Leyla Ahmet Meredith
Leyla's appreciation for the body, strength and flexibility began at the tender age of 7 when she first put on a leotard and discovered ballet and gymnastics. She practised both for the next 10 years enjoying both power and weightlessness, turning her world upside down, flying through the air and bending herself in half.
At 23 she left her home in London and set off for India. Her feet touching Indian soil was both a curse and a blessing. Instantly in love with the smells of incense wafting through the air, the wobbly, smiling, brown faces, the colourful array of gods and goddesses adorning equally as colourful temples and the lyrical chanting flowing from Ashrams before the sun had risen.
India opened the doors to an alternative way of life. Alternative ways on living, health and wellness. The travel bug did not stop there. For the next 10 years she travelled extensively through South East Asia, Central and South America, working in Tokyo and Houston coyly experimenting with shiatsu and sweat lodges, thai massage and meditation, reiki and cranial sacral therapy
Always on a journey of self discovery and always with an appreciation and open heart for the country she was in. In 2002 she gained her level II reiki certificate and in 2003 decided to return to the UK to study shiatsu. Her love for the body and its remarkable capacity had never left her but now she wanted to use the healing power of touch for the benefit of others.
Settling into East London, UK after was a tough decision but dedication, will power and a real love for what she intuitively knew was magical kept her there. She graduated in 2006.
With completion of her diploma, with certificate in hand she flew to Ethiopia. Various travels and journeys through Africa followed before settling in Jinja, Uganda. Leyla qualified as a yoga teacher in 2008 with Africayoga and has been teacing extensively over the world since. Initially drawn to the dynamic nature of Ashtanga, its power and moving meditation qualities she has since softened preferring to teach flow Vinyasa.
Always looking for inspiration and to further her self practice and teaching in 2013 Leyla completed Shiva Reas prana flow training and in 2014 the Africa Yoga Projects 200 hour Journey into Power teacher training.
"Yoga is a daily practice of surrendering to the power of now and honoring one’s truth. My inspiration and creativity come from a life fuelled by love, truth and courage and the journey of acceptance and trust. I believe in the value of conscious movement that cultivates strength, flexibility and awareness
My teaching style consists of fun, intuitive flowing asanas that inspire curiosity about the body and invite an internal feeling of awakening. I like to weave pranayama and yoga philosophy into the practice and I am excited when a student transcends his or her own boundaries.
My students can expect to be lead through an intelligent sequence of postures, with hands on adjustments and helpful alignment cues designed to build deeper communication between the body and mind. I am a shiatsu practitioner and reiki level II. My love for the subtle body as well as physical body can be identified in the way I teach. I support the health of the physical body, whilst producing a positive influence on ones inner landscape. In 2017 I began leading 200hr Yoga Teacher Trainings. I feel blessed to have found my dharma."
The year began with such high hopes and promise. After a fabulous year training Karuna Teachers and awarding scholarships we were excited for an even more impactful year....
That all changed in March on day 16 of our 200 hr YTT .... students were mostly from Kenya so I was not overly worried. Payal dashed for the border making it across on the last flight. I stayed to ensure the students got as much in person knowledge as possible not realising the border to Turkey from Africa was already closed. I was in Mombasa airport hurriedly trying to rearrange flights as my options got smaller. Flight prices were rising and stories of people getting stuck on long haul flights were trickling in. I managed to find a new flight to the UK (hardly where I wanted to be, but grateful I had a plan) I pressed purchase...My credit card had 6 flights on it already and got refused...what a time for safety precautions. Thank heavens for Paypal I got to the UK.
The kindness of friends carried me through the next 2 weeks along with hours of Spring sunshine in the English countryside. I finally got on a student repatriation flight to North Cyprus. Home - The half of the island not recognised by anyone other than Turkey.