Our Team

Sofia Araujo

Sofia is a yoga teacher, therapist, macrobiotic chef and holistic health educator that shares a passion for healthy movement and living. She is trained in the alchemy of the 5 Elements through Yoga, Ayurveda, Macrobiotic Nutrition and Counseling, Ayurvedic Yoga Massage and Chi Nei Tsang (Visceral Massage).

She has been practicing yoga for the last 15 years and teaching internationally since 2006. Educated and certified in the styles of Sivananada, Asthanga, Anusara, Advanced Hatha Yoga and Vinyasa, she combines all her knowledge from yoga, bodywork, holistic health and coaching to deliver an integral yoga education in all her trainings and courses.

Her ability to listen people through their movements, breath rhythms and nature cycles is what makes her a skillful yoga therapist, teacher and holist health counselor. She offers a view on the human experience that is rich in mindful movement and committed in living in harmony with the cycles of Nature.

In 2009 she founded Swara Yoga School as a platform for sharing her teaching, insights and perspective about Yoga.  Since 2009 Swara Yoga School has been running yoga teacher training programs, workshops and immersions in more than 20 countries and has a community of students from all over the world. Her vision al always to bring together a group of teachers and students that inspire each other, teach and learn together.

You can learn more about her work and see a detailed curriculum at www.spiral-growth.com

Hugo Abecassis

It was through an act of pure altruism that yoga entered the life and heart of Hugo Abecassis. His mother did yoga, but a long time had passed since she’d attended a class and Hugo wanted to motivate her to go back to doing it regularly.

Even though, in this first class, Hugo had no idea what he was doing he found his path. He even asked his teacher, who gave him a handkerchief for a pranayama exercise if he was supposed to blow his nose in it, which made the entire class laugh. But even with this, he felt at home.

Afterwards, Hugo tried countless methods of yoga. Ashtanga Vinyasa, Shivanada Yoga, Dynamic Yoga and Acro Yoga, among others. Hugo says he is “appreciative of every method, as long as it is well performed”. Currently, he practices more frequently the Iyengar method — a method that he considers a piece of art and an extraordinary legacy to yoga —, guaranteeing that “even though sometimes it may look like a very physical practice, with time it also becomes a way for us to know ourselves”.

His passion and dedication to yoga led him to learn more about it. In 2005, as a way to gather more knowledge for his own personal practice, he decided to do a teacher-training course. But teaching was something that happened by chance. “One day, my teacher asked me to take over a class at the last minute. I was kind of nervous but I took the chance and it went great (at least in my opinion). This was my first experience as a teacher. After continuing my yoga studies and teaching a lot of replacement classes, I later realised that I loved to teach: actually, I love to teach anything, but teaching yoga and seeing my students evolve is already a great reward for the work I do”, he says.

His dedication and commitment, something he learned at the Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, are the fundamental foundations of his practice. To his students, who are always on his mind, he tries to transmit these foundations, as well as the idea that what matters most is for them is to feel good about themselves and about those around them.

This teacher, whose dream is to practice with B. K. S. Yyengar and with Krishnamacharya, something that he knows will never happen, says he never wants to stop being a student. “I believe that if we all think like that and constantly leave our comfort zone, we contribute to the positive growth of Yoga”.

Hugo Abecassis is also an Ayurvedic therapist, Thai Massage therapist and a qualified osteopath and teaches in the 200 hours and 300 hours trainings with Swara Yoga School.

Sigurd Gundersen

Sigurd started his yoga journey more than 20 years ago and has been teaching yoga since 2001. His life experience and diverse education in yoga, meditation, acupuncture and counseling is what makes him a true holistic teacher.

He started as a student of Gurumai, being initiated in the siddha yoga tradition and mantra recitation. After, he spent over 10 years studying principles of alignment and yogic philosophy with more than 1000 hours of trainings in the Iyengar and Anusara methods. He has also completed Yoga Teacher trainings in Yin Yoga, Vinyasa, Hatha Yoga and has studied with many skilled teachers like Jordan Bloom, Ana Forrest, John Friend, Tara Judelle, Godfrey Devereux and Michael Stone.

An experienced teacher, clinical acupuncturist and an expert in communicating the art of yoga with an integral approach to movement, health and education. Complimentary to his yoga teachings he also holds a Master’s Degree in Communication and Cultural Studies from Oslo University and a 4 Year Diploma in Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture.

Sigurd teaches in the 200 Hours 5 Element Yoga Teacher Training the disciplines of Asana, Pranayama, Meditation, Anatomy, Biomechanics, Meridian Theory and Class Sequencing.

Apart from teaching in Swara Yoga School internationally, you can often find him teaching yoga classes, workshops and retreats as well as running his acupuncture practice between his native Oslo and Copenhagen.

Emily Baxter

Emily is a movement specialist, acrobatics teacher, teacher trainer, anatomy nerd and perpetual student of the body. She is the founder of international school and community Partner Acrobatics and Integrated Yin Yoga. She has taught more than a dozen yoga teacher trainings as a movement and anatomy consultant for other international yoga schools.

Originally from Ottawa, Canada, for 15 years Emily has studied numerous movement modalities including various styles of yoga. Her extensive background in postural assessment and exercise based postural re- alignment therapy has rewarded Emily the ability to help people rehabilitate from injuries, move out of pain and regain joy, ease and playfulness in their lives.

She is certified as a Hatha Yoga Teacher from Kaivalyadhama, Yin Yoga Teacher and is currently studying at the Egoscue university to become a certified Egoscue Therapist.

Emily’s teaching style blends humor and fun into clear, precise, thoughtful instruction. She is known for her contagious enthusiasm and never ending energy.

Emily co teaches the 100 Hours Yin Yoga Teacher Training and when she is around the block, she guest lectures on the 200 Hours 5 Element Yoga Teacher Training on Anatomy, Biomechanics and Injury Prevention.

Atira Tan

A world traveler and seeker of authenticity, Atira’s 16 years of yoga immersion shines through in her distinct style of teaching. Through the practice of deep listening, alignment and healing, she inspires and empowers students through her infectious exuberance, courage and joy for life, to live an authentic life in peace, joy and purpose, on and off the yoga mat.

Atira has been immersed in various forms of yoga styles, including Classical Hatha, Yin, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Vinyasa Flow. However, it wasn’t until her training in the Anusara style of Yoga when her teaching style blossomed. She has over 1000 hours of education in yoga teacher trainings that she has attended all over the world and is certified in Anusara, Yin Yoga, Tigress Yoga and Embodied Flow.

She is the Founder and Executive Director of Art2Healing Project, a non-profit organization assisting sex trafficked women and children globally.
Over 11 years, she has set up several yoga, art therapy, women’s health and trauma informed programs, from the refugee camps in Burma, to the slums of Nepal.
Atira is an international speaker, yoga teacher, author, art therapist & facilitator. She is passionate in empowering others to be leaders in social change, serving and loving the world wholeheartedly, courageously & sustainably.

Atira co-teaches the 100 Hour Yoga Teacher Training in Women´s Health & Leadership.

Sebastian Bruno

Sebastian Bruno is the co-founder and director of Thai Vedic Yoga. Originally from Portugal, Sebastian has been immersed in the study and practice of healing arts for the past 14 years.

He is qualified in a variety of healing modalities that he uses both in his trainings and private sessions, such as: Thai Massage, Ayurvedic Yoga Massage, Aromatherapy, Chi Nei Tsang, Reflexology, Thai Vedic Yoga, Hatta and Tantra Yoga, Qi Gong, Taoist practices, Meditation, Fire-walking and Dance.

Certified Thai Massage teacher and practitioner by The Healing Hands Foundation – Nepal and the Thai Minister of Education- Thailand, Yoga Teacher and Fire-walking instructor, Sebastian teaches worldwide, inspiring and being inspired in his travels.

Sebastian teaches the Foundation and Intermediate Bodywork courses in Swara Yoga School.

Cathy Pearson

Cathy has been involved with yoga since 1996. Since then she has spent the years living between Thailand, India & Ireland (more recently Bali) deepening her understanding of the vast layers of yoga. She is a certified yoga teacher from Yoga Arts Australia and over the years she has studied various styles of yoga including Iyengar, Hatha, Ashtanga & meditation, as well as being a qualified Cellular Healing Therapist.

This varied experience has led her to express her understanding of yoga in a dynamic way and teaches it as a transformational process that explores the individuality of each person. Her classes place emphasis on a deep connection with the breath, clarity and stillness of the mind, strength, balance, a graceful flow of moving mediation and the exploration of consciousness.

She is a guest teacher in Swara Yoga School retreats where she teaches yoga and facilitates transformational healing processes, adding a depth to these retreats that is essential for personal and professional growth.

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