Meet the Team
Centre Founder, Senior YSC Practitioner & YSC Teacher Trainer: SriDevi Denisa Vulkova
Denisa is the founder of MahaDevi, its lead teacher, Yoga for the Special Child (YSC) teacher trainer and senior YSC practitioner for Europe. Denisa has practiced yoga since she was 13 and trained with the Sivananda school. She met Sonia Sumar in 2009, trained with her and has been teaching YSC since 2009. She set up the MahaDevi Yoga Centre in 2016. Denisa holds a BA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins and an Art Therapy Foundation from the Association of Art Therapists (AAT).
Managing Director: Benjamin Eydmann
Ben joined MahaDevi in 2016 as an adult yoga teacher and has since trained to work with children with special needs. Prior to that he worked for a number of large national and international charities including Diabetes UK, Arthritis Research and The National Deaf Children’s Society in a variety of fundraising roles. Ben currently manages his own fundraising consultancy ‘Transform Fundraising’ with a diverse portfolio of clients from social action, refugee, the arts, food awareness, wellbeing and international development sectors. He is trustee and secretary for a yoga organisation based in the South West. Ben leads on all MahaDevi operations and acts as the link between the Board of Trustees and the rest of the team.
Ben is a trained in Classical Hatha Yoga, Yoga for The Special Child, Yoga Nidra and Indian Head Massage.
Finance: Jacob Rudd
Jacob previously worked in a Primary Special Needs School as a SEN teacher. Combining his love of yoga and education he then qualified as a Yoga Therapist, introducing yoga as part of the school curriculum. Having seen the immense benefits of yoga to children and adults alike, in 2016 Jacob became a full-time Yoga Therapist whilst undertaking a Masters Degree at SOAS in 'Traditions of Yoga and Meditation.' He now teaches Yoga History & Philosophy on several RYT 200 & Diploma courses both in London and nationally. Jacob works daily as a Yoga Therapist both at the MahaDevi Centre and across London.
Therapy Coordinator: Noreen Carr
Noreen is fascinated by the healing potential of the body and mind and this led her to qualifying as a Swedish Massage Therapist in 2009, a Sports and Remedial Massage Therapist in 2012 and a Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapist in 2016. She has worked as a complementary therapist at the University College Hospital London, in a care home with disabled clients and as a massage Tutor, as well as having her own practice. Noreen’s real passion is working with children and having enjoyed practicing yoga for many years herself, this led her to the MahaDevi Centre where she completed her YSC training in May 2018. Noreen currently works in schools delivering Wellbeing Programmes to SEN children as well as teaching 1-1 yoga for the special child, both in schools and at the Mahadevi Yoga Centre.
Board of Trustees
Anaïs brings experience in many fields from business and economics (PhD) to religious and Islamic studies, environmental sciences, yoga and meditation. She has worked in SMEs, large corporates, NGO, public sector as well as her own company. For her an inclusive society means that we take care of the potential of everyone and hold the space for each being to flourish. For her one way of doing this is through yoga. Next to being our Chair of Trustees she is a member of the WeAct and WeSpace Advisory Boards and is a co-founder of STRIDE as well as scaling4good. Anaïs lives in Switzerland.
I trained as a Biologist and am now a mother of 3 with a rather nerdy interest in the human body. I have practised a little yoga since I was a child and my interest was reawakened when I was pregnant. I practised yoga throughout all 3 pregnancies and was fortunate to give birth naturally in each case using yoga relaxation and breathing techniques. I used baby yoga with my oldest son to help him sleep and be flexible and happy and it as so effective that when my second son suffered from meningitis at the age of 4 months I instinctively used yoga and massage with him through his recovery. As his special needs were significant I retrained to teach baby yoga and continued to practise with him. Naturally my classes started to attract other children with special needs and I decided to train with Yoga for the Special Child. I have now been practising the YSC programme for 12 years and one of my students has been with me for the whole of that journey. My son and my daughter still practise with me and particularly love the chanting and breathing exercises.
My students live with a wide range of challenges including Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Hemiplegia, Autism, Mitochondrial Disease and brain tumour. Each is unique and beautiful, but they all love the yoga!
info coming soon…
Bia is a brand strategist who is passionate about creativity, culture and diversity. She has over 12 years of experience working on leading brands and a huge variety of projects, passing through the biggest advertising agencies in the world.
It is on her professional and personal agenda to fight all sorts of stereotypes - a matter she (passionately) considers in every project she works on. This is one of the main reasons she fell in love with the Mahadevi project and is incredibly grateful to be part of it.