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. She is inspired by the teachings of Gretchen Suarez and David Keil. Among the teachers who have shaped her path, she especially thanks Asaf Hacmon, Ali Hill, Toni Roberts, Marilou van Hoek - and of course Lana for her friendship, partnership, ongoing support and guidance through practice.