The LYTTG was founded by Chloe Fremantle in 2004 and is based on the approach of Vanda Scaravelli and Mary Stewart, two influential yoga teachers whose work emphasised the relationship between gravity, breath and the spine.
This approach to Yoga has produced a diverse community of experienced professionals who enjoy working together to deliver high quality yoga teaching and teacher training.
Below Chloe Fremantle (pictured) shares the history of the LYTTG:
I had always played sport and practiced ballet. Missing my regular ballet classes whilst living abroad, I first came to yoga in Florence, Italy, at Donne Holleman’s Iyengar yoga school. I practiced there through 1978-79 with other students and was taught by various teachers including Sandra Sabatini and Diane Long.
At the time Donna Holleman was a student of Vanda Scaravelli – and had been for a long time – before others such as Sandra Sabatini, Diane Long, Esther Myers and Elizabeth Pauncz began classes with Vanda.
Upon returning to England in 1980 I met and took classes with Maxine Tobias and in 1981 I first met Mary Stewart.
Mary, who had met Vanda in the early 1970s through Donna Holleman, continued to meet with her in Italy and Toronto until Vanda’s death in 1999.
In the early 1980s I was living between London and New York. From 1985 I began to teach yoga privately and I also began to assist Mary Stewart running remedial workshops and yoga retreats in both Denmark and the UK. I began giving weekly classes in 1987 after the birth of our first child, once I knew I would be settled in one place more of the time.
I was a student on Mary’s first Yoga Teacher Training (YTTC) course, co-taught with Sophy Hoare (John Stirk teaching anatomy that time), in 1990-91. Mary then ran several more YTTC courses. I helped Mary with some of the hands-on teaching elements of these courses until Mary’s retirement from Yoga teaching in 2001. I continue to be very close to her and I am in regular contact with her.
I had loved the experience of co-teaching with Mary and I wanted to continue this, but I realised that most of my colleagues had not co-taught before. So in 2000 I began running workshops for large groups of students led by two teachers. In this way I and various colleagues grew used to working together and we were able to see who liked it and who did not!
I quickly realised that between us – several of us had attended the same Monday morning yoga class with Mary for many years – we had quite a few students who were keen and ready to train to become teachers. With this in mind I set about adapting and developing Mary’s last yoga teacher training course, which ended in 2000, into a new course called the London Yoga Teacher Training Course (LYTTC). Anne-Marie Zulkahari, already an experienced yoga teacher and Pilates teacher trainer, assisted greatly.
I ran the first two year LYTTC in 2004-2005 with various colleagues.
In 2006, with Anne-Marie Zulkahari by then my co-director, we realised that the course needed ‘recognition’ so that our graduates could receive appropriate insurance. This would allow our graduates to work in various settings including adult education and health clubs.
The 2007-08 LYTTC cohort
I also arranged that any teachers who had trained with Mary Stewart in the past, and who were prepared to complete the necessary additional work, would have their training recognised by the BWY too. As such, all those teachers completing the required tasks, including submitting case studies to the BWY, were accredited in 2008.
We continue to be an active member of the BWY Established Accredited Groups and our teachers regularly teach at BWY events such as BWY Congress, BWY Teacher Training Week and regional BWY days.
This is an umbrella group for our various courses:
Assistant Teacher Training
We established the LYTTG Assistant Teacher Training Course to enable us to invite and train interested and experienced teachers so that they could begin to understand exactly what is required in running a course like the LYTTC.
The course has two stages, each lasting two years, and runs concurrent with the teacher training. Our Assistant Teacher Trainers help on our teacher training courses in various ways in order to gain valuable experience of training, both practical and ‘behind the scenes’ on the administrative side. This means we are sure that any teachers who are invited to join us on the staff of the LYTTC have had the relevant experience.
As of 2015 we have 15 graduates of Level 1 and 7 graduates of Level 2, some of whom are now staff on the LYTTC.
Some of the graduates of our Assistant Teacher Training Courses run other short courses for the LYTTG. To date these include:
- ‘Introductory’ courses, run over four months, for those considering joining our teacher training
- The Brighton based ‘Developing Your Personal Practice’ course which met twice monthly over nine months
- ‘Deepening your Yoga’ four month courses, the second of which will begin in 2017 at Clerkenwellbeing in London
Setting up and establishing these courses has been a great way for our teachers to get hands on experience of running courses.
LYTTG teachers also run regular Continuing Professional Development workshops each year. This helps keep our learning up to date and is an excellent way of retaining contact between us all.
My Current Role
As a Founding Director, I have an abiding interest in preserving the well being of our friendly, supportive, dedicated and generous group for the future. It perhaps feels a bit like being a grandparent might feel!
Meeting with past students, and continuing to foster our circle of teachers, offers a very special, and constant, delight.
The LYTTG has evolved naturally and instinctively into what we are today, and I hope it will continue to evolve as happily in the years to come.
Lotus flower by Chloe Fremantle