Candace Cooke


My first yoga class goes back to Varkala Beach in India back in 1996. I had never felt as alive in my life as when travelling in India; it was the most colourful, exotic, vibrant place I had ever been! India drew me in and it will always hold a very special place in my heart.

Practicing yoga has always felt like a connection to this incredible country, even when I was no longer there. When I started practicing yoga I knew I was embarking on something that would be with me forever! It brought me to a place that I didn’t know existed, and once I started, I never stopped. I knew it was a gift that I wanted to share with people wherever I was heading next. I have never stopped studying with beautiful, inspiring teachers over the years, and my practice still brings me the same joy it did all those years ago. It is the magic of yoga that keeps it alive – it’s simple really, “Do your practice and all is coming,” as Sri K Pattabhi Jois said.
Yoga has been the only constant in a life full of change. It has provided the roots and grounding that I have needed during the ups and downs of the journey of my life…
Ashtanga yoga was my passion for many years. The beauty and intensity of this practice was what my body and mind craved. Four babies later, my body and mind both crave something different… Today my passion is yoga in general, just being in my body, connecting to my breath and slowing down. I love Yin yoga, as well as a mixture of Yin and Yang… Making time for sitting in meditation and pranayama helps to bring balance and serenity to my life. I really love the stillness that comes during practice, the connectedness that is only possible through that stillness, the peace and serenity that you can reach when you aren’t living in the mind…
Connecting to the present moment through my practice is one of my most treasured and greatest gifts. It has helped me through bigger challenges than I had ever hoped to know or experience. This is a place that I teach from, as, in a sense, it saved me… Letting go of the past, not worrying about the future, but being right here, right now, in this moment.
I’ve had the honour and privilege of studying with many amazing people along the way, including Sri K Patthabi Jois, Tim Miller, Ron Reid, David Williams, Nancy Gilgoff, Eddie Modestini and Nicki Doane, David Swenson, Fiona Stang and Julian Deck, Darby, and Rameen Peyrow.
I am eternally grateful for my three amazing children (and the one who has already passed on). They inspire me every single day and keep me real. They help me to be more patient and grounded, or at least give me good reason to work on it! I must mention my husband Alastair here as well… Without his love and devotion, we would not have our beautiful studio, as he has put everything into building it from the ground up since 2007! I am especially grateful to him for all of his dedication and belief in what we are doing!
I am incredibly appreciative of the beautiful yoga community that has blossomed around us at Santosha. . . . This wonderful community is a constant source of inspiration to all of us! Together we have seen many changes, and together, I am sure, we will see many more!
Every day is a new day and every practice a new practice, and for that I am thankful. The present moment is the greatest gift that we all have and that is where I am always trying to be.
He who binds to himself a joy,
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies,
Lives in eternity’s sun rise.
– William Blake, as quoted in The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying