Hometown: Herefrord, UK
Resides: London, UK
Years Practising/Teaching: 22/15

'There is a field beyond wrong doing and right doing; meet me there,’ Rumi. Oh hang on. Maybe ‘You have a right to be here, no less than the trees and the stars.’
-Max Erhmann


  • Doctoral researcher on yoga, SOAS Department of South Asia
  • The Sanskrit Reading Room Coordinator since 2017
  • Regular contributor to Pushpam magazine
  • Contributor to Sharmila Desai and Anna Wise's Yoga Sadhana for Mothers, YogaWords, 2014
  • Teach philosophy modules on various Yoga Teacher Training programmes since 2014 (including Bridget Woods-Kramer, Naomi Annand, Norman Blair and Melanie Cooper, and Gingi Lee)
  • Run the philosophy programme at Astanga Yoga London since 2011
  • Teach weekly posture classes at the Life Centre Islington
  • Assist Hamish Hendry at Ashtanga Yoga London, since 2007
  • Taught yoga full-time since 2006

I started practicing yoga when I was 16 with my mum and a friend from school in a little class in Hereford. I hated competitive team sports, I was utterly unsporty and ashamed of my body. Yoga classes offered a whole different world - I loved the warm, dimly lit room where my mat was my space, I didn’t have to talk to anyone and I could wear baggy trousers. Over the years I came to practice Ashtanga yoga and developed a daily practice. This has helped develop strength, confidence - and stubbornness.

‘I love the simplicity of moving and breathing woven on a depth of history and philosophy that is breath-taking.’


I headed to India in 2007 to practice with Pattabhi Jois for the first time. Before getting on the plane I’d given up by job in political consultancy, accepted a yoga teaching job to start when I got back, and injured my back so I could barely walk. The trip ignited a commitment to daily practice: get up early, do your practice, then the rest of the day unfolds (– and go to bed early).

I remember my teacher encouraging a guy to do something strength related he had not suggested to me, I presumed because I was a woman. That was the best motivation in the world to enable me to do it.

Keep practicing (whether it’s yoga, a sitting practice, Sanskrit) little by little with commitment and open eyes – it’s amazing what can happen.

‘Yoga is like cleaning your teeth but even better. It’s like taking off the top of your head and showering your brain. Everything from the inside to the outside becomes shiny. Mostly with sweat. A little with peace. I feel utterly alive.’

Ruth's yoga secret:

Breathe. One teacher used to say ‘breathing not correct’ when students were struggling. That often pops into my head, then effort drops away and the moment/pose manifests.

2015 Authorization, K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Instutute, Level Two: Full Intermediate Series
2010 MA Indian Religions, School of Oriental and African Studies, Distinction
2009 Richard Freeman 200 Hour Teaching Training
2008 Life Centre Education 200 Hour Teacher Training

Follow Ruth: for blogposts, articles and film.
Online classes at Conscious 2
SOAS Hatha Yoga Sanskrit Project