Meet Our Harmony Team
Our wonderful international & multidisciplinary team represents a broad spectrum of approaches to wellbeing, health and harmony.
Dr Eleni Tsiompanou
Eleni is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London (FRCP). She has also trained in Ayurveda and Nutritional Medicine.
Eleni has been researching the Hippocratic writings and their relation to Ayurveda and modern medicine, uncovering gems of practical information to improve health and wellbeing.
Since reading HRH The Prince of Wales’ book ‘Harmony: a new way of looking at our world’, Eleni has been inspired to expand the dialogue about health to include a wider view of harmony. She invites us to look at health through the prism of harmony to connect natural approaches and ancient wisdom traditions to modern science.
John has for over 40 years been studying and then teaching the Alexander Technique. He is a past Chair of the professional body the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique and the current Chair of the educational Charity for the F Matthias Alexander Technique.
During his career he has been involved with the training and professional development of numerous teachers - trying to pass on to them the insights from his studies with several first-generation teachers trained by F M Alexander and from his long years of practical experience.
John helped to introduce the Alexander Technique into Spain in the 1980's and into Romania during the last decade. He also practises Yoga and Qigong together with other mind-body and spiritual practices. He is a founding member of Harmony in Health.
Julia has always been interested in how thoughts, movements and feelings are connected; exploring this for herself is a rich ongoing journey! She is convinced of the possibility of individuals finding more harmony within themselves, and with this, greater health.
Graduating from Cambridge University with an MA in Economics and Management, Julia worked for five years as a strategy consultant (Bain & Co.). She recognised that people's behaviour and wellbeing had the greatest effect on an organisation's success. In 2007, she trained as a professional coach, facilitator and leadership consultant. Julia worked with global teams and CEOs on culture change, communication and personal impact.
Alongside this, for 15 years, Julia has been learning the mind body discipline - the Alexander Technique - and qualified as a teacher in 2011 (Westminster Alexander Centre). She is now based in London. Work has included breath and singing workshops at the Romanian National Opera, mind body awareness sessions for school children and embodiment workshops for corporate leadership teams. She also works with individuals helping them with pain, performance, confidence, depression and healing, (www.theteahouse.me).
Julia enjoys learning from ancient wisdom and linking it to modern science, bringing people together to explore the principles of Harmony in many different spheres. She feels most at home in nature and deeply values its healing possibilities. Other interests include education (she has two young daughters), craftwork, colour, sacred geometry, food, singing and sacred dance.
Our Team and Guest Presenters
Anne Andenaes was born in Cheltenham in the heart of the Cotswolds, and grew up connected with its nature and harmonic, rolling countryside. From the age of eleven, she moved to Oxford and was further inspired by the ancient university and history. From here, Anne represented both Great Britain and Wales as a swimmer. Through marriage she moved to Norway in 1975. She introduced a successful baby/young children swimming school and became an immediate news media story. Returning for a few years to England in the mid 80s, she taught aromatherapy, for the International Federation of Aromatherapists, Reflexology, Body Control Pilates and Rudolph Laban method of movement. Apart from baby swimming she introduced her Pilates and Movement classes, and aromatherapy into Norway.
Anne has always been creative and innovative and connects holistically with her students, making lessons fluid and explorative. She first discovered Pilates when fifteen to manage a back injury caused by excess weight training on a young spine. Through discovering Pilates, she continued to swim, without restrictions and continues to exercise freely today.
Anne teaches her own Natural Movement programme, for all age groups and abilities. Through her long and varied experience and background, she encourages the individual to discover, their own movement potential through exploration.
Anne runs residential courses in Norway, Oxford and the Cotswolds, France and La Gomera. She chooses retreats in quiet, unique settings with landscapes full of wild beauty and cultural history. She works closely with the local community and, for example, employs a local chef using produce from the area. Anne’s classes and residential retreats are well appreciated, as she continues to inspire others and allows her course work to evolve continually to reflect changing needs in changing times.
Other qualifications include, Physical Education studies at Chelsea PE College; ASA swimming teacher and coach; Rudolf Laban and Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen methods; Nursing at Bristol Royal Infirmary; Radcliffe Infirmary, Nuffield Orthopaedic Hospital, Oxford; IFA Aromatherapy teacher; Lecturer at Norsk Hogskole, Helhetsterapi, Oslo; Preventative Healthcare Advisor ‘Gazette Itera’ Communications Bureau; swim coach Baerum Svommeklubb; author of book ‘Naturligvis’ 2004 .
Dr Hanna Poikonen
Dr. Hanna Poikonen has developed the WiseMotion method of neuroscience, movement and meditation.
She is a neuroscientist and dancer and holds a PhD in the neuroscience of movement, dance and music (Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland). She works at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich) in brain research and education focusing on the fields of learning, creativity and embodied cognition.
She has studied movement and dance in several cities including New York (Gibney Dance, Movement Research), Barcelona (La Caldera, Institut del Teatre), Montreal (Circuit-Est Centre Chorégraphique) and Berlin (Marameo). Explorations in kung fu, tai chi, butoh and somatic methods have taught her a holistic approach to the body and mind.
She has toured with WiseMotion worldwide in institutions, festivals and wellness centers such as Harvard Medical School (USA), Double Tree by Hilton Montreal (Canada), Technical University of Berlin (Germany), Kuopio Dance Festival (Finland), Alive Wellness (Hong Kong), Balettakademien Stockholm (Sweden), Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (Spain) and Sanitas Mayores (Spain).
She has educated professionals, such as physiotherapists, medical doctors and psychologists, who work with brain-related illnesses, as well as school and university teachers, dance artists and musicians. Close to her heart are the WiseMotion Recovery workshops in which professionals, caregivers and patients with brain-related illnesses, such as stroke, MS disease or dementia, all gather together.
Instagram and Twitter: @wisemotionco
Gina works as a Traditional Medicine Practitioner, Medical Qigong and Therapeutic Taijiquan teacher at NovaMed Medical Clinic in Sanremo, Italy.
At the Hesperia Clinic in Bordighera and Sanremo she is using Medical Qigong to help patients with neurological diseases.
She has also been part of a pilot project using Medical Qigong for cancer patients at the National Institute for Cancer Research (IST) in Genoa.
Since she was very young, starting with yoga and then Taiji and Qigong, Gina has researched and developed the connection between energy, body, mind and emotions.
She has taught different groups; dancers, actors, golf players, CEOs - and is also using Taiji and Qigong with groups of blind people, children with Down's Syndrome and MS patients.
Sara Khoroosi is the Alexander Technique Teacher for The Actors Centre (Covent Garden); DLD College, Music and Drama Department (Westminster); The Suzuki annual residential Strings at Ascot, and a Teaching member of The Alexander Technique Centre in Covent Garden.
She is also a professional musician (Violin and Vocals), performing regularly with flamenco-jazz fusion band Clandestino, and recording with a number of contemporary composers. Sara also works as a music workshop leader for vulnerable groups such as unaccompanied asylum seekers, refugees and children with disabilities. She is currently the Co-Musical Director for the I Speak Music Orchestra and the award-winning Orchestra of Unlimited Potential.
Sara has always had a keen interest in dance and movement having founded the Dance group Mambo Central, stemming from her studies in Vernacular Afro Cuban approaches. She now combines her knowledge and passion for music, movement and health, inviting us to explore these connections together.
Małgorzata Jabłońska - theatre researcher and doctoral candidate at the Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland. Doctoral dissertation: Towards body dramaturgy. The influence of Vsevolod Emilievich Meyerhold’s Theatrical Biomechanics on the concepts of actor training in the European theatre of the 20th century.
Her areas of interest include the history and problems of performer training, body-based non-verbal communication strategies in the theatre as well as the twentieth-century avant-garde theatre and the history of Polish alternative theatre. Collaborator of Didaskalia theatre journal. A founding member of the CHOREA Theatre Association (Łódź, Poland) and co-author of the Trening fizyczny aktora. Od działań indywidualnych do zespołu (Physical Actor Training. From Individual Actions to an Ensemble) handbook.
In years 2007-2014 she led original practice-as-research workshops at the Jagiellonian University and the Institute of Polish Culture of the University of Warsaw in the area of a body dramaturgy and a prearranged experience in performer training. She was the main organizer of 'Vsevolod Meyerhold's Theatre Practice' international conference (Wrocław 2013) as well as International Platform for Performer Training Wrocław 2016 edition. Collaborator of The Grotowski Institute in Wrocław (The Theatre Olympics 2016), Teatr Próg, Studio Matejka. Member of The Polish Society for Theatre Research and International Platform for Performer Training.
Dr Sumi Chatterjee
Dr Sumi Chatterjee BSc (Hons) MSc, MBBS, MRCGP, DRCOG, DipSEM, Dip IM, LFHom) works as an NHS GP with a specialist interest is musculoskeletal medicine. Previous to her career as a doctor she has studied a Medical Biochemistry degree and a Pharmacology Masters and qualified as a doctor from Imperial College of Medicine in London.
She has always had a passion for ‘whole person medicine and the value of physical exercise’ and trained in sports and Exercise Medicine at the University of Wales institute Cardiff and has also trained as an Ashtanga Yoga teacher. Following a personal journey of illness she was inspired to train as an Integrative medicine doctor, a role she is incredibly passionate about since it combines the best of conventional, complementary and traditional medicine.
She has just recently completed her primary care diploma in homeopathy and is currently studying to be an Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga at the California Ayurvedic college. Her vision is to help transform the NHS, so there is more collaboration between conventional and complementary sectors enabling patients to be empowered with their own selfcare and wellbeing, and thus reducing the risk of illness & disease.
She has recently started working as a holistic doctor at the National centre of Integrative medicine (NCIM) a ‘not for profit organisation’ supporting community initiatives in the Bristol area and is now a teacher of Integrative medicine for both Diploma and medical students. She is also involved in delivering free webinars to the public, the last one was on Fibromyalgia.
She met Dr Eleni Tsiompanou while training in Integrative medicine and was inspired by Dr Tsiompanou’s philosophy on integrative health and inspired by her knowledge in Hippocratic medicine and Ayurveda, and has become a passionate advocate of Harmony in Health and the wonderful work they do in their community.
In her spare time Dr Chatterjee loves cooking, art, photography and travel.
Born in Gdynia, founder of the PRÓG Theatre (2005) and the "Grupa PRÓG" Association. He has a classical education in acting, he also graduated from the Academy for Theatre Practices "Gardzienice". He studied Animation of Culture and Management in Culture at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. As an actor and dancer, he has worked in such theatres as: "Gardzienice" European Theatre Practices Centre, the BioGrupa Theater of Husain Oručević (Balkans),Music Theatre of Danuta Baduszkowa in Gdynia, Royal Theatre in Plymouth (Great Britain), Krzysztof Baliński Theatre of Expression and Movement in Gdynia, Och Krystyna Janda Theatre in Warsaw, Romeo Castellucci Theatre (Italy). He has performed in many theatres from Moscow (Meyerhold’s Centre) to New York (LaMaMa Theatre). He is sincerely devoted to music, a fan of physical theatre and a lover of new stage solutions. As a director and theatre instructor he worked, among others for: Theaterpadagogische Ausbildungkurs - German project of theatre education for school teachers; Malopolska Institute of Culture; Małopolska Foundation of European Education; Day Sociotherapy Center "Siemacha" and the Groteska Theatre in Krakow. He is a co-founder of the Dream Drummers ethno-music group and the BioGrupa Theatre and Educational Association, in which he worked with youth from the Balkan countries after the war. Currently, he is permanently associated with the Witkacy Theatre in Zakopane (resident of the AB stage since 2013), the Institute of Polish Studies at the Jagiellonian University (Theatre Studies), and the Wadowice Cultural Centre. He also works as an independent artist - actor, musician and director.
Ruth works as a choir director in school, community and health settings and has more recently started a research Masters specialising in Singing for Health.
Her work in this area started when running Pram Chorus choirs for parents with babies/toddlers and finding that members were reporting considerable mental health benefits. This has been backed up by research which reports that group singing reduces symptoms of postnatal depression faster than usual treatments.
She continues researching and implementing her findings in her work with choirs Kidz Chorus, Night Chorus, Pram Chorus and in partnership with charities and health organisations.
She is passionate about the benefits of singing being used as it is so simple and yet so effective.
Dimitra is registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council of Great Britain (GPhC) and has worked as a community pharmacist in both England and Greece.
Coming from Greece, a country where plants have been extensively used throughout the centuries for their therapeutic benefits, she has always had a keen interest in the healing power of nature.
An elective class on Herbal Medicines during her first year of studies in Pharmacy introduced her to the fascinating subject of Pharmacognosy. Thus, she decided to delve deeper into the field and she completed an MSc in Natural Medicinal Products and Phytochemistry in University College London (UCL).
As a healthcare professional who currently collaborates with various communities across London, Dimitra would like to develop the existing ‘’respond to symptoms’’ approach of pharmacy practice and combine it with the holistic principles of harmony.
Gaiea (aka Gabriella) attended St James School in London where she learned Sanskrit from the age of 4 and went on to read Sanskrit at University of Oxford.
She has taught Sanskrit for Yoga London, Ayurveda Institute UK, Jivamukti Yoga and East London School of Yoga. Her life is dedicated to further exploring the depth and power of the sounds of Sanskrit.
She has combined a love of Sanskrit with exploration of the voice knowing that through connecting with your voice and expression there is a key to connect more deeply with yourself. Gaiea visits India yearly to study with voice and Sanskrit teachers.
She performs, writes and records songs, leads regular Kirtan (chanting) and Sanskrit, Philosophy & Meditation workshops in London and around the world, and has released two albums of her compositions so far.
She is currently working on new recordings, making new films, and delving into the power of sound and music to transform society.
Dr Joanna Byers
Joanna is an HCPC registered occupational therapist (MSc grad Hons) currently working in Major Trauma at Addenbrookes Hospital.
She is also a wellbeing and mental health practitioner for third sector organisations.
Originally qualifying in Medicine from Birmingham University, she later became fascinated by the holism that occupational science brings to healthcare and is currently working to bring the two fields together, creating opportunities for purposeful participation in effective health prevention.
Toral Shah is a Nutritional Scientist (MSc Nutr Med), Functional Medicine Practitioner, Food and Health writer and Consultant, as well as the founder of The Urban Kitchen. She originally went to medical school with a view to becoming an oncologist but when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, she realised that this was not the career for her. After completing her BSc in Cell Biology, specialising in cancer, she worked in research, winning a prestigious Royal Society internship where she worked on SRC oncogenes. Toral then went on to do an MSc in Nutritional Medicine at University of Surrey and became a functional medicine practitioner working with nutrigenomics. She is currently putting together a PhD proposal looking at the impact of stress, diet and lifestyle on oestrogen dependent breast cancer.
Toral specialises in optimising health and disease prevention through improving food, diet and lifestyle. She uses evidence based science knowledge along with lifestyle medicine and cooking skills to help support others to lead a healthier life by eating delicious and nutritious food. Toral was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 29. It was just six years after she supported her mum through the disease. In 2018, she was diagnosed with breast cancer again. She is particularly passionate about cancer prevention and prevention of recurrence and completed her MSc thesis researching the foods that prevent recurrence of breast cancer. As a breast cancer patient and survivor, she understand how patients might want to change their diet and lifestyle post diagnosis.
She also works with a large portfolio of brands, press and individuals within the food and wellness industry from hosting supper clubs, speaking at large health and corporate wellness events, festivals and private events, developing recipes and creating nutritional content for brands sharing her knowledge of nutrition and science. She is currently the process of writing her first book which explores the latest science behind foods that optimise health and illustrates them with some of her favourite recipes.
Toral is also passionate about combatting the lack of diversity in healthcare and ensuring both doctors and patients from BAME groups are equally represented within the NHS and healthcare systems. Currently, BAME people have poorer health outcomes, even when you take into account socioeconomic factors, and are often diagnosed with cancer later and at later stages. Toral is working with several charities and organisations to ensure that they are creating more inclusive health promotion campaigns with more diversity and inclusivity so that all communities know that cancer can affect them.
Philippa has over 30 years of experience as a teacher of the Alexander Technique and has been teaching Feldenkrais 'Awareness through Movement' classes since 2013. Since 2020 she has been teaching most of her Feldenkrais classes online.
Many years in practice have given her a lot of experience in working creatively with a wide range of people of all ages. Many have come to find help with pain, stress, anxiety, rehabilitation after surgery or injuries, vocal and breathing difficulties or neurological conditions, while others seek a general improvement in posture, well-being and self-awareness. She has also taught many people already highly skilled in movement, such as dancers, musicians, athletes and people practicing yoga and martial arts to help them further refine existing abilities. For over 20 years she taught the Alexander Technique at the Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, as well as running courses for drama students at Swansea Metropolitan University,
She continues to study with senior teachers, broadening and deepening the skills she brings to her work in helping people develop their potential and improve their quality of life. Her experience in working with her own health and movement challenges has given her a deep appreciation and lifelong curiousity about the mind/body interconnection.
Her interest in a more harmonious way of being is supported by many years of meditation practice and inquiry, as well as gardening, walking, nature, music and dancing Argentinian tango.