”Words fail to convey the total value of yoga. It has to be experienced” B.K.S. Iyengar
xenoyoga is founded by myself Smaragda Xenofou (don’t worry Sam will do) and originally from Greece I moved to Exeter in 1996 to complete my studies in industrial building design after completing my engineering degree in Athens. I found the Iyengar Yoga method initially in the teachings of Gerry Chambers and Lynda Purvis when I moved to Bristol and I have been practicing ever since with various senior iyengar yoga teachers form the UK and India. I am now qualified at Intermediate 2 and currently preparing for my Intermediate 3 qualification. I live permanently in Redland, Bristol with my husband and two young children, working in the design company I co-own with my husband, teaching weekly yoga classes and workshops and also organizing yoga holidays on my home island of Zakynthos in Greece every year.
Iyengar yoga is a journey and requires lifetime devotion and study. Having travelled to Pune in India to attend classes at the Ramamani Iyengar Yoga Institute, and being part of a truly a magnificent experience and a blessing practicing in the same room as Guruji BKS Iyengar, at 95yrs of age he taught me that a true teacher should be humble and always remain a student in the path of learning. I loved the dynamic way of teaching in the institute and the ‘’no fuss’’ approach and I believe I have somehow adopted that in my teachings.
Google reviews click here to view all on google page
Sam’s knowledge, instruction and teaching of Iyengar yoga is impressive. I started with her as a novice and have progressed safely and steadily through to an intermediate thanks to her detailed and patient tuition. If you want a teacher that is patient, knowledgeable, ensures that things are done right and understood and with the right balance of firmness and humour then these are the classes for you.
Sam is one of my absolute favourite yoga teachers, to the extent that I have followed her across three different yoga studios now. Her classes are alway interesting and challenging and I find her method of instruction clear and easy to follow. She is also good humoured and while always professional, not inclined to take herself or, indeed, her students too seriously. She has also been running online zoom classes during COVID-19 which have been fantastic – hopefully she will carry on doing so after the pandemic as I don’t fancy the two hour round trip to Redland and back every week (hint hint Sam 🙂 ).
Sam is a great teacher. Her instruction is very detailed and tailored to the individual. She will push you to do more than you think you can whilst also encouraging you to be realistic about your abilities and not do more than you are comfortable with. She clearly has a great knowledge and passion for yoga and helping students reap all the benefits it can provide. She also teaches with humour so whilst classes are focussed, the atmosphere is not ‘po faced’. Highly recommend.
I’ve been going to Sams class for several years now and have also done her yoga holidays in Greece and Marrakesh. I would thoroughly recommend – Sam is a brilliant yoga teacher, she is 100% committed and strives to get the best out of her students.
Loved her yoga holidays- dreaming of being able to do one again sometime!
Yoga is a very important part of my life, Sam was my first ever teacher and I have been enjoying her classes for many years. Her personality, sense of humour and exacting requirements are perfect for her new screen career on zoom!
I have been one of Sam’s students for over 9 years now, and would not want another teacher! She brings out the best in you, pushes you beyond what you think are your limits, and makes every class enjoyable. I have been lucky enough to attend 3 yoga retreats on the island of Zante with her and other students, and they were amazing.
I found Sam after trying a few yoga teachers. What I love most about her teaching is that she explains every pose patiently and repeatedly: what muscles should be working and what should the muscles be doing. She explains what you are trying to achieve with the pose. Slowly you realise you ‘just’ did a pose you could not do before! She pushes you and is at the same time careful about any injuries and pains. She is very knowledgeable about Iyengar yoga. She is passionate and this carries through in her classes and to her students. If you want a fun class to learn and push your boundaries, try Xenoyoga! Highly recommend.
I’ve been going to Sam’s yoga classes at Xenoyoga for around 5 years. As well as being great exercise, they are such fun. I’ve never known a yoga teacher with such a great sense of humour who makes us all smile as well as pushing us to work our bodies really hard. A workout for the brain as well as the body.
Sam’s classes are just the best! I attend the Advanced class every week and really look forward to it. What I love is that I know I will be challenged and learn something new. The class has been really helpful in developing my yoga practice and awareness of my body overall. Sam’s teaching style is fun, direct and clear, and I would highly recommend her classes to anyone.