Our instructors are a diverse community of Yogi's committed to providing authentic yoga for everyone. Urban Zen brings together the best teachers in the area so that you can be sure that no matter which class you chose it will always be led by a passionate, knowledgeable teacher.
Emily Ann Cole
I began my journey into yoga whilst travelling in Sri Lanka in 2006. Falling instantly in love with the practice I attended classes every day and returned home feeling like a new person. At this time I started a new business and quickly got swept up into a lifestyle of stress, anxiety and always wanting more. I increasingly found myself more and more dissatisfied with the life i was living. I struggled to come to terms with the realisation that the life i had worked so hard for was actually making me miserable.
I finally found myself at breaking point and knew that there must be more to life. I made a decision to start a regular yoga practice and immersed myself fully in classes, workshops and retreats. Within a few months I already felt like a new person. A cloud had been lifted and suddenly everything made sense to me.
All i wanted was to delve deeper into the world of yoga. I read every article that I could get my hands on, studied under as many teachers as possible and told anybody that would listen about this life changing practice. I was hooked and I wanted the whole world to experience the physical and mental benefits of yoga.
In January 2013 I travelled to India to complete my teacher training in Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. The opportunity to be fully immersed in the physical and philosophical sides of yoga without any distraction only reinforced my love for this ancient practice.
I can honestly say that i now get as much pleasure from teaching as i do from practicing. As a yoga teacher I strive to teach in a way that is authentic yet current and accessible for everyone. Whether someone comes to me to change their body, reduce stress levels or to make a big life change, I aim to provide them with the tools and support that they need to help them reach their goal.
Menna is a pre and post-natal yoga specialist. She has practiced a variety of styles from Ashtanga to Iyengar whilst living in London and travelling in Latin America and Australia, but a year in South India sparked her interest in yoga as a way of life. In Kerala, Menna and Stephen trained in a traditional martial arts and yoga ‘kalari’ where they later got married. Menna’s teaching aims to develop mind, body and breath awareness and an understanding of yoga as an ancient art form. Menna is also a massage therapist, textile art teacher and soon-to-be Mum of two!
Pregnancy Yoga Class description:
This class will guide you through exercises of mind, body and breath to prepare for birth. Pregnancy is a time of great change – learning to restore balance and focus will prevent stress of the mind and body that can disturb labour. After 10 weeks, attending yoga classes is the ideal way to stretch, tone and relax the body, connect with your bump and meet other expectant mothers.
Stephen has been teaching Hatha Yoga classes and workshops to all levels for 10 years. Since 2010 he has been training teachers and co-organising yoga retreats as vice principal of The Victor Foundation. Stephen’s teaching is Iyengar-based.
He was introduced to yoga as a way of life by his first teacher, his mother, who continues to inspire his yoga journey. Stephen regularly visits India to train in yoga and Kalaripayattu, a South Indian martial art. His teaching emphasises the importance of breath in dynamic alignment. Stephen is a qualified Osteopath and Thai Massage therapist.
Kathryn is a yoga teacher, massage therapist, reflexologist and birth doula.
Kathryn has a warm and down-to-earth teaching style combined with a deep belief in yoga's ability to transform our lives. She has been practicing yoga for over 15 years. Kathryn’s teacher training diploma is accredited by the British Wheel of Yoga and registered with Yoga Alliance. She has been fortunate to study with many inspiring teachers, doing workshops, retreats and trainings with the likes of Aadil Palkhivala, Jeff Phenix, Jo Manuel, Leela Miller, Louise Grime, Nadia Narain, Uma Dinsmore-Tuli and Shiva Rea
Yoga, massage, reflexology and working as a doula all compliment each other, and have developed Kathryn's knowledge of the whole body and understanding of anatomy in order to be able to offer a holistic healing approach.
Ana fell into Yoga in 2010 when asked to go on a Yoga teacher training for her work. Reluctantly she went along. Having completed a 200hr YMCA Fit Diploma Teacher Training in Hatha Yoga and has not looked back since. Over the past 4 years she has continued to learn, embarking on a further 200hr TT in Morocco with Yoga Haven, a Rocket Yoga teacher Training with It's Yoga International and Aerial Yoga TT with Purple lotus.
Ana is proud to be the first franchisee of Hotpod Yoga and over the last year has spent her time building a positive and productive environment for the people of Swansea to practice yoga. Ana's classes are challenging, but fun allowing her students to achieve a relaxed and inspired state of mind through her creative flows and calming nature.
You can contact Ana by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 07401999134
Robyn Smyth Terry
I grew up in Zimbabwe, Africa with a great passion for nature and the outdoors. At 18 I moved to London and fell in love with the diversity, different cultures and openness of London and its people. I worked in the Events Industry for several years which was intense, demanding and very fast - paced. Six years ago, I attended a Yoga class where I found stillness and a place to really see inside myself . At this point, I realized that for me Yoga would be a life - long journey of learning and practicing. Since then I have found my spiritual self and believe that living Yoga and its key beliefs every day lightens my heart and soul. Earlier this year I traveled to India to explore and learn more about Yoga and its origin. I completed my 200 hours of Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh, India. The experience gave me an in depth understanding of the theory and practice of Yoga and proved only to enrich my love for it. I whole - heartedly believe in the utter joy and balance that yoga can bring to each and every person. I wish to share that joy and help others find their own balance and learn all that is within themselves.
Ever since I can remember I have always looked for more, I knew there was something greater and deeper then the mundane reality. At a young age I started practicing martial arts and fell in love with focused and aesthetic movement. It was after suffering for some years with a back injury that I decided to try Yoga. I got hooked instantly. I spent 3 years with an Iyengar teacher as I loved the precision of alignment and understanding what a pose should feel and look like. It was after 3 years that I discovered Shadow Yoga, a style that for me combined Martial Art with Yoga. Shadow Yoga has become an important part of my own personal practice and influences the way I teach. I have also had the amazing opportunity to learn and practice different styles of Yoga. I was fortunate to learn Ashtanga Vinyasa with Richard Freeman, one of the most respected teachers of this system.
I have also learned from Aadil Palkavalya, one of Mr. Iyengar's top students as well as Natanaga Zhander the founder of Shadow Yoga and Duncan Hulin the founder of The Devon School of Yoga. In 2005 I completed a 200 hour Yoga Teacher training with The Life Centre, London and have been teaching for the last 10 years. In my classes I draw from my experience of all those traditions to create a holistic practice. I particularly enjoy teaching Power Yoga Vinyasa Flow, a dynamic and powerful practice, where I am able to create a synergy between the precision of Iyengar, the fluidity of Ashtanga and the internal understanding of Shadow Yoga. To further develop myself as a teacher I completed a 250 hour post graduate Yoga Therapy course with the Devon School of Yoga. This course helped me to create a unique practice to restore health and well being to those with specific needs. I found this to be the most rewarding way to pass on the joy of Yoga as working one to one can bring the greatest transformation.
I now offer both Yoga Therapy to those with individual needs as well as private tuition to those who wish to deepen their practice of Asana and Pranayama and to those who wish to learn more about Yoga philosophy.
I first came to yoga to help build strength and confidence after sustaining a hip injury. Having to work through physical limitations was extremely challenging, but the positive results I experienced from regular practice are testament to the healing potential of yoga. In addition to the physical benefits, I also experienced a wealth of emotional benefits.
After completing numerous workshops and travelling to India to partake in an Ashtanga retreat, I made the decision to embark on a 200 hour Vinyasa teacher training course with Santosha yoga in Bali.
Yoga gives me the courage to embrace my imperfections, inspiring me to live each day with observed mindfulness. It enables me to recognise times when the presence of my ego is interfering with rationale, allowing me simply to let it go. I feel everybody should be given the opportunity to experience inner peace through yoga practice.
I strive to teach an authentic, non-judgemental, expressive style of yoga that caters to each and every individual. I aim to encourage students to challenge themselves physically, mentally and spiritually in a happy and safe environment. I truly believe in the power of yoga and its ability to free the body and mind, allowing one to embrace life with awareness and acceptance of oneself.
Outside of yoga I am a secondary school art teacher and enjoy travelling the world, walking, drawing, music, and being outdoors.
Alex is the rugby playing yogi! and I has been a sport competitor since she was 2 years old. Sport has always been her first love and it is in her genes.
My journey to Yoga was through the martial arts and dance.
I was brought up in the wonderful village Port-Eynon on the Gower peninsula. An amazing childhood that lead to a youth of hedonism and misbehaviour.
My life was changed during my teen years when a friend introduced me to the man who would become my first Tai-Chi instructor, Tony Court. I studied with the World Tai-Chi Boxing Association for 9 years many of which involved 4 or more hours of my own practice with additional classes with my main instructor Mike Kaniewski. It was then that I learned the benefits of a sustained progressive practice and I began to practice some yoga. The head of the WTBA EarlMontague gave me the instructor first degree certificate in2003 and during this time I began to study the Afro-Brazilian dance/ fight/game Capoeira.
I was part of the first class of Mestre Maxwel in Swansea and I was with his group Ile de Capoeira for 11 years give or take. During this time Mestre Maxweltaught and continues to teach and incredible syllabus and I would recommend spending time with his group as the only way understand the many benefits found there.
During my time in Capoeira I studied a number of areas to help me progress as a player. Qualifying as a Gym instructor, PT, Assistant Gymnastic coach and working in these areas. The wonderful teachers carl and Alex and Dancing feverspent time to develop me as one of their Salsa instructors for a number of years. While my Yoga practice was until recently been ancillary to my other activities, it is now my main focusand in 2016 I passed my 200 hr Yoga instructor qualification.
I find myself at 42 more committed than ever to practice movement in a progressive way. Adopting the Yoga principle of harnessing yourself through practice. I look forward to further developing myself and others and sharing some of the wonderful practices I have been fortunate to learn.
Dionne first came to yoga in 2008 following a long awaited diagnosis of grade 3 congenital spondylolisthesis, (75% slip of one of her lumbar vertebrae).
Experiencing movement restriction with severe pain she put on excess weight. At her heaviest, she weighed 23 stone.
Dionne felt increasingly miserable and adrift. Little did she know all was not lost…
In 2009 came a fantastic spinal surgeon with a difference; an experienced professional that advocated trying alternatives to spinal surgery first when possible.
Top on their list was yoga and manual therapy.
Dionne gradually got back down to a healthy weight and rebuilt her strength by developing her yoga practice and eating a wholefoods based diet.
In 2011, Dionne was advised that her spinal slip was still present but was stable and that surgery could be taken off the table for the time being. She felt transformed; she felt strong and was pain free.
Keen to learn more and share the knowledge with others, she qualified as a massage therapist, completed her Ashtanga Yoga teacher training with the renowned Manju Pattabhi Jois in 2013 before completing Hatha Yoga training in Bali in 2015.
Today, Dionne continues to manage her spinal slippage through yoga, nutrition and manual therapy.
Her yoga classes are described as mindful. Encouraging students to feel liberated, she guides them through connecting with their bodies. She loves that there is always to go for a challenge in yoga.
Aside from yoga and her therapies Dionne is passionate about clean eating and sustainability. She’s our assistant chef at Urban Zen Café and is working towards a sponsored part time PHD on how organizations can operate more sustainably whilst profiting.
A woman on a real a mission to help others and contribute to making the world a better place.
It is my passion and purpose to help people reconnect to their soul, to hear the voice of their heart and to navigate the oceans of life with this as their compass.
In 2011 I left the UK for Australia, planning to continue my career as a Youth Development Worker, hoping that if I lived in a sunny place by the sea, I might be happy and the anxiety and depression that had plagued me for years might go away.
After some months in Australia I got an interview for what I thought was my dream job. As preparation I decided to go to Bali for 2 weeks to do yoga and eat healthy food. After 9 days of practising yoga, I realised that I had got my life all wrong. I was living the life I thought I ‘should’ rather than the one my heart and soul desired.
I decided not to go back for the interview and began a quest to discover more about this ancient practise that could so powerfully reconnect me to my own soul in 9 days. This journey led me from Bali, to Thailand and eventually to India, where I have been returning annually since 2011.
As I healed myself through yoga, meditation, singing (kirtan), Breathwork (rebirthing), Coaching, deep psycho-spiritual work and writing, my inner voice became clearer, and I began to find the happiness within myself that I had been seeking outside. It became clear to me that my own life purpose and work in this world is to help others on this journey of transformation and self reclamation, to hear the voice of their own heart and to awaken their soul.
I started practicing yoga in Canada at the age of sixteen. I immediately fell in love with the practice. Yoga allowed me to appreciate my body for how it felt and progressed, rather than how it looked or compared to others. Yoga has complimented my busy lifestyle by supporting my strength, mobility, and sense of balance. My main love is for hot yoga, and I am very grateful to be teaching in the heat!
I have always felt passionately that I wanted to teach yoga, and support others through their practice! After completing Yoga Haven’s 2017, 200 hour teacher training in Morocco, I was able to begin my teaching journey! Currently working as a physiotherapy technician, I am humbled by therapy and movement’s effect on the human body. I hope to continue to explore this through teaching yoga, and my aspirations of attending school for osteopathy.
I deliver vinyassa flow style classes that are accessible to everyone, whilst allowing deeper exploration into each person’s own practice. I am inspired by student’s dedication to yoga, despite their busy lives! I aim to make each class challenging and rewarding. I am passionate about empowering others through their yoga practice, so that they may cultivate strength, balance, and gratitude to take with them off their mat.
Alex trained with Julian ‘Daizan’ Skinner, founder of the Zenways school and the first British man to go through the Zen system in Japan and become a Roshi. Alex brings the Zen flavour to his teaching - that is one of simplicity, humour, and ultimately seeing that you already have all you need; you are that which you seek.
As well as embracing Zen, Alex has studied the more technical and esoteric aspects of Yoga found in the Indian systems such as Kundalini Tantra, of which he found breath control aspects particularly powerful. Even though he realised that following these systems can lead to a life changing transformation of the nervous system, he feels that ultimately to remain healthy and happy one only needs a simple daily practice; one in the spirit of not being separate from the rest of the existence - he feels that our mental and emotional suffering (manifesting as physical tension and restriction) fundamentally arises from not realising this separation as illusory.
Aside from contemplation of our union with the totality, Alex likes to encourage practice based on mastery of the basics: cultivation of conscious breath control, staying centred and being able to accept yourself as you are, and on the physical level balancing all of the opposing muscle groups and awakening the total core. Alex’s classes are suitable for all levels of practitioner.