About YogaLondon

YogaLondon is a dedicated yoga teacher training school offering a diverse range of Yoga Alliance accredited programmes. We teach in a non-dogmatic way, encouraging trainees to find their own authentic style whilst still respecting the yoga tradition. Our teaching faculty includes specialist trainers for each field: an advanced Sivanada teacher for pranayama and chanting, a buddhist Vipassana teacher for meditation, an outstanding yoga and dance practitioner for asana technique, and a physiotherapist for anatomy. Guiding each group through their learning is our director of teacher training, Rebecca Ffrench (advanced 1,100-hour certified), who is actively involved in teaching and supporting students along the way.

You'll find us in London's hidden gem - Bermondsey - snuggled in next to London Bridge. We're honoured to be housed in a beautiful Tibbetan Buddhist centre called Kagyu Samya Dzong London. You're welcome to visit us at the centre to see the magnificent shrine room, cafe, and yoga studios.

The Team

Edward Serrano, co-founder

It is very likely that you are reading this bio due to Edward's marketing efforts. His past career paths have included heading consumer marketing for large hotels; consulting for numerous Fortune 500 companies; and launching a few successful Internet startups. These days you'll find Edward promoting health, happiness, balance and openness. He has proudly served on the board for Big Brothers Big Sisters and Ronald McDonald House and is equally proud of his volunteer service out of the board room. Edward holds a BSBA in Accountancy from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, is an ultra distance athlete, and a frequent practitioner of yoga. Connect with me on Linkedin.

 


 

Rebecca Ffrench, co-founder

Rebecca grew up in London, and began dancing at the age of three, studying everything from ballet to contemporary dance. When she was in her late teens, she was introduced to Ashtanga and took to it like a duck to water. Rebecca had an extensive dance career, traveling throughout the world, and at the end of her dance career, yoga was her next adventure. Her first teacher training was 'It's Yoga' by Larry Schultz in San Francisco. Thereafter, she trained with Uma Dinsmore-Tuli, Paul Dallaghan, David Keil and has also done vedic mantra chanting in India. Rebecca has recently completed a Masters Degree at the School of Oriental and African Studies in 'Traditions of Yoga & Meditation'. When she's not teaching, she's most likely traveling in some obscure country, discussing philosophy and eating her body weight in cheese. More on Rebecca

 


 

Holly Warren, 200-Hour & 500-Hour Course Leader

In its purest form, yoga is an all-encompassing approach to life, not just a physical practice. For Holly, one of our Course Leaders, her parents were those amazing switched-on people and she was raised with this philosophy. So for her, there was never a starting point for "yoga", it's all been yoga. She became interested in dance when she was young, which led her to an international career as contemporary dancer. She eventually found herself drawn towards leadership development and became a facilitator for a large European NGO. She led workshops to help young people harness their enthusiasm, reduce their inhibitions and develop their full potential throughout Germany, France and Ireland. Holly is one of our Course Leaders, guiding participants through 200-hour trainings as well as teaching on the outreach module for the 500-hour course. She's warmly referred to amongst the tutors as the "Bhakti Baby". More on Holly

 


 

Rahoul Masrani, 200-Hour Course Leader

Rahoul came upon yoga as a means to settle a recurring back injury. He dedicated himself to his practice, marvelling at how quickly yoga touched all areas of his life and informed his own spiritual practice. As a citizen of the world, with degrees in media and communications, European studies, Italian, and a PhD to boot, Rahoul values diversity and everyone's individual yogic path. He expertly guides trainees to use their own inner voice as they develop their skills as teachers. 'To the keen and intent practitioner, results come quickly' (Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, 1.21)'. More on Rahoul

 

 


 

Deepti Sastry, 200-Hour & 500-Hour Course Leader

Deepti was introduced to yoga as an 8-year old at a boarding school in her native India. She grew up reading, writing and chanting Sanskrit during school, which she utilizes when teaching the Yoga Sutras module on our 200 and 500-hour courses. She completed YogaLondon's first Teacher Training Course, and has completed an additional three Teacher Training courses since then, both in London and India. Deepti's grace, patience and love of yoga make her one of our most valued teachers; her love of horror movies is an added bonus. More on Deepti

 

 


 

Olena Baker, 200-Hour Course Leader

In 2011, Olena found herself in Dharamsala, India on a foundation yoga teacher training programme. A believer in life guiding you to where you need to be, she now teaches full time with a special interest in trauma, mental wellbeing and end of life care. Her aim is to enable people to discover their innate capacity to heal and to experience greater peace and resilience no matter what circumstances life presents. On beginning her yoga journey, Olena says, "I started experimenting with meditation in my late teens and went to my first yoga class at an Iyengar studio in Canada in 1993. I felt out of my comfort zone and stuck with it for only a few months. It wasn't an immediate love affair with the practice I'll admit and over the years I tried several different styles of yoga. However, yoga creates a sense of ease in my body and mind and that was the reason I kept coming back. Now it's my life."

 


 

Loretta Stowell, Anatomy Tutor

Loretta met Mother Theresa at the age of 10, trained as a physiologist as well as a speech and language therapist, volunteered in Mexico, lived in New York City and raised three children. She's a prime example of a well-rounded YogaLondon tutor. She grew up in Suffolk, one of 12 children. She studied physiology at University College London and after graduating, obtained further qualification as a Speech and Language Therapist. After her third child was born, Loretta and her family moved to America. Whilst her husband worked 12-hour days and she raised their three children, she realised she needed an outlet, and a yoga class presented itself to her. Within a few years, her yoga evolved to a consistent and regular practice. The family moved back to the UK, and she undertook her teacher-training course with the Yoga Academy, qualifying in 2007. She began teaching anatomy for YogaLondon in 2013. Loretta teaches anatomy as a means of helping trainees understand how the study of the body is absolutely relevant to yoga. Watching as her students warm up to anatomy is the most rewarding feeling for her. She teaches on our 200hr and 500hr advanced course, in addition to her private teaching in Kent. More on Loretta

 


 

Anu Marie Paavola, Ayurveda Tutor

Anu is originally from Finland, has lived in Italy and traveled to India to study Ayurveda. Back in Finland in 1998, she discovered Ashtanga yoga and immediately felt a kinship. Ashtanga Vinyasa grew into an ongoing practice for her, during which time she has completed two 200-hour training courses. She came to Ayurveda through her yoga practice, delighting in it's ability to heal and liberate the body. She has a B.Sc. Honours of Ayurvedic Medicine, and opened up her own treatment center in 2009 in Kensal Rise, Northwest London. More on Anu

 

 


 

Lisa Toth, Pre & Post-natal Tutor

Lisa has had a wealth of different careers, but throughout each of them, yoga has been her mainstay. She discovered yoga while living in Germany and has practised a range of styles, including Iyengar, Ashtanga, Sivananda, Vinyasa Flow and Yin Yoga. She's studied with Doug Keller, Sarah & Ty Powers, Julie Gudmestad and and Tias Little; for pre and postnatal yoga, her teachers and inspiration have been Uma Dinsmore-Tuli, Francoise Barbira Freedman and Janet Balaskas. Lisa incorporates mindfulness, self-discovery and a time for play and fun into her teaching approach. She and Anja Lange are the creators of the manual and course syllabus for YogaLondon's Pregnancy Teacher Training Course. More on Lisa

 

 


 

Anja Lange, Pre & Post-natal Tutor

Yoga came into Anja's life when she was 19 years old and living in Copenhagen. Within a year's time, she embarked on yoga teacher training in Kerala, India. After India, she moved to London and worked at the Hale Clinic as well as Neal's Yard Remedies. Anja continued to study yoga, doing another teacher training with Barbara Harding and Elena Voyce. She also obtained a BSc and PGDip in Ayurveda at Middlesex University. Anja was teaching yoga for years, when she started to notice more and more pregnant women attending her classes. She decided it was necessary to do a teacher training in pre and postnatal yoga. Anja has trained with Uma Dinsmore-Tuli, Francoise Freedman from Birthlight as well as Claire Missingham. She's also studied with Shiva Rea and Seane Corn. Anja and Lisa Toth are responsible for co-creating YogaLondon's Pregnancy Yoga Teacher Training Course. More on Anja

 


 

Verona Hall, Anatomy Tutor

I am a married mother of two boys (born in 2005 and 2007); for my first I had an emergency caesarean section and a wonderful home water birth for my second. I am a midwife with experience of working within the NHS and the private sector. Before becoming a midwife I worked as a registered general nurse for over 7 years. I qualified as a midwife in Coventry in 1996, where I worked for 3 years before moving to London. I was employed as a caseload midwife in Greenwich where I performed water births and home births. From January 2001 I worked at a wonderful Private Birth Unit in St Johns Wood. I set up my own private Midwifery practice in 2002 and have been working as an independent midwife ever since. Since January 2010 I have been working as a Labour ward midwife at Kings College Hospital. I am also a Reiki practitioner and use Shiatsu techniques to help mothers throughout their pregnancy, labour and delivery. I use homeopathic and herbal remedies to help the timely progression of labour. I enjoy teaching and have successfully ran Preparation for Birth Classes for over eight years for a major Investment Bank. As a Kings midwife I run regular birthing classes, these classes are very interactive during which I utilise different learning styles and approaches. My classes will cater the visual, auditory, kinesics learners.


 

Gabriella Brunel

When Gabriella's schooling began at St. James, Sanskrit was one of the languages offered and so, at the ripe old age of 5, she began studying Sanskrit. Her diversity has continued as she's gotten older: she's studied Sanskrit at Oxford University, received her Masters in Drama at Goldsmiths University and participated in workshops at the Jacques Lecoq School in Paris. Most importantly though, she's spent time in India studying Sanskrit with Swamis. Since her first trip to India, Gabriella has returned to study at a Gurukulam, where students speak entirely in Sanskrit and chant it morning, noon and night, an unparalleled paradise for her! YogaLondon found Gabriella a year ago, and she's been teaching on our Advanced course ever since. She resides near Hampton Court, with her long suffering Ma and Pa and one sweet little dog named Merry. More on Gabriella


 

Ellesse Serrano, Outreach Team Leader

Ellesse discovered yoga as a teen visiting Koh Samui, Thailand. Her island holiday came and went, but a newfound enthusiasm for asana practice was only just beginning to bud. Five years and a zillion 'vinyasas' later, Ellesse joined YogaLondon for a one-month intensive programme where she gained a 200-hour Yoga Alliance teaching qualification. She now helps the YogaLondon team by sharing her experiences as a trainee to prospective students and spreading the good word what yoga means to her; that is, 'attaining what was previously unattainable' (T.K.V. Desikachar, 1995). Ellesse has just completed MSc in Mental Health from King's College, London and hopes to incorporate yoga and mindfulness in near-future professional pursuits.

 


 

Asha Katz, Outreach Team Leader

Asha's background and education in yoga starts as far back as she can remember. She was fortunate enough to be born into a yogi's household. When Asha was 3, her mother discovered practices like meditation and chanting, and a little later started practicing and teaching asana (the more commonly known, physical practice of yoga). It wasn't until 2010 though that Asha took responsibility for her own practice in the pursuit of wellness. Moving to New York for a brief stint, she was looking for some peace of mind and found herself rolling out her mat every morning. Once she returned to London in 2011, she sought out YogaLondon and completed her 1-Month Intensive Teacher Training. She then moved to Canada's glorious East Coast for 4 years where, while studying at university, she taught 3-5 yoga classes a week. Her education continued to grow as she added to her qualifications with100hrs in Ayurveda & Yoga Wellness Counselling, a barre certification (a mix of ballet, pilates, yoga, and aerobics), and a Permaculture Design Certification, which specifically explored Permaculture as 'yoga for the planet'. Finally back in the UK in 2015, Asha began working with YogaLondon helping incoming students find the right course for them. She also began her 500hr Advanced Yoga Teacher Training. You can find her now, bouncing back and forth across the Atlantic, and always delighted to chat about people's yoga dreams and desires!

 


 

Rachel Wood, Creative Director

Rachel has been practicing Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga since 2009, when she moved to Cape Town, South Africa. Though she's studied with several teachers, she considers Paul Dallaghan at Centered Yoga in Thailand her true teacher. She completed her 200hr RYT certification in 2012 at his center. Since then, she's continued her asana and pranayama studies under his tutelage and that of his teacher, Sri O.P. Tiwari, and has accumulated over 400hrs of training. Rachel infuses her yoga classes with focus, positive energy and even the occasional joke. More on Rachel