We feel honoured to have the support of so many highly qualified professionals from the NHS, medical research, charity, marketing, fund raising & yoga therapy sectors both here and overseas. It is important for The Yoga For Life Project that as we are working to bring the physical and mental health benefits of yoga to a wider and more diverse community and into the NHS that we have the back-up, research and advice of highly qualified and respected individuals from the medical and yoga therapy professions. Working with highly experienced yoga therapists who work one to one and with groups is an important aspect of the work of The Yoga For Life Project and is there to complement and support the work of our specialist therapeutic yoga teachers.
MBBS, Ph.D. Director, Patanjali Research Foundation, India
Shirley Telles has a degree in conventional medicine (MBBS) and a MPhil and PhD in Neurophysiology. Both MPhil and PhD theses were on the effects of yoga practice. Dr. Telles received a Fulbright fellowship in 1998 and in 2001 an award from the Templeton Foundation for creative ideas in meditation and neurobiology. In 2007 she received an Indian Council of Medical Research Centre for Advanced Research to study meditation’s effects through autonomic variables, evoked and event related potentials, polysomnography and fMRI. Dr Telles has been the director of Patanjali Research Foundation, Haridwar, India; www.patanjaliresearchfoundation.com since 2007. Dr. Telles has over 179 research papers listed in bibliographic databases and authored 6 books. Most important, she is an enthusiastic practitioner of yoga.
CEO, Kaivalyadhama, India
Subodh was born in the yogic atmosphere at Kaivalyadhama Lonavla and did his schooling in this hill station. Since a young age he was initiated into the spiritual practices by Swami Digambarji, who at that time was the Director and Spiritual head of Kaivalyadhama. Subodh was initiated into yogic practices at the age of 6 under the guidance of his father Shri.O.P.Tiwari, the disciple of the founder Swami Kuvalyananda.
In 1997 he decided to devote his life at the institute and to serve it.
He has travelled to various countries to conducted workshops on Yoga. He has been invited as a guest speaker in numerous conferences across the world. He is a member of committees of the various Universities and the Government of India with the aim to promote yoga in various spheres such as schools, wellness centres and hospitals.
At present, he is the CEO at the Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute. He is the Vice President of the Indian Yoga Association, Hon Secretary of Red Cross Society, Lonavla branch. His primary role involves teaching, administration and representing Kaivalyadhama at various forums apart from his involvement in social spheres.
Zoe Cricks is a yoga teacher and a clinical nurse specialist splitting her time between working in the NHS and in a charity helping survivors of torture living with persistent pain.
Zoe’s own experiences of illness and having a chronic health condition has contributed to her belief that we need to consider our mind, body and so many external factors which can all have an impact on our health. Zoe is interested in the science and physiology of yoga and how this contributes to its therapeutic benefits.
She believes many of the elements of yoga practice are useful tools in supporting the prevention of some health conditions; it can also complement medical management by offering a more holistic person-centred approach to health.
Zoe teaches various styles of yoga including therapeutic yoga for pain management and believes yoga should be accessible, with safe and therapeutic approaches to yoga being made available to more people in more diverse settings. Zoe is really keen to support the work of the Yoga for Life Project in its drive to get yoga into more local communities and the NHS.
Philippa Kaina is a doctor in East London working in acute hospital medicine, with an interest in holistic care. She has practised yoga for many years and firmly believes in its potential to improve the mental and physical wellbeing of patients (and their carers), particularly those with chronic pain and life limiting diseases such as cancer, therefore contributing to better health outcomes. In her capacity as a doctor she is committed to promoting the wider integration of yoga into NHS healthcare
and is proud to be associated with the work of the Yoga for Life Project.
Anna is a senior yoga teacher, yoga therapist and mindfulness instructor based in London. Through a previous career in events management she understands the pressures and demands of juggling work and life that her clients experience. Combining movement, breath work, mindful-awareness and self-compassion she helps clients in class and one to one understand the interplay between their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and offers practices to find balance amidst the busyness of life. She is passionate about bringing the health-giving benefits of yoga and mindfulness to a wider population.
Natasha has been working in the NHS for 10 years and for the last 6, has worked as a midwife. She has specialist experience working with women who have adverse childhood experiences and women who have been victims of sexual abuse and birth trauma. Her practice as a midwife is aimed at ensuring women have the right support at the right time to enable them to have a positive and empowering pregnancy and birth.
Natasha has practised yoga for 5 years. Initially she was interested in yoga for its physical benefits to overcome some of the stresses and strains on the body that come from having a very physically tiring job. But it wasn’t long before she started to notice the positive impact it was having on her mental health. Yoga brings body and mind together in harmony and as a result she has been able to take these benefits with her, off the mat, into her daily life including her job as a midwife.
Her yoga practice has been influential in her ability to manage the pressures of her job as yoga teaches kindness and compassion for yourself and for others. This is so important when working in healthcare and caring for others and really demonstrates the positivity that yoga can bring into the NHS for staff and patients alike. Natasha would like to see improved access to yoga for the local community so that the benefits can be shared by all.
Compassionate Neighbours Project Manager
Patrick Dollard has been a proud public sector worker since 1994 with a strong interest in community development. Equality and inclusion has underpinned his approach to both his working and personal relationships. His career began in further education with people with learning and physical disabilities. This gave Patrick a strong grounding in communication skills and a valuable insight into what inclusion is and why it is so important. Patrick has worked with young people in schools to improve their knowledge and ability to access information and services. He has trained teachers and educators to support young LGBT people and developed policy for local authorities to support young people in care around sex and relationship education. Currently, Patrick is managing the Compassionate Neighbours Project East London. This is a public health based social movement to reduce isolation and loneliness for people at the end of their life that works with people and communities that do not generally access hospice based services. This new role is giving Patrick an opportunity to lead this project based on his values and beliefs with his local communities in east London.
Head of Fundraising at Future Youth Zone
James is currently a passionate fundraiser for mental health, having previously worked for both humanities and environmental charities including Greenpeace & Mind. He truly believes in the importance of yoga and exercise for better physical and mental health.
With a Bsc (hons) in Economics, Finance and Management, a Postgraduate in International Business, 7 years finance experience was working for companies including UBS and a joyful passion for yoga and it’s associated benefits. James hopes to lend both his fundraising and business skills to the yoga for life project.
Oncology Nurse, RGN BSc (Hons)
Sue qualified as a nurse in 1983 and after a career break to bring up her family, returned to nursing over 17 years ago. She has worked in the NHS in various Oncology and Palliative Care roles, working through the ranks from Staff Nurse in busy Oncology Centres, managing chemotherapy administration for both inpatients and outpatients, to working for over 9 years as a Macmillan Nurse and more recently heading up the Community Palliative Care Services for East Berkshire. She has worked in all settings from Acute hospitals, Community and latterly Hospice. During this time Sue continued her professional development gaining a BSc (Hons) in End of Life from the University of West London.
Sue discovered yoga 20 years ago, and has been practicing ever since attending retreats in Egypt and India. She practices various styles and enjoys the strength that Vinyasa gives her along with the flexibility Yin gives and the therapeutic properties of Restorative Yoga.
Sue completed her 200hr Hatha Yoga Teacher Training Course with Jilandra School of Yoga in 2018. Since then, she has attended various post graduate training courses including Yin Yoga, Pre/Post natal and mother and baby yoga with Sally Parkes and more recently Yoga for people living with and beyond Cancer with Jude Murray. She is currently studying to be a Yoga Therapist with Patricia Cronin at The Yogaroot in Egham.
In 2017 Sue travelled to Uganda and worked as a volunteer at a community hospice, working in clinics in remote villages where AIDS and Sickle Cell Disease were widespread. She was humbled by the gratitude and the generosity of the Ugandans, who were willing to share what little they had despite living in desperate poverty.
Sue has a passion for working with people who are living with long term and life limiting conditions, and their families. She is dedicated to ensuring everyone has the opportunity to live as well as they can for as long as they are able. As a qualified nurse, she is passionate about sharing the therapeutic properties that yoga can bring to every area of society.
Social Media Adviser
I started practicing yoga by accident. I went to the gym, but the class I aimed to attend was fully booked. It was snowing and as I’m not particularly keen to go to the gym, I thought of going back to bed. Then I saw a yoga centre and stepped in. It was there where I met Claire and learnt from her that yoga is a way of healing. A tool to keep our minds and bodies healthy and balanced. It helped me to go through very hard times, that’s why I truly believe The Yoga For Life Project is an amazing opportunity to use yoga as a healer. Not from a holistic conception, but from a practical medical point of view, discovering its therapeutic benefits. I joined TYFLP team as Social Media Adviser to help spread the word about its work as far and loud as possible.
With a solid yoga practice since 2011 and desire to work in education, Natalie trained and set up Natty Little Yogis – a yoga practice specialising in yoga for children and teens to address the pressures faced by our young people.
As a 200hr qualified yoga teacher and specialist Children’s and Teen Yoga teacher, fully qualified with the Special Yoga Foundation and the Teen Yoga Foundation, she has been fortunate enough to share Yoga and Mindfulness with children and young people at nurseries, schools and sixth form colleges, as well as local youth and adult community groups.
A parent of two children, Natalie understands the benefits of a yoga and mindfulness practice from an early age; improved concentration and communication, confident self expression and increased physical and mental wellbeing.
With the current academic and social pressures on our young, it is important to support their mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. By promoting inclusion through Yoga, in sport and pastoral care, we can arm them with the tools to become the best they can be.
Natalie is passionate about sharing yoga in order to reach those pockets of communities who cannot readily access it.