NACHIKETA (DEEPAK SHARMA), INDIA
E-RYT 500, SYT
Director of Sampoorna Yoga, Goa India.
NACHIKETA (DEEPAK SHARMA)
Nachiketa (that’s his spiritual name given by his master) is founder and managing director of Sampoorna Yoga. He considers himself more as a yoga student than a teacher. He enjoys creating possibilities for people from all walks of life to learn and practice yoga.
His first contact with yoga was when he was merely 13 when his father asked him to assist him in his yoga workshops. Since then he has been learning yoga from various teachers and masters from many a traditions. He likes to follow his own heart and understanding rather than any strict lineage or tradition. He founded Sampoorna Yoga in 2010.
ELI AGUILAR, COSTA RICA
E-RYT 500, SYT
Senior Yoga Teacher
In her pursuit for a deeper understanding of the body and its functionality, she moved
from Costa Rica –her homeland- to New York to expand her studies in Pilates. Once in USA, she reconnected with her personal yoga practice that ignited a desire to come to India, not only to study how to teach yoga but also how to live a more fulfilling life.
In 2014, she joined Sampoorna Yoga as facilitator of the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Course. And that experience was the non-return point. She felt in love with India, with its culture and with her passion: teaching. In Sampoorna Yoga, she has taught almost all the topics of the syllabus and she is particularly passionate about functional anatomy, how different bodies express the asanas in different ways, and she is very keen on respecting everyone’s unique body and practice.
Today, she is a key member of Sampoorna Yoga as she continues teaching in English and Spanish courses, but also developing curriculum and content for new courses, managing and teaching Yin Yoga training courses, handling the online education platform, and overseeing several management responsibilities.
Yoga has changed her life, and she has made yoga her lifestyle.
DR PALLAVI KAVHANE, INDIA
DR PALLAVI KAVHANE
Dr Kavhane is the director of the Maharashtriya Mandal Yoga School and Research Center at Vishwanand Yoga Institute, and a Yoga teacher at the University of Pune. She holds masters degrees in both Physical Education and Yoga, a masters diploma in Naturopathy, and has been awarded an honorary D. Litt from the University of South America.
Dr Kavhane has won multiple awards for yoga in her career, including the highest award, the All India Yogarjuna Award in 2000 in Kolkata, where she was a student of B.K.S. Iyengar. She is a three-times winner of the World Champion Award, in Spain, Argentina and Portugal.
She has been recognised by the Sports Minister of India, Shri Sunil Dutt, for representing India and winning the gold medal at the International Yoga Symposium for three consecutive years.
Dr Kavhane is a guest lecturer in yoga at many schools, colleges, institutes and universities and she has conducted over 2,000 demonstrations all over the world. She has contributed to multiple books, articles and seminars on yoga and was a contributor to the Sports Development Conference in 2005, hosted by Shri Sunil Dutt. She is a lifetime member of the Indian Yoga Association.
DR VISHWAJEET CHAVAN, INDIA
M.Sc in Yoga Therapy
DR VISHWAJEET CHAVAN
Dr Chavan has been practicing yoga therapy and ayurvedic medicine at the Shree Shashwati Health Center in Kothrud, Maharashtra, for fifteen years. He has a PhD in Alternative Therapies from Pune University and has diplomas in Therapeutic Restorative Yoga, Naturopathy, and Yoga and Ayurveda.
Dr Chavan is a qualified yoga teacher, and through the Sahaja Yoga Trust, he leads Sahaja Yoga Meditation camps all over India with the mission of improving people’s spiritual health.
He is associated with many charitable organisations in India, where his work ranges from working with special-needs people in Andhashala, Marashrashtra, to destitute women and girls in Mahila Sevashram, Karnataka. Every year he assists at the Rotary International Warkari health check-up camps at different locations around India, specialising in raising awareness around conditions such as anaemia, diabetes and heart disease.
Dr Chavan’s social outreach is spread further through his work with the Punya Charitable Trust, the Pune Doctor Charitable Trust, Sanjeevan Yoga therapist Association, the Shree Yogdayani Association, Ahmendnagar Mitra Mandal, Indian Medical Association, Kothrud Doctors Association among others. He is a follower of the H. H. Shree Mataji Nirmala Deviji Sahaja Yoga Meditation Technique.
DR NEELIMA NALAWADEY, INDIA
DR NEELIMA NALAWADEY
Dr. Nalawadey has a Bachelor of Education degree in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery, and a diploma in Panchakarma, from the University of Pune.
She is a certified yoga teacher from the Indian School of Yoga in Chennai and has been practising ayurveda, panchakarma and yoga therapy since 2010. She is currently teaching yoga therapy, yoga philosophy, tridosha and ayurvedic nutrition at the Yoga and Ayurveda Prabodhini in Pune.
In her spare time, Dr Nalawadey enjoys kathak dancing and kick-boxing.
PRIANCA SHHARMA, INDIA
Prianca’s passion has always been to express her inner self through movement. For this reason, she spent over a decade in the theatre and dance industry. Yoga came into her life when all fell apart due to the stressful environment she was surrounded by. Yoga provided the healing calmness she was looking for, and since then, Yoga became the axis of her life.
In 2013, she decided to do her first Yoga teacher training, and her journey of sharing, learning and exploring the physical, mental and spiritual body began in 2014. In her classes, she tries to keep the focus on embodiment of full practise on and off the mat.
She has trained in Vinyasa, Yin Yoga, Ashtanga, Pre and Post-natal yoga, meditation and chanting, and she has shared her knowledge and practice with students from all over the world. Prianca likes to use breath control, dance movement and other such tools to build a connection with our inner being. She believes that awareness and reflection are as essential to teaching as they are to practise.
According to her, poets start with words and painters with primary colours, and as a teacher she likes to hone the craft and then step back, allowing yoga to perform its magic.
For Prianca, the best part about teaching is having the hope that she can inspire and support her students in her little unique ways!
VIJAYA PAI, INDIA
M.Sc in Yoga Therapy
Vijaya has trained as Yoga Therapist for six years in prestigious Indian universities, and several hospitals around the country.
Even though she was oblivious to the scope of Yoga, Vijaya took up Yoga education for her graduation: Bachelor’s degree in Yoga Therapy and Spirituality. That’s where she formally encountered Yoga and its principles.
As a Yoga Consultant and Therapist at an Ayurvedic hospital, she discovered the ample dimensions of therapeutic aspects of Yoga, as well the clinical pathology and pathophysiology of various common ailments. This led her to pursue her Master’s degree in Yoga Therapy, where she got an intense exposure to the knowledge of science and art of the human body and the basics of Ayurveda.
Her focus -as a Yoga Teacher Trainer– is to create a safe space for students to deepen their self-awareness, inspire them to make healthy lifestyle choices and to educate them about the importance of acceptance in order to facilitate healing.
ROWENA JOHNSON, UK
E-RYT 200, RYT 500
ROWENA JOHNSON, UK
Having always led an active life, Rowena first started practicing yoga asana in 2008 as a means for balancing out her many other physical pursuits. It was not long until the practice began to open up a deeper level of awareness of body, mind and spirit. Soon, yoga asana became Rowena’s main physical pursuit. After attending a two-week Ashtanga retreat with Harmony and Jeff Lichty in November 2013, Rowena returned to London and continued with a daily Ashtanga Primary Series practice, in addition to her already regular Jivamukti practice. These two intense and deeply spiritual practices triggered her curiosity, opening up a desire to deepen her own practice and gain a better understanding of what Patanjali referred to as the eight limbs of yoga. It was this desire that propelled her to embark on a 200-hr Ashtanga-Vinyasa training, which she completed at Sampoorna – Yoga Teacher Training School India in January 2016.
Since then, Rowena has gone on to practice and study yoga under the guidance of Sharath Jois at KPJAYI in Mysore. In 2017, Rowena went on to complete a 300-hr yoga teacher training in the Jivamukti yoga method. These enriching experiences and all of her teachers are the inspiration behind the style of yoga that Rowena teaches. Combining pranayama, vinyasa and mediation, Rowena’s classes focus on awakening the senses, bringing students in tune with their bodies to reveal the strength and grace we all have inside.
MINE TAYLAN, SWEDEN
Mine has practiced yoga and meditation for almost 20 years, and started teaching over 14 years ago. In 2007, she opened the first hot yoga studio in southern Sweden, in Malmö. Since her first official yoga teacher training she has taught 6000 hours of classes.
To emphasize the constant learning process, Mine persists in calling herself a student and her students her teachers. Mine’s experience as a teacher and studio owner, and from a range of trainings that she has led and participated in, has given her a deep understanding of a vast variety of yoga styles and of each person’s uniqueness and individual needs. It has enriched her with an excellent wealth of knowledge of yoga, alignment, therapy and anatomy which shines in each of her classes. Her compassion and her quality consistent classes makes her students leave each class feeling stronger, healthier, aware and more balanced.
“As a yoga student, teacher, teachers’ teacher and studio owner, I hope to convey that yoga practice, – on top of constituting physical and mental practice- can grow into a lifelong love relationship. It’s important to me that every person feel “safely challenged”, regardless if their main interest is teaching, practice, breathing, self-realization, mindfulness, concentration, relaxation, philosophy or anything else. I want to be able to inspire, motivate and guide my students from dream to reality, whether is spreading the philosophy of yoga, learning headstand or free yourself from physical pain.”
Before her immersion in yoga, Mine obtained a degree in Psychology and worked in the Human Resources and Recruiting fields. Today, she runs a yoga studio, holds retreats and teaches Vinyasa, Hatha, Yin, Yoga Therapy, Meditation and Pranayama. Some of teachers Mine has learnt from are Jason Crandell, Ray Long, Paul Grilley, Raghunath, Alan Wallace, Budokon University, and much more.
ALAN ELLMAN, UK
Alan led a rather hedonistic lifestyle up until his discovery of yoga while living in Hong Kong. Although he enjoyed his job teaching English to preschoolers, there was something missing. After signing up for a free class at his local gym, he never looked back. It was the perfect way to bring some calm into an otherwise hectic lifestyle, and it wasn’t long before the shift from party to asana addict began. Yoga ignited a passion that had been previously misdirected and kick started a positive new chapter in his life.
Having been so enriched by teaching English previously, it seemed a natural progression to share his new love, and so began his journey at Sampoorna Yoga. Having completed both the 200-hour Ashtanga-Vinyasa and 300-hour Vinyasa flow courses at Sampoorna Yoga, Alan went on to train in Rocket Yoga with senior teacher Amber Gean. Alan’s style is dynamic and energetic, but playful with a strong emphasis on alignment and breath. He strives for precise technique and movement in his class, always with a focus on well-being and mindfulness. His personal practice combines Vinyasa Flow, Rocket, Dharma Mittra and just about anything that gets him on his hands or upside down, where he is happiest.When not at Sampoorna, Alan lives and teaches full-time in London.
KAREN MARSH, ENGLAND
Karen started yoga over thirteen years ago after a suggestion from a friend to heal a chronic back pain, due to a fast and physically emanding lifestyle. The physical benefits and challenge were the first attraction, but with more practice in many different styles of yoga, she began to notice positive and naturally occurring changes in her whole being and lifestyle; and fell madly in love with yoga.
Karen completed her 200hr & 300hr Hatha yoga teacher training at the Sivananda Ashram in Neyyar Dam, Yin yoga 40hr training in London with Norman Blair and 300hr Vinyasa yoga teacher training at Sampoorna. After such a beautiful transformative experience at Sampoorna, Karen returned to learn and share more as a karma yogi.
Karen is passionate about combining and theming empowering flows, philosophy and meditation from her varied learning experience.” I hope to give students a sense of wonder and enthusiasm for the challenges of the body and mind and a desire to learn more about themselves and yoga.”
“Yoga has been so transformative for me in my whole life and being and for that I am so grateful and feel called to share it with anyone who seeks it.”
Life philosophy: be aware, be present, and face the joyful and challenging as learning and experience; there will always be both, but what you feed grows. Not every day is a good day but positivity can go a long way… it’s a practice: concentrate, practice, fall, learn, then get back up. Smile. Be persistent.
VERA BETTIOL, ITALY
Vera began practicing yoga while living in San Diego, California in 2010. It was love at first sight, and after her first yoga class she never looked back. As soon as she entered the yoga room, she knew she was home, the home of her heart. Since then, she had taken various trainings and workshops around the world. Nowadays, Vera is a 500-hours certified yoga teacher. She did her first 200-hour training with CorePower Yoga and then completed her 300-hour yoga teacher training at Sampoorna – Yoga Teacher Training School in India. She is also a certified aerial yoga and yin yoga teacher. She mostly practice and teaches vinyasa, yin and aerial yoga.
Vera encourages her students to build greater self-awareness and peace through their yoga practice, empowering them to release, to let go and to discover themselves, in a safe comfortable ambiance. She strives to inspire her students to foster an interest in slowing down, paying attention to the subtle things, and remembering their innate ability to heal themselves. She places emphasis in breathing, safety, postural alignment while practicing in a loving-playful atmosphere. Vera believes that through yoga we can create the change we need and bring peace and joy to ourselves and others. She feels blessed and grateful to be able to share her love for Yoga with others.
Along with her yoga journey, Vera loves to travel and has visited many countries over the years. Born and raised in Italy, has lived for more than 11 years in California, USA. Before dedicating her journey to yoga, Vera worked in the field of communications and marketing. She also has a master and a doctoral degree in Business Administration.
STEVEN BISHOP, USA
Steve has been practicing yoga for most of his life. Although, he began practicing yoga as a way to keep his body healthy, Steve soon realized that yoga also changed the way he looked at the world.
He began teaching yoga 12 years ago and many of the students from his very first class are still taking yoga with him. His classes are themed so what is done on the mat can be integrated into our lives off the mat. While the physical benefits of yoga are evident and sought after in the western culture the hidden benefits of yoga such as inner strength, emotional control, and spiritual fortitude are possibly even more important.
Steve received both his 200-hour and 500-hour yoga teacher training from Sampoorna – Yoga Teacher Training School India. He has also studied under a variety of yoga teachers including Bryan Kest, Doug Swenson, Ray Long, MD, and Tiffany Cruikshank. He is a Registered Respiratory Therapist, has a Master’s degree in physiology, and a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology and educational leadership. Steve’s professional career was spent in the medical field and education. Steve served as an Advisor for Yoga Alliance on the Standards Revision Project.
Steve brings his knowledge of anatomy, yoga, and psychology together to design a yoga class that safely and effectively addresses injuries and different body types while providing a fun and challenging class that benefits body, mind, and soul. He has an eclectic style that incorporates aspects of Vinyasa flow, Ashtanga yoga, Yin yoga, Piyo® and Broga®.
KIRAN DEVI, UK
Kiran fell in love with yoga as soon as she stepped on the mat more than 10 years ago, and hasn’t looked back (unless doing a backbend!). Years of practice led Kiran to embark on the journey to become a qualified teacher. She is a 500-hour trained Vinyasa teacher. And has done several additional courses which include Yin Yoga training, among others.
She ran her own studio in Birmingham, UK sharing her passion and knowledge with her students. She emphasises correct alignments and gives top priority to intensity and safety.
Yoga, for her, is a regular discipline and not just an exercise routine. She loves the spiritual benefits of yoga. Through movement, she creates this inner space, a sense of freedom and happiness to the soul.
ATHENA CHRISTODOULOU, UK
Athena trained as a classical and contemporary dancer in 1992 continuing her professional dancing and teaching career until her forties. She ran her own ballet school and contemporary dance company in Cyprus for 10 years and a yoga studio for 5 years. She came across an Ashtanga yoga class while traveling through New Zealand in 1998 and was hooked! It was so refreshing to have the discipline that she knew her whole life from classical ballet training but at the same time without the competition and pressures of the dance world. She continued developing her self practice until she decided to take a yoga teacher training with David Swenson in 2004. She has practiced and taught since then, always continuing to learn and to explore the different qualities that Ashtanga brought out in herself and in her students.
In the last 10 years she has taken many workshops in Vinyasa and Ashtanga Yoga which has helped her develop her own style of teaching. She has a great interest in the anatomical side of yoga and has a great eye for alignment. She took a 200hrs Yin Yoga Teacher Training in 2018 and completed her 300hrs Teacher Training in Vinyasa with Sampoorna – Yoga Teacher Training School in Goa in February 2019. Her classes are challenging but always with a fun element as she believes that even though she takes her work seriously a sense of humour is always necessary! She never stops learning and feels that the more you know, the more you realize the less you know!
She has also just completed a two year course in Clinical Canine Massage Therapy. This way she can fulfill her other passion which is helping dogs lead happier lives. At the moment she lives in Edinburgh with her partner and their 2 dogs and 2 cats.