Matt Ryan

Matt has been practicing and teaching Ashtanga Yoga for over 23 years , he had a previous life as a DJ playing house music all night long in clubs like The Hacienda in Manchester. He has studied the Ashtanga practice in Mysore ( receiving the level 2 authorisation from Pattabhi Jois & Sharath Jois ) , and taught all over the world including India , North America and Europe.

From Matt ‘I think the best way to judge a yoga teacher is to listen to their students – see above. I often get asked about finding the right yoga teacher and I can only offer the advice that to see if a certain yoga teacher is a right fit for you go seek out students who have been practicing with that teacher for a good while – if those students are good people there’s a good chance that the teacher will be a good fit – and the flip-side of that, if the students are not so nice well maybe go look elsewhere : )’ .

Further info

Donna Southwell

Donna discovered Ashtanga Yoga whilst travelling through India back in 1999 and immediately knew that this was the practice she had been searching for. This took her to London in order to work with a teacher (back in the day when Ashtanga teachers were few and far between) rather than practising alone and as a focus as she still had no idea in which direction her life was going.

She first went to Mysore in 2002 and has returned many times, once she had children they came along too and they both also fell in love with India. She received her level 2 authorisation to teach the primary and intermediate series from Sharath Jois in 2012.

As a mother of teenagers now she has watched how the practice has evolved from being young and free in her 20s to her journey through pregnancy, childbirth, motherhood and menopause. 

Further info 

Chandler Dandridge

As a therapist I have worked with a wide range of people experiencing symptoms across the spectrum of ‘mental disorder.’ I take pride in my ability to treat people both individually and holistically. I avoid pigeon-holing people’s experience into predetermined methods of treatment. That is to say: while the experience of anxiety is a universal aspect of human being, we all have a unique relationship to how we experience anxiety. The beauty of therapy is recognizing this contradiction and working together to resolve it. 

Clinical therapeutic work is my passion. I have come to believe that therapy can look quite different from how we might imagine it or how film and television represent it. I am just as interested in taking a walk with someone during a session as I am in sitting across from them on the couch (or behind the screen). As most of my work is currently done remotely via telehealth, I am always interested in finding creative physical space to meet with clients in when possible.  More info here.

Dr. Elliot Cohen

Dr Elliot Cohen is a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and the current, newly elected Chair of the British Psychological Society’s Transpersonal Psychology Section. 
He is a Senior Lecturer in Social and Interdisciplinary Psychology at Leeds Beckett University. His most recent book is ‘The Psychologisation of Eastern Spiritual Traditions’, published by Routledge in 2021.


Transpersonal Psychology embraces the psychology of spirituality and those human aspirations which are concerned with higher meanings in life, and which move beyond the limited boundaries of the ego to access an enhanced capacity for wisdom, creativity, unconditional love and compassion. 

Transpersonal Psychology honours the existence of spiritual experiences, and studies their meaning and effects on our lives. The discipline draws upon the broad areas of research and scholarship that have consolidated our understanding of these experiences and their psychological basis. (BPS Definition)

Henry Shukman

Henry Shukman has been trained by Zen several teachers, particularly the roshi’s Joan Rieck, John Gaynor, Ruben Habito and Yamada Ryoun Roshi, as well as by teachers and mentors in other traditions. He currently guides a wide range of students from all walks of life. He has received dharma transmission (inka shomei) from Yamada Ryoun Roshi, the abbot of Sanbo Zen, and is a Zen Master of the Sanbo Zen lineage of Kamakura, Japan. He is also a mindfulness teacher and is the Spiritual Director of Mountain Cloud Zen Center. Previously he had a career as an award-winning author and poet. His struggles as a youth, combined with a spontaneous awakening experience at 19, paved the way for Henry to develop a well-rounded approach to spirituality and meditation, under the guidance of his teachers – one that includes both compassionate concern for the sufferings of the world and the great liberative power of awakening as its foundations.

Further info

Nick Syrett

Nick Syrett has been a physio for 17 years. He has been at City Physio in the city centre for 10 years! Over this time he has built up a good rapport and support from The Royal Exchange theatre, The Northern Ballet school, Yoga Manchester and the Yoga (and Pilates) lounge to name but a few supporters.

A keen sportsman himself, Nick is a specialist in musculoskeletal disorders (muscle and joint pain), Nick has a special interest in biomechanics (assessing and correcting mechanical faults through structural changes and strengthening the body’s core musculature).

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