Dr. Lucy Arnsby-Wilson
Lucy is the founder and director of The MAYA Project. Lucy says:
'I was first introduced to yoga at 1998, at 18 years old, in the New Cross Iyenga Institute in London. At a time of inner turmoil and chaos the practice showed me home. To an inner light I had long forgotten. I left in tears. I had thought the purpose for being in London was to study Psychology so this is what I did finally completing a BSC, MSC and then a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 2008. During this time, I also had the fortune of working on a home education program for children with Autism. I learnt so much from them and knew it was imperative that I share yoga with them too. This was because unlike many of the other tools, methodology, theories and programs I had been taught, Yoga started with what was right with them-just as it had reminded me. With little experience but seeing huge potential and possibility in this work, in 2005 I borrowed money to go to New York as had an urgency to study directly with the internationally renowned Sonia Sumar in the Yoga for the Special Child methodology. For many years I worked alongside Sonia and the incredible Jo Manual at the Special Yoga Centre and have not stopped offering these practices since. I completed the yoga for children, yoga for teens and several Yoga for the Special Child Trainings with these fab women.
In 2009 I became a mother and my children are definitely my biggest teachers alongside all the wonderful young people I work with. Becoming a mother led me to studying with the wonderful Uma and Nirlipta Dinsmore Tuli training in Pregnancy Yoga, hypnosis for birth, Early Years Yoga and with the Yoga Nidra Network.
Since April 2016 I have been the lead UASC (Unaccompanied and Asylum Seeking Children) trauma Clinical Psychologist. I also with with adults who are seeking refuge from from conflict zones, natural disasters and epidemics. Yoga is the heart at everything I offer.
With inspiration from my own practice, my teachers and my students, I love to design, develop and deliver teacher training programmes for professionals, parents and carers such as the Children and Young Peoples Yoga Therapy Programme with Janine Hurley, Yoga Therapy for Trauma , CPD days on Yoga for Neurodiversity and Yoga Nidra Trainings with the Yoga Nidra Network.
I am completely committed and passionate about the combination of psychology, yoga and meditation for healing and wellbeing. We all have the right to be able to experience our true being, our presence, our strength, potency and power. Yoga acts like a navigation system back to this. It enables us to remember who and what we are anytime we need to.
You are so welcome to get in touch if you would like to know more!
Camilla was introduced to the Yoga for the Special Child programme, through her second son, who has Down’s syndrome. Having seen the impact of the yoga on him, and wanting to further her knowledge of such a wonderful positive practice, Camilla began assisting Lucy Clarke in her group classes for children with developmental and physical challenges in 2010.
Camilla completed the Yoga for the Special Child (The Sonia Sumar Methodology) Basic One in March of 2011 and continues to work alongside Lucy in these classes as well as providing one to one’s. Formerly Camilla worked as a Project Manager for an International Conference and Media company for 10 years. She lives in Gloucestershire, with her husband and 4 children, the latter of whom, also enjoy practicing yoga.
DR LANA JACKSON
Following her psychology degree, Lana worked as a volunteer in Romania with children who had spent their lives in institutions/orphanages. These children had a number of physical, emotional, social, and learning difficulties due in part to the severe neglect and trauma they had faced. This experience drove her passion to pursue a career in clinical psychology and mental health. Lana completed her clinical psychology doctorate and graduated from Salomons Centre of Applied Psychology in 2008. She currently works with children, young people and their families within Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Paediatric Psychology services in the NHS, with children and young people facing chronic illness.
Alongside her career in psychology, Lana has been practicing yoga and meditation for a number of years. Lana is a qualified Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) Teacher and is a registered and qualified Yoga Therapist for Mental Health with internationally Heather Mason at The Minded Institute. Lana has also completed Trauma Sensitive Yoga Teacher Training with Sarah Holmes de Castro and The Mindful Child training with Susan Kaiser Greenland. Lana integrates Yoga and Mindfulness into her psychological therapy with children and families. She also delivers mindfulness and yoga groups for young people with mental health issues within the NHS. Lana is passionate about researching the benefits of mindfulness and yoga for children, and integrating these powerful practices into mainstream mental and physical health settings
Eliza first came to Yoga 15 years ago. In the years since she has found the practice and study of Yoga to be a profound source of physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. Eliza has taught and mentored children and young people for many years. In 2012 she trained in the Yoga for the Special Child Program and since then has been brining two of her great loves together, empowering and sharing the practices of Yoga with the young people of Gloucestershire.
Karen says 'Yoga makes me feel well and happy and I want to share these benefits with others. I believe yoga has the power to bring emotional and physical well-being to everyone. I like to offer yoga sessions adapted to individual’s needs and sessions include postures, movement, breath work, mudras, sound and chanting. My work aims to help with strength, flexibility, balance, calm, concentration and body and breath awareness. All sessions include a period of relaxation.I have trained with Wendy Teasdill completing a teaching diploma with The British Wheel of Yoga (BWY Dip). More recently I have trained in Yoga for the Special Child with Jo Manuel at the Special Yoga Centre in London. I also have a certificate in further education teaching (City and Guilds Cert in Teaching CETLS Level 4) and 8 years experience teaching young people with special needs at a practical and therapeutic further education college'.
Claudia has been practicing yoga for over 2 decades and teaching for the last 11 years. Whilst working as an actress, she became pregnant with her first child Louis. During this pregnancy her yoga practice deepened and she decided to join the Scaravelli based yoga teacher-training course at Morley College in London. In 2002 (whilst pregnant with 2nd child Esmée) Claudia set up Yoga and Relaxation and then Pregnancy classes at the Subscription Rooms, in Stroud. These are still going strong. Claudia began (whilst pregnant with her 3rd child Maya) to teach the first yoga for young children's class in Stroud.
Due to some of her students growing out of 'pre-school', Claudia has expanded to weekly sessions for 6 -9s and 10 -14 year olds. Claudia co-wrote and 'starred' in a yoga DVD entitled 'Easy Yoga' in 2009. She has completed Yoga for the Special Child training course at the Special Yoga Centre in London. Claudia is also co-director of School of Larks - a rural based circus school in Gloucestershire and teaches static trapeze to adults and children. Claudia lives with her 3 children and partner Eamonn O'Neill in the Cotswold’s.
"If you are kind to your body, it will respond in an incredible way." is one of Claudia's favourite quotes by Vanda Scaravelli.
Ben’s journey with Yoga began in 2007 whilst in Rishikesh, India, where he studied with various Yoga schools. He has always loved working with children and in the last few years has been providing activities and care in a range of organisations and settings. He took the training in Yoga for the Special Child in 2013 and is teaching groups and individuals across Gloucestershire.