"The best yoga retreat in the world" - The Observer Magazine

Yoga Teachers

Ulpotha has had the honour of hosting some of the world's leading Yoga teachers, who in turn have offered their gift of Yoga to Ulpotha's guests.

Alexandre Onfroy

Alex is one of Paris' most loved and respected yoga instructors and a life long student of Iyengar.
For the last 25 years, Alex's passion has been to master the teachings of BKS Iyengar under the guidance of Faeq Biria in Paris. It was Faiq and Corine Biria who first encouraged and inspired him to begin teaching 12 years ago. 

Alex has since grown a large following in a some of Paris' top yoga studios, in addition to teaching privately and in the business sector. He is a regular assistant to Iyengar instructor Corine Biria during her therapeutic classes at the Iyengar Centre in Paris. 

His profound knowledge and advanced practice of yoga (asana and pranayama), coupled with a precise yet relaxed teaching style, have led him to become a favorite amongst all levels of students — from beginners to the more advanced. 
Expect morning classes to be detailed asana practice and evening classes to be more restorative.  The first week of this retreat will cover foundation practices and lead to more advanced work during week two.

Geoff Mackenzie

Vancouver-based Ashtanga Vinyasa teacher Geoff Mackenzie is a firm believer in the highly adaptable and therapeutic nature of yoga practice. As such, he always places the needs of each individual student first and foremost.

Breath/mind/body awareness, effective vinyasa methodology and hands-on assistance in key postures are all foundational components of his classes.

Students can expect Geoff's morning sessions to be a playful, dynamic, yet deep exploration of the fundamental yoga asanas: utilizing simple, adaptable postures, particular breathing techniques and subtle, internal energetic connections, each student can discover lightness, strength, poise and focus, regardless of previous experience.

Gentler-paced afternoon sessions often include detailed and practical insights into technique, but draw most inspiration from the quieter side of practice, creating focused, calm states where equilibrium can be restored and awareness cultivated.

Geoff began yoga practice as a curious surfer living in Bali in 1998, simply seeking to improve his breathing, agility and mental focus. Suffice to say he found all that and much more: the 'more' including the deep desire to share the benefits of practice with all who care to give it a try. Upon completing a teacher training course in 2004, Geoff began conducting daily classes in Victoria and then Vancouver, Canada. In 2006 he took his first trip to India, to study at the K.Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, where he now returns every year for extended periods.

Geoff is Authorized at Level 2 by his teacher, (KPJAYI Director) Sharath Jois, to teach the Primary and Intermediate series of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. Since 2010 he has been quite nomadic, teaching extensively in North America, Europe and Asia, sharing yoga practice with people of all ages, abilities and walks of life.

Gingi Lee

Gingi founded the Shala in London as a dedicated ashtanga yoga centre in 1998. He has been teaching yoga for over 20 years and is one of the country's most established ashtanga yoga teachers. Gingi began studying and teaching martial arts in the 1980s with his father, Sensei Richard Taibong Lee. During an early trip to India, Gingi came into contact with yoga and spent many years returning to India to study and devote himself to the discipline. For two years he apprenticed with the late Derek Ireland, completing a final training course in Goa. He then went to Mysore to continue his studies with Sri Pattabhi Jois and then completed a two-year teacher training course with Graeme Northfield of Australia.

Gingi has hosted many yoga holidays and workshops in the UK and abroad, including combined retreats with John and Lucy Scott, and Kristina Ireland. He continues to run regular workshops and retreats, which often include elements of pranayama, meditation and tai chi. He is a well-respected teacher who has remained at the forefront of the ashtanga yoga community. He has taught, trained and inspired many British ashtanga yoga teachers and has played a key role in popularizing ashtanga yoga in the UK. His teaching is characterised by sensitivity, warmth and a deep commitment to the practice. 

James DeMaria

One of Ibiza's top yoga teachers, James DeMaria has been teaching yoga to adults and kids for over 20 years.

Before coming to Yoga, James trained as a professional dancer at the Central School of Ballet in London and completed his diploma at the London Contemporary Dance School.  He spent his final year expanding his awareness of release technique attending classes with the Siobhan Davis Dance company, under the guidance of Larren Potter, Gill Clarke and Paul Douglas.  During this time James also studied Pilates with Alan Herdman. 

After a varied and international performance career, James began studying Astanga Vinyasa Yoga. Eventually this personal passion led to teaching and a deeper enquiry into the many facets of Yoga as a road to freedom, harmony and good health.

Using a choreographic background to break down the fluidity between postures, breath & movement, James combines elements of dance, Pilates and Release Technique to create a balanced style to suit all levels.  As we begin to focus inward and forget the outer world, habitual patterns of being & thinking are transformed, leaving us to live in freedom without the limitations of our minds. 

Classses include breathing techniques and Mudras to help circulation and the distribution of Prana (life force) throughout our being, relaxation & meditation techniques. The practice of Yoga postures according to one's ability. 

Laura Gilmore

Laura’s teaching is adapted for the specific needs of the students, giving a deeply nurturing experience and the opportunity for supported self-healing. Laura conveys the true spirit and philosophy of yoga through movement and stillness, warmth and humour. With more than 25 years practice and 15 years teaching experience, her deep knowledge and intuition enable students to experience positive transformation, both physical and mental.

There will be four hours of practice each day. The morning session will be Hatha based, with posture work to explore, energise and balance the body and mind. The afternoon work will include restorative practice, deeply releasing flowing practices and bio-energetic work, to balance and stimulate the flow of prana within the subtle body. Each day will also include pranayama and meditation related to our theme that day.

Laura is a creative, inspiring teacher, responding to the needs of the students before her, while relying on the yogic wisdom passed down from her teachers and studies. Most recently she has studied chakras with Anodea Judith, Subtle body wisdom with Tias Little, and for more than 25 years she has studied Iyengar, Hatha yoga and Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga with some of the world’s most experienced teachers.  She has also studied Zen and Vipassana meditation, and pranayama and this is integral to her practice and teaching.

Lorraine McConnon

Lorraine first studied with BKS Iyengar in 1986. She has been a life long practitioner of yoga since the age of 16 yrs and has continued to study and teach both at home and abroad since then. She has a Senior Level One teaching qualification.

Her teaching manner is warm yet precise, informed with the knowledge of over 25 yrs teaching experience.

A full time yoga teacher based in London, Lorraine teaches yoga to many people from different walks of life, including school children, the corporate sector, the Metropolitan police and trainee and qualified yoga teachers. Lorraine has contributed to several yoga magazines. For details of published articles see www.artofyoga.co.uk.

Melissa Smith and Richard Wilkinson

Working together, Richard and Melissa will bring a combination of trust, embodiment and renewed joy for your yoga practice - whether you’re just beginning your yoga journey or have years of experience. This retreat seeks to bring you back to yourself - back to bliss. 

Melissa will guide you through mindful, slow and empowering yoga sessions that include traditional yoga postures, somatic movement, mantra, restorative poses and meditation. Through this inquiry based practice, you will feel embodied, awake and aware in your body, mind and spirit. Some evenings we will venture to practice therapeutic Thai Yoga Massage, restorative yoga in addition to Richard’s Yoga Nidra sessions. 

Richard will be offering a progressive Yoga Nidra series based upon the iRest method (Integrative Restoration Institute). Yoga Nidra is an ancient meditative practice that only requires you to relax and listen along. It's simple and easy to do, and very effective. The practice of Yoga Nidra investigates and explores emotions, thoughts, feelings, beliefs and images. We will venture each day into a deep meditation exploration to restore our essential nature and build resilience as we gently consider emotions, thoughts, beliefs, joy and bliss. We will construct the foundation of a grounded sense of being and awareness, that can lead us to a place of receptivity and openness to being with "what is”.


Melissa, Yoga Alliance ERYT® 500 in SustainableYoga, Yoga Teacher Trainer for Restorative, Gentle, Prenatal and Therapeutic Yoga, Thai Yoga Massage Practitioner and AcroYoga® Level 2 Certified Teacher. Native Texan, Melissa currently lives in Calgary, Canada with her 2 sons and leads retreats in Southeast Asia, Europe and the United States. Her teaching style lends itself toward sustainable, slow yoga with mindful strength elements grounded in biomechanics, yogic philosophy, and deep rest. Her for desire is for students to connect within and integrate their own intuition in practice offering each student the opportunity to deeply listen to their own body’s needs. Melissa is adept at working with injuries and special conditions from beginner to more experienced. Find her at MelissaSmithYoga.com, and sign up to stay in the loop and receive a free Yoga Nidra.

Richard Wilkinson is an iRest Certified Teacher with Richard Miller’s Integrative Restoration Institute for Yoga Nidra. He is also a Yoga Alliance ERYT® 200 yoga teacher through Power Vinyasa Yoga by Frog Lotus Yoga in Massachusetts. Richard's teaching emphasizes our inherent mind/body connection and explores our body’s wholeness in a fun, all levels format. As the founder of the 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training, The Internal Peace Initiative, his overall mission is to "guide people to inner peace and happiness through movement, mindfulness and meditation”. Find him at InternalPeace.ca

Mika de Brito

Paris-based Mika de Brito has been teaching yoga for over 20 years and is internationally recognized for his highly atypical approach to yoga.

Traditionally trained, ie in following a master yogi, he was first initiated by Baptiste Marceau (son of the famous French mime artist) to the art of Ashtanga (a dynamic form of yoga originally called Korunta).  This led him to follow the path of a Hindu Swami yogi for several years in the Himalayas, even dwelling in a cave in Gangotree in order to gain insight into a more traditional and meditative style.  Later on he was invited by Sharon Gannon to follow the Jivamukti teachings in New York.  These teachings and many yogic travels and study led him to develop his own very particular style.

Connected to the present, open to the world around him and highly creative, Mika has brought this ancient tradition to his many students around the world.  His demanding and yet playful approach has brought new life into the yogic discipline.  He wants students to rid their minds of modern conditioning and adopt a liberating and compassionate practice, what he calls “being spiritual”, the fundamentals of which are to cultivate a good relationship with oneself, others and the world about us.

He lives in Paris and shares his time between performing music, writing and teaching yoga in retreats and workshops around the world.

Vinyasa Krama with Mika de Brito

(Dynamic practice open to all levels)

We begin with breathing exercises on a metronomic sound in order to bring AIR into the body, then we slowly light the FIRE with sun salutations and the fire purifies the body by eliminating toxins through the WATER of sweat.  These three éléments stabilise with contact to the EARTH, the asanas, the ground.  Once all of these elements are united, then the fifth element ETHER can make its appearance through Meditation.

Nigel Gilderson

Nigel Gilderson has been teaching yoga in the UK and on retreats around the world since 1997. He is founder and senior teacher of Brockwell Lido yoga centre in London.

Nigel Gilderson's teaching has evolved over the years and incorporates a blend of many yoga styles, with influences from tai chi and shadow yoga and Alexander technique integrating the celebration of the heart, universal principles of alignment, and balanced energetic action in the performance of asana. Each student's abilities and limitations are deeply respected and honored. The practice builds strength, flexibility, and stamina as well as bringing awareness to the internal creating, capturing and cultivating energy.

Students move from one posture to another in a continual flow and link movements to breath. The use of gentle vinyasa enables the natural progression from one asana to another with a sense of ease and fluidity, ending in a deep and peaceful relaxation.As well as the yoga, Nigel will facilitate practices based on Tai Chi, Qi Gong and bodywork to deeply connect with the natural environment of Ulpotha and its surroundings. For more information, see www.awayoga.com.

Padma Nair

Padma Nair is a native Keralan who, unusually for an Indian woman, has developed a strong reputation internationally. Padma is highly educated in Yoga, Sanskrit, Psychology, and holds a Masters in Indian Philosophy. Padma first trained in Hatha Yoga in 1980, qualified as a teacher with Sivananda’s Yoga Acharya in 1997, Yoga Siromani in 2001. She qualified to teach Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga from Mysore in 2013. (Since 1980 Padma has been studying yoga with many teachers all around the world).

Warm and humorous she has been teaching Yoga and Chavutti Thirummal (a deep form of Ayurvedic Massage complementary to Yoga) for over 28 years to her students all around the world.

Welcoming all levels from beginners to the more experienced, Padma’s yoga is traditional and classical - fusion of three different schools – gentle Sivananda, precise Iyengar and energetic Ashtanga. With this wide repertoire of approaches, Padma’s teaching can take into consideration that each individual is different. Every class has a different energy as she tailors the guidance to suit her student’s needs. Padma is a gently challenging teacher, over 4 or 5 days she watches what you are capable of and senses when, in a safe manner, you can do more than you believed possible. At these points she gives you individual guidance and support. In inelegant moments, there is often a peal of laughter, you try again and your range expands!

Padma and her Yogashala have been featured in the Huffington Post & in The Guardian in 2014, in The Times in 2013. For more info see www.padmakarma.com

Samanta Duggal

Samanta is one of Mumbai's leading yoga teachers. She unites expertise in Yoga, Thai Massage and Vedic Chanting to help you rediscover your storehouse of energy. Her Integrated Teaching Method offers benefits of Sivananda, Iyengar and Vinyasa yoga styles, deep relaxation and detox therapies

Samanta has been dedicated to mind-body health for over 20 years. With a lifetime spent practicing Yoga, Jazz Technique and Bharatnatyam, she is able to combine unique perspectives about wellbeing, healing and physiology.

Samanta's work centers on Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Ayurvedic and Thai Massage Therapies, Diet /Nutrition and Vedic Chanting. In July 2008, she partnered with Shaleen Parekh to open India's first boutique yoga studio, Yoga Sutra. Samanta started out in fitness as a teenager, and her journey into the body traversed 15 years as an instructor and lead performer with noted choreographer Shiamak Davar. She then transitioned into practicing and teaching Yoga in the year 2000.

Over the last thirteen years she has explored and mastered several healing therapies for the mind and body. She is an Advanced Teacher of the Sivananda Yoga tradition, and is also certified in Yoga Therapy, Yoga for children, as well as Pranayama and Dhyan (Breath work and Meditation). She has designed and teaches corporate yoga and fitness programs, collective and private classes and international retreats. For more information see www.samantaduggal.com.

Each class at Ulpotha will leave you feeling joyous and peaceful. Find inner strength in mind and body like never before.

Wade Gotwals

Wade found yoga in the late 90's during his travels and since then has made it his passion to discover alternative techniques for furthering growth of mind and spirit and for healing the body. He's taught in Asia, Greece, South America and the U.S. and is always excited about sharing new discoveries.

Wade teaches a unique fusion of styles derived from his travels and from the inspirations of teachers like Dharma Mittra and Rusty Wells. His certifications in Ashtanga/Vinyasa, Thai and Intuitive Massage, and Touch for Health added with his meditation and Advaita studies in India with Ramesh Balsekar have given him many gifts to be thankful for and share with others...

His teaching style is structured but at the same time very playful and always gives options of openness, depth and strength so that everyone will be challenged and can share their energy. The Advaitic principles of 'oneness and non separation' are the dharmic principles to his teachings.

On his retreats you can expect a daily creative vinyasa flow based practice, with individual attention to challenging poses deconstructed and a daily restorative practice infused with meditation, dharma and thai yoga. He strives to find interesting ways to keep others inspired and connected and receiving inspiration from others is what keeps his love for yoga alive. www.wadeyoga.com


Teacher is still to be confirmed - Please contact us for latest details of this group

Bo and Shirley Srey

Originally from New York, Bo Srey has been on staff in major studios in San Francisco, Singapore, and Thailand. Bo and his wife Shirley offer workshops, immersions, and teacher trainings internationally and are two of Ulpotha's leading teachers.

Bo views teaching yoga as service, drawing on 20 years as a student of an awakened master to enrich his hatha yoga classes. This auspicious meeting in 1998 kick started a life-long journey in the practices of meditation, mantra, karma yoga and self-inquiry. He began formally teaching yoga in 2002.

He was certified as an Anusara yoga teacher in 2009, becoming the first certified teacher in Asia. Anusara is a principle-centered, alignment-based yoga school, which at the time had one of the most rigorous certification processes in the industry. Even though he now teaches in his own intuitive way, including drawing from a lifelong love of martial arts, he still uses Anusara’s highly effective alignment principles. His classes are also influenced by Tony Briggs, a senior Iyengar teacher from the San Francisco Bay area, with whom he has studied and apprenticed in-depth. In addition, he is a Yoga Alliance E-RYT 500 credentialed teacher.

Generally, his classes include a dynamic flow punctuated by clear alignment instructions and demonstrations. In his teaching, he also seeks to impart the understanding that 'aligning and flowing' can have a deeper implication: that of connecting us to our profound state of intuitive wisdom and joy—the awakened state of flow.

Originally from the New York area, he has taught at major studios in San Francisco, Singapore, and Thailand. Currently based in Singapore, he and his wife Shirley teach workshops, present at yoga conferences, and offer deeper immersions and teacher trainings, both locally and internationally. His deepest wish is that his students and all beings awaken and abide as pure Awareness. 

Shirley Srey is the first certified Prajna yoga teacher in Asia and former licensed Anusara-Inspired yoga teacher (2008-2012).  In 2006, she completed a comprehensive 200-hour Prajna Yoga Teacher Training with Tias Little in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  In 2008, Shirley was honoured to assist Tias at his Yoga Anatomy Teacher Training and Prajna Immersion in Singapore.  She also assisted him at a yoga conference in Hong Kong.

Since Shirley started studying yoga in June 2005, she has completed more than 2,000 hours of Anusara yoga training.  Her training includes more than 200 teacher training hours directly with the founder, and hundreds of teacher training and immersion study hours assisting Asia's first certified Anusara yoga teacher, Bo Srey.

Additionally, she has over 500 training hours with teachers from various disciplines, including Edward Clark, Ana Forrest, David Swenson, Matthew Sweeney, Shiva Rea, Sharon Gannon, and David Life.  As a student of meditation, chanting, service and contemplation, she has studied and practiced seva at an ashram in Ganeshpuri, India.  Her primary teacher and main influence is Bo Srey, whom she continues to study with to date, as she assists and supports him as his wife, and in his teaching.  A lover of creative movement and expression of the Heart, Shirley explores the elements of precise alignment, lightness, fluidity, and playfulness in her classes. 

To connect with Bo & Shirley , please visit www.spandananda.com

Giel Vandecaveye

Giel is one of Belgium's top Vinyasa teachers and is based in Ghent where he teaches regular classes and one-on-ones.

Years ago, Giel found out that yoga could bring peace and structure into his rather chaotic and hectic life, through meditation and consistent asana practice.

It was the joyous enthusiasm of Johan De Backer that made Giel decide to immerse himself in yoga philosophy and asana study. Johan enabled him to become profoundly aware of the power of deep meditation during his 5 years teacher training at the Institute for Patanjala Yoga where the Yogasutra of Patanjali and the Himalaya Yoga tradition were the core teachings. The emphasis on the spiritual and meditative essence of yoga was the solid foundation for the further evolution of Giel's own practice.

Giel completed his training in the spirit of the Himalaya masters by taking the courses of Yogacharya Lalit Kumar, direct student of Swami Vedhabarathi, grand master in the Himalaya Yoga tradition (RYT500). Lalit refined Giel's techniques and performance by focusing on the alignment in the B.N.S. Iyengar tradition.

The fluent dynamic movements of Ashtanga-Vinyasa Yoga, based on the original traditions of both masters, make his courses soft in building up, intense in performance, deep in breathing and joyously uplifting.

Giel has since been teaching yoga at Yoga-On-Call in Ghent, Belgium, and in other retreats around the world. He also offers one-on-one classes with a very personal approach via 37° Yoga, his own organisation, adapting yoga to personal needs and possibilities, adjusting meditation and asanas.

In Ulpotha, Giel will be offering a fun dynamic class in the morning, adapted to all levels, and a more relaxing class in the afternoons to welcome in the evening.

Gypsy Bast

A leading figure in the Bali and international Yoga world, Gypsy Bast has been dancing since a child and teaching both Yoga and Pilates for over 20 years.

Wherever she teaches, she has a habit of offering her greatest dharma, which is to help people feel good and move freely with lasting pleasure. She has been a teacher, healer, and performer for over 23 years, with a practice that evolves from backgrounds of dance, theater, yoga, pilates, and somatic movement therapies.

After surviving 10 car accidents, and numerous dance and stunt injuries, Gypsy restored herself 100% by applying exercises that she learned from healing trauma, as well as her lifetime of study. Using these modalities of healing, and living positively, she feels it is possible for everyone!  

She is known for her fun, uplifting attitude, and practices meditation, Yoga Nidra, and loves chanting mantras to connect to the Divine peace within all. 

Gypsy has traveled the world teaching yoga retreats and performing, and has had opportunities to train the Cirque du Soleil's "Totem" and "Corteo" shows in yoga and pilates. She coached children "at risk" of drugs and violence with Yoga, and even did an international tour as a dancer/aerialist, hanging upside down from a chandelier (a great one for neck pain!). Gypsy helps us intelligently discover and source our own energy power with practice... and joy! 

Morning classes at Ulpotha will begin with a grounded Meditation and Dynamic Hatha Flow. Using creative sequences, tune into the present moment, breathe, align, and learn adjustments. Listening to your body's language will allow your true spirit to move freely throughout you. Posture and precision for each individual will be a focus. Peace, softness and ease is cultivated and all levels are welcome.

Evening classes will explore Somatic Movement and Restorative Yoga where the parasympathetic nervous system can be addressed and stress levels reduced in the nerve body. Classes will end with a slowing down and finish gently with Yoga Nidra relaxation.

Jovinna Chan

Jovinna was born and raised in a village in Singapore. Inspired by the sacred temples and forests surrounding her home, she developed a sense of awe and reverence for daily living. The challenges that presented themselves throughout her early years strengthened her belief and her practice of love, faith, and kindness towards oneself and others.  Her teaching is strongly influenced by these elements.

Loving and fearless, Jovinna radiates warmth, self-acceptance, and compassion. The experiences and inquiries she brings to her students are full of that wonder. Jovinna is masterful in holding and creating sacred space for deep joy and transformational experiences.  She teaches many 200hr and 500hr yoga teacher training, yoga and conscious dance workshops and radiates an alive quality in the joy of movement that students and participants find liberating. Gifted and authentic, Jovinna is a well-respected teacher in yoga, conscious dance, and self-expression.

During your retreat,  Jovinna will design and facilitate effective and accessible yoga and conscious dance classes to create a field for deep relaxation and rejuvenation.  Using the teachings of asana, pranayama, meditation, yoga philosophy, and Soul Motion™ conscious dance practice Jovinna guides you to:

  • Get fully into your body
  • Cultivate awareness, presence, and stillness
  • Release fear, inhibition, and judgment
  • Express yourself spontaneously and authentically
  • Move in ways that feel nourishing and supportive

Lisa Garratt

San Diego native Lisa Garratt teaches and does bodywork in Santa Cruz and throughout the Bay Area in California, USA.

Lisa’s first experience of yoga was in early childhood, and as such, she does not recall much from those classes except smiling and just feeling really happy in them.  Later on in adolescence, yoga taught her how using her breath she could dissolve the pains of cramping while running.  In her early adulthood, she recognized its benefits in helping with insomnia, headaches, and an improved feeling of a balanced state of health and wellness when added to her exercise regime. 

When Lisa fully immersed herself in training to be a yoga instructor in 2001, she learned that this was just the tip of the iceberg of the myriad of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits of yoga.  Her training and background is eclectic with a strong emphasis on Iyengar (alignment) and Vinyasa (flow) yoga.  Additionally, her approach is influenced by her studies of meditation, massage, Pilates, and personal training.  She believes the practice of yoga and mindfulness can help people to be more comfortable in their own skin, more aware of what is going on within themselves, in addition to helping them to be stronger, more mobile, and more focused in their specific intentions in this world.

Lisa’s classes emphasize mindfulness, and depending on the time of day and needs of the students, will incorporate flowing postures, static postures, and detailed alignment instructions. Her classes are suitable for all levels and alternatives and modifications will be given as needed. Students will be encouraged to listen to their bodies and to adjust their practice based on experience, injuries, energy levels, and psychological needs. The morning class at Ulpotha will be more dynamic while the afternoon class will be a playful mix of restorative yoga, pranayama and meditation.

Malaika MaVeena Darville

Originally from Canada, Malaika is now based in Bali from where she travels the world to teach and dance. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience both on and off the mat to inspire those on the path of self-transformation. Malaika has been practicing yoga for over 18 years, which she has combined with teaching and performing African dance. Yoga and meditation have now become her refuge and tool for self-transformation.

Malaika completed her yoga teacher training in Australia in 2005 in the ISHTA system (Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra and Ayurveda). ISHTA is a holistic approach to creating a balanced yoga practice embodying its multi-dimensional nature.Since then, Malaika regularly teaches private and group classes in Australia, Costa Rica, Canada and Hawaii. She also created 'The Ultimate Journey', a five-day initiation retreat for women and elemental Trance Dance, an ecstatic dance journey through the 5 elements. Malaika is also a fully qualified Lomi Lomi therapist, a massage based on the traditional Hawaiian art of healing.

Her yoga classes provide a blend of ancient and contemporary teachings catered to your individual needs and she will encourage you to respect and listen to your own body using Pranayama and Visualisation to purify and quieten the mind Asana to stretch, strengthen and balance the body. Meditation to expand your awareness and cultivate loving compassion for yourself and others, and Dance to reconnect mind, body and spirit and celebrate the gift of life.You will be guided through a practice geared to bring you well-being, greater self awareness, inner and outer balance of the sacred Masculine and Feminine, and ultimately self-transformation and inner healing. In Ulpotha she will be combining yoga and 5 Elements Dance Activation™. Her teachings are suitable for beginners and intermediate levels.

Michael Larsen

Based in Oslo, Norway, Michael Larsen has been holding space for Yogic exploration full time since 2011 at several yoga studios, privately and to corporate clients.  A top level Senior Teacher of Master Duncan Wong, he belongs to the first generation of senior Duncan’s Yogic Arts instructors in Europe.

His practice started at Eight Treasures Yoga, Norway’s only donation based studio, as one of the first students of the founder John Bentham.  After training with Duncan Wong in 2012 he has hosted and assisted Duncan with his Yogic Arts 200hrs TT program in Oslo, France and Thailand.

Prior to discovering yoga, he spent a year at Siping Shaolin Martial Arts academy in Northern China where he learned the foundations of Chinese Martial Arts and was introduced to Taiji, Qigong and meditation.

For the past 2 years he has been studying massage therapy and will be a certified therapist summer 2018.

He is now a father of two.

His teaching style encompasses the heart of Martial Arts, the purification of ashtanga vinyasa and the healing touch of massage. His classes are creative, fun and informative, and focus on grounding the nervous system to optimize movement and posture and ensure that the physical practice brings students into deep relaxation for savasana, after opening and strengthening the body through Asanas in order to permit them to go deeper in meditation.

In Ulpotha, the morning practice will consist of meditation, mantra chanting, pranayama, empowering Vinyasa flows with wave motions, warrior stances, some arm balances, hip-opening and intelligent modifications of finishing poses specifically focusing on safety and effectiveness for even the tightest backs. Michael’s refined approach to assisting and alignment makes the practice accessible and challenging to all levels, giving variations to meet the individual needs of each student.

In the evening practice, Michael will be teaching a rhythmic breathing pattern with gentle, calming movements, yin poses and guided savasana to tune inward towards where sleep awaits.

Molly Harragin

Molly is a joyous Jivamukti-inspired teacher from London where she teaches at a number of studios as well as to private and corporate clients. She also leads retreats and teaches events and festivals around Europe.

Having discovered yoga in Bali in 2007, Molly went on to further her yoga studies through intensive trainings in India, Australia & the UK. After practicing various styles including Ashtanga, Sivananda, and even laughing yoga, she specialised in Jivamukti Yoga. It is here that she found her yogic home, attracted to a system that managed to translate the ancient yogic teachings into a modern day setting. She loved the way Jivamukti yoga made a constant correlation between the yoga practice and life off the mat and helped Molly to see the practice as a way of transforming health, cultivating mindfulness, and reconnecting us back to our planet and to one another.

Molly then became a certified Yoga Therapist after studying at Yogacampus in London and has trained in EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). Yoga Therapy is a way of tailoring yoga to any individual medical conditions or injuries with the ultimate aim of self-healing. It brings the ancient system of yoga into a therapeutical setting where the individual is met holistically as a multi-layered being.

Her yoga now combines these two complementary yogic and therapeutic methods in a well-rounded practice which includes meditation, pranayama, chakra balancing, philosophy, vinyasa, hands-on adjustments, partner yoga, yoga nidra and kirtans. A special focus is placed on alignment and breathwork in asana (postures) in Molly's classes.

At Ulpotha Molly will begin the morning with an energizing flow yoga class to invigorate and inspire your day.  Classes include a creative sequence based on a particular philosophical theme, chanting, meditation and pranayama. In the evening Molly will offer a more explorative breath-focused approach which incorporates the principles of yoga therapy and prepares the practitioner for a deep soothing session of relaxation and yoga nidra.

Molly is used to teaching complete beginners and advanced yogis alike and welcomes all levels to join the retreat. 

Nigel Gilderson and Fiona Shepherd

Combining Nigel’s deep knowledge of Hatha Vinyasa Yoga and Anatomy with Fiona’s insight of Yoga Therapy and Tantra this two-week retreat is designed to help you loosen and unwind and set you on the path of a rich new practice of physical and mental awakening.

The morning classes will mostly consist of slow flowing Vinyasa to strengthen and tone, with a particular emphasis on breathwork.  Nigel and Fiona will be building up from the foundations of Hatha yoga in Week 1 to more advanced asanas in Week 2 according to your particular abilities and experience.  In the more restorative evening sessions, Nigel and Fiona will facilitate practices based on Tai Chi, Qi Gong, bodywork and Tantra Yoga to deeply connect with the natural environment of Ulpotha and its surroundings.

Nigel Gilderson

Nigel Gilderson has been teaching yoga in the UK and on retreats around the world since 1997. He is the founder and senior teacher of Brockwell Lido yoga centre in London.  Nigel's teaching has evolved over the years and incorporates a blend of many yoga styles, with influences from tai chi and shadow yoga and Alexander technique integrating the celebration of the heart, universal principles of alignment, and balanced energetic action in the performance of asana. Each student's abilities and limitations are deeply respected and honoured. The practice builds strength, flexibility, and stamina as well as bringing awareness to the internal creating, capturing and cultivating energy.


Fiona Shepherd

Practising since 1985, Fiona started with Iyengar Yoga in Pune in India before completing her teacher training with Nigel Gilderson at the Amrita School of Yoga in London in 2012.  She then trained in Yoga Therapy at the Integrative Yoga Therapy Centre in Garopaba, Brazil and in Tantra Yoga at the Shri Kali Ashram in Rishikesh and is a member of the Independent Yoga Network. Alongside yoga, Fiona incorporates elements of Thai Yoga massage, nutrition, Qigong and Mindfulness into her classes, workshops and consultations, with an emphasis on the Tantra and Hatha traditions.  Equally at home in leading gentle and restorative classes as well as more dynamic, vinyasa practices, Fiona focuses on breath, strength work and opening poses (teaching the body to relax in every situation), movement and containment of the subtle energies, as well as guided relaxation to bring ease.  She aims to help students learn to listen to and trust the inherent wisdom of their bodymind to maintain wellness and the means to bring that blissful experience of their essence nature into every moment of their lives.

Rob Hess

Rob Hess is one of California's most experienced and fun teachers of Prana Flow - a delicious blend of gentle flowing but deep asanas, incorporating restorative, therapeutic, meditative and spiritual practices centered around the heart.

Rob’s Teaching has evolved and has come a long way from where he began practicing in Cleveland Ohio to his days teaching in Washington DC to now living in Ventura and owning a studio (Jai Rhythm) with his business partner Colin Brightfield. What drew him to the practice of yoga was the physical part but after years of study and devotion it’s the spiritual part of the practice that feeds his soul. And through this amazing journey he found his home in the Prana Flow community with his teacher Shiva Rea.

While Rob’s style is ever evolving, Rob’s teaching is rooted in Prana Flow: a synthesis-oriented approach to living the art of yoga created by his primary teacher, Shiva Rea. Born from the traditions of classical yoga, Bhakti, Tantra and Ayurveda, Prana Flow integrates various forms of spiritual embodiment practice to reveal yoga as a flow of unity consciousness.

Rob has traveled all over assisting Shiva’s workshops and teacher trainings. And through her guidance he loves to share with others all that he has come to know and hold dear to his heart. Rob’s style of teaching is fun, challenging, and lighthearted as he tries not to take life too seriously. He encourages students to enjoy the journey rather than fighting to get to the destination.

Rob has been leading workshops and trainings all over the U.S. and loves how the power of yoga is universal, that no matter where he goes you can feel an amazing sense of community and love.

Rob has found that through his own sadhana, yoga can free the body and mind from the self limitations we impose on ourselves and that through practice we are able to get in touch with the very essence of who we are. His goal as a teacher is to help students uncover their own personal truth and live a life that is empowered.

People will experience a fun and playful journey to the self.  His teachings are open to all levels.  Whether you come to Ulpotha to relax or you come to challenge your practice, Rob will be offering something for everyone.

Stephen Thomas

Zurich-based Stephen Thomas teaches a dynamic transformative approach to Classical Hatha Yoga that balances his many years in the Ashtanga System with the alignment approach of the great master B.K.S. Iyengar. He also borrows inspiration from his interest in Tibetan Buddhism and the powerful, life affirming Yoga practices of a Tantric Yoga philosophy. His classes, workshops and teacher trainings cover the range of Hatha Yoga practices from asana, to pranayama, mantra, and meditation.

Stephen Thomas comes from Vancouver, Canada where he originally discovered his yoga practices and teaching. After being guided into the foundations of Yoga, he began teaching at a studio that he co-founded. The years at that mountainside studio were a period of intense creativity and energy which would transform the coming years.

He eventually left Canada for Asia to deepen his studies and understanding of Yoga, Buddhism and the essence of life. He now studies under his spiritual and pranayama guru, Sri. O.P. Tiwari. As his major teachers and influences Stephen also lists Sri. K Pattabhi Jois, B.K.S. Iyengar, Richard Freeman, Dharmanidhi Saraswati and Paul Dallaghan. He continues to visit India, Tibet and Sri Lanka as a seeker on the path and as a yoga pilgrim.

The intention of his teaching work is to present Yoga in its classical form, as a way rediscovering our essential nature and awakening to our fullest potential in all aspects of life. His approach mixes a reverence for the original teachings, with a lightness, creativity and humility that allows students to make there own deep enquiry from a foundation of knowledge and experience.

Stephen is currently based in Taiwan during his months in Asia, and Zurich during the summers. He has also been a part of the Yoga Thailand community since it opened in 2003. He teaches immersions, teacher intensives and classes throughout Asia and Europe. More information can be found at www.stephenthomasyoga.com


Sorry, Ulpotha is closed for a private group during these dates.

Below are some of the yoga teachers that have worked with Ulpotha in the past

Angus Ford-Robertson

Angus has been teaching Yoga and Meditation since qualifying as a Sivananda Yoga teacher in 2001. Since then his contemporary approach has drawn on many teachings and has been influenced by Scaravelli, Iyengar, Yin Yoga and dynamic styles. He is indebted to a number of spiritual teachers, particularly Eckhart Tolle, Ajahn Sumedho and the late great Duncan McColl.

Angus' teaching is based on experience rather than theory and is supported by a deep personal understanding of the healing process. He derives great joy from seeing students discover their own inner stillness.Beyond spirituality, motorbikes, music, photography and discovering new lands, Angus' other loves include his partner Nadia, his two boys Rohan and Conor and his daughter Freya.

Daniela Schmid

Yogini, mother, spiritual activist, yoga studio founder Daniela is an experienced Vinyasa Yoga teacher and humble student who is immensely grateful for the gift of yoga inviting her to connect fully to the beauty of each moment.

She has studied with numerous known and unknown teachers following them around the world and welcoming them in her studio in Paris, France. She is as well an Esalen Massage and Myofascial Release therapist. Daniela weaves yoga philosophy and massage techniques into her teachings.

Her classes integrate dynamic vinyasa flow, precise alignment, meditation, visualization, intention and prayer to create an inner journey towards healing and empowerment. Taking yoga off the mat Daniela organises yoga workshops and events to raise awareness and money for different global as well as grassroot charities.

She supports especially the causes of children, women and nature. Daniela donates her time and her proceeds of her teaching in Ulpotha to 'Terre des hommes Core' in Tiruvannamalai.

Daniela is based in Paris, France, where she founded the world famous Rasa Yoga Rive Gauche studio www.rasa-yogarivegauche.com and Frankfurt, Germany, where she lives with her beloved husband and 4 year old son.

She teaches in her 2 hometowns and leads workshops and retreats worldwide. Daniela and her studio in Paris were recently featured in the American Yoga Journal.

Dylan Bernstein and Alice Moulimois

Dylan Bernstein is a senior Ashtanga teacher at Pure Yoga in Hong Kong and Buddhist scholar.

Originally from the US, he had the good fortune to be introduced to Yoga and Zen meditation in 1988. Over the last 22 years, he has called upon the practice to engage the body, still the mind and study the soul. Lifelong interests in Asian philosophy, religion and poetry have inspired him to leave American soil and live all over Asia since 2001. During one of the years in India, he encountered Vijay Amar, who introduced him to Ashtanga Yoga and trained him to teach. Since then, he has been lucky enough to study under many of the worlds senior Ashtanga teachers.

The recent years have been spent travelling and teaching through a multitude of European and Asian locales. Dylan now spends half of the year running a Mysore program at Pure Yoga in Hong Kong. The other half finds him leading retreats, workshops and trainings in wonderful places almost as nice as Ulpotha! More information can be found at www.stillnessinaction.com.

Alice Moulimois

Alice hails from the sandy beaches of Noumea, New Caledonia. A graduate of Sciences Po Toulouse, she has been in Asia since 2009 - an auspicious year during which Alice was introduced to Buddhism, yoga asana and meditation. Extensive journeys through India have led her to study and practice with great asana teachers and spiritual masters of various traditions. In 2011, she obtained her Yoga Teacher Certification and learned Thai Yoga Massage.

In her yoga practice as in teaching, Alice values compassion, patience, curiosity and determination on the way to self-knowledge. She believes daily asana self-practice to be a powerful pathway to personal transformation and feels thankful for the opportunity to share this gift in such a precious environment as Ulpotha, one of her favorite places in the world.

At Ulpotha, Alice provides guidance based on her experience of the Ashtanga first series and offers classes in yin yoga, a restorative practice using gravity, slow breathing and mindfulness to gently open the body and free the mind. She is happy to help with English-French translation whenever needed and is looking forward to meeting you there!

Katy Appleton

UK's Katy Appleton enjoyed a 10 year career as a dancer before devoting herself completely to yoga. She danced across the world with the Royal Ballet and English National Ballet, complimenting her dance career with the power of yoga's movements, breathing and relaxation techniques.

Katy qualified to teach yoga in 1998, after studying many different styles with some of the world's leading practitioners. Katy draws on her experiences to teach her own form of yoga, known worldwide as appleyoga. The appleyoga brand has published several yoga books and five bestselling DVDs by Katy, she also appears regularly on Sky TV.

Nicolas Shanti

Paris-based Nicolas Shanti's Raja yoga brings strength, flexibility and calm through asana, pranayama, chanting and meditation.

Nicolas first discovered yoga in 1995 during his first voyage to India. Returning to Paris, he studied at the Sivananda Center in Paris and Orleans and became a certified teacher in 2001. From 2000-2003, he began practicing traditional Astanga both in Paris and Mysore and took courses with David Williams, Danny Paradise and Darby. He went on to develop his Vinyasa practice during Jivamukti and Anusara workshops in the US and in France.

In 1999, he began a daily meditation practice and decided to become a teacher of Raja Yoga. Since 2007, he has been studying Kriya Yoga techniques and Satyananda Yoga with Monica Neuvy, Micheline Flak, and the Gianfremi brothers at the Satyananda Ashram in Brittany.

For the past ten years, Nicolas has been studying, practicing and teaching Yoga on a daily basis and spends 2-3 months in India every year deepening his knowledge of yoga. He teaches in Paris at the Rasa Yoga center among other studios, as well as privately and runs the Yoga studio at Paradis Plage in Morocco.

Integrating the dynamism of vinyasa with the precision of traditional Indian teachings, Nicolas also likes to introduce the subtleties of Raja yoga into his teaching. During his classes, one will be encouraged to concentrate on breathwork during flowing postures, and to focus on energy circulation and balance in the true spirit of traditional Indian hatha. Emphasis is placed on postural alignment in each asana and relaxation (yoga nidra) is an important part of each class, allowing one to completely let go. All levels are welcome.

Philippa Asher

Philippa is one of a few Ashtanga yoga practitioners in the world to receive the Advanced Certification (the highest teaching qualification) awarded by K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, India.

She regularly practices the first four series with her teachers at KPJAYI and has Gurujis and Sharaths blessing to teach the Primary Intermediate and Advanced Ashtanga Series.

Philippa established and taught the Triyoga Soho Ashtanga Self Practice programme for several years before moving to South India to work on an exciting project to bring Ashtanga yoga, to all levels of practitioner in nature.

She honours the traditional Ashtanga Yoga method (as taught in Mysore) and also holds a BA (hons) in Dance and Post Graduate Certificate in the Education of Adults (Surrey University).

Philippas dedicated passion for Ashtanga yoga her background as a trained dancer and her experience as a qualified teacher give her a deeply intuitive and sound understanding of bodies yoga asanas people and how they learn. Her approach to teaching and learning asana is serious yet lighthearted and joyful.

Morning and afternoon classes at Ulpotha will cover:

- Concepts of the Ashtanga practice

- Yoga philosophy

- Technique and safe alignment

- Led classes

- Self Practice

- Meditation and pranayama

For more information about Philippa see www.ashtangaphilippa.com

Stephen Ewashkiw

Stephen Ewashkiw is a travelling yogi and adventurer. He is Canadian, and British, and has called many cities home, including Vancouver, Los Angeles, and London.

Stephen leads inspiring, adventurous, and educational yoga events around the world. He regularly teaches in Vietnam, Indonesia, Hong Kong and China, as well as around Europe, where he is currently teaching in Helsinki, Paris, Amsterdam, London, Berlin, and beyond.

Stephen teaches students to find the clarity and courage to live their own adventures through Adventure Yoga. Adventure Yoga classes are alignment-infused, active, intelligently sequenced, instructional classes. Sometimes classes are vinyasa-based, sometimes class will slow down for more focus on specific anatomical lessons. Stephen is passionate about teaching students in a fun, adventurous, yoga environment that will teach you to find your own courage and strength. It is his belief that we should all be able to live our best lives and to live our OWN lives and his teachings are infused with this philosophy.

Stephen's yoga journey started in Los Angeles, where he taught full-time, while studying with Darren Rhodes, Christina Sell, Noah Mazé, Chris Chavez and many other amazing teachers. Stephen is registered with the Yoga Alliance as RYT500, ERYT200. In 2013, he left Los Angeles to travel the world by bicycle with his wife, Jane. They cycled through 22 countries, covering 18,000 km or so. Since then, he graduated from Noah Mazé’s YOGAMAZÉ 300-Hour Teacher Training and has taught yoga to students in more than 20 countries around the world.

In Ulpotha, Stephen's morning sessions will be focussed on yoga postures (asana), combining Vinyasa and Hatha for an energizing start to the day. Expect active, intelligently sequenced, instructional classes.  In the evening classes, we will focus on the more contemplative aspects of yoga, like breathwork (pranayama), meditation, and mantra and how they work in combination with your asana practice.

Find out more about Stephen at: http://www.myfiveacres.com/yoga


Cat De Rham

Hawaii-based Cat De Rham has been teaching since the mid-nineties. Schooled in both Astanga and Iyengar yoga, she teaches from the spirit of alignment. She is the author of 'The Spirit of Yoga'
Her workshops in Ulpotha focus on,

A grounding in the core princaples of alignment

Exploring one's internal energetic landscape through Asana

Pranayama and meditation

Deepa Moodgal

Deepa has been living and breathing yoga for over 14 years and was brought up in a family where yoga was so much part of her daily life. She has studied under the guidance of some of the most well known and respected yoga teachers around the globe, and she offers gratitude to her immediate teacher Shiva Rea who contiunes to inspire her along her yoga path and to her beautiful beautiful son who is simply a magical ball of Prana and to all her students, friends and fellow teachers for their love, strength and encouragement over the years.

Deepa's classes are Bhakti (devotional) led where emphasis is on a dynamic yet nuturing creative flow of asana practice and her students are encouraged to stay present by connecting to their true inner feelings, through deep awareness of their breath-the vital life force-Prana.

In a practice she will often work with the energy that her students present to her rather than to a specific structure or routine, laying emphasis on structural alignment movement meditations and Mudras (Hand gestures). Classes will be more Solar and Dynamic led in the morning with awareness on Pranayama and Kriyas, with the afternoon sessions being more Lunar and Restorative in nature with guided meditations and deep relaxation (Yoga Nidra). Deepa believes that yoga is a gift and a universal path and she offers her practice and study of yoga to everyone with whom she comes into contact.

Georgia Marnham

Brazil-based Georgia Marnham is a qualified Iyengar Yoga teacher with broad experience, having practised Iyengar Yoga for over 15 years, while teaching in Australia, England and South Africa. She has studied with senior Iyengar teachers from many countries and in 2006 she spent a month in Pune, India at the RMYI with 80 other teachers from around the world for more advanced learning with the founder, BKS Iyengar, his daughter, Geeta and son, Prashant.

Georgia knows first hand the ability of yoga to rehabilitate and has a strong focus on the restorative and remedial benefits of Iyengar Yoga. She uses a clear and calm style of teaching with an emphasis on poses that reflect the individual needs of each student. Classes will make use of a variety of props allowing correct alignment within the pose, so that the body feels energised and not strained, which is the hallmark of the Iyengar style.

Mithila Ubayasekara

In Mithi's yoga classes, we work seriously and laugh a lot. Yoga is a path of Spirit, most importantly about how to be in high spirits through anything and everything.

A lifelong passion for dance and movement and an upbringing in Ayurveda (the Indian science of life), led Sri Lankan born Mithila to work with dance in 1997 and yoga and meditation in 2002. After having left a 6 year career in systems software consulting she now works with yoga, dance, meditation and bodywork primarily based in Gothenburg, Sweden but travels the world for teaching and study. She is trained by GGI in Swedish Classic Massage, Wat Pho trained in Thai Reflexology Foot Massage and does body work infused with yoga therapy.

With a spirit determined to live an authentic life and to guide others in finding their true paths, Mithila continues her studies in spiritual awakening. With a background in Ashtanga Vinyasa basics, teacher training in Classic Hatha Yoga at White Lotus Foundation, Santa Barbara, and Ulrica Norbergs Power Vinyasa Yoga, she has journeyed with Anusara and classic Hatha teachers and now studies with teacher Jonathan Monks of Yogamonks and Kriya Yogananda in the UK.

To find out more about Mithila, please visit

Nilesh R. Tiwari

Nilesh’s journey to yoga has taken him through myriad philosophical thought systems and practices that fuel his life’s passion for practice and learning. He began studying yoga asana at primary school in India. He later spent many years studying yoga in various ashrams around India as well as in Mysore.

Throughout the years, he became fascinated by both the rigor and the subtle forms within the Ashtanga Vinyasa system. His study expanded to include Sivananda Yoga.

A former athlete, he has deep interest in the human body combined with keen observation skills and precise hands-on adjustment style. He understands the challenges and also the accessibility of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Mysore method and Sivanada style.

His teaching style is infused with kindness and humility, simplicity and lightheartedness. Nilesh strives to create a class environment that is non-intimidating, cheerful, inquisitive and one in which students are encourage to challenge themselves, and grow with the practice.

Nilesh R. Tiwari teaches in the tradition of Ashtanga Yoga. He is certified by BNS Iyengar and Ajay Kumar from Mysore. He also has been given the title Yoga Acharya - Master of Yoga from the International Sivananda Yoga Vendanta Center.

His shala is in Jakarta Indonesia where he currently been teaching for over 5 years (www.ashtangajakarta.com).

Rajeev Kahn

Rajeev Kahn is Senior Instructor and Former Director of Learning and Development at Pure Yoga in Hong Kong and one of the most loved teachers in Paris.

Exposed to meditation at age 11 and asana at 16, Rajeev was certified to teach Ashtanga in his 20s and Anusara in his 30s but now teaches neither nor. Today the space his students and he co-create is one characterized by vitality, safety, mutual respect, admiration, and playfulness.

During his 5 years on faculty at Rasa Yoga Rive Gauche Rajeev was named a pointure (master teacher) in the book Paris Yoga. The Hong Kong-based Chicago native remains a dedicated student of Sri Baba Hari Dass whom he encountered in 2000. It is to Babaji that Rajeev credits his patience, humor, and optimism.