Cha Yoga Centre Yoga holidays & Retreats by the rivers and mountains of Central Portugal

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About Steve Jamison

I began yoga in 1971. I was at Exeter University, had been living in France and Morocco and was in my final year in French literature. I was living on the edge of Dartmoor with some others and a few sheep. The sheep were in no danger, I was by then a fully paid up vegetarian and had embraced the alternative culture and all that it entailed. I'd stopped going into the university but I read a great deal. I was searching. I read Bertrand Russell but found Carlos Castaneda and Bhagwan Dass far more engaging. Yoga looked like a good path to follow.

About Steve Jamison. steve-jamison


When I finished at Exeter I went to Portugal, I had a teaching job in Porto. I practised yoga postures everyday from a book , and had been surfing in North Devon while at Exeter so Portugal was a fair destination, even back then it was known for good surf. Salazar was in charge, I left Porto and the job, heading south past Coimbra to Lisbon and in the spring we saw flowers on the end of rifle barrels as Portugal underwent the profound change of the Carnation Revolution. I went straight on to Morocco where I lived for a few years, ending up in Senegal writing some songs and playing with locals and returned to the UK to put a band together, eventually getting signed up ( owned ? ) by Black and White Music. We played in most of the well known venues in London and the first single reach no. 9 next to the Specials in the alternative top ten published in Time Out. Things changed after that, it all became very serious and I parted ways with Black and White Music and their money. I stopped yoga, took up Kyushindo karate and began to sell recycled clothing in Camden Market, starting with my own clothes from the band . The recycling of vintage clothing led me to designing clothes that culminated in selling the whole collection to Bloomingdales in New York. I flew to New York to see it, and I felt like an observer to the whole process. The worlds of music and fashion really have a place and I met some lovely and not so lovely people, but my life was moving in a different direction.

After twelve years I'd managed a black belt and first dan in Kyushindo, and its founder and my teacher George Mayo advised me to take up yoga again, but I began Muay Thai ( Thai boxing) and ended up in Thailand. I was drawn to the Buddhist temple of my teacher and the monks there. My best friend had died dramatically and they put my mind and his spirit to rest.
From Thailand I found my way back to yoga, and to Ranju Roy who was teaching the yoga passed on to him from T.K.V. Desikachar. After five years studying and working with Ranju I went to a very different approach with Jenny Beeken, spending another five years in all with Jenny, two as a Trustee of the Inner Yoga Trust. I'd completed the full British Wheel of Yoga teacher training along the way. The teachings of T.K.V Desikachar and Jenny's softened approach from her teacher BKS Iyengar in India began to coalesce and form a basis for my teaching, absorbing a little of other influences like Vanda Scaravelli. I teach from my own experience in yoga and life which in the end can only come from the heart.

I'm currently writing a book on yoga while back in Portugal.

Yoga is a path and if we follow it intelligently it takes each of us where need to go.


The truths of yoga are perennial, but so much has changed recently, especially over the last ten years or so when it has become fashionable to do yoga, something that seemed impossible when I began. All I can do is transmit as well as possible the teachings and practices that have helped me so much in life. The Bhagavad Gita, the yoga sutras and other texts which illuminate the path we tread, and explore how working with the breath and postures really can have far reaching benefit for each of us.

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