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About Madeleine

A question I am often asked is “what got you in to Yoga,” here’s the story:

I had been put off most forms of physical activity at school by a rather sadistic games mistress, whose idea of fun was cross country running on a cold winters day in heavy rain and mud, being battered and bruised by hockey or lacrosse sticks, and running endless laps of the school field on the hottest of summer days to the point of collapse. Consequently when I was eighteen and my mother suggested I go to a Yoga class with her I was less than enthusiastic. Attendance of the class did nothing further to encourage me to continue, I found the postures difficult, my body was stiff and unyielding, and I seemed to be breathing in when everyone else was breathing out, I couldn’t co-ordinate my lefts and rights (a problem that still challenges me to this day), I couldn’t make head nor tail of the Sanskrit terminology, I fidgeted through the relaxation sequence and found the whole experience quite stressful. I quickly deduced that Yoga was not for me.

“The yoga mat is a good place to turn when talk therapy and antidepressants aren't enough.”
Amy Weintraub

Fast forward seven years to a time in my life when all was not well, the details are irrelevant, but suffice to say I had a breakdown of sorts, I suffered from anxiety and panic attacks, depression and insomnia. The day my G.P. gave me a prescription for muscle relaxants, anti-depressants and sleeping pills was my wake up call. I could have taken the pills, but somewhere inside me was a tiny Yoga seed that had been planted all those years before, somehow it sent tiny shoots in to my consciousness, and I found myself thinking that maybe Yoga relaxation techniques would be a better alternative to prescription drugs.

I signed myself up to a local class and attended twice a week, my body was still stiff and unyielding, but because I was generally exhausted with the antics of my three small children and insomnia, I found the relaxation and meditation time a welcome refuge.

Slowly I began to look forward to the posture work too, thanks to an inspiring teacher who made it all a fun with her broad and varied approach, and amazingly within six months I was sleeping better and had much better control of my panic attacks, I added a third class to my schedule – such was my desperation to get my life back on track!

Two years later my body and mind were in better shape than they had ever been, and more importantly I had completely recovered from my breakdown – I was hooked.


It was around this time I received a call from my Yoga teacher saying she had been asked to take on a new beginner's class but didn’t have the time, she suggested I do it. My initial response was to say no as I had no formal training and the whole idea was too daunting. My teacher at that time was a British Wheel of Yoga Teacher/Trainer, who assured me that I would be more than capable with her support and guidance, and that I could embark on a training programme to learn more as I went along. The rest, as they say, is history . . .

That teacher's name is Rosemary Ryder-Richardson, I will always be indebted to both her and her husband Colin, who between them opened my eyes to a new way of looking at the world and introduced me to some of the tools that help me remain stable on the roller coaster of life.

Over the past thirty years I have continued to teach, and have explored various forms of Yoga. I have been influenced by many different teachers and teaching styles. Included in my current personal practice, and therefore often reflected in my classes, is the precision of Iyengar Yoga, Vinyasa flows, and in particular the motion and rhythm of Shiva Rea’s approach, and Yin Yoga as expressed by Paul Grilley.

Along the way I have also trained in Craniosacral Therapy, Kinesiology, Reflexology, Thai Massage, and other forms of bodywork, these too have given me a deeper insight into the workings of the body and energetic systems, all of which enrich my approach to Yoga.

I am registered with the Independent Yoga Network as a Yoga Elder, having over 7,000 hours teaching experience.

I am covered to teach with Full Professional Liability Insurance.