Cathy-Mae Karelse

Based in South-East Surrey, I combine ancient Eastern teaching with Western pragmatism and understanding of the pressures of modern life.

I am an Ayurvedic Practitioner and I am also qualified to train yoga teachers and yoga therapists.
My training in Mindfulness and in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy complements my training in Eastern traditions, supporting the application of the sciences of yoga, Ayurveda and Mindfulness in a Western context. I strongly believe and have seen in practice that intergrated health therapies allow us to understand and respect ourselves and our bodies in order to make healing possible.

Alongside my teaching role (training yoga teachers, training yoga therapists, teaching Ayurveda, teaching mindfulness and training mindfulness trainers), I have a Wellness Practice offering various consultations. I am also a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Westminster, a role supported by my academic background in South Africa.

I aim to equip all of my students, patients and mentees with a self-confidence and self-belief which allows them to live their lives fully and healthily. I hope to impart to my students a professionalism which enables them to work in the best possible way which honours themselves and serves their patients and students.

In all courses, we learn how to live well and happily with respect for ourselves, others and our environment. 

My qualifications include:
  • Ayurvedic Practitioner (2003) accredited by the College of Ayurveda UK, including a 6-month internship in India
  • Diploma Course Tutor for the British Wheel of Yoga (2005)
  • MSc in Ayurvedic Medicine, with a specialism in Mindfulness and Stress (2007)
  • MBSR Instructor based on professional training with Jon Kabat-Zinn, Saki Santorelli and their senior educators, Melissa Blacker and Florence Meleo-Meyer (2008)
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy foundation training, Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre (2010)
  • Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy with Mark Williams (2010)
  • MA Information Science
I am currently following a PhD programme at the School of Oriental and African Studies (2013-2016).

Cathy-Mae was exposed to the esoteric and healing traditions at an early age and undertook her first yoga lessons as a child under the tutelage of her father and uncle.
On the yoga front, she has since been associated with the Sivandanda, Satyananda and Krishnamacarya traditions.
She attended the Sivananda Yoga Ashram in South Africa, which also afforded her an early introduction to Ayurveda. This rich, formal orientation included exposure to the Iyengar tradition, further explored during an Ayurvedic internship in Pune, the home of Iyengar Yoga. On moving to England, she trained within the frameworks of the British Wheel of Yoga and the Krishnamacarya tradition, benefiting from this prosperous tradition of combining yoga and Ayurveda as embodied in the life’s work of Sri Krishnamacarya. She has also continued to train within the tradition of Swami Satyananda (a devotee of Swami Sivananda), gaining further insight into mind and harnessing human potential, particularly through training in yoga nidra, a practice refined by Swami Satyananda. This rich exposure under the tutelage of Swami Pragyamurti fostered a keener understanding of hatha yoga and the correlations with Ayurvedic medicine. Alongside training in yoga, Cathy-Mae undertook formal schooling in Ayurveda, providing a rounded education in yoga, Ayurveda and yoga therapy. An Ayurvedic internship in India cultivated a deep appreciation of the fundamental inter-relation of yoga and Ayurveda. One of the sites of the practicum, the Arsha Vidya Peetham Trust, located at The  Ayurvedic Trust hospital in Coimbatore, combines a teaching facility in yoga and Ayurveda with a hospital, pharmacy, out-patients department and temple. The teachings in yoga and Ayurveda considered these sciences inseparable, encouraging their combined application.
These foundations led to a keen interest in rendering the work of healing practical and accessible. From 2006–2009, Cathy-Mae delivered a three year programme entitled ‘Journey of the Soul’ fashioned on the teachings from her father and the wonderful teachers she has had the privilege of working with in South Africa, India, the United Kingdom and Europe. This work further harnessed an interest in combining yoga and Ayurveda in ways that naturalise these teachings without detracting from their authenticity.
Her professional training in mindfulness under the tutelage of Jon Kabat-Zinn and in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has served to support her work in a western context. This has led to the development and delivery of the current programme Integrated Yoga Therapy™, fashioned on the rich traditions of the east and west pertaining to health and healing. The scientific approaches of the healing therapies is combined with the artistic appreciation of the relationship between therapist and patient, understood as pivotal in the healing process.

Cathy-Mae is currently undertaking a PhD broadly around the  Lam Rim - Steps on the Path to Enlightenment with a special interest in skilful means and how these ancient teachings articulate in a modern 'western' setting.