This is a bit about me, Louisa Koussertari.
When I came across sport in my early tween/teen years (as you do at school), the one that I truly connected to was running. I discovered that I was a strong sprinter and really enjoyed the empowerment and focus it gave me. My love for running has evolved over the last twenty years and it has stuck with me – I don’t think I have gone a week in this period of time where I have not run and I tend to run four to six times a week on average. It has been a therapy to me over the years, much more than just the act of running, the experience evolved to act as a window to disconnect from the pace of life.
In my teen years I struggled with confidence, acceptance, how I looked and how I fitted in as a Greek girl in a very small, not so culturally diverse seaside town; I really believed the only way forward was to change myself to be accepted. Fast forwarding 20 years to now, this experience steered me to want to work with teens and study teen yoga & mindfulness as a way to assist guiding teens with healthy positive tools to navigate their way through.
As I entered my twenties, swept along into a career that I thought I should follow vs. one I was passionate about, I soon discovered that I felt quite lost, not sure who I was, why I was doing what I was doing and really questioning – again and again; ‘is this it’?
I felt driven to work with people in some way but didn’t know how, or even believe that I could and at that same time really needed to care for myself. Around this time (2009) I stumbled into a yoga class at my local gym and I felt something joyful by moving in this new way, breathing consciously, and being in silence. Yoga nourished me and brought me back to life; it had similar qualities to running and provided space, freedom, release, grounding, whilst strengthening and opening my body in new ways. This was just the start of my journey.
I continued to explore different styles of yoga and was especially drawn to the discipline and power of ashtanga but equally loved the freedom and fun of vinyasa. Over the years my practice continued along side running and I found this to be complimentary for both. Gaining deeper bodily awareness, breath control, endurance, strength and stamina were some of the many benefits that yoga and running has given me.
Eventually I reached a point where I knew that I still wanted to work with people and felt strongly about wanting to share yoga with others in some way. So in 2016 I did something for myself, I summoned up the courage and completed my yoga teacher training. This very much triggered a chain of events and I started teaching immediately, learning from every experience and from those I taught, observed and assisted.
Studies & Qualifications
Postnatal Pregnancy – 75hrs – Distinction – 2021
The Science of Teaching Yoga for Athletes – 40hrs – 2020
Prenatal Yoga Diploma – 85hrs – Distinction – 2019
Yin Yoga Intensive TT1 – 40hrs – 2018
Teen Yoga & Mindfulness RYSC YA – 60hrs – 2017
Yoga Teacher Training – 200hrs (RYT-200) – 2016
Emergency First Aid (for Yoga) October 2018-2021
Om Meditation – 2016
Yoga for runners & cyclists, cross training for athletes – 2016
The Seven Chakras: T.Krishnamacharya -17hrs 2017
Yoga for Scoliosis workshop 2017 (attended+certified)
Chair Yoga 2016 (certified)
WORKSHOPS & COMMUNITY CLASSES
Mary’s Giving Charity/Community Class Yoga – 2017
Asian Wellness & Vegan Festival Gentle flow & Yoga for Runners & Cyclists 2017
Yoga for Runners/young Athletes 13-17yrs London Marathon 2017
Lululemon Community class teacher
Digestive health workshop 2017 Triyoga (assisted)
Kagyu Samye Dzong Tibetan Buddhist Centre – offering physical adjustments
KIND WORDS FROM STUDENTS
I really struggled through that first anxious trimester, so being able to practice yoga again in my second trimester I was chomping at the bit to get started. I’m normally a really physical person and I had been practicing yoga for years. I tried doing online videos, but I didn’t feel safe, my brain wanted to throw my body around in all its old shapes but suddenly it wasn’t the same body anymore, it was bigger, and bendier and far more easy to over stretch and injure.
Louisa stepped in, with her understanding of what my frustrations were about not having the same physicality anymore but still wanting to be just as physical, she gently guided me, allowing me to practice safely, re-educating me about what was safe to do with my new body, letting me push postures when I needed to feel like I had really ‘exercised’ but also reigning me in gently in postures where once I would have been able to practice deeply were now in need of modification to accommodate the new bump and bendier body.
Knowing I had access to Louisa during my pregnancy kept me so much calmer, knowing I could still use my body, it was still strong and capable meant that I felt a lot more confident about the labour. In the end the pregnancy was a very smooth one and I found myself practicing yoga the day before my due date and had a very smooth labour 2 days later. Thank you, Louisa, for being part of that journey! Emma Tunbridge May 2019
Louisa led a 30 minute meditation and mindfulness session for me and members of my team recently, which enabled us to take some time out at the end of the working day to focus on our breathing and find some self-compassion. Everyone has been working so hard throughout the pandemic and it’s not an easy time for anyone, so I thought this would be a nice way to recognise this and allow Louisa to share some useful techniques. Everyone was very positive about the experience – investing in supporting employee emotional wellbeing is key to success. Thanks Louisa! Holly Hastings-Payne – Head of Philanthropy and High Value Events – Action for Children
Absolutely amazing. Thanks for all your help. You have the core to my recovery – cannot thank you enough. Joshua 2020
‘Louisa is an inspirational, motivating and gifted yoga teacher; she teaches with patience, compassion, and kindness and effortlessly tailors her teaching to the individual. From yoga for the athlete to yoga for kids/teenagers, chair yoga for the elderly – her teaching is open to all ages. She emanates warmth and her teaching comes from the heart. I feel blessed to have met her and she has been a true light on my yoga journey to become a yoga teacher and she will continue to be a light for me in years to come. Namaste’ Private Student – Karina 2019
‘I love attending Louisa’s Mindful Flow classes. She combines breathing practice with some powerful Asana practice. In my opinion, she is just a natural and stands for everything that is important for me in a yoga class’. Gerti 2019
‘I want to thank you for allowing me time to practice with you each week. You are an outstanding teacher. You allow me to use my breath to release and relax my thoughts and feelings by guiding me through different poses and simple meditation. I just wish my practice was more than just 1 hour a week! I am looking forward to practicing with you more in the future. Bernie 2019
“Although I have practiced yoga for several years, I have gained a greater level of relaxation and sense of stability in myself from attending Louisa’s classes. During recent months, I was under tremendous stress in my personal life and so her teaching style was exactly what I needed. I enjoy the flowing style of yoga she teaches, as her classes make me feel energised. Louisa is an empathetic and supportive teacher, who also has a great sense of humour. My husband, who I never expected to see doing yoga, even started classes with her, based on my recommendation. Since he is a half marathon runner, he found it helped stretch out his aching muscles and is a happier man! We both highly recommend Louisa to anyone interested in gaining the physical and mental benefits of yoga practice” Jenny 2018
John Lewis employees after 2 years of Yoga at work
‘As a complete beginner I was unsure of what to expect from yoga, but Louisa made her Vinyasa Flow class both easy to follow and suitably challenging. Her friendly and relaxed approach puts the class at ease when learning new positions, and her meditation is great for relaxing my mind before a busy day at work. As a result, I am now officially a hooked yogi! ‘ Erin Harding John Lewis Partner
I can’t recommend Louisa’s classes enough. There’s a lovely sense of calm and you know that you’ll have the time and space to push a bit further in your practice under her expert guidance. Louisa’s focus on alignment and holding positions and poses have helped me to make progress and build strength. Her energy and love of yoga always shines through and it’s one of the reasons why I look forward to her classes so much. – Emily Byrne John Lewis Partner
Styleimprint interview – by Emily Byrne
Marys Giving Charity – Community Yoga class – 2017
Asian Wellness & Vegan Festival Gentle flow & Yoga for Runners & Cyclists 2017
John Lewis interviews – Louisa Koussertari – Yoga must haves.
Lululemon Community Yoga class