Our Team


We understanding that working with vulnerable and at risk groups needs an experienced and sensitive team of teachers.  We are extremely proud of our team and the work they do in our community.


Laura Wilson laura-wilson

Laura is the founding director of Edinburgh Community Yoga and also of Ayatana Yoga.

I have long been fascinated by body/mind practices, an interest which originally took me into professional dance training leading to a Bachelor of Arts Honors Degree from London Contemporary Dance School. I began to make the transition from dance to yoga in 2005, and eventually trained as a Rainbow Kids Yoga teacher for children and families in 2011. I then went on to complete a 200-hours teacher training certificate at Himalaya Yoga Valley, India in February 2012 where I qualified to teach Hatha Yoga, Traditional Ashtanga, Chanting, Meditating and Pranayama. I am also a certified British Wheel of Yoga, Yoga for Pregnancy teacher and a MARK (Minded Addiction Recovery Kit) practitioner and in January 2015 completed a mat based exercise for MS certificate. In 2016 I qualified as a 500–hours Minded Yoga Therapist with The Minded Institute, where I specialised in working with mental health conditions.


Lorraine Close 399568_10151898149975595_1270815763_n

Lorraine is our outreach development director and also teaches many of our outreach classes.

With a background in nursing in a wide variety of settings including working in a maximum security prison in Glasgow and 2 years living in India, Lorraine has developed a strong awareness of the connection between emotional and physical health

In 2006 while travelling in South Asia Lorraine began practising yoga and meditation regularly. Since moving to Edinburgh in early 2012 Lorraine has developed a committed Ashtanga practice with consistent teachers. Lorraine has never forgotten that going to a yoga class can be an intimidating experience. With this in mind she takes a friendly approach to teaching, encouraging students to allow yoga to fit their bodies rather than make their bodies fit yoga postures. Her main focus is to give students the opportunity to experience the positive effects of connecting the mind and body through the practice of yoga.

Lorraine believes that the opportunity to try yoga should be accessible to everyone; this belief has fueled her interest in yoga outreach; particularly in working with adults affected by stress and anxiety, addiction and complex PTSD. She holds a 200 hr Teacher Training certificate from CYS Scotland. She has completed training with the Minded Institute in Yoga and Mindfulness for Addictions and  a 40 hour CPD workshop on Trauma Informed Yoga practices with David Emerson from the Boston Trauma Centre.

Lorraine currently teaches medical students clinical skills and resuscitation at the University of Edinburgh Medical School and teaches a variety of yoga classes and stress workshops for NHS staff, the recovery community and other mental health settings.


Eva AlbericheEva_photo

Eva teaches outreach classes for Edinburgh Community Yoga

Eva is originally from Barcelona but moved to Edinburgh three years ago to complete her yoga teaching qualification. She fell in love with the city and luckily for us, she is planning to stay!

Eva teaches many different classes around Edinburgh including classes for people living with ME. Her classes follows the principles of Viniyoga (a Sanskrit word which means the special application of Yoga ). She likes to think about Yoga as a useful tool at the service of the person, with a focus on the breath and the function of the yoga posture, rather than form.


Penny HornerPenny-MLY-3-2

Penny teaches outreach classes for Edinburgh Community Yoga

Penny began practicing yoga many years ago when, as a student she walked to the other side of Durham to join the only yoga class in town. Since then, yoga has played an important supportive role in her life through motherhood, a busy career and beyond. She has experienced the holistic mind & body benefits yoga can deliver during challenging times in her own life and now hopes to share the magic of yoga with others through her teaching.

Penny teaches ashtanga inspired flows to all age groups and abilities. She has a particular interest in therapeutic yoga, and yoga to support women’s health.


John Arthur IMG_1065

Is a yoga lover and life coach who has been a community worker for 30 years. He is 22 years in recovery and first came across yoga through an Edinburgh Community Yoga Outreach class. He recently travelled around the world and spent much of it learning and practicing yoga with yoga communities and teachers in many different countries. His passion is in making yoga more accessible and relevant to working class men in Scotland and he has recently set up the social enterprise Yogrow to combine his love of life coaching and yoga. He is also a passionate golfer and singer but thankfully his lack of skill at both, has very little impact on his enjoyment of these pastimes.



Alison Rae

Alison volunteers with ECY as a peer support worker on our 8 week programme for addiction recovery at the Serenity cafe and our womens group with Comas.

Alison has a background in Occupational Therapy and working with not for profit organisations. Since 2014 Alisons own journey with ECY has grown from  attending our classes to supporting us in running projects with Womenzone and the Serenity café. Her attendance as a peer support worker in these classes provides safety  in the space and offers mentorship and a valuable supportive role to our Outreach teachers.

As a result of her commitment to our outreach programme and supporting individuals in recovery to grow their yoga practice Alison  has completed training in Yoga and mindfulness for addiction recovery using the MARK programme, yoga and mindfulness for PTSD with the Minded Institute and most recently, the yoga foundations programme with Yoga Scotland. In September 2017 Alison will begin her 220 hour yoga teacher training with Shaura Hall at Pilamaya Yoga Teacher Training, funded and supported  through ECY and the Araucaria Scholarship Project. She is the first student to take part in this exciting collaboration. In return Alison will use her skills and experience to give back valuable teaching hours to our outreach programme and will join our team of yoga teachers.


Naomi Newall-Watsonnaomi

volunteers for ECY, developing fundraising strategies, and writing about our projects. She is a yoga teacher and student of Social Anthropology at St Andrews university with Research interests in  Humanism and Anthropology, prison reform and morality

Naomi initially trained to teach through the Yoga Institute (Mumbai, India) in 2009 and subsequently went on to receive a U.K qualification through Yoga Alliance (200hr). Her early years practicing Yoga followed the Ashtanga system – a philosophy and physically strong and dynamic practice which has been a valuable foundation for teaching. She continually attends workshops in specialist areas to further her knowledge and experience (specifically mental health, trauma sensitive practices and sound and touch therapy).

She work with a range of styles, and offer sessions that vary from restorative practices to energising and dynamic ones. For her, Yoga is a therapeutic practice first and foremost, at its best in simple and accessible forms. So whether it be a goal to build strength, stamina and flexibility, or create a little more space and quiet in your own head – there is probably a sequence out there that can sort you out!

Louise Waugh

Finance and Accounts- Bio coming soon!

Kate Dyer

Monitoring, evaluation and development- Bio coming soon!

Jessica Shields

Monitoring and evaluation- Bio coming soon!