Mary Mackie

Mary Mackie first became interested in yoga in her early twenties whilst training as an RGN. Since then her yoga journey and career in nursing have run parallel to each other, one complementing the other. Eventually she began working at one of the first palliative care centres in the UK and had a role in educating both the medical profession and the public about the proper use of pain relief in terminal care. To this end she qualified as a teacher of adults and shortly after began training as a yoga teacher with the British Wheel of Yoga. Her first love as a yoga teacher was teaching Active Birth classes which she did for almost 20 years, although she now only teaches private one to one sessions. In 2007 Mary qualified as a Diploma Course Tutor for the BWY.

Mary then trained as a yoga therapist with the Yoga Biomedical Trust, having become increasingly frustrated with the type of care she was able to give within general practice and feeling that she could do more good by teaching people yoga in order to empower them to help themselves. She teaches a range of one to one and small group sessions for specific conditions, particularly back pain, respiratory and stress related conditions. One of her specialities in her role as a yoga teacher trainer is anatomy and physiology relevant to yoga teaching.

As a student of yoga for over 30 years, Mary has been on a fascinating journey that seemingly never ends. Through study and practice with the active birth movement she was introduced to the work of Vanda Scaravelli and then, whilst living in Belgium during the early 90s, was fortunate enough to work with a teacher who had been trained by Mary Stewart, a direct student of Vanda. She eventually began attending workshops with John Stirk and Peter Blackaby, both by now working and teaching in the style of Vanda. Mary teaches in a style which links to her nursing background and yoga therapy training and can be summed up as yoga for the intelligent body. She has recently continued to explore the anatomy and physiology of the body, working on anatomical dissection and discovering the role of the fascia on the living, moving body. Vanda talked of yoga as a ‘body holiday’ (the body and mind being inextricably linked): this is the way Mary likes to teach and practise.