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Eleanor Chitham

0.4Hello, I’m Eleanor Chitham. I first experienced yoga in 1986. It was very different and it immediately resonated with me. I travelled to Barcelona to teach English but I rediscovered it in the late 1990s when I returned to the UK.

My early yoga practice was Dru yoga and then I studied Iyengar yoga for many years with Claire Wilkinson, who has direct lineage to BKS Iyengar. Around this time, I also started a meditation practice.

After half a lifetime in mainstream education and gaining an understanding of neurodiversity and mental health, I made a life-changing decision in 2017 to train to be a yoga teacher, realising that the greatest gift we have is our health- physical, mental and spiritual. This was one of the best decisions I have ever made. In fact, it has felt to me as if I am coming home to my true self! I love teaching yoga and connecting with students from all walks of life. I believe yoga should be accessible to everybody and is not about making shapes on a mat, but about the way you feel.

My type of yoga is mindful, breath-led and kind. I weave gentle Hatha flowing sequences into my classes and value function over form.

I studied mindfulness with Michael Stone even before I taught yoga and love the way it helps us slow down and notice. I have always been excited by ideas, language, literature, travel and writing so it naturally follows that I also love myths, stories and archetypes. I’ve explored some of the Ramayana and Mahabharata, which I also often bring into my teaching.

My initial 200hr training was with Yogacampus. As part of my course, I specialised in restorative yoga and studied with Judith Hanson Lasater on her Relax and Renew programme. After qualifying, I trained in Qi Gong for yoga teachers with Mimi Kuo- Deemer at triyoga, and I now integrate Qi Gong movement and teachings into my classes too. Qi Gong teaches us to live with the seasons and this is also part of my philosophy. My classes are often themed around natural elements as I love to be outdoors, especially in woodland. I have an allotment with my partner, Chris, and growing our own food helps us be more connected to the Earth.

Going deeper into yoga has led to a fascination with how the human body and mind work. I’ve furthered my knowledge of how to respect the integrity of the body with yoga teacher and physiotherapist, Lesley Dike, and I’ve learnt more about the neuroscientific benefits of slow mindful movement with Kristine Kaoverii Weber at Subtle Yoga.

I look forward to meeting you on the mat and hope that practising yoga with me will bring a sense of joy; that it will be both energising and relaxing.