Christelle qualified as a nurse in her native France and worked for more than 10 years in many different countries and different specialities.
Working as an orthopaedic nurse, she realized the importance of good body alignment to reduce, prevent and even cure postural injuries, like hip, knee, back and neck pain. She understood the benefits of a physical yoga practice at a very practical level for her patients and herself.
Christelle started her Yoga journey under the guidance and love of Keshav Rupakheti, a Himalayan Yoga master. His favourite line was “laughing and crying, both are good for you”:) As a mother of three children, she knows the meaning of these words very well!
A New Yoga Centre in Las Palmas
In 2003 she moved to Ireland, married John Donaghy and lived there for 8 years before coming with their first two kids to live in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in 2011.
During her third pregnancy, she produced a series of Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga videos adapted for mums-to-be from week 12 to week 40 of their pregnancy. For each week of Christelle´s pregnancy she filmed the videos at the beautiful Playa Confital in Las Palmas.
Christelle has practiced yoga since 2004. She also teaches yoga in French to teenagers in various institutes across Las Palmas.
In March 2016, she escaped her busy family life for a month´s yoga retreat in Rishikesh, India where she re-discovered the meaning of SILENCE 🙂 There she studied yoga with Yogi Kamal Singh (asthanga), learnt Yoga Nidra with Swami Omkarananda and philosophy and Pranayama with Sunil Sharma.
The Yoga mat is a secret and sacred space where everything is possible. It is there that Christelle goes to reconnect with herself and she enjoys helping others to take that same step.
John Donaghy was born and raised in Derry, Northern Ireland and moved with his family to Las Palmas in 2011.
For years John was in search of a balance to his successful management and consultancy career which led him to be appointed as Special Adviser to the Minister for Employment and Universities in the Northern Ireland Government.
With fond memories of his parents and grandparents´ devotion to spirituality and a need for some peace and relaxation, in 1989 he began what would become a daily meditation practice under the guidance of Tibetan Buddhist nun, Kelsang Drolkar.
In 2004 he began to practice yoga with Himalayan Yoga Master, Keshav Rupakheti. It was thanks to 7 years of regular practice with Keshav that John learnt a dynamic and fun approach to yoga combining postures (asana), breathing (pranayama) and relaxation (yoga nidra). It is this approach that ensures that when John teaches yoga the classes are energetic and fun-filled.
A New Life
Finding his true calling in life, John chose to give up his career to study and teach yoga full-time. Since 2011 he has been travelling to India to study with yoga masters including Dr. Gaurav Agrawal (Philosophy), Yogi Kamal Singh (Ashtanga), Kavita Pillay (Yoga Nidra), Yogi Siddharth (Ashtanga), Sunil Sharma (Pranayama, Philosophy), Swami Sudhir Anand (Pranayama), Surinder Singh (Hatha) and Usha Devi (Iyengar).
John´s intention is to develop a deeper awareness of his own spirituality and to share and inspire others to grow in their own yoga, meditation, and spiritual lives.
Laly worked as an Administrator for 17 years in the Customer Services Department of El Corte Inglés, where she learnt a lot about human beings in the stress of their careers, and of course about herself. She has the soul of a classical dancer, a discipline she studied from the age of eight to almost eighteen, first with Heather Robertson and then with Laura Romano.
She came to the world of yoga at the end of 2014, after looking for a centre that fitted with her schedule. She met several teachers and after a few months, John with whom she felt at peace. She continued to pratice yoga due to her foundation in awareness of movement and body, and also began to connect with her process of spiritual development.
She began to read, meditate more and little by little it has become a way of life for her, which in very hard moments of her life, in recent years, has kept her going and given her clarity. When John opened the centre she continued with his classes and met Christelle who definitely took her out of her comfort zone and made her go even deeper into the asanas. This experience has come to her at a time when she really had a need to give back, in some way, what yoga has given her, be it physically, mentally or spiritually.
A whole process that, like everything in life, is a lot of practice and some theory and that, at the hands of Christelle and John, has been manageable. In October 2019, she visited India - Rishikesh from where she returned with experience and new teachings. Received by master Surinder Singh, who with his humility and subtlety in correcting asanas, and his team at the Swasti Yoga ashram have made the need to share yoga greater. Among other things she learned that flexibility and strength must be balanced, a teaching that not only serves as the foundation of asanas, but of life.
Xiomara Alfonso, a cherished member of the Om Yoga Las Palmas team, discovered a deep connection with yoga from her very first practice six years ago. This transformative journey subtly but profoundly changed her life, evolving organically over the years. Today, yoga is an integral part of Xiomara's everyday existence, guiding her towards inner peace and fulfilment.
Trained as a yoga teacher by John and Christelle, Xiomara transmits professionalism and fun in every class she teaches. Embodying a deep desire to share her knowledge and experience, she extends her gratitude to life and the universe for aligning her with the right people at the right time.
A wonderful addition to Om Yoga Las Palmas, Xiomara exudes warmth and passion. She is eager to continue her growth, and cherishes every opportunity to impart the transformative power of yoga to others.