Lilley radiates an infectious enthusiasm for yoga so that for anyone in its vicinity it is like being caught in a tractor beam. Beware. Once you enrol into Peacock Tree, it’s likely to be for life!
Lilley is a highly motivated and creative individual (with a background in fashion design). She has a naturally innovative approach to her teaching programmes – which inspire, delight and constantly challenge her students.
Lilley founded Peacock Tree Yoga in York in 2010. The York Yoga classes are rich and varied with blended flow sequences from both the Sivananda and Ashtanga traditions. Lilley also teaches Yoga for Children (and special needs children) and Pregnancy Yoga. Read more about Lilley here.
The Peacock Tree Yoga Team
Chloe McKay ~ Early Riser & Early Starter!
Chloé first discovered yoga at the age of 16 after attending an Iyengar class with her mum. She soon fell in love with the practice, impressed with how it made her feel in both body and mind. Curious to learn more, Chloé completed a foundation course before going on to train as a teacher in 2010. Since qualifying, she has continued to study and train with some of the world’s leading teachers such as David Swenson and Sarah Powers.
As a sports therapist, Chloé brings her knowledge of the body into her teaching which focuses on alignment and mindful awareness to build strength and flexibility.
Chloé believes yoga should be playful and inspiring and as a personal practice it should suit the needs of the individual. Ultimately she wants to empower students to use yoga as a tool to increase their health, wellbeing and happiness.
Rachael Medd ~Spiritual Inversion Junkie
Rachael has been gracefully twirling and leaping through life since taking up gymnastics and dance as a child. At the age of 19, she found a new dimension to movement, when her mum introduced her to Yoga. A daily practice soon developed – the bug had bitten.
Since completing her first TT with the British School of Yoga in 2012, Rachael has undertaken training with Christina Sell and Giaconda Parker (2014), as well as Nichi Green and Brian Cooper PhD (2016) – and she brings all that she’s learnt to her own teaching in workshops and classes.
Although a self-confessed inversion junkie (and co-host of our Yoga Ninja Inversion Playshops), it’s not just about fancy postures for Rachael, who is constantly developing her spiritual life and engaging in self inquiry – seeking to discover “how what we do on the mat can transcend into our current reality and help the way we live our lives”.
Katy Wright ~ Croissant-munching Queen’s Hand
Nimble and strong, Katy is the most impish yogini in the forest – which comes across in the playful exploration of vinyasa flow in her classes and her personal practice. However, beneath this mischievous nature is a steely determination and conscientious intelligence which underpins her work as a freelance, free-range writer and informs her ethical values on life.
Since acquiring her first yoga manual at the age of 17, Katy has furthered her studies under countless teachers, in countless locations – the most pivotal being a tough Ashtanga Teacher Training certification with Union Yoga’s Brian Cooper in 2011.
In 2014, Katy rolled up her mat and set off on a tour of the world. Three years later – having traversed South Africa, Botswana, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Thailand – she rolled it back up and landed lightly in France, where she’s since evolved to become Lilley’s Right Hand Woman.
Jill McArthur ~ Energetic Superhero
Yoga transformed Jill’s life almost by stealth. Living in London and working in the cut-throat world of freelance photography, she first joined a class for the same reason many people do – for the physical benefits. But as is so often the case, Jill found that she “started to look at the world from a slightly altered perspective”.
Fast forward a couple of decades and you’ll now find Jill in York, operating under the name Union Holistic and adeptly smoothing out the niggles and aches of whoever happens to be on her couch. The rest of the time, Jill teaches Ashtanga and Vinyasa Flow yoga, having completed a rigorous teacher training with Brian Cooper in 2015.
“I like strong yoga that makes me feel superhuman, and I like slow, quiet yoga that makes me calm and stretched. I like the way that every time you come onto the mat it is different and that everybody has their unique body history and set of circumstances that brings them to yoga.”
Steve Poile ~ Veg Growing Wanderer
As a thoughtful & intelligent yogi, who loves to travel, Steve uses his yoga practice (which began in 2011) to centre himself wherever he may be – from Britain’s dales, vales, moors and shores, to the ashrams and yoga centres of India. Steve has a lovely teaching manner, making beginner students especially feel reassured.
He can also be found putting down roots in his home town of York, where he grows his own vegetables in order to sustain an organic, vegetarian diet – and with which to concoct exotic dishes inspired by the cuisine he has enjoyed on his travels.
Steve’s title, ‘Yoga Siromani’, and his spiritual name, Isvara (Supreme Soul), were bestowed on him when he travelled to the foothills of the Himalayas, to the Uttarkashi Sivananda Yoga Centre – and suspended all communication with the outside world for an entire month!
Louise Brogan-Hewitt ~ soulful entrepreneur
Louise puts her heart and soul into everything she does – from the hugely successful catering business she established and sold nine years later, to the yoga directory she’s now creating for the York area – Yoger.
Since attending her first yoga class in May 2016, we’ve seen Louise make strides in her yoga practice, both on and off the mat. As she says, “Yoga has not only transformed my body, easing the back and hip pain I suffered with for years; it has transformed my mind, too. Yoga helped me connect to my true self and gave me space to begin to live the life I have dreamed of.”
In the two years Louise has dedicated herself to her practice, she’s progressed from our Essentials Yoga for Beginners course to our Intermediate classes. She also now assists in our classes – much to everyone’s delight! We’re thrilled that Louise has chosen to put her heart and soul into a yoga teacher training programme in 2019.
Daniel Harvey ~ Adventurer & Architect
Everyone who knows Daniel can’t help but be amazed by his extraordinary levels of energy, self discipline and the speed of his professional output. Whilst living in India Daniel studied a yoga system called ‘Bheemashakti’ which required him getting up at 2 am and practising 9 hours of asana and pranayama daily for 48 days – fasting entirely for 3 days on each moon day during the period. Daniel enjoys extremes . . .
Daniel did his teacher training in Ashtanga yoga with Ajay Kumar in Mysore, India and currently practises with Joey Miles in Leeds. Recently his practice has matured to embrace a deep meditative work and he is currently inspired by the shamanic practices of the native South Americans.
Fran Windsor ~ Warrior of Peace & Style Yogini
Fran is the most peaceful powerhouse you’re likely to come across. A keenly observant and creative teacher, she radiates both Yin and Yang – a perfect balance of strength and softness – which reflects her early encounters with yoga, the first being a class in the rigid but rewarding Ashtanga tradition, followed by a yoga retreat in Goa, India, where she was opened up to a looser, more explorative form of Hatha yoga.
With these practices having a profoundly beneficial effect on both her body and mind, and taking her away from the stresses of City life, Fran launched herself into Yoga London’s teacher training programme. She graduated in June 2014 and soon after moved up to York, travelling back to complete Pre and Post Natal training.
Fran’s practice is inspired by nature – “the outdoors, moving freely, like an animal or child” – and the sequences and themes for her classes are often inspired by her frequent walks in the woods with her beloved dogs.
Susan Bradley ~ (Down to) Earth Mother
A package of condensed goodness and a heart so warm you could toast marshmallows on it, Susan is not only a mother to twin girls, but to every student who has the good fortune to practice with her.
Since first rolling out her mat in the late nineties, Susan has graduated from her original 200-hr Hatha yoga teacher training, to become an expert on all things birth-related, be it fertility, pregnancy or post-natal yoga, studying with the likes of Nadia Narain, Uma Dinsmore-Tuli and the celebrated Michel Odent.
She’s a dab-hand at making yoga relevant to our 21st century lives, too – equipping her students with a Yin yoga practice that is, in her words, “the perfect antidote to modern life for both our bodies and our minds.”
Frances Harmer ~ Creative Hairdresser & Cosmic Mama
Fran’s spiritual name is Bhavani, and one definition is ‘absolute existence,’ perhaps suggestive of her generous, nurturing soul, but when you dig a little deeper it’s also the name of a ferocious Hindu Goddess – could explain why her classes are so tough! And that’s also how Fran views her practice; something that’s both a comfort and a challenge.
Fran holds title ‘Yoga Siromani’ from her Sivananda Teacher Training (Austria 2010) and is keen to continue to develop the more challenging physical aspects of her Ashtanga yoga practice.
For Fran, yoga is the tool that throws life into (sometimes uncomfortable) sharp focus for her, affording her the strength of purpose to make changes within herself, and shaping her into the healthy, strong, self-assured and happy yogini she is today.