Hi, I am Louisa Thomas, a rehabilitation-focused yoga and Pilates teacher who is passionate about encouraging every body to attain optimal wellness through movement.
I first discovered yoga on a trip to India in 2002 and was stunned to see my strong, fit and young body so challenged by such seemingly simple movements. I knew immediately that yoga would always be in my life. Fast forward to 2007, and I returned to India on a 6-month sabbatical to complete my teacher training and to study Ayurveda. Living at the Sivananda ashram in Kerala, and later in Mysore, the home of Astanga Yoga, I met practitioners from all over the world, all brought together by their love of yoga and its ability to heal by transforming body, mind and soul. I saw first-hand how controlled movement when combined with breath, focus and positive intention could heal on many levels.
My yoga practice has continued to evolve and support me over the years and at various stages of my life, including during three pregnancies and the transition into motherhood. This has confirmed what I always knew: there really is a yoga for every body.
After the birth of my second child, I developed an interest in Pilates. Amazed by how rapidly Pilates helped to heal my post-natal body, I embarked on a teacher training course with Polestar Pilates, which combines principles of Pilates, physical therapy and mind-body energy systems.
During this time, I also developed an interest in the work of Katy Bowman, movement specialist and biomechanist. In 2017 I completed the EveryBody Biomechanics course, and began to incorporate corrective exercises into my own practice and my teaching. Through the work of Katy Bowman, and in my efforts to heal my diastasis recti, I discovered Restore Your Core, an online core rehabilitation programme created by yoga and Pilates teacher Lauren Ohayon. In 2017 I became one of just 10 people in the world certified to teach Restore Your Core, a programme dedicated to improving core function and pelvic health.
Whether teaching a conditioning yoga class at Yorkshire County Cricket Club or Leeds United FC, or a restorative post-natal class with a new mum, my goal is always to make my students the master of their own body, to discover their movement blind-spots and to use the breath to cultivate awareness, calmness and wellness.
Having three children in less than four years taught me so much about my own body and confirmed to me just how healing a nurturing daily practice can be. I know how important proper rest and relaxation is, and my time ‘on the mat’ serves as a constant sanity check for me.
I am passionate about empowering and informing people to take charge of their health and wellness, and am particularly passionate about working with women during pregnancy and the post-natal period. I have been working as a child birth educator, and a birth doula since 2015, supporting a range of births from c-sections to home births.
With a strong focus on alignment, repatterning the body to move optimally and deep-healing breath work, my classes are revealing and informative, challenging yet accessible and always filled with plenty of fun. My 1-1 sessions are always rehabilitation focused, and draw from various methods and systems of movement to promote balance, strength and wellness.
2007 – Yoga Teacher Training, Sivananda Ashram, Kerala, India
2007 – Ayurveda Therapist Training, Ayurveda Retreat Hospital, Tamil Nadu, India
2011 – Well-women’s yoga therapy training with Uma Dinsmore Tuli, London
2012 – Birthlight Peri-natal teacher training with Francoise Freedman, London
2013 – Mindful Doulas doula training, York
2013 – Mindful doulas breastfeeding support training, York
2015 – Aligned and Well online self-study programme
2016 – Sally Parkes pregnancy yoga teacher training, Harrogate
2016 – EveryBody Biomechanics online self-study programme
2017 – Polestar Pilates Mat teacher training course, Leeds
2017 – Restore Your Core Teacher Training with Lauren Ohayon, London
2018 – Hypopressives Teacher Training, Cardiff
2007-present - Daily yoga practice ranging from Astanga Intermediate Series to gentle restorative yoga