Our Teachers

Ellie Litu
Founder and owner of Om Is Where The Heart Is
Functional Flow Student & Teacher
Retired professional dancer, I first began practicing yoga in 2010, as a way to incorporate some discipline back into my daily routine after graduating from Northern Ballet School in 2008. initially it was the Physical aspect to yoga I most enjoyed, only later to realise how wonderful it felt to take some time not to do, and just be. After a hectic 8 years working in the states, onboard cruise ships I made the decision that it was time for a change. I completed my first yoga teacher training in Bali, Indonesia, under the instruction of Santosha Yoga Institutes's gifted mentors in 2015.
Om is where the heart is then started up in January 2016, and after a brilliant response my husband Alex & I decided it would be a good opportunity to build a dedicated studio for the ever growing community.
In summer 2018 I completed a 2 month mentorship with Yoga Detour, working one on one with Founder Cecily Milne, this has then led onto further continuing online training. The Yoga Detour Method of teaching bridges the gap between the yoga you think you know and the other movement practices you’re increasingly curious about. Following the detour is providing me with the opportunity to integrate contemporary movement education with traditional asana.
You can expect my classes to help you discover strength you didn't know you had, finding the edge of your own comfort zone, both physically and emotionally. Wherever that edge might be.
 I am here and want to share the love, light, happiness & positivity that can be found through yoga to all you folks of Huddersfield and now even further afield.
Forget anything you thought you knew about yoga, our classes will be the perfect balance of asana, pranayama & laugherama! - 
After all, Om is Where the Heart is!

Grace Mullany

Ashtanga & Hatha Student & Teacher

Hi I'm Grace, Ashtanga student, rock climber, peanut butter lover and yoga teacher. I travel as much as life allows - thriving off different cultures and using these experiences to broaden my outlook. I get way too excited around puppies and don't know where or what I'd be doing without yoga. My main training in guiding people through yoga came from a school in Northern India, full of incredible teachers and students to whom I'll be forever grateful for. I practice regularly under KPJAYI authorised Ashtanga teacher Joey Miles, and have recently begun being guided into the second series. I teach traditional yoga classes across West Yorkshire, helping people both physically within their practice, as well as ways to focus and calm the mind. I'm a real believer in healthy minds create healthy bodies, if you're doing this through yoga, rock climbing, dancing like a maniac or simply spending more time with loved ones, in my eyes you're winning.

TJ Mellor 

Movement Medicine & teen Yoga Student & Teacher

Handstanding on the grass as a child, I heard my auntie say to my mum ‘I wish I was young enough to do that.’ Flummoxed, I set ‘never gonna say that’ as a life goal. Around the same time, I began tagging along to my mum’s yoga class. Attended by people the same age as my handstand shy auntie, it seemed yoga allowed permission for grown ups to put themselves upside down. Yoga! Where grown ups get to do cool stuff. Seed planted.

Fast forward a few years. Still a yoga student and now also a yoga teacher, I’ve learnt, we yogi’s continually build our human stuff, by actions on the mat, which extend to life beyond the mat. This stuff encourages us to bring our magic to the world. Recently my magic took a turn in the road away from the classical Iyengar teachings in which I am qualified. My vinyl DJ husband, Gabe and me found ourselves sharing our creative space. With soulful, funky beats happening all around me, I wrote my yoga stuff and by default, our deep house yoga was born. Alongside this, my regular yoga teaching style began to evolve and grow. I found myself using skills learnt as a Reiki practitioner and began to encourage students to invite self healing into their yoga.       . 

In my classes, expect to find a physical challenge, using strong postures, breathing and relaxation to bring about peace, healing and an abundance of self care. Movement and stillness are medicine of equal importance, both of which are taught and explored within class. I am passionate about moving with care, shifting negative energy, losing stuff that no longer serves and generally assisting folk on their ever evolving health quest. In my 75 minute classes, I have started to introduce (optional) Reiki healing into the last 15 minutes of the session.

I invite you to bring your magic on to your mat, be open to learning about the physical, mental and emotional you, and most of all of to stay true and not take yourself too seriously. 

Kate Sassanelli

go with the flow Student & Teacher

I’ve loved fitness and exercise for as long as I can remember; from dance classes and team sports, to lifting weights in the gym and running over the hills, it's always been a huge part of my life. In 2005, I achieved my fitness instructing and personal training qualifications and stepped into the world of fitness on a whole new level. From then on, it was no longer just about me – it was about how I could help others. Help them to get fit and feel healthy, to lose weight, release stress, to have fun and meet new people - to achieve their fitness and health goals. Then, in 2013, I was introduced to Yoga. I took an 8-week beginners course with an Iyenga teacher and I was hooked. I’m an all or nothing girl, so after a year or so of regular classes and an online membership, the only next step was to turn my passion into a qualification. Yoga makes me happy. Teaching Yoga to others makes me happier. And now, I not only want to teach Yoga, I want to share my true love for it. I want to let people know how it can really make your soul happy. I work with complete beginners right through to other Yoga teachers who are looking for support or to be challenged in a certain area. I'm definitely not your 'traditional' teacher, I like to encourage students to push their boundaries and realise their true potential. I love how Yoga improves all-round fitness - balance, flexibility, strength and endurance and my classes touch on all of these. More than anything, I love what Yoga does to my mind - I've never felt calmer, more in control and positive - and I owe this to Yoga! I've experienced for myself how Yoga can change your life and I want others to experience this too!

 

 

 

 

 

James Atkinson

Restorative Yoga Student & Teacher

I first remember practicing yoga as a child, trying to copy my mother as she practised at home. I came back to yoga many years later following a back injury which severely restricted my movement. Slowly it helped improve my mobility and manage the pain I had, but at the same time I noticed a bigger change as my practice brought me a feeling of calm and I became more aware of myself and others around me. What started as a weekly practice soon became a positive daily part of my life. 

After finally deciding I wanted to pass on the benefits I had discovered in 2016 I started my teacher training with the highly respected Yoga campus and am now an RYT200 qualified teacher and have since done additional teacher training with Adelene Cheong in restorative and advanced restorative Yoga. I have practiced and still practice many types of yoga, including Hatha, Iyengar, Ashtanga, Vinyasa flow, Yin and restorative yoga, and have been lucky to have had the wisdom and direction of many wonderful teachers.  

I can still remember being a beginner the only man in a class of 15 feeling uncomfortable and slightly out of place. Those awkward feelings were soon replaced with a feeling of ease as I realised Yoga is a place of no judgement. I firmly believe Yoga is for all and hope that anyone who comes along to my classes feels equally at ease.

Lucy Lawton

Hatha & Pregnancy Yoga student & Teacher

My professional background is as nurse working in the field of mental health, however I have always had a keen interest in fitness, exercise and the human body. There is not a time in my life that I have not been a participant of regular exercise, I have loved and enjoyed many forms of training and believe in the huge physical and psychological benefits. Yoga has been consistently accessible to me and complimentary to any other discipline, whether general gym work, lifting heavy weights, running or other sports. It was the only exercise that I continued to participate in until week 40 of my pregnancy, that definitely helped maintain my  sanity :). It is here that my real love for yoga was born. I had always dipped in and out of it, knowing that I should do yoga but I always prioritised high intensity disciplines. I was victim to the (untrue) belief that if I was not feeling exhausted, nauseas and red and sweaty I had not had a proper workout.
Since completing my yoga teacher training I now know so much more about how the body works and that you can get a great safe workout through yoga alone and also how to incorporate it into complimenting other training programmes. The other thing I have discovered was that yoga is not just about the physical practice (the asana). I often find this is what draws people to yoga but magic is when we find something in our practice we never expected to find. My classes are designed to find a balance between building strength and flexibility whilst creating a sense of emotional calm, self-confidence and enhancing wellbeing.
I structure classes so that we start slow warming up the muscles and lubricating the joints (powanmuktasana sequence). From here we build things up with a focus on alignment  to a sequence of more challenging asana, ending each session with a lovely relaxation.
Personally and professionally I like to push myself and continually strive to be the best I can be. One of the many of the reasons I wanted to teach yoga was to share this with others and encourage them to do the same. I feel passionately about making yoga accessible to all, no matter what your physical state or goals I believe anyone and everyone can find a benefit.

 

 

Ellie Firth

Vinyasa Flow Student and Teacher

I first discovered cobras, eagles and dogs in a hot, sweaty studio in Sydney 10 years ago, and since then yoga has been pretty constant in my life. I’ve practiced sometimes more, and sometimes less, but it’s always been there.  At first it was the physical aspect that appealed, supporting my other sporty habits by keeping me strong and flexible, but without even trying the mental benefits crept up on me and grabbed hold.  ‘Clearing the mind’ is incredibly difficult, but for me, that mental focus was (and still is) so much easier after an hour of steady, concentrated body and breath work.  

Yoga fascinates me. It is said to unite the mind and the body… but the thing I love is that you can kind of disconnect the mind from the body.  The body might be screaming ‘aghh! My leg is killing and I can’t do this!’ But in yoga you learn to use the mind to calm the body: ‘hey – relax – just breathe – observe…’  Likewise, the mind is chatting away about everything and nothing, ‘Bla Bla Blaaa…’, but you can use the body and the breath to channel attention, find focus, stillness, quiet. So it’s kind of uniting, but also disconnecting in a healthy, symbiotic way. It’s magic!

When I’m not yoga-ing I’m a scientist, autism and mental health researcher, wife, mother-of-two, lover of honey… swimming... Rioja... reading… all the good stuff. Namaste.

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Om is Where the heart is. Registered trademark. designed by alex & ellie 2016