"as great as the infinite space beyond is the space within the lotus of the heart. both heaven and earth are contained in that inner space, both fire and air, sun and moon, lightning and stars. whether we know it in this world or know it not, everything is contained in that inner space"
Yoga found me almost 20 years ago. It started as a purely physical practice then slowly, slowly, bit by bit the more subtle aspects of yoga revealed themselves to me. My body became stronger, my breath deeper, my mind stiller and my attitude, or spirit, more positive. My once a week practice turned into twice a week, three times a week...every day. You get the picture!
I don't just mean standing like a tree or balancing on my head either. You can 'do' yoga walking down the street, interacting with others, doing your job or hobby, watching a sunset and yes, balancing on your head!
After yoga became integral to my being I journeyed to India to study for my 200hr Yoga Alliance Teaching Certification with Tribe Yoga, where ancient teachings were married with modern anatomical focus.
Through the years I have completed my 500hr+ Yoga Alliance certification during further studies in India and in the UK, studying with some of the worlds leading teachers including Richard Freeman, Shiva Rea, David Swenson, Jason Crandell, Max Strom, Rod Stryker, Anodea Judith, Manju Jois and Mimi Kuo Deemer amongst others. I have also completed my advanced Yin Yoga teacher training with the wonderful Norman Blair, have studied Buddhist meditation at Tushita in Dharamsala, home of the Dalai Lama and spent a month at Kopan Monastery in Nepal in Buddhist study and meditation.
I have most recently completed a transformational 200hr training with Nikki Slade in kirtan leadership and am thrilled to be leading kirtan at East of Eden, my second home in Walthamstow.
As well as teaching studio classes and zoom classes I offer private tuition from my home and in the workplace, as well as co leading the 200 hr YTT at East of Eden.
I continue to be a diligent student of yoga and feel blessed to share my knowledge with others. Namaste to you all.
"To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders."
East of Eden 200 Hr YTTC 2024 with James Cassidy & Tanja Mickwitz
JANUARY - JUNE 2024 EAST LONDON & PORTUGAL
JANUARY - JUNE 2024 EAST LONDON & PORTUGAL
Following the success of East of Eden’s first Yoga Teacher Training with senior yoga teachers Tanja Mickwitz and James Cassidy which completed in June 2023, we are delighted to announce the YTT dates for 2024. and James bring their enthusiasm, compassion, joy and full hearts into offering this training. Between them they share 25 years of teaching experience and nearly four decades of practice.
At the core of this training sits the understanding that yoga is not just for the mat, but something which supports and enhances all aspects of our lives. The aim is to dive deeper into the full spectrum of what yoga offers, deepen the experience of the practices, with the opportunity to then be able to share this with others. The course in itself will be highly experiential, with the freedom to explore your own personal expression within a supportive community of like-minded yoga enthusiasts.
In a nurturing space co-created between teachers and students you will explore the many aspects of yoga and teaching, from asana labs and intelligent sequencing, to the subtle body (elements, chakras, prana vayus, koshas) and yogic philosophy in practice, as well as anatomy, biomechanics, mantras, mudras, teaching methodology and much more.
This training is not only for those who wish to teach yoga, but for all serious and curious practitioners who wish to further their understanding of the practices and the tradition of yoga.
COURSE DATES & INVESTMENT
Dates for the training run January to June 2024 (see below for specific weekends), and the earlybird price is £3495 if paid in full before the end of October. Alternatively, we offer an instalment option which is £3695, split between the months remaining from when you sign up, and the end of January 2024, when full payment should be made. Please do contact us if you'd like to discuss an alternative payment scheme.
This includes all training, materials and the Portugal retreat (food and accommodation but excluding transport to the retreat). The retreat will be at Cara Creek Eco Lodge, a beautiful eco retreat in Portugal that is immersed in nature. You'll be able to relax before and after training by the natural infinity pool; star gaze from the wood-fired hot tub; break a sweat in the hobbit-styled sauna; socialise around the fire pit; or swim in the river.
26-27 January (Friday afternoon + Saturday day) 2-3 February (Friday afternoon + Saturday day) 15-16 March (Friday afternoon + Saturday day) 29, 30, 31 March + 1 April - Easter: 4 full days at studio 12-13 April (Friday afternoon + Saturday day) 19-20 April (Friday afternoon + Saturday day) 26-27 April (Friday afternoon + Saturday day) 10-11 May (Friday afternoon + Saturday day)
20-24 May: PORTUGAL RETREAT
31 May - 1 June (Friday afternoon + Saturday day) 14 - 15 June (Friday afternoon + Saturday day) 28, 29 + 30 June (Friday afternoon + Saturday day for assessment classes and Sunday afternoon for graduation
Fridays timings are 3 - 8pm
Saturday timings are 1 - 8pm
MORE INFORMATION ON THE TRAINING
Approximately 30% of the training will be Sadhana, which will comprise of an integrated practice of asana, pranayama, meditation, mantra, Mudra and Bhakti. Asana in itself will be approached through contemporary alignment principles, biomechanics and intelligent sequencing to make the practice accessible to all participants. Subtle body awareness will also be a foundation for understanding and sequencing asana.
TEACHING PRACTICE & METHODS
Approximately 40% of the training will be teaching practice which will be rooted in personal understanding of the practices. Importance will also be placed on understanding how to accommodate the practices for different bodies and differing needs. From the beginning of the training students will be encouraged to find and use their own voice and expression; skills which go beyond simply teaching asana.
The Anatomy segment of the training will be studied online with Andrew McGonigle (“Doctor Yogi”) and the learning integrated into the in-person sessions with Tanja and James.
This is what Andrew says about his course.
“In the anatomy course we will explore in detail the anatomy and physiology of our incredible bodies applied to practising and teaching yoga. Each topic we delve into will be related directly back to the yoga asana practice. There will be a strong focus on using this knowledge of anatomy and physiology to make asana practices as inclusive as possible. Time will be dedicated to exploring how to best communicate with and support students who come to class with common injuries and conditions. There are dedicated yoga practices throughout the course to ensure full integration of the knowledge.”
PARTICULAR FOCUS OF THE TRAINING
At the core of this training sits the understanding that yoga is not just for the mat, but something which supports and enhances all aspects of our lives. The aim is to dive deeper into the full spectrum of what yoga offers, deepen the experience of the practices, with the opportunity to then be able to share this with others; honouring how the traditions and roots of yoga are applicable to and supportive of modern day to day living.The course in itself will be highly experiential, with the freedom to explore personal expression within a supportive community of like-minded yoga enthusiasts.
Overall aim is for students to confidently teach beginner and open level classes, incorporating different bodies and include all aspects of yoga, including asana, pranayama, meditation, mantra & Mudra
WHAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO DO UPON COMPLETION
As well as being able to teach beginner and open level classes, graduates will be able to sequence classes using various formats such as peak pose, overall arc and theme (anatomical, subtle body, philosophical).
HOW WILL THE COURSE BE ASSESSED?
During the entire training students are under continuous mentorship and feedback, with assessments scheduled as required. A final teaching assessment will be held before graduation.
ELEMENTAL BODY, MIND & BREATH RETREAT, GOA, INDIA
MARCH 3RD-10TH 2024
I'm so excited to invite you to my 8 day Elemental Retreat at beautiful Ashiyana - from all of my travels it is my favourite retreat centre in the world. A true home away from home, where the philosophies of yoga as a way of living are truly embodied and applied, from the natural environment, nourishing food and peaceful, friendly atmosphere. It is a true retreat in every sense of the word.
Our day will start together at 8am - if you are an early riser you could enjoy a swim in the Arabian Sea before your practice or simply enjoy fresh tea and fruit before a 2hr elemental flow through for the body, mind and breath. I will teach you traditional pranayamas meditations and mantras and guide you through intelligent and healing asana sequences.
Each day will build from the healing, grounding qualities of the earth, through the creative, flowing water element, the empowering and energising fire element, the heart opening air element and the liberating element of ether. There will be options for all bodies, from beginners to the more practiced. It's not unusual on my retreats to have all abilities and all ages ranging from those in their twenties to those in there seventies. Yoga, mindfulness and healing is for us all.
After the morning practice will be a delicious, nourishing expansive brunch buffet with everything you could wish for - the Ashiyana buffets are really something to behold.
The rest of the day is your time - to rest, renew, explore, relax, read, walk, swim or sleep! Ashiyana has so many cosy places to nest and of course the incredible Mandrem beach just steps away.
At 5pm we will meet for a cooling, relaxing 90 minute session with yin, meditation, poetry and deep rest. After this there will be time to catch the amazing Goan sunset before another delicious all inclusive buffet for dinner.
The evenings are a special time at Ashiyana where you may relax on your veranda or join in one of the wonderful in house offerings like sound healing, kirtan and meditation.
For any questions about the retreat please contact me by email and we can have a chat.
PALM GROVE ROOM
BOOKINGS & PAYMENT
SHARED TWIN/DOUBLE ENSUITE ROOM (if you are travelling solo i can pair you up in a same sex room):
ECO LODGE (2 AVAILABLE) £990 PER PERSON
PALM GROVE (1 AVAILABLE) £1055 PER PERSON
RAJ DOUBLE/TWIN a/c (2 AVAILABLE ) £1170 PER PERSON
Raj Luxury DOUBLE (2 AVAILABLE) £1325 PER PERSON
DOUBLE ensuite ROOM SOLE OCCUPANCY:
PALM GROVE (1 AVAILABLE) £1335 BOOKED
RAJ DOUBLE a/c (1 AVAILABLE) £1450 BOOKED
An initial deposit of £500 (can be paid in two monthly instalments of £250) will secure your booking, the balance payment will be due 10 weeks prior to the retreat
travel insurance (comprehensive travel insurance is a booking requirement)
"It’s now three weeks since I got back from the retreat with James and I am still feeling amazingly lighter, grounded and ready to face whatever challenges life throws at me. I had he most wonderful week under James’ protective wings. He has an amazing ability to gear his yoga sessions to suit the mood of the group and I felt like he really listened to where we were at and he never pushed us too far (although he pushed us which was good). When someone has found the courage to be who they are and they practice what they preach, they become a safe person to be guided by. What sets James apart, is that he not only talks about how to live a yogi life but he leads by example. Thank you for a fantastic restorative week."
“I have had the pleasure to go on retreat with James twice now. He is a considerate teacher who is mindful of the difference in each individual’s experience and level. He challenges when appropriate and tunes in to both emotional and physical needs. His philosophy of Body/Mind makes me look at yoga much more holistically which supports me as I navigate a cross roads in my life. I thoroughly recommend his classes and can’t wait to book his next retreat.”
ashiyana is an easy 90 min taxi drive from goa airport (dabolim) You can find direct charter flights from london or i often change at either mumbai or qatar which works out cheaper but longer. Anothe roption is to spend a few days in Mumbai and get the express train to Goa and a taxi from there. we will arrange taxis for you at your request for a reasonable price. If you have never travelled to India before Goa is a perfect introduction - clean, safe with excellent infrastructure and facilities and a high literacy rate. For any logistical questions you can contact myself or ashiyana directly.
BOOKING TERMS + CANCELLATION POLICY
It is a condition of this RETREAT that you on booking purchase comprehensive travel insurance which includes cancellation insurance. None of us can predict unexpected events in our lives: illness, family emergencies, work conflicts, etc. By purchasing a comprehensive plan, you will ensure being covered in full should you need to cancel after the said cancellation period.
Your deposit is refundable up until 12 weeks before the start of the retreat. Less than 12 weeks before the start of the retreat your payment is only refundable or transferable if your space can be filled.
Once the final payment has been made there will be no refunds unless your place can be filled
Any refunds made will be less a £100 admin fee
If Covid regulations change and the retreat is not able to go ahead any money paid would be transferable to a future date.
In the very unlikely event that JAMES CASSIDY is unable at to teach the retreat at short notice, for example due to (but not limited to) Covid-19, severe illness or bereavement, JAMES CASSIDY reserves the right to find a replacement teacher. In this situation no refunds will be issued.
COME CHANT, SING AND DANCE TO YOUR HIGHER POWER
USUALLY FIRST OR SECOND FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH AT EAST OF EDEN - PLEASE CHECK HERE FOR LATEST EVENT
Join myself, my musical friends and the wonderful community of Walthamstow and beyond for an evening of meditation through mantra, melody and rhythm
Kirtan means to 'sing the name' and is a celebration of Bhakti Yoga, the Yoga of Devotion. Kirtan in essence is a meditation on bliss and love, through the vibrations of sound. James, with his harmonium and his Bhakti brother Theo on drum will lead you through traditional chants, in call and response, honouring the deities which represent the higher qualities within ourselves. No previous experience of yoga, chanting or singing is required, although if you enjoy any of these, you are sure to love Kirtan. You may experience deep stillness and peace, freedom of mind and joyful heart and you may find yourself clapping along or even getting up to move and dance. There are no rules and nothing to get right or be good at. Just a willingness to come together in community and open your heart. We will chant together for about 75 mins with breaks in between, to be still or stretch your legs, after which we will share chai and vegan sweet treats and enjoy the chance to have a relaxed chat together before the evening ends. This practice is for all bodies, all ages, all beliefs, all faiths and no faiths so spread the word and let's come together to sing to the higher power of the Self