Michelle lives a life devoted to Yoga and spiritual evolution, she is dedicated to raising her own consciousness and hence that of those around her, understanding the inter-connectedness of all things.
From an early age Michelle was dancing, she trained at the London Contemporary Dance School to work professionally as a dancer and in her 20’s she found herself working in the UK and abroad. Her first serious introduction to yoga began during this time when she was living in New York City. She was studying Traditional Thai Massage and Reiki and the calling to lead a more spiritual life was becoming stronger. She attended yoga classes at Jivamukti which was then a small over-crowded studio in downtown Manhattan. In that sweaty studio practising an inch away from her neighbour’s mats Michelle experienced ‘Yoga’ – the dissolution of boundaries and resistance within her mind and complete ease and acceptance of what is.
She continued her yoga studies with Danny Paradise, a senior Astanga teacher. Then in 1999 was told of a very special teacher named Clive Sheridan and immediately took the opportunity to join him on retreat for one month at the foothills of the Himalayas. Clive, as his spiritual name, Ananda, suggests is a true yogi living in bliss most of the time. His own guru was an Aghori (from the most extreme left-hand path of Tantra), yet Clive shares the ancient teachings of Tantra, Advaita Vedanta and Hatha Yoga in a very accessible way. For the next 5 years Michelle regularly attended retreats with Clive, often as his assistant. Practising with Clive gave Michelle a deep understanding of the importance of a daily spiritual practice of asana, pranayama and meditation. This self-practice is the foundation from which her teaching evolved and it is the dream that Michelle holds for her students – that they may enjoy the ever-enriching benefits of a daily self-practice – to feel a sense of peace and connection from within is a priceless gift.
Very soon after meeting Clive, he encouraged Michelle to begin teaching. And so with his blessing, yet no formal yoga qualification, she began teaching; firstly covering classes in health centres around London and then soon taking on classes of her own.
Her love of children and her belief in the benefits of yoga led her to train in Yogabugs to bring yoga to children also and so she began classes in schools.
After some time of leading a successful career as a yoga teacher in London, Michelle was drawn to an in-depth Yoga Teacher Training Course that would provide 9 months of full-time dedicated study and a formal qualification. The training allowed Michelle to delve deeper into the study of yogic philosophies, various styles of asana such as Ashtanga, Iyengar and Vinyasa and other related subjects. The TTC was with YogaArts, Byron Bay, Australia and Michelle is so grateful for the opportunity to immerse herself so fully in the world of yoga for 9 months solid whilst being supported by the intense vibrancy of Mother Nature in Australia.
Upon returning to London Michelle continued teaching yoga working for the Yoga agency, Breathe, teaching private clients as well as groups. Since 2006 the need to live in the countryside has been of high priority and Michelle has been living near Totnes, Devon.
Michelle’s own practice and teaching style is continually evolving; in recent years she has been influenced by the teachings of Vanda Scaravelli through working with Diane Long and Paddy McGrath.
In recent years Michelle has undertaken personal silent retreats, 3-month and 1-month in length which have been key in her spiritual development. These retreats have been at Gaia House sitting primarily with Rob Burbea and studying the Buddha’s teachings on Emptiness, Michelle offers immense gratitude to Rob: his generous heart and brilliant mind have inspired her in a way words cannot describe.
Another teacher Michelle wishes to thank is Sahajananda and his teachings of the Hridaya, the Spiritual Heart drawing from the paths of Advaita Vedanta and Tantra. Always central to Michelle’s practice and teaching is the connection to the Spiritual Heart and the importance of kindness.
Music, singing, dance, and devotion are passions key in Michelle’s life and she has been involved in sacred rituals of both India and the Amazon for many years playing piano accordion and harmonium.
Michelle first met Radasi in a ritual ceremony in 2009 and immediately recognised her as a kindred spirit – a fellow yogini immersed in the world of bhakti. She is so happy to be collaborating now on this TTC and sharing their gifts together and helping to spread he wondrous medicine of Yoga.