Is Chair Yoga just a Gimmick?

Yoga has an undeniable transformative effect on physical, mental, and emotional well-being. However, the image often associated with yoga – flexible, toned individuals bending and stretching on a mat – can be a deterrent for many who could benefit from its practice. Enter Chair Yoga, a practice that challenges preconceived notions and makes yoga accessible […]

5 Benefits of expanding your Level 1 Teacher Training

Benefits of 300 hrs Level 2 training

5 Benefits of expanding your Level 1 Teacher Training The yoga world has changed in many ways in the last five years.  As a studio and training centre we see these differences evolve over time. Students have been introduced to a wider variety of styles of yoga and utilise classes for more than the physical […]

Yoga Philosophy – Know Your Own What, How and Why

Yoga Philosophy Benefits

Yoga Philosophy – Know Your Own What, How and Why The practical benefits of yoga philosophy training by Daniel Simpson What exactly is yoga and what is it for? There are many different answers in ancient texts, and few of them apply to modern life without being reframed. Teachers often do that without even realising, then […]

Pregnancy yoga – Benefits for prenatal wellness and birth

benefits of pregnancy yoga

Pregnancy Yoga – Benefits for Pre-Natal Wellness & Birth “Whenever and however you give birth, your experience will impact your emotions, your mind, your body and spirit for the rest of your life” Ina May Gaskin Designer Pregnancy and birth is a multi-faceted time in a woman’s life. Whatever the journey, there are for sure […]

What is Yoga?

what is yoga

What is Yoga? Yoga is many things to many people. When we ask this question on our teacher training programmes we usually end up with many words scrawled all over a huge whiteboard. Yoga is hard to define as it is so expansive and all-encompassing. Here we have chosen 8 words we associate with yoga. […]

What is nidra and how can it help me?

What is Yoga Nidra

What is Yoga Nidra and how can it help me? By Rina Modi teacher training Manager at the Shala Over the last few years I have heard more and more yogi’s talk about Yoga Nidra, with an increasing number of teachers offering this practice as well as the demand for teacher trainings in this area. […]

Mental Health Empowerment

Mental Health Empowerment

Mental Health Empowerment Befriending Your Mind – The Wise Mind Our minds can be our harshest judge. To overcome this tendency towards self-criticism and self-doubt we learn to live through the wise mind. This is the intersection between our emotional and reasoning minds. Our wise mind allows us to  balance our rational and emotional responses […]

Five Unexpected Reasons to do a Yoga Teacher Training

yoga teacher training benefits

Five Reasons to do a Yoga Teacher Training transformation Over and over, graduates from our teacher training course describe their experience as transformational. If you are looking for transformation and personal growth, a yoga teacher training is an opportunity to find just that and so much more. “I have learnt so much, felt so much […]

Sleep | Wellness Series

yoga for sleep

Yoga for Sleep More than 71 % of people across the country do not get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night, which can have a severe impact on physical and mental wellbeing. As a wellness coach, I see many clients who report not being able to get to sleep or get […]

Stress | Wellness Series

yoga for stress

Yoga for Stress The word stress often has negative connotations to it. However, in truth, stress is a double-edged sword. Too much stress can be unhealthy, but we need some stress to create a healthy level of motivation and a push to resolve inevitable challenges and issues that are essential to our growth. Stress can […]

Burnout | Wellness Series

yoga for burnout

Yoga for Burnout What is burnout? It is a term we often refer to, particularly interchangeably with stress, but what does it actually mean?  As a wellbeing coach working with adults and young people, burnout often presents in a plethora of ways with one common factor – exhaustion. Recently the World Health Organisation classified burnout […]

Anxiety | Wellness Series

yoga for anxiety

Yoga for Anxiety As a wellness coach, one of the most common features I see in people with anxiety is an overwhelming incapacity to cope with day-to-day life. Daily tasks that were once manageable become insurmountable, decision-making becomes almost impossible, and overthinking takes over. Worries about the future increase in frequency and intensity, alongside physical […]

Low Mood | Wellness Series

yoga for low mood

Yoga for Low Mood Low mood is a common human experience that affects all of us at some points in our lives. The range of low mood can vary from having a low day to a crippling and consistent sense of hopelessness and futility. Unlike Anxiety, where our mind is mainly in the future worrying […]

Low Cost Yoga

Blog Pic - Accessible Yoga

SUBSIDISED DROP-IN ClASSES at The Shala  Subsidised | Low-Cost Drop-In Rates As an independent yoga studio, the Shala focuses on creating positive change and providing a sanctuary for our community; a place of healing and nurturing for all who come through our door. In keeping with this, we are committed to fostering inclusivity, diversity and […]

The Shala Teacher Training Review

By Kate Towers From the first module in my Level 2 teacher training @theshalalondon – Yoga Nidra with Melanie Cooper and Jennie Wadsten in 2019 – to the final one – Asana in Depth in 2023 with Gingi Lee & Melanie Cooper, it has been such a momentous journey and I have relished every second. […]

Top 10 Benefits of Chair Yoga

benefits chair yoga

🪑💫 Top 10 Benefits of Chair Yoga 💫🪑🧘‍♀️ Increased Accessibility: Chair yoga makes yoga accessible to every body regardless of  mobility or physical challenges. Improved Flexibility: Regular chair yoga practice helps improve flexibility and range of motion. Enhanced Strength: You can work on muscle strengthening and core whilst sitting in chair Better Balance: Using the […]

Yoga adjusts & assists

Gingi Lee & Derek Ireland

By Gingi Lee When Derek Ireland started teaching me the art of yoga adjustments in the early 90s I was overly confident. I had nearly finished the 3rd ashtanga series, had made up my mind that yoga was my whole life, had no family obligations, no job to get back to, no strings attached. I […]

What is yoga nidra?

Nidra - Melanie Cooper blog photo

This November we will be running a 3-day Yoga Nidra Teacher Training course with international teachers Melanie Cooper and Jennie Wadsten. In the article below, Melanie defines the rich and ancient practice of Yoga Nidra and how it allows us to access different states of consciousness. Like Yoga itself, Yoga Nidra is a process and a state. You […]

Yoga philosophy at the shala


Yoga philosophy teacher, Dr Matthew Clark gives truly brilliant down to earth, insightful talks on the origins of yoga. Matthew’s wealth of knowledge is remarkable but more remarkable still is how he makes his subject so accessible, interesting and relevant to modern day practitioners. In his lectures he pulls together many threads not only of this […]

10 reasons to come back to in studio classes

In Person Yoga Classes

After this period of isolation and solo yoga practices, here are 10 Reasons to come back to the studio for in person yoga classes: Dedicated yoga space – Get away from the 4 walls of our homes  Social – Tea and chats in the lounge area  Physical Contact – Hands on teacher assists and adjustments […]

Exploring the yamas & niyamas

Yamas & Niyamas

On our 200-hour yoga teacher training, our module on Yoga Ethics is without doubt the most important part of the training. These ten guidelines lay the foundations for the course and set the expectations to take yoga beyond the mat. This thought provoking essay by one of our graduates explores these simple, yet infinitely complex […]

Men do yoga

Men & Yoga

When did you start yoga? About 15 years ago I think. I really should be a lot bendier than I am! What is your profession? “Manager”. So I spend most of my time either at a desk in front of a screen or in a conference room. Age bracket?  I’m 56. Deal with it. What is your favourite […]

Yoga in 2021 and beyond…

Future of Yoga

Yoga as a practise is on the rise – there is no doubt about that. In 2016 a Yoga Journal report found that people practising yoga in the US had gone from 20.4 million in 2012 to 36.7 million in 2016. Imagine what the numbers are now! In the UK, yoga was one of the […]

How to support your home restore (yin) classes

Yin Home Practice

In these strange times of imposed isolation, an accessible yoga practice can help ground the body and calm the mind. The Restore classes at the Shala often encompass poses from several styles that range from the prop-heavy Restorative Yoga style to the traditionally prop-free Yin Yoga. Over the few weeks I have been teaching online, […]

Reflections on becoming a yoga teacher

Learning to Teach Yoga

By Lesley Collinson Reflecting on yoga and how it has become my life leads me back to when I was 10 years old; following a sequence from a series of 1960’s black and white photos from a landscaped yoga book. I would question the universe in plough, thinking about the possibilities of my future; one […]

21 years & counting…

The Shala Yoga Centre

This year we are celebrating the 21st birthday of our yoga studio. 21 years, 252 months, 13,104 weeks, 91,728 days of yoga for the yogis of South London. So many moments, so many connections, so many vinyasas, so many ujjayi breaths!!! Here is some of our story from those two decades. 21 years: Connections The […]

21 years – thank you

The Sangam Yoga Centre

By Gingi Lee, Founder of the Shala Twenty one years ago I climbed the stairs in an old Victorian brewery in Battersea, opened a small door into a light filled room. It was like no other space I had been in, a room with energy, nurturing, exciting, full of potential. I had spent most of […]

Practice while you can

Nadia Gilani

This is a mantra I’ve repeated hundreds of thousands of times over the years when I was too hungover, depressed, heartbroken, anxious, sad or just couldn’t be arsed to get to the yoga studio. It’s also what I’ve told many people I’ve taught. Not just the able-bodied ones, but especially the less able, older people, […]

Derek Ireland


Derek was larger than life. He was the sort of person who walked into a crowded room and everyone there would turn to notice and gravitate towards him. Of course he understood this. He held court like any royalty or rockstar. Unabashed and loving the attention like a child. He would have everyone joining him, […]

The virtual shala

The Virtual Shala

Welcome to our Virtual Shala here to keep you sane and grounded and connected. We closed the doors of our Shala on the 17th March and with a giant leap of faith we opened our Virtual Shala the following day. We now have a full schedule of live streamed classes from our amazing team who […]

Reasons to love live streamed classes

Live Streamed Online Yoga

THE JURY IS IN! An astonishing 81% of our students would like our Virtual Shala to continue into the future. Here are 10 Reasons why we are all loving Live Streamed Classes and why our Virtual Shala offerings are here to stay. 😴 being able to roll out of bed onto the mat – or practice […]

Yoga nidra as a journey through the brain waves

Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra as a journey through the brain waves by Melanie Cooper . Like yoga itself, Yoga Nidra is both a process and state. It is a set of techniques to help people get into the state of consciousness between waking and sleeping. Yoga Nidra literally means “Yogic Sleep”, but it’s not really about sleeping, it’s […]

Styles of yoga

Styles of Yoga

We frequently get asked why we don’t name the styles of yoga we offer on our schedule. While we do understand the frustration that this might bring, our reasoning is this…. most of our teachers have been teaching for many years and draw on a number of influences. It is not easy to try and […]

Yoga in early pregnancy

Yoga in Pregnancy

Should We Stop Doing Yoga in the First Trimester? As a long-time ashtangi, a yoga studio owner and a mother twice over, this is a question I have agonised over during both my pregnancies and in subsequent years when advising students. It is a complex issue. During the first trimester of my first pregnancy, I […]

The beginners journey

Beginners Yoga

Yoga is such a rich tradition that in many ways we all remain beginners. Those with the most advanced yoga practice may well not be the ones who can even touch their toes. Yoga is about how we live our lives and not just the shapes that we make on our mat. It is much […]

Wavemaker ~ trailblazer

Derek Ireland Crete

Commemorating Derek Ireland Tribute Weekend | 17 & 18 Nov | with Gingi Lee and Kristina Ireland | Donations to Children with Cancer UK Have you ever flowed from upward to downward dog? Then your yoga practice has been touched by Derek Ireland’s legacy. Derek was a charismatic yogi pioneer, central in bringing Ashtanga Vinyasa […]

“A beautiful beginning”

Yoga Teacher Trainees

This weekend we heard the group’s reflections on the start of their teacher training journey and how they had tried to take the teachings from the course and assimilate them in day to day life – and the challenges that that inevitably brought up for each of them. There was much talk of leaving the […]

Luxurious easter eco retreat

GIngi Lee Tai Chi

Our Easter retreat (17 – 22 April) with Gingi Lee takes us back to EcoYoga on the gorgeous west coast of Scotland. Here we will enjoy invigorating ashtanga yoga practices in the morning with blissfully relaxing afternoons of Yamuna bodyrolling – an incredible combination for body and soul. Throw Japanese-style outdoor bathing, exquisite vegetarian food, […]

Through the lens of a teacher trainee

Teacher Training Courses

Here we share the objectives, expectations and personal challenges of Ana Miranda who has just begun her teacher training at the Shala School of Yoga. “After my very first yoga class more than thirteen years ago, I have now make a conscious decision to not be guided by fear, not to regret life, to take on […]

Yamuna yoga training


We are excited to announce that Yamuna Zake will be teaching a Foundational Standing Asanas teacher training at the Shala from September 13-16. This is the first time ever Yamuna Zake will be teaching her Yamuna Yoga training in Europe. The course will cover: Basic warm-up breath work using the balls and how to combine […]

Teaching apprenticeship scheme


Shala School of Yoga Apprenticeship Scheme with Gingi Lee After Easter we will be introducing our Mysore apprenticeship scheme for those wishing to develop their teaching skills working within an ashtanga self practice setting. The scheme is designed to follow on from our 200-hour foundation programme (or similar training programme) and the hours can be […]

My body rolling journey

Bodyrolling Gingi Lee

In 1998 I was completely immersed in Ashtanga Vinyasa third series. Life was pretty much eating, sleeping and lots and lots of intense Yoga. The postures didn’t come easy for me and at times it was pure willpower to get on the mat. I was pushing the limits with my body. My body ached right […]

The gift of mindfulness


‘The precious gift of Mindfulness; like putting on a shade of brightness and clarity, mindfulness works in its simplicity. Years ago, I remember being in Moscow on a prestigious acting course and the teacher asking us pupils: “When are we truly happy?”. There was a lot of silence and thinking, followed by talking about what […]

Yoga for the family

Yoga for the family

We are excited to be offering new monthly family yoga workshops. Each month we will have a weekend workshop for parents and children aged 4 and up and another one for families with children aged 8 and over. Everyone is welcome to join, including extra siblings, grandparents and carers. Family yoga is a fun, flowing […]

Exploring mysore classes

Mysore Yoga class

A common misconception about Mysore “self-practice” classes is that they are for advanced practitioners only, but this is not the case. In fact we regularly encourage students who are newer to the practice to join our Mysore classes, especially if they have specific needs due to injury, health conditions etc. The only real prerequisite to […]

yoga for london refugees


It has always been our intention with the new (or not so new now!) Shala to set up a scheme where The Shala can give something back to the wider community. Finally we have found a charity that resonates with us and we are delighted to announce our collaboration with Ourmala. Ourmala is a charity […]

Harness the energy of the full moon

Gong Meditation

By Amy Bisazza  The first full moon of the year in Cancer offers us an opportunity to create a strong foundation for the direction we wish to move in during 2017. The new and full moon have long been recognised and celebrated as auspicious times of the month in Yogic, Buddhist, farming and gardening traditions. Every […]

Brightening our inner skies

Norman Blair Yin & Yoga

By Norman Blair  I have been planning to write Brightening Our Inner Skies for more than ten years. There are notes that I made in April 2005. In 2008, I was writing down possible titles such as Opening Doors. Brightening Our Inner Skies seeks to help the reader to have a better understanding of Yin yoga. And […]

New on the yin yoga team

Emma Peel | Yoska

We welcome Emma Peel and Yoska Bosch to our yin yoga team to take over Raluca’s classes while she is away on maternity leave from early September (and also covering once or twice in the interim). Emma will be teaching the Friday night wind down Deep Release class and will focus on moving with consciousness, body awareness, understanding individual anatomy and […]

Integrating yoga into the nhs

Yoga & the NHS

Yoga4nhs were at the House of Commons on UN International Yoga Day, pushing for local government to fully integrate yoga with the NHS. The Early Day Motion recognises that yoga is a “multi-dimensional approach to encouraging well-being” which appreciates the link between physical and psychological health and lifestyle that yoga is a reflective and non-invasive practice, which is […]

Yoga teacher training


We are delighted to officially announce the launch of The Shala School of Yoga, which will offer RYS 200-hour teacher training programmes to a select few students. This year’s multi-disciplinary programme will be taught by Gingi Lee, Mark Kan and Norman Blair with guest teachers including Hamish Hendry and Liz Lark. The course is suitable for those who have an established practice and would like to teach yoga, […]

magic moments

Family Yoga Class

Our first family yoga class for the 4+ took us on an adventure through the jungle where we met with snakes and tigers and birdlife. It was lovely to share the yoga practice with our little ones in such a joyful and bonding way. Favourite moments included upside down partner monkey pose and when we […]

Welcome rebecca wilson

Rebecca Wilson

We are delighted to welcome Rebecca Wilson to our team to teach a playful Sunday afternoon Vinyasa Flow class. We first met Rebecca in 2005 when she became a regular practitioner at our old Shala, the Sangam in Battersea. She has been a dedicated yogi since 1999 and has been teaching yoga for over 12 years. She […]

Top 5 reasons to do yoga in pregnancy

Pregnancy Yoga

Pregnancy yoga classes not only provide a nurturing and supportive environment to guide you safely through pregnancy and birth, they also connect you with a community of pregnant women who you can share that journey with. The benefits expectant mothers and their babies receive from yoga are well documented. Here are just five reasons why […]

Introducing moon gong meditations

Gong Sound Bath

To launch our monthly Moon Gong Meditations at the Shala we will be offering a free introductory session to our students on the evening of Sunday 5th June (6.30-8pm). These monthly workshops, led by Amy Bisazza, will include a seated meditation, mantra, pranayama and yoga nidra preparing mind and body for the healing vibrations of […]

Family yoga

Family Yoga

We are delighted to announce that we are adding family yoga classes to our schedule at the Shala to support our offerings for the younger generation and for local families. These classes are a unique opportunity for parents to share yoga with their children and build strong family connections. Family Yoga – Parent & Toddler […]

Rolling your way to a happier body

Yamuna Bodyrolling

By Nichi Green The instant I started body rolling, my body felt more relaxed, more balanced, I felt better alignment in my joints, I felt my weight differently in my feet. My legs felt more alive and more toned. It was like the best massage I’d ever had but I was able to give this to […]

Free classes on may bank holiday

Dharma Yoga Masterclass

Over the bank holiday weekend we invite you to join us for a number of free classes at the Shala, which will be filmed for a series of short films to be used on our website. Over the weekend, there will be a reduced schedule of our regular classes and we have introduced the following […]

Welcome alexa dean

Alexa Dean teacher

We would like to welcome Alexa Dean who has joined our team to teach the Shala pregnancy yoga classes on Thursday evenings. Alexa is a Doula, Hypnobirthing Childbirth Educator, Massage Therapist and Yoga Teacher who specialises in pregnancy and childbirth education. She has a warm, open and grounded spirit and she exudes passion about active, […]

Breath for life series

Breathwork for Sleep

We are introducing a new series of fascinating Breath for Life Workshops at the Shala which will explore the most important discoveries in breath research from both ancient wisdom traditions and modern science. These workshops will share the healing power of the breath and how breath can be the most powerful tool we have. An astounding 95% of […]

Yoga & qigong winter workshop

Qigong & Yoga

Water is the element associated with the winter season in the Chinese Five Element theories. It’s a time of rest, storing, and pausing before the creativity and busyness of spring. In this yoga and qigong workshop with Mimi Kuo-Deemer, we will consider the complex dimensions of water and fluids, and look at how we can invite our bodies – […]

2015 child refugee crisis appeal

Refugee Crisis Appeal

Thank you to everyone who came to practice at the Shala on 28 December to raise money for the Child Refugee Crisis Appeal (Save the Children). We had an amazing turnout with a full house for the event and everyone giving so generously of their time and energy. Particular thanks to Norman Blair for his yin yoga teachings and […]

Upcoming workshops for january 2016

Pilates Workshop

We have an exciting selection of workshops coming up in January, which will set you up for a super positive start to 2016. Learn the basics of Pilates or Yoga, relax and discover yin yoga practices, experience the restorative powers of Yamuna body rolling and embrace the winter months with a seasonal yoga & qigong […]

Yoga in support of the child refugee crisis


Yoga practice is about connection to self and connection to others. We each and all live in a world of threads that are binding. Many of us are blessed by healthy bodies and lives of relative luxury. It is good to give. With that at our heart, the Shala and Norman Blair will be running […]

Establishing an ashtanga self practice

Ashtanga Self Practice

On Saturday 27 February, Gingi Lee will be teaching “Transition to Mysore” workshop aimed at guiding students towards an ashtanga Mysore self practice. For some students, the thought of making the transition in to Mysore classes is daunting, but once students fully experience and understand the Mysore classes, they rarely look back. The quietness and […]

Autumn yoga and qigong workshop

Yoga & QiGong

In the autumn, nature reveals a final masterpiece: leaves turn brilliant hues of orange, red and yellow before falling off and going back to the earth. It is a time of year where we can begin letting go and turning inward to gain greater insights and inspiration about what is most essential. In this Yoga & […]

The body – by norman blair

Norman Blair Yoga

Titles can be tricky, especially in this society of speed, sound-bites and stimulants. Other options included ‘What happened in the summer holidays’ and ‘My appendix, the NHS, sangha and sustainability’. It began on the first Saturday of August. A busy day with many commitments. In the afternoon I was feeling a bit unwell – nothing […]

Sri lanka yoga retreat

Sri Lanka Retreat Ulpotha

We may have taken a break from running retreats this year but our next retreat offering should (hopefully) make up for the gap year! This March we will be returning to our all-time favourite retreat venue – Ulpotha, a sustainable eco-village/retreat centre in the heart of Sri Lanka, which has laid claim to being “the best […]

Our new student offer just got sweeter

New Student Offer

Our modern life is so full of stresses and demands that it is common to exist in a permanent state of disharmony. Overwork, poor diet, emotional strains, overthinking, over-stimulation and poor breathing all take their toll and weaken the body. The mind-body practices and holistic treatments we offer at the Shala all work to restore […]

Teen cobras

Yoga for Teens

We help each other to stretch… we connect and have fun. Teens yoga – nurturing the body’s flexibility and releasing feelings of negativity. Teens Classes

Slowing down with yin yoga

Yin Yoga Workshop

Beneath our busy and hectic modern lives, can lie oceans of exhaustion. In this world of speed where the senses are intensely stimulated, in our culture of distractions and instant gratification, what we often most deeply require is…slowing down. Come and experience yin yoga this Saturday afternoon with Norman Blair one of the most experienced […]

qigong at the apple mac store

Qigong Mimi

This weekend we hosted the lovely Mimi Kuo-Deemer for the first of her five yoga and qigong seasonal (five elements) workshops. A naturally gifted teacher, Mimi has a captivating, joyful presence and a deep understanding of yoga and Daiost philosophy. Her workshops are uplifting, informed and full of laughter and her teachings are profound and […]

Mark kan and dharma yoga

Dharma Yoga

We welcome Senior Dharma Mittra teacher, Mark Kan to our team. Mark brings his challenging yoga practices to Sunday mornings at the Shala in South London. Dharma Yoga, developed by New York’s eminent yogi Sri Dharma Mittra, challenges the individual on both physical and mental levels. Strong yet graceful, this physically absorbing yoga practice encourages […]

Yoga beginnings – start your journey

Beginners Yoga

Begin your yoga journey with Gingi Lee in an inspiring Yoga Beginnings workshop for those with limited or no experience of yoga. Experience yoga as a moving meditation that can bring about profound changes in physical, emotional and mental well-being. The workshop will look at the key foundations of the practice and encourage and motivate you to make […]

Yin becoming in

Yin Yoga Practice

By Norman Blair who teaches Yin Yoga at the Shala | South London Fifteen years ago and yin yoga was an unknown form. A few might have heard of it and there were classes and workshops in America – but that was that. Nowadays it is becoming increasingly popular: there are several books about the practice and […]

Springtime practices

QiGong & Yoga

By Mimi Kuo-Deemer Ahhh, springtime. This is an expansive, strong yang time of year, where we can begin to experience a significant, energetic shift. After the quiet, cold winter months, everything is starting to transform and expand: trees are budding, flowers are blooming, the days are growing longer and (a bit) warmer. Soon, Nature will reveal a magnificent […]

Little yogi in meditation

Kids Meditation & Yoga

Little yogis in meditation. Yoga helps us to feel peace, calm and happiness inside. Find out more about Kids Yoga.

Yoga & qigong spring workshop with mimi

Mimi Kuo Deemer

The first in a series of five not-to-be-missed Yoga and Qigong Workshops starts at the Shala on Saturday 25 April with a Spring practice to foster clear vision, resourcefulness and flexibility. Integrating the wellbeing practices of yoga and qigong has long been a deep interest with us at the Shala and we are delighted to be hosting […]

2014 kristina ireland at the shala

Kristina Ireland Yoga

In May, Kristina Ireland (wife of Derek Ireland) visits the Shala to run our first weekend workshop. It is very fitting that she is our first visiting teacher at the new Shala. In Crete in the early 90s Kristina and Gingi practiced side by side for many years under the guidance of their teacher Derek.