The yoga teachers

Meet Gareth and Chantal

Gareth Williams

Gareth has over 20 years of experience as a yoga teacher. He has gained teaching diplomas initially through the British Wheel of Yoga (BWY) and subsequently with the Association of Yoga Studies (AYS) through the Sadhana Mala training program, qualifying him to work with individuals on a therapeutic level.

His main training was with Dave Charlton and Ranju Roy, two senior yoga teachers who founded Sadhana Mala, so naturally his classes follow their long established and respected approach, which adheres to the teachings of T. Krishnamacharya and T.K.V. Desikachar and more recently, Peter Hersnack. He continues to study with Dave by attending the monthly Mandala Study Group in Malvern, UK.

Gareth draws upon his varied experience to create a stimulating and informative practice that is light hearted as well as challenging and moreover, effective. After all yoga should be enjoyable rather than a chore!

In addition to an extensive program of regular, weekly yoga classes throughout the year and one-to-one therapeutic consultancy, Gareth and his wife Chantal also run a range of yoga holidays, retreats and weekends in Sicily, Morocco, France and the UK.

Beyond his group class and individual teaching activities, he and Chantal also work in association with Sadhana Mala, offering yoga foundation courses and teacher training courses.

As a complement to his yoga teaching, Gareth is an advanced Thai yoga massage practitioner.  He trained for many years with Kira Balaskas from The School of Thai Yoga Massage in London and attended a number of advanced training courses with her teacher Asokananda, one of the world’s leading Thai yoga massage teachers. Asokananda who is now sadly missed, was the first to publish a book on the subject in any language other than Thai.

Gareth and Chantal, also train others to be practitioners in this ancient, yoga related healing art through regular courses at their Thai yoga massage training school in Cheltenham.

Chantal Rafferty

Whilst living in New York City over 17 years ago Chantal quickly began to deepen her interest in yoga trying out different styles and approaches and was encouraged by one of her teachers to further her yoga studies.   She completed her initial teacher training studies with the Sivananda tradition and received her first teaching diploma in the Bahamas in 2006. Followed by courses at the SVYASA Yoga University in Bangalore, India and the Yoga Biomedical Trust in London. Chantal continued her studies with Dave Charlton and the ‘viniyoga’ approach to hatha yoga. Owing to the individual nature of this yoga, i.e., the attention to modifications and variations given not only in a one to one setting but also within group classes, Chantal was deeply drawn to this approach to hatha yoga. Through Dave she gained her British Wheel of Yoga teaching diploma; a 500 hour training course spread over 4 years.  She then went on to complete the 500 hour Yoga Therapy post graduate course with Dave Charlton and Ranju Roy (Sadhana Mala) in order to further her study and interest in working on a one to one basis and therapeutically with her many clients.

After working with cancer patients and their carers at the Mulberry Centre in London,  Chantal became deeply interested in using yoga as a therapeutic tool, not only to cope with illnesses and conditions but as a way of dealing with the modern stresses and strains of day to day life. Chantal has also completed training with Fiona Agombar, author of ‘Beat Fatigue with Yoga’ and uses this and her many years of yoga training when teaching class students and yoga therapy clients who have M.E. and/or C.F.S.

In addition to teaching yoga Chantal is also an advanced Thai yoga massage practitioner, having trained with Kira Balaskas in London and Greece. She currently gives Thai yoga massage and Thai foot massage treatments in and around the Cheltenham area and specialises in Thai yoga massage for pregnancy. As well as practising the massage, she also works with Gareth in training Thai yoga massage practitioners.

Chantal also has a keen interest in nutritional therapy and holistic living and is a great advocate of many different therapies such as acupuncture and reflexology.  In fact if you need any recommendations on other therapists in Cheltenham please see our useful links page or email Chantal.

Chantal is both a member of the British Wheel of Yoga (BWY) and of the Association of Yoga Studies (AYS) and is also a Foundation Course Tutor.

She continues her ongoing yoga studies with Dave Charlton through the monthly Mandala Study Group in Malvern, UK.