Gemma is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher with the Yoga Alliance and Yoga and Mindfulness Teacher Trainer since 2008.
I first came across Sivananda Yoga in 1998 in Kerala, South India whilst studying Ayurveda. It felt like coming home, the calling was profound.
Around the same time a close friend, and my now partner Sid Peckman, undertaking a silent 7 year retreat introduced me to the Buddhist Mindfulness Teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese Zen Master; his teacher.
In 1999 I met Danny Paradise who I studied with until 2007 (Ashtanga Vinyasa). His emphasis on non- dogmatic practice, Shamanism, evolution and community still inspire me.
During this period and under Danny’s influence I co-founded and directed AshtangaOm Yoga Retreats and El Convento Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and Mindfulness Eco Centre (Andalucia, Spain) with my ex-partner Nic Freeman.
In 2004 my family and I were hit by the tsunami in Sri Lanka. We all survived, however every aspect of life, and everything that we had built to date, was blown apart as a result of the massive wave.
Inn 2005 quite soon after the tsunami I met and practiced with Steven Smith who had met Danny in Thailand. This meeting transformed my meditation practice and re-affirmed an unwavering commitment to the Teachings of the Buddha.
Emerging from a very dark period, in 2008 I founded Still Flowing Yoga Teacher Training, integrating the practices of Yoga and Buddhist Insight Meditation.
In 2011 still suffering from undiagnosed complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and searching for ways to cope with my unresolved tsunami trauma, I was introduced to Dr. Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing; (body orientated trauma healing) by my yoga colleague, friend and mentor Aki Omori.
I have been training for 5 years to become a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. I now work in the field of healing trauma particularly with yogis and meditators.
During this same period I have been practicing Insight Meditation under Martin Aylward.
Since 2011 I am inspired by the work of Italian Yogini Vanda Scaravelli, and I continue training with Yoga teachers from her lineage. Her intuitive, revolutionary, stress free approach to working with the body from the inside out, blends seamlessly with the Buddha’s teachings on Mindfulness, and is highly compatible with the principles of Somatic Experiencing.
The Yoga that I share integrates principles and practices from these people and these systems in an emerging field I call Yoga Somatics.