice we see. Indie delivers classes and offerings as part of the project to make Yoga accessible to BPOC and marginalised communities across Brighton and Hove.
Rebecca Devereux, founder of Somatic Sense Brighton, offers therapeutic movement interventions for people who have experienced complex and single incident trauma.
Having trained and worked for 15 years primarily in western based ‘top-down’ approaches to mental distress she was drawn towards the neuroscience supporting movement based practices. Following her initial training in Hatha and Vinyasa flow Rebecca decided to specialise in trauma informed approaches, training with both Hala Khouri and Alex Cat. She completed a 300 hour certificate in Trauma Center, Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY) with the Centre for Trauma and Embodiment. Rebecca is currently in her first year training as a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner with SOS Internationale. Somatic Experiencing is a pioneering body oriented approach to relieving the physical, psychological, emotional and physiological effects of acute and chronic stress and PTSD. She specialises in working with people who experience emotional dysregulation, dissociation, derealisation, depersonalisation, body dysmorphia, substance use and self-injurious behaviours, depression, insomnia and anxiety.
She has been teaching trauma informed yoga since 2019 and has facilitated spaces for many groups. Rebecca currently facilitates practice on behalf of BYF at Preston Park Recovery Center. Rebecca has also trained in perinatal and restorative yoga practices. Rebecca is mum to two little people and enjoys sharing with them her passion for music, movement and learning.
YOUNG PEOPLE'S OUTREACH TEAM
Tamsin is a yoga teacher based in Brighton and founder of Sprite Yoga. She has taught yoga for over 10 years and teaches regularly in both primary and secondary schools throughout Sussex. As a registered Yoga Teacher Trainer with Yoga Alliance Professionals Tamsin runs CPD courses to equip PE teachers to offer yoga themselves within school. Tamsin is also a qualified teacher and has taught GCSE and A Level Dance and Drama in Secondary and Further Education for many years. For BYF Tamsin has led projects for teenagers in secondary schools across the city since 2018. She has recently recorded 30 minute sessions for the BYF YouTube channel with the aim of keeping young people moving and supporting their mental wellbeing during lockdown. Her next project for us is to co-ordinate a yoga project for students in Further Education in Brighton and Worthing.
Durgha (@durgha15) is a BYF yoga teacher and the Co-Founder of @mindful_warriors_ , a social enterprise bringing yoga classes to children, schools and the community. Her work at Mindful Warriors is as much about sharing the practise of yoga and mindfulness for wellbeing and positive mental health as it is about youth work and developing community projects. Mindful Warriors is celebrating 3 years of service and during the pandemic has delivered a number of online projects as well engaging children and young people with their Digital Classroom filled with fun yoga video lessons! She is a world traveller and passionate about connecting continents through education, enterprise and employability focused initiatives. Her journey has taken her to India, China, Sri Lanka, The Gambia, Israel and the Palestinian Territories (to name a few!) working with young people, communities, schools, universities and businesses. Now back home in the UK and alongside her work at Mindful Warriors, Durgha works at the University of Sussex. Since lockdown she has been teaching her colleagues yoga online. She loves the sense of calm and peace that yoga brings to her life and being able to share this with others. Durgha has supported the work of BYF through volunteering at our festivals and getting involved with our teacher meet ups. She is currently delivering online yoga sessions to young people at @amazesussex in a project partnership with Active Sussex to help young people stay active.
Caroline is a new member of the Brighton Yoga Foundation youth yoga teaching team but has been involved with the Foundation since the very first Brighton Yoga Festival and was the Volunteer Coordinator for 4 years
Caroline aims to dispel the idea that yoga is only for a certain type of person, body type, ability or age. She strongly believes everyone can do yoga and that a good teacher offers sessions that are accessible to people who are beginners to yoga as well as those that are more experienced.
With her other hat on, Caroline is a youth worker and is passionate about the wellbeing of young people. Two years ago, she worked with BYF to introduce a Yoga for Teenagers programme in Moulsecoomb. She is now involved in a new community based yoga for teens project and is really looking forward to offering yoga classes in youth clubs again when they reopen.