Teacher Bios – Course full: 7-day Ashtanga yoga retreat in Nepal with John Scott and special guests

John Scott

John Scott - leading Ashtanga teacher

New Zealander by birth, but at heart a Scott, John originally studied Industrial Design both in New Zealand and Australia to graduate with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Industrial Design.

John is a dedicated and direct student of Shri K Pattabhi Jois since 1989. John was introduced to Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga by Derek Island, while traveling through Europe. As a result, John began his studies with Guruji – Shri K Pattabhi Jois of Mysore India, and has since then continued to develop his practice and teaching with many other students on the path of yoga.

In 1995 John was certified to teach Ashtanga Yoga by Shri K Pattabhi Jois. John incorporates design philosophies with yoga philosophies, adding a very precise, detailed and colourful metaphorical presentation to his teaching.

His highly individual, analytical and sensitive approach touches deeply, the students who work with him. 

John presents workshops worldwide and has done so for the past 20 years.  John has produced a best-selling book, “Ashtanga Yoga”, and a counted primary series DVD.  John is committed to teaching the traditional counted method and has produced a Yoga App, to this end.

John is also well known for his illustrations/charts (line drawings) of Ashtanga Yoga Primary and Intermediate and Advanced Series, which continue to circulate Worldwide, having been published in chart form and then later in book form in “Astanga Yoga”, by Lino Miele.

Find out more about John and his teaching, through his website and videos.

Andy Gill

Andy has been teaching Ashtanga Yoga for over 15 years. He is a 3rd Series practitioner and has extensive experience and knowledge to teach primary, 2nd and 3rd Series asana practice in the Ashtanga method. He started teaching through an apprenticeship with Gingi Lee at The Shala in South London. His personal study has continued through practice in Mysore and in particular with in-depth training with John and Lucy Scott. Andy has continued to study with John Scott and has subsequently taught with him on several foreign retreats. Andy is a Certified Yoga teacher holding the E-RYT certification and is one of only a handful of teachers to be awarded the John Scott Yoga 500 Hr Teacher Training certification.

As a teacher and a practicing Life Coach Andy understands and respects the needs of the individual student, placing their needs at the heart of his teaching. He brings an informed and non-dogmatic approach to teaching Ashtanga whilst remaining consistent and true to the traditional method.

Andy is passionate about teaching Ashtanga in the traditional Mysore space and he draws upon his experience both as a teacher and coach to provide a supportive, nurturing and inspiring space in which he can facilitate the personal growth of his students through their practice.


Helen McCabe

Helen McCabe is a practitioner and teacher of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga in Dorset. There, she runs the morning Mysore programme as well as teaching and running regular retreats and workshops both in her studio and internationally.

She started practicing yoga in 1991 when she was working in the film industry and had just had her first daughter. It has played a major part in her life ever since. Helen completed the BWY 3 year teacher training course in 2005 and subsequently both level 1 and 2 teacher training courses with her main teachers John Scott and Lucy Crawford. She has also completed the Yoga for Pregnancy and post-natal yoga modules with Nadia Narain at Triyoga London. She is recognised by Yoga Alliance UK as a Senior Yoga Teacher.

Helen aims to bring a mindful and gentle approach to sharing this practice and the powerful tool which it can be for everyday life. She is passionate about the importance working with the breath and body’s own intelligence and understanding how to cultivate, strength and stability as well as flexibility. She shares these techniques in a way that is empowering and supportive, so that practitioners of any age and experience can have the confidence to develop their own sustainable self practice.

Her own practice and exploration of yoga is ongoing as she continues to learn not just from her own teachers but also from all the people that she has the privilege of sharing yoga with.  As a mother of two grown up daughters the involvement with the Urban Yogis UK project which looks to share this practice with young people is also very close to her heart.

"I have been a dedicated student and practitioner of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, a flowing breath movement system, for many years, and have had the privilege of studying with some amazing teachers, in particular John and Lucy, for whom I have huge gratitude. They continue to teach and inspire me in both my own practice and as a teacher to others. I have also studied with Sharath Rangaswamy, grandson of the late SrI K PatthabI Jois, at KpjayI in Mysore India."

Ellen Johannesen

Ellen Johannesen had studied and practiced Ashtanga for over 20 years. Becoming an advanced student under R. Sharath Jois, she obtained authorization Level 2, which allows her to teach Ashtanga yoga intermediate series.

Born in Norway and following a career in contemporary dance, Ellen discovered the practice of Ashtanga in 1994 at Jivamukti Yoga Center New York.

A keen practitioner ever since, she has studied with teachers worldwide, was authorized from KPJAYI, Mysore by Sharath Rangaswamy in 2006, and intensively studied for two years with John Scott.

She also founded the first and still the leading Ashtanga Yoga studio in Norway, Ashtanga Yoga Oslo, where she continues to guest-teach when in Norway and which hosts top international teachers during their Norway visits.

Over the last years Ellen has dedicated herself to Buddhist studies, living mostly in India and Nepal. She trained as a Tibetan translator at Rangjung Yeshe Insitute, Kathmandu, where she is currently continuing her studies.