Meet Our Massage & Wellness Team
Each and every one of our therapists is deeply passionate about their therapies and helping clients achieve optimum health. We make sure we bring only the best-of-the-best therapists onto our team, so are confident that our clients will experience the highest quality of treatment and attention every time they set foot in Ayurveda Retreat. We are therefore incredibly proud to introduce you to our team of therapists and specialists:
Our Weekday Team…
I have been interested in beauty and wellness from a very young age so decided to pursue this childhood passion when I moved to the UK from New York. I enrolled and certified as a Beauty Therapist from a leading school of beauty in London. The training provided detailed knowledge and in-depth training in analysis of human anatomy, lifestyle habits and identifying potential ailments and issues impacting beauty and well-being of individuals.
In my research during this training I read about holistic approaches to beauty and non-invasive wellness options. I travelled and gained certification from a leading institute in India in the centuries old and proven Ayurvedic Massage Therapy. I love combining the western beauty practices with proven organic and traditional Ayurvedic treatment methods to provide comprehensive and personalised massage treatments based on each individual’s needs. This is a fascinating and never-ending journey, and I am constantly discovering, learning and adapting techniques to improve the health and well-being of my clients.
When I am not working I enjoy cooking various cuisines, listening to various genres of music, travelling and walking in the countryside.
I started training at East Berkshire College with a diploma in Holistic Massage in 2007, qualifying in 2008. This was the beginning of a journey into all things holistic; especially cleansing energies and healing.
I became aware of Reiki and decided to study for my first and second level. This was very life-changing for me, and I knew then that I was on a progressive journey. I wanted to further my techniques in healing the physical body, and as a fitness fanatic suffering from the occasional muscle injury, it only seemed natural to study for a diploma in Sports Massage. I wanted to understand the anatomy of the muscles, and how to treat the injuries on myself and others. After qualifying with a Sports Massage Diploma, I then furthered my training with a diploma in Seated Acupressure.
I saw an opportunity at Ayurveda Retreat to broaden my range of skills and not only learn new massage techniques, like Ayurvedic massage, but also integrate Ayurveda into my own life.
When I was younger I always enjoyed helping people and playing sport, so becoming a massage therapist seemed only natural to me. I first studied Sports Massage in South Africa and haven’t looked back since. I have been fortunate to work with some great therapists and teachers over the years, both in the spa industry and on the field, as well as working with some very talented and famous athletes.
I have always been a traveller at heart and massage has offered me the opportunity to travel. I worked on the cruise ships for a couple of years, travelling to wonderful places such as Alaska, Tahiti, Bora Bora and Hawaii to name a few. After that I spent a year in Abu Dhabi supervising a spa for Etihad Airlines in their first and business class lounges. After a few years back in South Africa, I decided to come to the UK and try to settle down. I have been working with Ayurveda Retreat since February 2011 and have found it very interesting and rewarding.
To me, massage is a necessity, something we all need to incorporate into our daily lives. With all our modern stresses and pressures, people are turning more and more to complementary therapies and the results are amazing. For me, I love helping people improve their situation and helping them to feel better. It is an interesting environment, one where I keep on learning new things every day.
In my spare time I enjoying going for runs and cycling around the countryside, I am a huge animal lover and activist.
Maria (also available Saturdays)
My interest in massage therapy started in 2013 when I first came to the UK. I realised it was a perfect way to relax from a stressful lifestyle and was motivated to help others experience the benefits of this therapy.
I began my training by completing a course in Swedish Massage at the Guild Beauty Institute. After almost two years of practising in London, I moved to Reading. Shortly after this I came to work at Ayurveda Retreat. Since working here I have continued to improve my training by learning the Ayurvedic treatments available and furthering my knowledge of holistic techniques. I’m really enjoying my time here and am motivated to improve my technique every day and keep my clients happy, healthy and relaxed.
In my spare time I enjoy cooking, meditation, yoga, watching movies and spending time with friends.
Chandrika (Reiki Specialist)
I have always been drawn to holistic therapies; filling our bodies with chemicals feels at odds with our natural state. Having suffered with chronic back and neck pain for five years I tried many treatments, both conventional and complementary, until I discovered Reiki. After experiencing the wonderful, pain-relieving effects of it for myself I was amazed! It felt right for me to learn and train in Reiki so I could help others to also experience the fantastic benefits.
I am a qualified Reiki Practitioner and member of the Reiki Guild. I thoroughly enjoy helping people feel better, in a completely natural way. It is wonderful to see clients improve – from back, shoulder and neck pain to stress; from fungal infections to asthma; from anxiety to eczema – the transformations are incredible. For me, Reiki isn’t a job, it is a part of each day and I do self-Reiki on myself because I love the experience.
I enjoy meditation and yoga, which complements the balancing of the mind, body and spirit.
Our Evening & Weekend Team…
Caroline (Thursdays and Saturdays)
I trained at Thames Valley University In 2004 with a diploma in Sports Massage. I have always been involved in a sporting environment from an early age. I was very heavily involved in competitive sports, competing in county level hockey and netball in my early years.
I then went on to pursue a career in coaching sports such as sprinting, field events and trampolining. Whilst coaching I felt a strong desire to help the team prevent injuries and give them the best support I possibly could. Sports massage offered the best solution, enabling me to assist them with a speedy recovery and enhance their performance.
I then decided to broaden my horizons to alternative treatments such as reflexology, Swedish massage and Ayurvedic massage. Alongside my role as a therapist I remain active with my hobbies, including martial arts, sports and painting.
I originally studied Hospitality and Catering before going on to work for many years in the hospitality industry in Hungary, Austria and Germany. When I moved to London in 2012 I felt I would like to learn some new skills and change my career path.
I was always interested in complementary therapies as I love helping people and think we all deserve a healthy mind, body and soul. As I already had good experience of alternative therapies, I decided to learn holistic massage at the Quantum Metta School of Massage in London. I finished my course in 2014, achieving ITEC Level 3 and qualifying as a Holistic Massage Therapist.
It was then that I started to work as a freelance therapist in London before moving to Reading where I had the opportunity to learn Ayurvedic massage whilst working at Ayurveda Retreat. Having had two years at home with my baby boy I am now ready to start focusing on my massage work again.
In my free time I love walks in the forest and anywhere where nature can be enjoyed, swimming, yoga and reading books.
Daniela (weekends only)
My interest in massage therapy stemmed from my degree in Physical Education and Sports specialising in Kinesiotherapy where I developed skills in enhancing the strength, endurance and mobility of individuals with functional limits.
I went on to work in a renowned salon in Romania as a massage therapist. During my time there I trained in massages that help slim and tone the body using techniques such as electro-stimulation, body wraps and anti-cellulite massages.
In 2011 I moved to England and settled in Reading. I began to search for a job where I could utilise the skills gained from my degree as well as my experience as a massage therapist. Luckily for me I found Ayurveda Retreat, where the centre is focused more on healing the body. It is here that I have begun to fully explore the benefits of Ayurvedic massage therapy in bringing health and happiness to individuals.
In my spare time I like to explore my surroundings and go for long walks, watch movies and research into Ayurveda furthering my knowledge of this great healing science.
Ilona (weekends only)
My interest in holistic approach started 10 years ago when I came to the UK from the Czech Republic. I became fascinated, through attending various workshops and lectures, by the depths of the relationship between body, mind and spirit within us human beings, as well as with the external world.
I was inspired enough to seek a change in profession and started practising ‘hands on’ therapies in 2008 with Swedish massage. Since then I have studied Craniosacral therapy, Ayurvedic therapies and Pregnancy massage. I keep using all the skills achieved in my everyday work and find it very satisfying.
In my spare time I enjoy studying therapies, including Pre and Perinatal Psychology. For relaxation I usually go for a walk, read books, dance or meditate.
Tatjana (Sundays only)
I started my path as a therapist with a Bachelor’s degree in Physiotherapy (2011). As part of the course I learnt Classical Therapeutic Massage, which I enjoyed more than all the other therapies that I studied as I felt it was the most personal and meditative way of releasing tension and blockages in the body.
Although I fully respect the western approach to wellbeing, I still chose to follow the path of ancient holistic knowledge, where the belief is that everything originates from our thoughts. For me, being a massage therapist is like diving deeper and deeper into the complex world of what it is to be human, with physical stresses and strains often being a reflection of what is going on on the inside.
Other courses I have done include: Holistic Full Body Massage at Silver Lotus Academy in Lithuania (2013), and Tibetan Full Body Massage Ku Nye Level 1, Mantra Healing Level 1 and Nejang Healing Yoga; all at the International Academy for Traditional Tibetan Medicine in London (2014).
My life outside of massage practice is full of love towards my family, passionate self-development, martial arts and ancient eastern wisdom.
Our Adhoc Team…
I have been a fully licensed massage therapist for almost 20 years, having trained in America. I was first introduced to Ayurveda by Dr. Deepak Chopra, and since then have completed numerous courses in Ayurvedic Massage and Dinacharya (daily routine/diet for Doshic types). I also practise and teach yoga, with my most recent trip being to Rishikesh in India to study yoga and Ayurveda. In addition to these passions, I enjoy holistic nutrition, reading, walking in the countryside, music and travel.
I qualified as a Sport Massage Therapist with Drummond Education in Maidenhead. I also hold qualifications in Group Exercise, GP Referral for Exercise, and Nutrition for Exercise; which I was using when I thought up the weight-loss programme for Eat 4 Health.
I have been working in pharmacy as a Pharmacy Technician and have an understanding of illness and the western way of treating it but have always been interested in alternative therapies such as acupuncture, homeopathy and massage. Sports massage is very specific and might not be everybody’s preference, which is why I decided to study Ayurvedic massage as that touches not only the physical body but also the mind and body as a whole. My other big passions are dancing and healthy cooking.
Angela Hope-Murray (Ayurvedic Specialist)
Ba HPC reg. Podriatist, MScCH, MA BscOst Dip Ayurveda Msc Ayurvedic Medicine
**Please note that consultations are only available on request (Thursdays) and must be booked in advance**
Angela is a fully-qualified Osteopath, Ayurvedic Practitioner and Chiropodist/Podiatrist, having begun her career in Chiropody in the early 1970s. After seven years working in this industry she realised the limitations of just treating one part of the body and neglecting the health of the rest of it.
In light of this limitation, Angela moved to America and completed an MA in Nutrition and Health Counselling at Beacon College in Boston where she focused her dissertation on Ayurveda, which was later published as Healing with Ayurveda in 1997. She then went on to become Head of Nutrition modality for pain and stress relief clinic at Lemuel Shattuck Hospital Boston, Massachusetts.
Angela was eager to learn more about alternative therapies so furthered her studies in reflexology and Ayurveda. She trained with the renowned Ayurvedic Physician and Author, Dr Vasant Lad at the Ayurvedic Wellness Centre in Allston Massachusetts. Angela finished her training in Gurukula ‘Vedic School’ in Pune, India in 2003. Angela realised that Ayurveda’s deep interest in nutrition and lifestyle offers us a very simple schema which, unlike modern approaches, hasn’t changed with time. Primarily it is free from side-effects and has a profound respect for all living things. Coming from a western background she realised how little we are exposed to such practices, which prompted her to write Ayurveda For Dummies, which is an accessible and exciting read for all those keen to learn this ancient wisdom.
Angela’s treatments involve a combination of all the therapies she has studied and practised, where appropriate. This enables her to work with individuals, using treatments that most effectively bring about the most positive outcome. Her approach to treating patients is to see them as a multi-level being whose body, mind and spirit are intimately linked. With this in mind, each person is seen as a unique presentation of symptoms, all of which have to be addressed before wellness can be experienced. Treatment will include dietary advice, meditation, breathing exercises and natural medicine.
Angela’s special areas of interest include musculo-skeletal problems, nutritional approaches and psychosomatic disorders.
T: 0118 958 8190
32 Friar Street
Mon-Fri: 9.00am - 8.00pm
Sat: 9.00am - 6.00pm
Sun: 10.30am - 6.00pm