Our Teachers

Valerie Johnston, photograph by Kris Keziak

I was introduced to Yoga Asanas at the age of 13.  Living on an Island on the West Coast of Scotland, before Yoga was at the peak of it’s popularity in the West, as we know it to be now.  Practicing individual postures from a book I had been given, from the local mobile library (I hadn’t heard of Vinyasa or sequencing!), This was my practice, (probably more shape making!)in my bedroom or garden, certainly no classes, teachers or social media to inspire or follow. 

At the age of 20, a few years after arriving in ‘the old smoke’, Glasgow, I found my first yoga ‘Class’. Since then over, 27 years, I’ve never looked back. Funnily enough, on that first class, the teacher said to me “You should teach”.  I didn’t take heed for many more years, but maybe the seed was planted.

I have embraced a range of styles and practices throughout the years Ashtanga, Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin, Aerial and Hot. ( I had never seen a matching outfit in yoga and certainly nothing ‘so little’, until I was introduced to Hot Yoga! I used to joke, it was the messy hair, I don’t care approach, that drew me in initially, class after class.  Now it was time to sharpen up!

I’ve trained in Seasonal Hatha Flow, Yin Yoga, Aerial Yoga and Children’s Yoga, on top I’ve done all sorts of anatomy, yoga adjustment, yoga philosophy courses with some amazing teachers and am lucky enough to own a beautiful boutique studio in Glasgow’s West End and have done so for over 7 years. A studio that’s been built on word of mouth.  For almost the same amount of years, I’ve been taking up to 50 ladies on Retreat to the sunny mountains in the Algarve, Portugal, once, sometimes twice a year with my good friend, yoga teacher, cross trainer fanatic, wild water swimmer and aerialist, Gill. The Aerial Silks, come with us, offering our students a diverse and busy schedule with classes from morning to night.  We even manage some yoga while paddle boarding, for those that feel a little more adventurous.
Yoga has offered me many opportunities from teaching at the London & Glasgow Om Yoga Shows, to being Glasgow’s Sweaty Betty Clothing Ambassador for over 2 years.  Thank goodness for Sweaty Betty, or I would have remained a true yoga scruff.

Ahimsa is at the core of all my teachings and in Dec 2018, with the help & support of Yoga Alliance, I was able to offer other yogis the opportunity to study and share my passion for Yin & Yang (Creative Vinyasa Flow). We started our first 200hr Yoga course, The Power & Grace of Yin & Yang’, which sold out before advertising as did the following year.  We have now added a 50hr Yin Yoga Course, covering everything Yin.

The studio was set up with the intention to ‘give back’.  Every year we sponsor a primary school via Mary’s Meals.  We have been dedicating our fundraising for the last 3 years to one particular school, in Malawi.  We collect food for the local food banks, clothes for anyone seeking asylum and work  with Glasgow’s homeless organisations.  We have a small but strong community, a real melting pot of folk that are full of creativity and kindness and for that I am probably most proud.

Yoga is a thread I will keep weaving and working on , I hope for my whole life.  With the uncertain times that Covid has sprung upon us, one of the positive outcomes for us yoga teachers, is we can now reach out further to those that wouldn’t have had the opportunity to practice with us, thanks to all the online platforms available.  Zoom has been our savior, what a blessing to hold our community together and reach out to people from all over the world, while at the same time honoring our duty of care, to keep you safe. 

I’ll leave you with a quote and hope you will come and practice with me one day on zoom, and at the studio once we re-open.

Val x

‘Life is like a book, some chapters sad, some happy, some exciting.  But if you never turn the page, you will never know, what the next chapter holds.’ Unknown.

Siobhan Fitzgerald

Currently on a degree in Pranayama and Yoga Therapy in India with my teacher and mentor of the past 15 years, I value all my experience in this field and am grateful I can help others do the same.  Teaching for over 20 years and at present in continuous Advanced Pranayama study at Kaivalyadhama.”

Siobhan  runs courses on  Pranayama, Indian Head Massage & other holistic therapies. Siobhan is also one of our guest teachers on our Teacher Training programme, covering Ayurveda and The History of Yoga.  Please keep your eye on events, Siobhan’s workshops and teachings are not to be missed.

Lee Sowerbutts

If you get the opportunity, you must come along to one of Lee’s suspension training classes at the studio, or one of his workshops on Health & Nutrition. His approach and the community he gathers is encouraging and supportive.  You just know you are in the right hands when Lee is about, he walks the talk and sees the picture as a whole.  His wealth of knowledge on anatomy, health and nutrition has been accumulated over many years of study and training.  Prepare to laugh, sweat and learn! – He’s not one of the West Ends most sought after Personal Trainers for nothing 🙂

Sandra has been teaching Pilates for many, many years, also a highly regarded Master in Tai Chi & Qi Gong.  On Tuesday LUNCHTIMES ONLINE Sandra will guide you through one of the most incredible moving meditations, you will have ever have tried, Qi Gong. Sandra is also a dance choreographer, working with a group of amazing adults with disabilities within the community and bringing them to the stage at The Kings Theatre, every year to showcase their talents.  We are privileged to have her on board as part of the team.  

She makes you work hard at her 10am Online Sunday Pilates class but you will see results,  she’s a girl with a big heart and a great playlist.  No one ever regrets getting up on a Sunday for Sandra’s Qi Gong or Pilates Class (…and lets face it, you still get a lie in!).

Welcome to our newest team member….Jaclyn McCann!

I’m delighted to add Jaclyn to our team. Jac’s Pilates classes will be back in January 2021.

After completing her level 1 Inferno Hot Pilates Course, she has just flown back from sunny Palma with her Level 2 in her suitcase. We were the first studio in Glasgow, to experience Level 2, IHP and our verdict….we LOVED it! Jac has now graduated from our 200hr Yoga Teacher Training Programme, ‘The Power & Grace of Yin & Yang’, covering both Vinyasa and Yin styles of yoga.

I have practiced Yoga beside Jackie for probably over 6/7 years, we have kept each other going through several hot yoga challenges for charity. An amazing gal with wonderful energy…lets give her a big Our World Yoga welcome.

Introducing Rabin Panchkoty….where do I start!

Rabin brings his incredible healing energy to our studio and students, through vibrational sound baths/journeys, using handmade Nepalese singing bowls and gongs, made especially for him by Nepalese Monks.

Born and raised in Kathmandu, Nepal, his grandfather being a highly regarded local spiritual healer, from a very early age, was raised in an environment surrounded by traditional healing holistic techniques and therapies.

Since arriving in Glasgow in the 80’s with not a word of English, Rabin trained and became an expert in Martial Arts, competing in all major national tournaments including the world championship in Tae Kwon Do, as well as training further in Kyusho Jitsu. Rabin has also been teaching Shiatsu for over 11 years, he is also trained in Reiki, Reflexology and Indian Head Massage.

While working with energy, he was always drawn to the subtler aspects and embarked on the odyssey of training in Energy Healing.

Rabin is at present undertaking a 4 year training course in Postural Integration. As Rabin says, taking us beyond the chakras and energy fields. Rabin believes the body has an intrinsic ability to heal and everything we need is already within us.

Such a kind, warm, open spirit, a real blessing to have him as part of our team.

Rabin offers 1-1 sessions, you can get in touch with him privately on his webpage healyourbody.co.uk