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ABOUT ME...

I began a self-taught Hatha Yoga practice in 1995 (using a 1960s book as my teacher), whilst studying Philosophy (western) at university. After graduation, I spent a few years living, travelling and working abroad including Vancouver, New Mexico, Taiwan, Thailand & Spain.  During these nomadic years, disillusioned with the western approach to seeking meaning, I developed an interest in Taoism, Zen and Buddhism. 

A few years later, back in the UK, I focused on reconnecting with my creative energies, studying art formally for 5 years (culminating in a second degree, this time in Fine Art). Art college brought me to Devon, but after a decade of self-taught home practice, I connected with a wonderful & authentic teacher, Duncan Hulin, founder & director of the Devon School of Yoga, in 2005, and a deeper journey into Yoga and my own healing process began. From 2005 - 15, Duncan was my main teacher: his weekly Holistic Yoga classes incorporating kriyas, asana, pranayama, mantra, meditation and classical Yoga philosophy providing an authentic, grounded yogic education. In 2011-13 I trained as a Yoga teacher with him on the DSY's 500hr YTT. I began teaching in 2012, 6 months into the course. (Learn more about my approach to yoga here.) I also trained as a Thai Yoga massage therapist in Thailand in 2014 (learn more about my massage offerings here.)

​During the years 2009-15, Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga became my main personal yoga practice: I became a dedicated Ashtangi for a time, seeking out American pioneers David Williams and Nancy Gilgoff, Doug Swenson and local teachers such as Andrea Durant. Ashtanga studies took me to Portugal, London and finally Maui, Hawaii, in late 2015. My time on Maui was a major turning point in many ways: I realised I'd gone as far as I wanted to within the strictness and external validation of the Ashtanga path; it was time to embrace a more feminine, self-validating, nurturing approach. Exploring the island's rich Yoga culture, I had a profound heart-opening experience during my first Wisdom Flow class with Jennifer Lynn, whose joyful, heart-centred, inspiring teaching, rooted in a fusion of influences including Anusara and Vinyasa, became my daily class for the rest of my stay and suggested possibilities for my own evolving personal practice. I also connected strongly with the energy and natural beauty of the island and native Hawaiian healing traditions - I fell in love with the lomilomi massages I received there, taking a private one-to-one training in basic lomilomi at Ho'omana Spa.

After Maui, I returned to the UK primed to explore the energy of the heart and also wanting to tap into the vital energy of the natural world more deeply. I'd long been sympathetic to more animist perspectives, and interested in accounts of indigenous cultures using sacred plants in rituals to connect to nature spirit for both spiritual and personal healing purposes. During my Thai massage training in a hill tribe village back in 2014, I'd heard that a plant medicine woman in London was holding Amazonian-style ceremonies but working with cacao. After my Maui heart-opening experiences in 2015, and a deepening sense of my own wish to cultivate a more spiritual connection with the natural world and explore nature-based medicine paths, in 2017 I headed up to London to sit in ceremony with cacao. The following year, I travelled to the quiet north coast of Ibiza for an immersive cacaoista apprenticeship training with Rebekah, the plant medicine woman who I'd heard about in Thailand and had finally connected with in London. This training, and the connection I established with the cacao medicine herself, was unexpectedly profound for me.

For the first few years after this powerful training, I continued to work with the Peruvian cacao of my apprenticeship, but over time I felt called to learn more about the Mesoamerican heritage of cacao, and perhaps connect to an indigenous tradition - if one actually existed and was available to foreigners...

I eventually found the Mayan Wisdom Project and, besides working through their online wisdom academy from 2021-22, in early 2022 I was also thrilled to be part of their second ever specialist Mayan cacao training - this offered so much of what I had been looking for elsewhere, and enabled me also to share this indigenous medicine with direct permission, grounded in authentic traditional rituals and invocations which I also had permission to use.

In early 2023, I made my own way to the Mayan heartlands of Guatemala for a personal pilgrimage: I was able to arrange to meet up with two of my teachers, W'ukub K'at Saq'ik (an Aj Kakaw of the K'iche nation) and his partner Kajib Tzik'in Chuj (an Aj Kakaw of the Kakchiquel nation) in person, to speak with and thank them for all they'd shared - at their home in the mountains of Solola - and also, to meet some extraordinarily brave cacao farmers in Suchitepequez, and share medicine in the cacao forest itself. These were profound, moving, humbling experiences for all sorts of reasons. I was also able to experience a number of traditional fire ceremonies and contemporary cacao ceremonies offered by indigenous Mayan practitioners in San Marcos La Laguna.

On this ever-evolving path, cacao, meditation, Yoga and the natural world are my anchors, Zen and Taoist philosophies & meditation practices help me reground each day; and at night - especially on long winter nights, following the moon's cycles is a beautiful way to stay connected to and oriented within nature's greater rhythms and cycles. Always exploring how to cultivate that balance of groundedness, rooted in the earth, and expansiveness, spellbound by the skies.

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