The Teacher

Eric Wilkinson

  • 28 years of Yoga practice
  • 17 years experience of teaching Yoga
  • 2005 – Foundation level Yoga Teacher Training (British Wheel of Yoga)
  • 2006 – Yoga Teacher Training (Yoga Alliance)
  • 2013 – Yoga Therapy Diploma (Yogacampus)
  • 2017 – Corrective Exercise Specialist (NASM)
  • 2020 – Somatic Movement Educator (Essential Somatics)

My introduction to Yoga began over 28 years ago during my travels in India. The allure of the country had been planted in me through the captivating stories of my Anglo-Indian Grandfather, who regaled us with tales of snakes, tigers, and his experiences working on the railways. Intrigued by his narratives, I set off on my own adventure at the age of 22, fueled by a desire to immerse myself in the culture, atmosphere, and, of course, the culinary delights of India.

During my seven-month journey, I found myself falling deeply in love with the country. I was drawn to the religious festivities and encountered numerous Saddhus, wandering Holy men, who lived a life devoid of material possessions, dedicated solely to the practice of Yoga. This fascination led me to attend Yoga classes with a Swami in Pushkar, Rajasthan, where I was introduced to Asana and given a personalized routine to follow.

Upon my return to England, I continued to diligently practice the Yoga routine bestowed upon me by the Swami. Additionally, I delved into further learning through the guidance of “Light on Yoga” by B.K.S Iyengar, a trusted companion during my subsequent travels. Upon settling in Bristol, I eagerly sought out classes with Iyengar-trained Yoga teachers, exploring various styles such as Astanga and Satyananda Yoga.

After a decade of dedicated practice, I felt compelled to deepen my understanding of Yoga by undertaking formal teacher training. I completed the foundation British Wheel of Yoga course with Wendy Teasdill in Glastonbury, followed by a 200-hour Yoga teaching training with Steve Avian of Shama Yoga in Sheffield, a program accredited by the Yoga Alliance. Seeking to expand my knowledge further, I devoted 360 hours to studying Yoga Therapy with Yogacampus between 2012 and 2013.

Continuing my journey as a Yoga student, I regularly participate in workshops and intensive courses led by esteemed Yoga teachers, with a particular focus on Yoga Therapy. I have had the privilege of studying extensively with renowned practitioners such as Lesley Dike, a local Physiotherapist and Yoga teacher, as well as Doug Keller, Julie Gudmestad, Roger Cole, Donna Farhi, A.G.Mohan, Tias Little, and Peter Blackaby.

For over 17 years, I have shared my passion for Yoga with the community in Sheffield, teaching students of all ages, from schoolchildren to seniors in retirement homes. I have also provided personalised instruction, offering support to individuals dealing with various challenges, including back pain, depression, anxiety, and stress. In addition to my teaching credentials, I hold diplomas in Anatomy and Physiology, Indian Head Massage, and Nutritional studies, enriching my ability to serve my students holistically.

I hold a BA (Hons) degree in Third World Studies + Environment and Society, where I delved into the religious and cultural practices of communities in so-called ‘developing countries’. My dissertation focused on grassroots movements in India, which opposed the destruction of ancestral lands due to large-scale, Western-backed development projects. Immersing myself in Gujarat, I witnessed firsthand the rich tapestry of ancient traditions and lifestyles threatened by progress, as well as the peaceful protests mounted by the people.

This experience ignited my passion for environmental activism, leading me to participate in protests across England, including the renowned campaign at Newbury. I dedicated myself to safeguarding ancient woodlands and other natural treasures from the relentless march of ‘progress’.

Years later, I journeyed back to India to visit an Ashram established by Vinoba Bhave, a devoted follower of Mahatma Gandhi. Vinoba’s tireless efforts towards social equality within India’s caste system deeply resonated with me. His mission of persuading landowners to redistribute land to the less fortunate left an indelible impression on my worldview.

Yoga captivates me not only for its physical, mental, and spiritual benefits but also as a lifestyle rooted in harmony with nature, fostering empathy, understanding, and peace. I firmly believe in Yoga’s potential to address the myriad challenges of modern society by instigating individual transformation that ripples out to society at large.

The teachings and actions of Mahatma Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave, J. Krishnamurti, Krishnamacharya, A. G. Mohan, Sri Ramana Maharishi, Mooji, Rupert Spira, and the Dalai Lama continually inspire me on my journey.