Sarai has been teaching in London since 2002 and is known for her focus on breath, alignment and technique within the tradition of a dynamic practice. Her ability to convey the general and more subtle aspects of yoga to different body types and levels of student is something she has honed from teaching a diverse range of students (adults, teenagers, children and special-needs) within Mysore programmes, led classes, privately, within yoga studios, gyms and corporations, in London and worldwide. Sarai became dedicated to yoga in her teens, in her native New Zealand, when she realised how much it helped her during times of stress and transition. It quickly permeated into other areas of her life, her lifestyle became healthier and she started taking yoga study trips to Mysore, India in 2003. She was Authorised to teach level 1 Ashtanga by KPJAYI of Mysore, India in 2007 and Level 2 in 2011 (and is one of 22 teachers in the U.K. with this qualification). She loves that a yoga practitioner will always be a student, however advanced, and that her practice never fails to leave her feeling positive, comfortable mentally and physically, and with a sense of wellbeing and joy.
Sarai started teaching at various gyms, yoga centres and privately in 2002, and assisted at Ashtanga Yoga London under the guidance of Roberta Giannotti and Hamish Hendry 2002-2004 before going on to teach the late morning Mysore programme there 2009 - 2011, before leaving to teach the Mysore programme at Triyoga Soho in 2011. She practiced daily with Hamish Hendry for nine years. She is a Senior Teacher with Yoga Alliance Professionals and teaches classes at Triyoga, privately and at her own school Ashtanga Yoga Wimbledon, where she runs Mysore classes. She continues to develop her practice under the guidance of Alaric Newcombe (Iyengar).
Sarai has been teaching Restorative yoga since 2012 and qualified as a Relax & Renew Restorative teacher with Judith Hanson Lasater in 2015.
Sarai is an Honorary Psychodynamic Psychotherapist within the NHS, has studied at The Institute of Psychoanalysis, The WPF, and continues her psychotherapy studies at The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. Sarai has a BA (Hons.) in Humanities from the University of London and lives in London with her husband and daughter.
"My main focus when teaching, is what is this student’s potential, and what do they want from the practice? Some people need help with anxiety and stress, and want to to learn to relax and improve sleep. Others want to improve energy levels or help with ailments in the body or mind. Some people simply want to push their bodies to peak performance, and for them, challenging postures are the most exciting thing. I love it that each person is different and that the practice can serve everybody’s needs, and from the springboard of these ‘needs’, through practising yoga an unfolding of a deeper and more joyous connection with oneself and others naturally arises” - Sarai Harvey-Smith