I was born
in Croydon London in 1954 and have practiced yoga for most
of my life.
I started practicing
yoga at 17 years old in order to help ease regular bouts
of anxiety or depression and find some peace of mind. At
that time I lived in Kent and attended adult education yoga
classes. My practice was very 'on and off'.
After a nervous breakdown at 21 years old I decided to take
yoga more seriously. I practiced everyday. I learnt self
discipline and commitment. From then I knew yoga would see
me through. And it has!
When I was 23 years old I moved to Sutton and attended yoga
classes at Scola adult education with Swami Sivapremananda
and at the Sivananda centre in London. I was interested
in meditation and when I was 25 years old I trained with
a Transcendental Meditation teacher in Wimbledon.
At the age
of 29 I started teaching yoga to family and friends. Soon
other people asked me to teach them, so I decided to become
a qualified teacher. I passed the British school of yoga
teachers training course in 1988.
I met my husband
Alan Jones at that time. He also had found yoga help him
through depression and was deeply into Zen Buddhism, especially
great teachers like Alan Watts. I immediately found the
philosophy and teaching somehow 'right', even though I didn't
understand a word!
I have always
loved Sivananda hatha yoga and I when I was 38 years old
I went to a Sivananda ashram to take their yoga teachers
I passed the Sivananda teachers training course in 1993
receiving an award of excellence. I was lucky to be one
of the last Sivananda teachers to be initiated by Swami
Vishnu Devananda who was the founder of the Sivananda ashrams
and centres throughout the world. Swami Vishnu gave me the
yogic name Saraswati. I have since taken on the name by
deed poll so it is now my legal name.
As well as
finding hatha yoga a great healer, counselling (which to
me is a form of Jnana yoga) also helped me recover from
depression and anxiety. My husband is a psychotherapist
and he taught me a lot about how the mind works and how
emotions can be understood. I decided to train to be a counsellor.
I trained at the London Pellin Institute in Gestalt psychotherapy
Vishnu Devananda died I left the Sivananda centre in London
and became involved with the Comprehensive Yoga Fellowship,
which is a yoga teachers training organisation based in
I took their teachers training course.
I passed the Comprehensive Yoga Fellowship teachers training
course, receiving a distinction, in 1996. I went on to become
the chairperson of the organisation and the education coordinator,
helping to train up yoga teachers
I must also
mention that during my time running the CYF I met again
and received training from Swami Sivapremananda, who like
Swami Vishnu Devananda, was a disciple of the world famous
yoga master Swami Sivananda.
When I was
44 years old I attended a retreat in the UK run by Yogi
Hari. Yogi Hari lived with Swami Vishnu Devananda for 8
years before setting up his own ashram in America. He is
a superb Hatha Yoga teacher and also specialises in Nada
At the age of 46 years I went to Yogi Hari's ashram in Florida
to take his training programme.
I passed the course in 2000, receiving top marks.
I have also
received certificated training from Louise Hay 'Heal your
Life' and I have trained with William bloom in 'Core Energy
I have also
received teaching from Cheri Huber who is a brilliant Zen
Zen Buddhism has influenced me greatly and I owe a lot to
the Zen master Roshi Genpo. He trained me in 'Big mind meditation'
in London & Amsterdam. I have been studying with Roshi
for many years.
Most recently I have trained with Professor Mark W. Muesse
in 2011 completing a course in mindfulness.
If I had to
describe myself, or my style I would say I was a 'Zen Buddhist
Yogini'. However I teach and practice many forms of Yoga
including Karma, Tantra, Bhakti, Jnana, Nada, Raja, as well
as Hatha yoga.
I have run my own yoga studio since I was 30 years old where
I focus on hatha yoga as a form of meditation for mind and
body, with the emphasis on practicing mindfulness.
I have written 'The Saraswati yoga studio manual' and 'The
Saraswati yoga studio pregnancy manual'. My yoga manuals
are used by teachers, trainees and students. If you would
like a free copy of my manual please email me email@example.com
I have also created loads of relaxation Cds and a few hatha
I began training yoga teachers more than 15 years ago and
am still training teachers.
I have really enjoyed training yoga teachers and I have
created the 'Saraswati yoga studio teachers training course'.
My teachers have had my course accredited by the UK government.
I have trained teachers in meditation, hatha yoga, pregnancy
yoga, children's yoga and mother & baby yoga.
Teachers trained by me work throughout this country and
in Australia, New Zealand, Spain and France. All the teachers
working at my studio are trained by me.
Workshops and Classes
I run workshops on all aspects of yoga such as yoga history,
yoga diet, meditation, & chanting etc.
I teach hatha yoga to children and adults and gentle hatha
yoga for the ill and elderly.
I have been running yoga retreats regularly since returning
from Sivananda ashram in 1993. (I have had a break these
last few years)
As a Zen Buddhist
yogini and a trained existential psychotherapeutic counsellor
I have always practiced mindfulness. Fairly regularly I
run mindfulness courses at the studio or via email. If you
would like more information please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
I have also worked with Swami Sivananda Radha (another disciple
of Swami Sivananda) and I use her approach when practicing
and teaching Kundalini yoga. In my advanced class I teach
a form of chakra work that relates to our modern daily life.
If you would like any further information about Saraswati
and her teaching please email