Meet the Special Yoga Core Team & Trainers

 

Our dedicated team share a passion for making an impact on children with special needs and redefining what our society perceives as possible for people with special abilities. Each person has a role that is integral to our success.

 

Jyoti Manuel | Founder of Special Yoga & Lead Practitioner
Having supported children with special and additional needs for over quarter of a century, Jyoti is a spiritual leader and mentor for all of our practice work. Setting the standard for a positive approach towards teaching yoga that our practitioners across the world reinforce.


Dhara Nortcliffe | Senior Practitioner, Trainer, Development & Support 

Having had the privilege of sitting beside Jyoti over many years of trainings, Dhara is now an integral part of the the training team. As a senior Special Yoga Practitioner Dhara has a deep knowledge, understanding and passion to share the benefits of Special Yoga, especially for children on the Autism spectrum.  In addition to this, Dhara’s business responsibilities are pivotal in expanding our reach; allowing us to bring the benefits of Special Yoga to schools, health service providers and other organisations. Dhara also takes care of the support and development of our Practitioners.


Christine Godwin | Senior Practitioner & Trainer

Christine is one of our Senior Practitioners with extensive experience both in supporting her beautiful child Jacob, who has downs syndrome, and other children and adults with special needs. With heartfelt commitment Christine supports the organisation in a variety of ways.


Claire Baker Practitioner & Administrative Guru
Claire helps run Special Yoga as part of the core team. She is also a Special Yoga practitioner and works with children to help them to find peace and to fulfil their personal potential.

 


Karuna Jackman | Senior Special Yoga Practitioner & Trainer
Karuna is one of our Senior Practitioners, working with adults and children with special needs for over 8 years. She is a British Wheel of Yoga and Integral Yoga trained teacher bringing her compassionate gentle nature to all her clients. She has also trained in Hanna Somatic Movement, a form of neuromuscular re-education that helps to ease chronic stress in the body.

Karuna’s classes are rooted in compassion; aimed to develop a loving relationship to where we are right now and a chance to explore one’s full potential. A well-rounded class with some chanting, postures relaxation, breathing and meditation provides the opportunity to connect with our own true nature…bliss!


Rani Arduino | Senior Special Yoga Practitioner & Trainer
Rani is a Senior Practitioner at Special Yoga with an innate ability to create a fun, creative and empowering experience during her yoga sessions with children and teenagers. Rani values the transformational benefits yoga can give the next generation and dedicates her practice to helping children connect with themselves, feel loved and explore their potential. Rani also holds a degree in Psychology from the University of Torino in Italy.


Katy Lowe Katy Lowe | Senior Special Yoga Practitioner & Trainer
Katy’s passion is to go beyond the body and see the real beauty that sits inside each and every one of us. Katy believes that there are no limits to what one can achieve, and she practises from a place of deep compassion and empathy. Katy’s work is predominantly with children and young adults with Cerebral Palsy, Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities and profound autism.


Daniella Oviedo Special Yoga Practitioner & Trainer
Since 2012 Daniella has worked with children in mainstream and special needs education. Daniella’s work has given her an insight into the Autistic Spectrum and an understanding of the needs and the innate potential of all children.

Daniella’s therapeutic experiences in the spheres of art therapy and adult mental health enable her to work intuitively to the specific needs of individuals. Daniella’s classes create spaces of peace that empower children to fully receive the benefits of Special Yoga.


Emma Cowhig Special Yoga Practitioner & Trainer

Emma’s passion is working with children with conditions such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD, helping them to reconnect with their body and gain greater balance in all aspects of their life. As a practitioner, she focuses on providing sessions that build emotional and mental resilience. She has been working in mainstream schools and nurseries around the Merseyside area since 2014.

Emma also brings over 20 years’ experience of working in mental health and social care where she witnessed the effects of poor emotional and mental resilience on a first-hand basis. Personally, Emma has used special yoga techniques in her own life to overcome chronic pain.


Special Yoga Mindfulness Team

Ayala Hosmany | Teaching Yoga & Mindfulness to Children Trainer
With an unyielding appreciation for the creative elements that yoga entails, Ayala uses her background in classical ballet and design to bring her own unique teaching into classes. Ayala is the author of the Enchanted Wonders™ books and is a qualified British Wheel of Yoga and Yoga Alliance teacher.


Emma Naisbett | Teaching Yoga & Mindfulness to Children Trainer
Having worked as an education professional for over 20 years, Emma has an exceptional understanding of primary teaching across all key stages. Emma’s desire to support her young daughter, who was suffering from severe anxiety, sparked the beginning of a fulfilling journey. Emma teaches mindfulness in educational settings to children, teachers, parents, families and has also been a part of the Oxford University-led MYRIAD project, which is investigating the impact mindfulness has on adolescents.


Beryl Lovegrove | Teaching Yoga & Mindfulness to Children Trainer
Beryl began practising yoga over 40 years ago and has been teaching yoga to children for the last ten, and is a qualified teacher with Yoga Campus and accredited by the British Wheel of Yoga. She has trained with Jyoti Manual at Special Yoga and with Michael Chissick of Yoga at School and holds a BTEC Advanced Diploma in Teaching Yoga to Children. Beryl has also trained with Judith Hanson Lasater as a Restorative Yoga Practitioner and is an ITEC Massage Therapist.

Beryl uses yoga as a therapeutic intervention to support children with Special Educational Needs in mainstream pre- and primary schools when teaching yoga and mindfulness to children. She teaches children’s yoga days, workshops and events and organises a ‘Yoga Space’ for children at community and charity events. Beryl also delivers Mindfulness for Mental Health Resilience Training to school teaching staff on behalf of Special Yoga.


Special Yoga Adult Team

Richard Kravetz | Trainer for Adult/Chair Yoga

Richard has been teaching yoga for over 15 years to adults, children and for special needs. He holds a BWY Dip for teaching adults and children and served as County Rep for North London & City 2005-13.

His interest in special needs originated when his second child was born with Global Developmental Delay. Richard currently teaches at day centres, special schools and residential homes. Richard’s training enables practitioners to deliver yoga therapy to the wider population and helps facilitate the practice of yoga for people with special needs.


Special Yoga Guest Trainers

Giuliana Wheater | Trainer for Reiki/Indian Head Massage

Author of Indian Head Massage for Special Needs, award-winning therapist, teacher, trainer, public speaker and fundraiser.Giuliana is the founder of Therapies For Special Needs and Rainbow Kids Touch Therapy which has been approved by the Children’s University as a Learning Destination.

Giuliana has been featured in The Daily Mail, The Daily Mirror, The Sun, on BBC Radio and in a host of magazines and other publications. She also writes blogs for autism organisations in the USA.