Yoga Teacher Profiles
Profiles for our yoga teachers appear on the Booking page for each week, as they become available, but if you'd like to select your week based on the teacher, rather than the date, you can read about each of our teachers here.
January 12th - 18th - Lucy Bremner
Our Costa Rica weeks will be led by Lucy Bremner; the founder of Sunflower Retreats. Lucy has been a holistic practitioner in the UK and worldwide since 1988. She specialises in a wide range of body work, therapies and energy and spiritual balancing treatments such as Chakra Balancing and Reiki.
Lucy was drawn to the practice of Hatha yoga and the yoga philosophy while studying holistic therapies professionally in London in 1989. In the late 80's and early 90's, then in her twenties, she travelled independently when at that time it was not common for women to travel alone, her journey took her to Nepal, India, Thailand, Malaysia,Indonesia, Bali, Australia, New Zealand, Sudan and the USA, where she broadened her studies of yoga, Eastern philosophy and the healing arts, including the American Indian tradition and philosophy.
Lucy is a qualified Holistic Therapist and international yoga teacher, accredited with a distinction in her final examinations with Friends of Yoga - a society and examination body for yoga in the UK and India which is recognised by Yoga Alliance™ as an international yoga school. Over the last twenty years she has helped thousands of people with healing therapies and with yoga instruction, either through her yoga classes and treatments, or through all she has coordinated in the yoga and healing section at Sunflower Retreats' centre in Casperia. Her interests also include Shamanism, Astrology, art and the study of the sacred and divine feminine.
Lucy's group yoga classes are holistic and grounding, fusing the elements of Ying and Yang, yoga asanas and practices with some flow sequences and traditional asanas so to bring balance (union) to the body, mind, emotions and spirit. She loves to share and communicate the ancient knowledge of Western and Eastern traditions through the healing power of yoga and meditation and Yoga nidra, both in her classes and her treatments.
She is a gentle teacher, encouraging and supportive in her teaching and holistic therapy work.
A mother of two children born by natural childbirth methods, she also teaches pregnancy yoga and preparation for natural birth.
Lucy also offers one-to-one healing yoga sessions for those looking for a transformational healing experience of yoga and Holistic therapies. Her private yoga and healing sessions also include oracle card readings to help you find your life path and help with any questions you may have.For more details on Lucy's Yoga and healing sessions visit www.healingthedivinefeminine.com
April 13th - 18th & July 27th - August 2nd - Laura Ruggiero
We are delighted to welcome Laura Ruggiero, from Italy, to our team this year.
After years of practicing artistic gymnastics, dance and ice skating, Laura started practicing Hatha yoga in Milan, discovering a more subtle level on which to work with the body and mind. In 2015 she started practicing Kriya Yoga, which mostly focuses on Pranayama and meditation, under the guide of her teacher Giovanni Formisano.
Internalisation and alignment are important elements in her yoga practice, as well as in her teaching. The Hatha yoga sequence includes standing and balancing poses, back bends, forward bends and inversions.
The last part of the class is dedicated to Pranayama (from the Sanscrit words for breath control) and Yoga Nidra (from the Sanscrit word for sleep) which, for the practitioners, represents an extraordinary moment to deepen their internalisation and their relaxation.
Laura regularly visits India to remain in touch with the yoga tradition and with Indian culture, towards which she feels very connected.
May 4th - 17th - Casperia - Lisa Quish
Lisa has been a popular member of ur teaching team for many years. She joins us again to lead the first two weeks in May this year.
Lisa's mom taught yoga and she grew up in a household where it was part of life. In her teens she studied ballet and contemporary dance and when she later qualified as a yoga teacher it felt like all the pieces of the puzzle had come together. Yoga like dance is about movement of the body but also works to harness the breath creating a rhythm which allows the body to flow and open to grace. When the body is bright and healthy, the mind is clear and the spirit is full one cannot but engage with the world in a lighter way.
Lisa's style of teaching is Hatha flow with a strong foundation in correct body alignment. She continues to refine her own practice and teaching skills and has commenced a level two teacher training programme and regularly attends teaching workshops to expand her knowledge and bring her students the benefit of her learning.
As a busy business professional and yoga teacher, certified through Yoga Alliance, Lisa brings a balance of reality, commitment and fun to her classes, ensuring that students get an equal amount of space and attention so they can discover the freedom and discipline that a well balanced and joyful practice brings.
May 18th - 31st - Casperia - Jessie Jeanne Stinnett
We welcome Jessie, from the USA, back to Sunflower Retreats to teach for two weeks from 18th to 23 May.
Jessie began practicing yoga as a supplement to her career as a professional dancer. Jessie is a Yoga Alliance Certified instructor through Frog Lotus International. She teaches classes and workshops regularly in London and the US, and is also pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Practice.
Jessie teaches dynamic Vinyasa Flow yoga classes which focus on building strength, stability, and flexibility. She draws on her experience as a dancer/somatic movement practitioner to develop classes which condition and increase awareness of the body and heal, restore, and express one’s inner landscape.
The use of metaphors and imagery are key methods of Jessie’s teaching style which serve the purpose of guiding her students to a deep, subjective understanding of how the techniques and philosophies underpinning the practice apply to them as individuals. She encourages depth of understanding over superficiality: quality versus quantity.
The pace of the class generally includes a quiet time of transition through Tapas (Sanskrit: heat/self discipline), building the internal fire, as the physicality of the practice intensifies to resolution in the final moments of relaxation, observation and reflection. Students are left feeling energized and thoughtful and encased by the energy that their very own body-mind cultivated as a glowing membrane of radiance.
June 1st - July 26th - Casperia - Ben Rakidzija
Ben, born in Germany in 1980, is certified by the American Yoga Alliance (500 RYT). We welcome him to our team to lead our retreats for the months of June and July. Ben’s teaching experience in retreats and studios has taken him as far afield as Costa Rica, Germany, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Italy and Switzerland.
Ben's yoga style is open; he practises a mix of Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Flow, Yin Yoga and QiGong; also involving exercises in Facial Training and Contact Improvisation. The aim of his practice is a stable body and a clear mind.
Ben also teaches Zazen, the meditation practice of Zen-Buddhism, the aim of which is merely sitting, free from thoughts, images or judgments. He has practised Zazen for ten years with various teachers, such as Ryushin Paul Haller, from the USA and Shodo Harada Roshi from Japan.
To further expand his education, Ben visits many seminars and workshops; most recently in Facial Training, led by Dr. Schleip (Germany), and an intensive course in Contact Improvisation, by Martin Keogh (USA). Another part of Ben's life is graduated as a Master of Arts in Philosophy and History , Ben's website has more details on his Yoga teaching and styles -
June 3rd - 16th - Sperlonga - yoga teacher details coming soon.
June 17th - 30th - Sperlonga -Mara Blackburn
Mara Blackburn, from the UK, returns to Sperlonga to lead our yoga retreat these 2 weeks.
Mara has 25 years in experience in practicing and teaching yoga. Among her skills are; the Vinyasa Flow method of Hatha yoga, a strength-based practice to warm up the body and improve blood flow which is typically practiced in the morning to invigorate and remove fatigue.
Mara also practices and teaches Soma yoga, blending somatic movements with yoga asanas via specific sequences of slow, focused, yet gentle yoga movements, while incorporating Chakra Yoga which opens the seven chakras and includes meditation as a therapy through yoga poses, visualisation, affirmations and relaxation.
Mara is also a Holistic therapist and Ayurvedic practitioner.
August 17th - 30th - Paula Piozzi
We welcome Paola Piozzi, from Rome, back to our team to teach the last two weeks in August.
Fascinated by the yogic universe since she was a teenager, Paola started to study Hatha yoga in Rome, at the same time developing her interest in meditation techniques.
Upon moving to Brussels, she continued her studies in yoga with Willy Van Lysebeth and later she attended the yoga teacher training course under the guidance of André Van Lysebeth, internationally well appreciated.
She travelled several times to India to deepen her knowledge in the yogic discipline following the Sivananda and Satyanada tradition, also attending specialised courses mainly focused on Yoga Therapy and relaxation practices for stress management.
Paula has been teaching yoga since 2002 leading beginners and advanced classes, as well as individual sessions, with a special regard for breathing awareness and inward perception, also achieving experience in teaching gentle Yoga for Seniors and Yoga for Pregnancy.