Scott Parsons director of The Shala

Scott Parsons

I have been teaching Ashtanga Yoga (Primary Series) in Bournemouth & Poole since 2008. My yoga journey started in 2005 when, being very overweight and inflexible, I went to my first class looking for an escape from my extremely unhealthy music and DJ career. I found myself wanting to go again and again, not quite able to work out if I loved yoga or hated it. After a few more weeks of attending classes, I realised that I loved it and was going as often as possible.

Yoga is not about being bendy and being able to touch your toes, when I started I was very overweight and could hardly touch my knees. I started right from the beginning and had not done any form of yoga or exercise for nearly 15 years, so I know how daunting it is to be extremely out of shape.

In March 2006 I first studied with the late Shri K Pattabhi Jois and his grandson R. Sharath Jois when they visited the UK.

Soon after this I handed in my notice at work and decided to go to Mysore, where I first visited the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute and studied with Sharath Jois. Over the next couple of years I continued to venture to India to develop my practice and further my knowledge of yoga. Several visits later in 2008, I had the desire to deepen my understanding of Ashtanga Yoga and completed a teacher training course with Ajay Kumar in Mysore.

In 2008 I also began to study for a degree in Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, which has hugely facilitated my understanding of the anatomy of the body, complimenting my yoga teaching and my own practise.

After the next few years of teaching locally in Bournemouth and Poole I was pleased to open and be one of the directors of Yoga Room Bournemouth, in October 2011. This was a fantastic opportunity to share yoga and to bring an awareness of yoga to many new people in my local community. Within this time I was fortunate to work with Brian Cooper and Union Yoga assisting on three teacher training course’s, where I gained an insight to how yoga can really work and be shared with everyone.

In the last 10 years I have been lucky enough to visit India almost every year, furthering my knowledge of the remarkable health system of yoga. I’ve had the privilege of practising with Sharath at KPJAYI in Mysore, as well as other traditional and authoritative teachers in Mysore.

My approach to teaching yoga is very much how I learnt it myself, through years of self study and also using the knowledge I have acquired through studying with some of the best yoga teachers in the world. I pride myself on teaching authentic and traditional yoga the way I have continued to be taught in India, using no gimmicks and encouraging yoga for the mind and body.

In 2017 I was awarded the Senior Yoga Teacher certification by Yoga Alliance Professionals.


Scott Parsons director of The Shala

Amba Cooper

Amba has been teaching yoga for over a decade in a wide variety of settings ranging from various health institutions, day centres and schools through to gyms and yoga studios. Amba is qualified in hatha yoga (beginners to intermediate level) with Integral yoga, Pregnancy Yoga (BSY), Childrens Yoga (Integral Yoga) and Mum Baby (Yoga Gro), Lifeforce Yoga and Yoga for Mental Health (Bihar School).

Amba is currently furthering her interest in Scaravelli inspired Yoga with Dot Bowen and others on a 200 contact hour 2 year Teacher Development Course. Amba delights in bringing yoga to a variety of students and is passionate about an evolving Yoga for the modern world. Read about Amba here and testimonials here.

Scott Parsons director of The Shala

Hayley Gumery

I have run vibrant and popular yoga classes in London and the south west for over 25 years.
I hold the British Wheel of Yoga Diploma, Sivananda Siromani Certificate and I am a Reiki practitioner.
The influence of many superb teachers and my numerous visits to India have given me a depth of understanding that shines through in all my classes.
I am very excited to be starting my own Teacher Training Program with the British Wheel of Yoga, here in Dorset in 2017.
Scott Parsons director of The Shala

Julia Cobban

Julia’s love for yoga was sparked in Vancouver, Canada in 2006. There she practiced yoga with a variety of inspiring, knowledgeable and experienced teachers. Julia believes that movement is medicine, and is dedicated to gaining as much knowledge and experience as she can to share with her students. Her classes are playful and fun with dynamic and creative flows, which will allow you to challenge yourself by offering developing variations while being mindful of body and breath. – Julia completed her 200hr teacher training with Frog Lotus Yoga in 2009. She is currently continuing her education with Yoga Medicine – a thorough anatomically based training system, to better understand the human body within a yoga practice.


Scott Parsons director of The Shala

Mirja Athi

Mirja’s first connection with yoga was in the 1970’s when she attended some classes of different styles, but it wasn’t until 2002 that she started practicing every day after a three month stay in Southern India. Since then yoga has been the main theme in her life. After retiring she trained as a yoga teacher in Integral Yoga tradition. Although she has been influenced by other traditions over the years, including yin, Scaravelli and Ashtanga, Mirja is very grateful for the training that gave her the beautifully designed hatha sequence as a basis for an truly enjoyable yoga class. Her style of teaching is not teaching but providing space and guidance to each individual to discover and liberate their own body. Each pose offers gifts on physical, energetic and psychological level. Mirja is continuing to study yoga daily through her own practice, reading and attending workshops and classes. Now she’s completely dedicated to sharing her love of yoga with others.

Contact Phone 07919001252 e-mail

Scott Parsons director of The Shala

Natty Cresswell

In 2006, I attended my first Ashtanga Yoga  class and discovered a practice that is now a massive part of my life.

I have studied with many truly inspirational teachers in both India and the UK including Ajay Kumar, Sri K Patthabhi Jois and Helen McCabe. I regularly travel to Mysore, India (the spiritual home of Ashtanga) to study with Sharath Rangaswamy at KPJAYI.

Having recently had a baby I am easing my way back into teaching in Bournemouth, Poole and Lythett Matravers.

Scott Parsons director of The Shala

Sonja Lockyer

Sonja has taught yoga for over a decade, moving between disciplines until she began to move to the yoga of her own heart.
She teaches a style of movement best described as vinyasa yoga. What really floats Sonja’s boat is that by moving our bodies we not only stay physically vibrant, healthy and strong, but we also tune in to our internal world where the real magic lies By nurturing the internal light we can all live a life that is inspired, enthusiastic and joyful.
Sonja is a mother to 2 gorgeous children, practices as a Light Coach and teaches the Magdalene Meditation.
Scott Parsons director of The Shala

Zoe Scott-Green

Zoe began practicing yoga 8 years ago after sustaining a shoulder injury whilst boxing. She fell in love with the physical and mental strength and grace of Ashtanga yoga and what began as a practice for rehab quickly became her daily form of exercise. After completing her Ashtanga Vinyasa teacher training in India in 2014, Zoe continued her yoga education with Tiffany Cruikshank and is an authorised Yoga Medicine teacher. As a registered Paramedic with degrees in Paramedic Science and Health Studies, Zoe offers a unique blend of medical knowledge to maximise the therapeutic benefits of yoga to rehab students from injury and chronic pain. Zoe works with students on a one to one and group basis under Yoga Medicine and enjoys teaching counted and Mysore style Ashtanga. She travels regularly to further her yoga knowledge and has studied under KPJAYI registered teachers Kino MacGregor and David Robson..