Brother & sister team, Neil Richardson & Jinty Sheerin are both devoted students of Ashtanga Yoga.
A career in construction and years spent as a bodybuilder had broken Neil’s body. When his personal life unexpectedly changed he knew he could not go forward the way he was, physically or emotionally. His search began with Hatha Yoga, eventually leading him to Ashtanga Yoga. Neil studied with different Ashtanga teachers but it was not an easy path, having lower back and knee issues and shoulders so tight he could barely hold downward dog, all made transformation very difficult. He was at the point of giving up when, in 2010, he met his teacher, Nancy Gilgoff, at Purple Valley, Goa. She began to pick up the broken pieces and he has not looked back. Since then he has seen Nancy every year, staying in Maui & studying with her most winters. She encouraged him to teach and so he began teaching his youngest sister, Jinty, who also teaches and looks after their Shala while Neil travels & studies.
Neil teaches as he was taught by Nancy, & also brings a great understanding of injury and inflexibility within the body. He believes we need a good teacher, one that we can trust, that also has a daily practice. But self inquiry & listening to the teacher inside of ourselves is important too. His teaching is compassionate, direct, & fun.
Neil teaches mostly through the Spring/Summer months in the Shala, Ashtanga Yoga Exmouth, UK, that he & his sister share.
The first yoga Jinty ever learned was controlled breathing whilst in labour with her first child (1997). A very quick labour led to Jinty not having time for any pain relief. The midwife spent the time breathing with her, she learned how a single breath could connect her with her body & what a powerful tool the breath can be. The following few years were spent working & bringing up a family. When seeing the positive change in Neil she asked if the would teach her.
Jinty began to learn Ashtanga Yoga on a 1-2-1 basis with Neil. A (short) daily practice quickly followed. She began covering Neils classes whilst he was with Nancy during the winter and together they started to build a local Ashtanga community.
Jinty has studied with Manju Jois, David Swenson and continues to study with Nancy Gilgoff. She practices & teaches the traditional method that Nancy teaches and has a great interest in women’s health, and mental health issues, having struggled with PMS (pre-menstrual tension) for years and Post Natal Depression the Astanga Practice soon became her sanctuary. Understanding what Yoga can do for stilling the mind, as well as finding comfort and confidence within the body so that you can be there to support others is a priority. Jinty is one of the first Yoga Teachers to have qualified with Petra Coveney in Menopause Yoga. Running MY Workshops and Classes here in Devon at AYE. She is a member the British Menopause Society and has completed Pregnancy Yoga Teacher Training with Cherie Lathey at Yogamama.
Jinty also studies Sanskrit with Zoe Slatoff.
She is Teaching Traditional Mysore & Led Ashtanga classes in both Primary and Intermediate series, throughout the year at the Ashtanga Yoga Exmouth Shala that she and her brother founded.
‘ Ashtanga Yoga is for everyone. You do not have to be flexible, to join us. It may not always be easy but nothing worth doing ever is. Yoga will help you with physical & emotional injuries/traumas, with stress & anxiety, & even if you do not search for it a spiritual pathway be found.’ ‘You cannot pour from an empty cup so it is important to give yourself some time to be ‘well’. We are both students before we are teachers and we all walk this path together, this is why we teach this method of direct lineage, Parampara- knowledge that is passed from teacher to student. Every teacher will bring their own personality to their classes but ultimately we teach the way that Nancy teaches us, the way in which she was taught….. Traditional, old school, intuitively and compassionately. It is a healing practice we hope to provide you with the correct tools to do just this….. have fun and maybe learn to stand on your head while you’re here’
Nancy began practicing Ashtanga Yoga over forty years ago with Pattabhi Jois, in Mysore, India. When Nancy asked Jois how she should teach, he told her to “teach the way I taught you”—advice which she took to heart and continues to follow today.
Nancy’s studies over the years have also led her to other teachers, including Baba Hari Das and in addition, she has and continues to pursue the dharma teachings of the Dalai Lama.
She spends much of her time touring the United States, Europe, and Asia, teaching with a view to fostering loving-kindness and to sharing her love and experience of yoga.