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James Russell MA, Dip DSY

I'm a yoga teacher based in the UK. I've been practising yoga in one shape or form for 24 years, and I've been teaching yoga since 2007. I'm a tutor for the Devon School of Yoga and teach on the school's 500-hour, two-year teaching diploma.

My yoga journey..

I first became interested in yoga while backpacking in India, Thailand, and Laos in the winter of 1999/2000. Upon returning home, I began experimenting with yoga, Tai Chi, and meditation. I became particularly interested in haṭhayoga and found that it was possible to experience a profound sense of peace simply through breathing deeply in a yoga posture. I also found that chronic pain from an old injury significantly eased and eventually diminished altogether. I started practising daily at home, attending weekly classes, and regularly visiting India to study yoga more intensely. During this period, I was fortunate to learn yoga from some remarkable teachers.

In 2007, I completed a British Wheel of Yoga Foundation course and travelled to India to complete a yoga teacher training diploma at Yoga Vidya Gurukul near Nasik. Upon returning to the UK, I was offered a class at a local yoga studio and began teaching. I found teaching yoga more fulfilling than my day job and realized I could also earn a modest income in this way. In 2008, I left my job to become a full-time yoga teacher. I initially spent two months in India and Nepal practising yoga intensely. When I returned, I started teaching more classes and completed the Devon School of Yoga two-year teacher training diploma.

I've been teaching yoga full-time since 2008. During this time, I've returned to India many times and completed continued professional development in the UK. My principal teacher and mentor over the years has been Duncan Hulin, whose holistic ethos and non-dogmatic approach to yoga have encouraged me to explore and draw from diverse modalities. In the last few years, my interest in the complex history of yogic traditions led me to study yoga academically. In 2023, I completed a Master's Degree in Traditions of Yoga and Meditation at SOAS, University of London, specialising in Sanskrit and medieval haṭhayoga.


2021-2023: MA: Traditions of Yoga and Meditation (Distinction)
School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London

2017: Yoga Therapy Diploma
Devon School of Yoga (250 hrs)

2013: Vinyasa Krama Diploma
Srivatsa Ramaswami

2009: Advanced Yoga Studies
Yoga Vidya Gurukul (India) (200 hrs)

2008-2010: Yoga Teaching Diploma
Devon School of Yoga (500 hrs)

2007: Yoga Teaching Diploma
Yoga Vidya Gurukul (India) (200 hrs)

2007: Foundation Diploma
British Wheel of Yoga (60hrs)

2006: Certificate in Further Education Teaching (7407)
City & Guilds, Exeter College

2001-2004: BA Hons Degree: Art, Design and Media Studies (1st Class) MARJON, University of Exeter

Devon School of Yoga Teacher Training Logo
Devon School of Yoga Therapy Logo
Independent Yoga Network
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About James

James is a yoga teacher & researcher who's practised yoga for 24 years. He holds an MA in Traditions of Yoga & Meditation from SOAS, University of London, where he specialised in premodern yoga.

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© 2024 James Dylan Russell