About Tessa

I have had what people might call a portfolio career! I have been teaching yoga for a long time, but also completed a PhD in Medical Sociology and worked as a postdoctoral researcher. I was never quite sure where my working life was headed and then realised that was because the right job hadn't yet been created. I now find myself happily following my calling to empower women in ways I couldn't have guessed when I was choosing my A-levels all those years ago.

I have hosted a Red Tent for over 3.5 years in my home. I had an amazing time on Alexandra Pope's Women's Quest Leadership Apprenticeship. This is a comprehensive and in-depth course on menstruality. Later I undertook the Red School course on facilitating the Menstrual Medicine Circle and Jane Bennett`s training to deliver Celebration Days for Girls.

I am an experienced British Wheel of Yoga Teacher, with comprehensive insurance, living in Caversham, Reading. I qualified in 2004 and have since undertaken an advanced modules in prenatal yoga and integrated mother and baby yoga, which I now specialise in. I have two young girls, one born in hospital and the other at home. Yoga and hypnobirthing contributed to two lovely birthing experiences, although neither went quite according to plan!

Yoga is a way of life for me, having discovered it at university in 1996. I hope to support people through different life stages with yoga. I believe that pregnant women benefit from exploring what options they have for birthing their baby and then making up their own minds about what suits them (and their partner!). The Mother & Baby Yoga provides a space for mums (and other carers) to have a bit of time to focus just on themselves and their little ones. The Yoga for Women class responds to the needs of the women in it, including a big dose of relaxation!

I love bellydancing and discovered that it is an ancient form of birth education! My 'Dancing for Birth' training enables me to bring this tradition alive again. I'm super excited to offer the yoga and dancing together for expectant and new mums - perfect synergy.

I have an MSc in Exercise, Nutrition and Public Health from the University of Bristol (2006), and a PhD in medical sociology (2009). I worked as an academic researcher for 7 years and also as a freelance research consultant. I have attended training on infant sleep with Professor Ball and her team, Sleep Lab, Durham University.

I am a Service User Rep on the Maternity Voices Partnership at the RBH, which involves collecting women's feedback on antenatal, birth and postnatal care in the community and representing that at quarterly meetings.

Menstruality training

Menstrual Medicine Circle Factilitation (2017)

Women's Quest Leadership Apprenticeship (2016)

Yoga training:

British Wheel of Yoga (BWY) Foundation Course (2001) - 60 hours of training

BWY Teaching Diploma (2004) with Maarten Vermaase - 500 hours of training

City & Guilds Certificate in Teaching Adult Learners (2004)

BWY Yoga for Pregnancy Teaching Module (2005) with Wendy Teasdill - 60 hours

BWY Teaching Practice Observation Training (2006)

Independent Yoga Network (IYN)/ YogaCampus Integrated Mother & Baby Yoga (Postnatal and up to 4 years old) Training with Uma Dunsmore-Tuli (2014)

IYN Total Yoga Nidra Foundation course with Uma and Nirlipta Tuli (2014)

IYN Well Woman Yoga with Uma Dunsmore-Tuli (2014)

IYN Total Yoga Nidra Teacher Training with Uma and Nirlipta (2015)

Continuing Professional Development includes:

Anatomy in Action (2018)

The Psoas in Pregnancy, Birth and Motherhood with Liz Koch (2018)

BWY Teaching Restorative Yoga (2013)

BWY Neuro Linguistic Programming for Yoga Teachers (2012)

Working with lumbar and sacroiliac disorders (2012)

Teaching mindfulness in yoga (2012)

Integrating pregnant students into a general class (2011)

Other relevant training:

Human Rights in Birth (2018)

Emergency First Aid at Work (2017)

Dancing for Birth training (2016)

Silver Award (Highly Commended) in Bellydancing, IDTA (2016)

Sports Leader Certificate, University of Bristol (2006)

Child Protection Course, University of Bristol (2005)

OCR Level 2 Certificate in Teaching Exercise & Fitness (2002)

ITEC Diploma in Anatomy, Physiology & Body Massage (1999)