About our School.
“We are all here to find ways to express our own unique individual creativity.” Duncan Hulin
The Devon School of Yoga was established in 1989. The School brings together classes, workshops, retreats and training courses under one roof. Our teachers hail from a diverse range of yoga backgrounds, each one bringing something unique to our School’s eclectic approach. Based in Devon, we believe our location and venues offer ideal surroundings for yoga practice, study and contemplation.
The Devon School of Yoga teaches a holistic programme of yoga. As well as coming from a diverse base, its core practices are based on the Dr. Pillai system of Kriyas, Pranayama and Meditation. Its spiritual energy source comes through Swami Sivananda Paramahamsa (of Kerala, India). The Devon School of Yoga is a proud member of Yoga Teachers Together, of which Duncan Hulin and many of the schools tutors are elder members.
“Yoga is an excellent, balanced physical discipline. It is a brilliant psychological tool and philosophy for life. Ultimately, it is a uniquely personal and spiritual practice.”
Duncan Hulin, Founder of the Devon School of Yoga.
Aims of the
Devon School of Yoga
- To provide the foundations on which individuals can improve and maintain their physical, mental and spiritual well-being
- To train individuals to become inspired, competent yoga teachers and to use specific yoga methods as a complementary therapy to help others
- To increase personal and public awareness of natural ways of living, eating and healing, enabling individuals to assume more responsibility for their own health
History of the School
“The mental attitude we take towards anything determines to a greater or lesser extent its effect upon us.” – Duncan Hulin
Duncan Hulin founded the Devon School of yoga after the culmination of many years of practice, study and teaching. He started practising yoga in 1976. This led to him travelling on a yoga inspired trip to India for 6 months in 1982/83 where he ended up studying specifically with Dr B.P. Pillai of the Institute for Yogic Culture and Yoga therapy in Trivandrum, Kerala, South India. Dr Pillai was a chela (student) of Swami Sivananda Paramahamsa of Kerala. Duncan started teaching yoga in 1983 after a three month intensive course with Dr Pillai. His ongoing studies and teaching continued from 1983 – 1989, after which he established the East Devon Yoga Centre. Here he developed classes and regular workshops covering all aspects of yoga. This culimintated in the creation of the Devon School of Yoga in 1993.
Philosophy of the School
“In our holistic approach, the formal, the practical & the scientific are all vitally important while being balanced with intuition, guided by your own spiritual practice and inner Guru.” – Duncan Hulin.
“Yoga – a way of life” sums up the School’s philosophy. The foundations of the school’s broad-based approach are grounded in the practise of Hatha and Raja-Yoga.
Key points summarising the School’s philosophy are:
- The ultimate Guru is the Universal Guru within oneself
- Responsibility for developing health and happiness lies with each individual
- Many yoga paths are studied so an intuitive & educated choice can be made as to which main path to follow, just as a mountain top can be reached by different routes
- By purifying our bodies and minds through posture and breath, consciousness can expand to widen our perspective of life. Desire will come naturally to purify our immediate and global environment and to live in harmony with nature and our fellow beings
An ongoing commitment to students.
The School aims to help students develop their practice and runs a variety of Continual Professional Development courses throughout the year, as well as retreats which are a great opportunity for students (past and current) to meet and share new ideas. As an active member of Yoga Teachers Together (YTT), we’re also able to keep students up-to-date with the latest national and international yoga news and current thinking. The school’s regular newsletter has many useful articles and insights into the world of yoga and always welcomes contributions.
The Devon School of Yoga’s (DSY) Holistic approach believes that we are all here to find ways to express our own unique individual creativity.
Through the practice and experience of holistic yoga, a practitioner is able to adapt their practices to suit their unique individual needs. Taking into consideration their current state of health, their energy levels, the length of time they have to practise and the season etc, as all of these influence the type of practice they undertake. This allows for freedom rather than adhering to dogma.
Holistic means that every part of the individual is intimately interconnected and can only be fully understood within the context of the whole. Yoga means ‘to join’ or ‘to unify’ and is a method by which the individual is able to establish whole health, clarity, balance and peace. In a holistic yoga practice, all aspects of one’s whole being are nourished and balanced through heightened awareness of the integration of the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of ones being.
We believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to experience happiness and good health. The holistic approach to yoga offers a means by which this is achievable through regular practice, study and self-reflection. In a holistic yoga practice, as well as learning the asanas (postures), students will also be taught about pranayama (breathing techniques), kriyas (purification exercises), dhyana (meditation), savasana & nidra (deep relaxation) and also yogic philosophy and lifestyle guidance including sattvic (balanced) dietary suggestions.
This approach to yoga is accessible to everyone regardless of age, race, culture, religion, gender, flexibility, fitness or previous yoga experience. The practice is non-competitive and fosters self-awareness, self-reflection, self-reliance and independence which encourages responsibility for developing health and happiness.
Holistic yoga draws inspiration from a range of yoga paths and traditions and students are encouraged to explore a broad spectrum of practices.
Holistic yoga is a way of life that can be experienced by anyone with the intention to experience balance within every aspect of their being, leading to an integrated experience of wholeness and oneness consciousness.
“I have brought together a highly motivated and experienced faculty. I feel this creates a broad and balanced base – a comprehensive source of tools and knowledge for you to become a confident, competent, practical and intuitive holistic yoga teacher.”
The school’s eclectic mix of teachers bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to enhance students learning.
IYC, YRT, Dip Shiatsu, YTT Registered Elder
Duncan is the principal teacher, founder and director of the Devon School of Yoga. He is a practising yoga teacher and therapist, a Shiatsu practitioner as well as an Ayurvedic foot pressure (Chavutti Thirumal) massage therapist. Duncan healed himself of asthma using yoga therapy and has now been practising yoga for 44 years and teaching for the past 36 years. In the early eighties, he spent three consecutive winters in South India studying with the late Dr. B. P. Pillai, former director of the Indian government recognised Yoga Therapy Foundation, Trivandrum, Kerala. Duncan brings a wealth of experience to his holistic yoga teaching, workshops and courses. He has worked with teenage students with learning difficulties and has led practical stress management programmes in schools. He also teaches weekly classes, including for the MET office. He is a founder member of The Independent Yoga Network and is the director of the Devon Yoga Festival.
BA, Dip DSY, DipYTH, DipYE, YTT Registered Elder
James teaches a holistic approach to yoga. He has been practising yoga for two decades and teaching yoga for twelve years. James trained in India, Nepal and the UK. In India, he studied at Yoga Vidya Gurukul (YVG) and in the UK with the Devon School of Yoga (DSY). James has completed two teaching diplomas. He also holds a certificate in Advanced Yoga Studies from YVG and a postgraduate diploma in Yoga Therapy from the DSY. James has trained with senior and respected Yogacharyas, including Srivatsa Ramaswami and Sri Vishwas Mandlik. His principal teacher is Duncan Hulin with whom he has studied regularly for the past eighteen years. James is a member of the Independent Yoga Network and the co-founder of Yoga Torquay – a new, holistic yoga studio in the centre of Torquay.
Dip DSY YTH, DipYE, BA, YTT Registered Elder
Alice is a yoga therapist and yoga teacher with a personal interest in pre and post-natal yoga and also yoga for women’s health. She studied and trained in India over the course of several years and has also completed post-graduate training in yoga therapy with the Devon School of Yoga. Alice has been practising Vipassana mediation as taught by S.N. Goenka for the past 14 years. She has been teaching yoga since 2008 and is a teacher trainer for the Devon School of Yoga and also teaches on the school’s postgraduate therapy course.
Barry Kristadas Elms
MA, Dip DSY, DipYTH
Barry has over 25 years experience of yoga and chi kung. He is an IYN 1000hr Yoga Register Teacher, specialising in the history and philosophy of yoga, yoga nidra, and kirtan/mantra. He is also a student of Sanskrit and a chi kung instructor. Barry trained with: Devon School of Yoga, Yoga Nidra Network, Yoga Biomedical Trust, Birthlight, Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, and Tai Chi Nation; he holds an MA in the history and philosophy of yoga from University of Wales Trinity St. David.
BSc, Dip Shiatsu
Keith teaches Anatomy and philosophy. He first trained in Sports Science and has been working at a Physical Rehabilitation Centre since 1990. As a Shiatsu Therapist he works at The Nuffield Hospital, Exeter where he is keen to bring orthodox and complementary medicine together. He has great enthusiasm for anatomy and is also currently teaching the subject at The Devon School of Shiatsu and Exeter College.
Andrea trained at the Royal Ballet School and danced as principle with major companies. She studied yoga, acupuncture and counselling in the 80’s and ran her own practice in London. She started teaching yoga in 1990, trained with the BWY and ran workshops, retreats, taught children, adults living with HIV and Aids and on the Yoga Campus Teacher Trainings. Her yoga influences have come from Iyengar, Satyananda, Kundalini and Ashtanga. At present, she is working in the community as an enabler for adults with learning difficulties as-well-as studying for an MA in Mindfulness at Exeter University.
Dip DSY, Dip Occupational Therapist, Dip Shiatsu
As a yoga teacher and shiatsu practitioner in North Devon, Sally focuses on connections between body, heart and mind. She currently works as a psychological therapist within the NHS, teaching Mindfulness to people with depression.
Dip DSY, BSc (Hons), RGN, Dip DN, YTT Registered Elder
Helen teaches yoga and yoga therapy. She has a background of working in the NHS as a district nurse. She is a Shiatsu practitioner and is a qualified teacher of meditation with the Dent Meditation Centre. Helen is currently studying with Birthlight and T-R-E to complement an integrated approach to holistic health.
Dip DSY, MM, MMus, BM (Hons), YTT Registered Elder
Jules came to yoga from a background in Martial Arts having trained for over 25 years throughout the UK, Europe, America & Japan. She completed a yoga foundation course with the British Wheel of Yoga and qualified as a yoga teacher with the Devon School of Yoga. She is a Level 1 Acroyoga teacher with Acroyoga.org and also a qualified VanCity Acroyoga teacher. She worked in the Complementary Medicine unit of the Peninsula Medical School for 12 years. She now works in the DSY office as PA to Duncan Hulin.
Dip DSY, BA
Andrea has been practising yoga for over fifteen years and qualified with the DSY in 2005. She has experienced a variety of different styles and has an holistic and eclectic approach.
Dip DSY, BA
Simon has practised Yoga with the School for many years and runs weekly classes in Devon, incorporating the School’s main themes and philosophies. He has worked with other Yoga teachers both in the UK and India and is particularly interested in the Advaita Vedanta tradition. Simon has also looked after the Schools visual image for over ten years.
BA, (Essex) MA (Nottingham), PhD, MA (Leeds), PhD Bristol, DipDSY
Mik is the author of “Hatha Yoga: It’s Context, Theory and Practice”. Although no longer actively teaching on the courses, Mik remains as a valuable advisor to the school. He is currently Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy at the University of Leeds.
Dip DSY, DipYTH
Virginia teaches Yoga and Ayurveda in the UK and internationally. Her passion is to share the ancient philosophies and benefits of Yoga and Ayurveda to help others to find peace of mind and well-being in a holistic way in the modern world. She shares the aspects of yoga which she herself practices and of which she has personal experience. Her yoga offerings are varied, adapted for the individual and the group and range from traditional Yoga to Well Woman and Yoga therapy styles as well as Yoga Nidra.
Janet first learnt yoga with her mum in Singapore as a child, and started seriously practicing in 2000 with DSY teacher Andrea Durant. She completed her first yoga teacher training in Bali in 2007, her second purely in ashtanga in 2011 and the DSY Postgraduate Yoga Therapy course in 2012. She also completed a Yoga and 12 Step recovery course in 2014. Janet continues to work for the BBC as a presenter and journalist, and to enjoy the grounding and insight that yoga and mindfulness bring to a demanding mainstream job and lifestyle. She is also a qualified Coach and uses these skills to help others gain personal insight and direction.
MBACP (Snr. Accred) Dip DSY
Juliana is a DSY graduate. She currently teaches and practices psychotherapy and has an interest in how yoga and psychotherapy can work together. She finds yoga psychology complements her person-centred approach, enhancing her practice. Juliana has looked for meaning in all her walks of life – through travelling, teaching, psychotherapy and eventually discovering that yoga can be a way of life, not just a discrete hour on the mat.
Emily is a yoga therapist and trauma informed yoga teacher. She has a special interest in working with trauma and the nervous system through yoga and other somatic practices. Emily has been practising yoga since 2004 and teaching since 2011. She originally trained in India and went on to train with the Devon School of Yoga on their Postgraduate Yoga Therapy Course as well as completing yoga training in yin, pregnancy, women’s health and trauma sensitive and trauma informed yoga. Emily runs a small yoga studio called The Soma Shala in South Devon. .
Ruth teaches hatha yoga and specialises in prenatal and postnatal yoga. Ruth also finds a great deal of joy teaching toddler yoga. Ruth is a full spectrum doula and hypnobirthing instructor and is currently on the Devon School of Yoga postgraduate yoga therapy course..