Founders & Lead Teachers
Lana has worn many hats over the years: dancer, biomedical scientist, neurophysiologist, serial student, yoga teacher. Leaving a life of scientific research behind to begin her studies in osteopathy – a path she began in 2016 – has been a sea change on her path to self-actualization and one she sees as an ideal compliment to the practice and teachings of yoga. Though her path has been winding, Lana says that the one constant in her adult life has been yoga. She was specifically drawn to Ashtanga for its strong tradition, which has allowed her to experience the deeper aspects of yoga through self-study. Among the many mentors and role models involved in her journey, Patty Ivey and Peg Mulqueen have been particularly influential to her development as a teacher. Gretchen Suarez, her teacher, and David Keil have been integral to her growth and connection to the softer side of this fiercely beautiful and healing practice.
Mercedes left Buenos Aires at the age of 15 to study at The Royal Ballet School in London. After graduating, her career brought her to Amsterdam and the Dutch National Ballet. Fifteen years in point shoes were followed by ten years on her feet managing some of Amsterdam's most demanding restaurants and clubs. Amidst this crazy lifestyle, she discovered yoga and what began as a means to stay fit gradually became a source of stability and inner strength. Of the styles she has practiced, Ashtanga yoga has become her anchor. She founded two successful studios in Amsterdam and eventually, together with Lana, The Breathing Space was born. Her mat is a ‘laboratory of self-exploration, understanding and acceptance' and she is honoured to share her ever-evolving understanding of the practice with her students. Among the teachers and mentors who have shaped her path, she specifically thanks Asaf Hacmon for activating her hunger for knowledge and wisdom, Ali Hill and Toni Roberts for providing her with life-long teaching tools, Marilou van Hoek for introducing her to the vast world of Ashtanga, and Lana for her ongoing support and guidance through practise, friendship and partnership.
Tracey first encountered Restorative Yoga during her Vinyasa teacher training. But it wasn’t until her struggles with a chronic health condition reached boiling point that she truly discovered the practice and all its nurturing benefits. At the point when she could barely do a sun salutation, Restorative became part of her healing process. Now, guided by her teacher Lizzie Lasater, it is part of her daily life. Although her path was largely prompted by illness, Tracey sees Restorative as both therapeutic and preventative – a meditative tool for wellbeing. Many of us know how to do more but find it harder to do less. Tracey likes the idea that an active yoga practice represents an inhale and Restorative, an exhale. We need both. She encourages her students to learn to embrace stillness and to make conscious rest a daily habit.
Elias General is a Chilean certified Iyengar yoga teacher. He got his license from the Dutch Iyengar yoga association in 2013 after 3 years of teacher training with senior teacher Cle Souren (direct student of Mr. B.K.S. Iyengar) at Iyengar yoga Institute Amsterdam, where he continues to study, to practice and teach. It was a medical issue that brought him to yoga, finding in the Iyengar method great relief. “I strongly believe in the benefit and therapeutic effects of the Iyengar yoga method, I have experienced it myself”