Michelle LeviHOLISTIC YOGA RETREATS

"I have been offering yoga classes since the year 2000 to people in many different environments - adults, children, pregnant mums-to-be, mothers and babies, individuals on the autistic spectrum and recently I trained to teach in prisons.."

I teach various yoga and dance practices on Yoga Teacher Training Courses and have been running Holistic Yoga Retreats since 2011.

My first serious introduction to yoga began when I was living in NYC and working as a Contemporary Dancer.  I was studying Traditional Thai Massage and the calling to lead a more spiritual life was becoming stronger.  I 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 my neighbour’s mats I experienced ‘Yoga’ - the dissolution of boundaries and resistance within my mind and complete ease and acceptance of what is.  

I continued my yoga studies with
Danny Paradise, a senior Astanga teacher.  Then in 1999 I was told of a highly awakened teacher named Clive Sheridan and I 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 has a deep understanding of the nature of bliss.  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 I regularly attended retreats with Clive, often as his assistant.  It is always a joy to be in his presence.

Clive instilled deep within me the importance of a daily spiritual practice of asana, pranayama and meditation.  This self-practice is the foundation from which my teaching evolved and it is the dream I hold for my students - that they may enjoy the ever-enriching benefits of a daily self-practice.

Very soon after we met, Clive encouraged me to begin teaching.  And so with his blessing, yet no formal qualification, I began teaching;  firstly covering classes in health centres around London and then taking on classes of my own. I trained in Yogabugs and brought yoga to children in schools and playgroups also.

After some time of leading a successful career as a yoga teacher in London, I decided that I did want a formal qualification and so I embarked on a 9 month full -time Teacher Training Course at YogaArts, Byron Bay, Australia.  This in-depth training covered a variety of styles of yoga as well as philosophy and other related subjects.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to immerse myself so fully in the world of yoga for 9 months solid whilst being supported by the vibrancy of Mother Nature in Australia.

Upon returning to London I continued my career working  for  the Yoga agency, Breathe, teaching private clients as well as groups.  I do enjoy working on a one-to-one basis so as to really follow the needs of the individual, and this is in fact how yoga was originally taught.
Since 2006 the need to live in the countryside has been of high priority and I have been living near Totnes, Devon.

My own practice and teaching style is continually evolving; in recent years I have been influenced by the teachings of Vanda Scaravelli through working with Diane Long and Paddy McGrath. I have undertaken some personal silent retreats 3-month and 1-month in length which have been key in my spiritual development.   These retreats have been at
Gaia House sitting primarily with Rob Burbea and studying the Buddha’s teachings on Emptiness.

Always central to my practice and teaching is the connection to the Spiritual Heart and the importance of kindness. I offer gratitude also to
Sahajananda for his teachings of Hridaya Yoga - the Spiritual Heart. Most recently I have received great benefit from practicing with the Dharma Ocean Foundation and the somatic teachings passed down from Tibetan Buddhism.
Since 2015 I have been teaching on the Yoga Teacher Training Courses for the
Satya Loka School of Yoga and Traditional Tantra.