Sarah-Alexandra Teodorescu

sarah abandoned building

I am a writer, yoga instructor and photographer. I studied creative writing in New York, yoga in India, and photography in Los Angeles. After a decade of visits, I am elated to call Scotland home. I was compelled to move here by the stunning beauty of the land, and the kind nature of its people. I teach writing and yoga workshops in Scotland aimed at helping individuals develop a deeper connection to themselves, and to their surroundings. Once we create space within our minds and bodies, our intuitive sides are invited to create freely – and Scotland inspires creativity like no other country. I am a firm believer in the human need to feel connected to ourselves, to others and to the world around us. Writing and yoga are practices that can be used on a daily basis to heal and bring us back to ourselves.

Sarah joins us on some of the Soul Spas to lead the yoga sessions and creative writing workshops. 

Sarah pic

Lindsey Porter

Yoga teacher and Fire & Rain co-host Lindsey PorterI am a yoga teacher passionate about the benefits yoga can bring to all minds and bodies. I love to fuse various elements from different yoga trainings into sessions to help make them accessible to all. From my initial experiences in India into Curvy Yoga practices and body positivity, Yin Yoga, Yoga for Special Needs, anatomy and more. I’m honoured to be a Yoga Tutor for the Yoga Scotland Foundation course and an active signatory of the Mental Health Charter for physical activity and sport spreading important messages that yoga welcomes all. I love to connect with others in different ways and includes co-founding an award nominated international podcast series and having wellbeing articles published in Om Yoga, Psychologies and Costco magazines. As a parent of a child with special needs I value strongly practices beyond just the physical such as meditation, the joy of sound and kindness on a regular basis. I regularly host wellbeing retreats in Scotland and am delighted to co-host some of the Soul Spas with Ute.

Lindsey joins us on some of the Soul Spas to lead the yoga and relaxation sessions

Alison Taylor

alison-and-andyFor over 20 years, my husband Andy was the centre of my world – the sun around which I orbited.  I was 48 when he died suddenly and unexpectedly at home – and my world imploded.

We met in Scotland, but were to spend most of our married life overseas.  We lived for many years in Zimbabwe, Andy’s beautiful homeland. When his work took him to Afghanistan, Nigeria and Libya, I followed wherever I could and we worked our daughter’s schooling around local schools and latterly boarding.  So when Andy died, I found myself feeling not just without a reason to live, but also with no particular reason for exactly where to live.  Luckily, we had kept a base in my home town in Scotland, so it is here that I am making my efforts to build a different life.

It’s been just over three years now. I slowly found healthier ways to heal – I remind myself to meditate, to get out and walk, to contact friends. I’m enjoying cooking again, particularly for other people (cooking for one can be so hard – and I do love my food!).  I trained to be a volunteer counsellor, which I am finding not only immensely rewarding, but a therapeutic journey in itself. I have many good happy days and, still, some frankly awful ones.  I can laugh again, but often still feel terrified.  Generally I can now be more grateful than sad – grief is the price we pay for love.

Time has been a great healer, but I have found the most comfort in the company of those who have been through a similar experience – Ute and I found an immediate and empathetic bond when we met on a meditation retreat.  There is an ease – and relief – in spending time with fellow travellers on this difficult journey.  It helps to know that although I still feel loneliness, still miss Andy daily, I am not alone.

Beside having amazing cooking skills Alison is also a qualified counsellor.

{by the way….Alison is the creator of the term “soul spa”…it took us a long time to find the right name for what we offer…..soul spa is just perfect!}

Andrew Johnson

Retreat co-host Andrew Johnson

Andrew is a mindfulness and behavioural change expert. A talented presenter and coach, Andrew has been helping people relax, change and create the lives they want.​

With over 23 years coaching experience, his work motivates and empowers people across the world and helps them cope with stress, overcome anxiety or fears, break habits – and achieve their full potential.​

Through his range of popular self-care downloads, apps and corporate workshops, Andrew is on a mission to inspire positive change and personal growth.​

A fascination with the power of the mind and its’ ability to be a source of positive (and negative) influence started at a young age when Andrew discovered the power of Positive Mental Attitude. This was the beginning of a journey which would eventually lead him to helping others. ​

Today, Andrew is the warm voice behind the bestselling Andrew Johnson self-help recordings, available on all major app stores. With over 11 million recordings downloaded to date, he is often asked to appear on influential blogs and has been featured widely in the online press.​

Through personal and corporate workshops, Andrew helps people successfully regain control and achieve positive outcomes in their work, home and personal life. He uses a range of techniques which are simple, safe and easy to learn and integrate in daily life.​

Including relaxation therapy, stress management, clinical hypnotherapy, meditation and mindfulness, Andrew’s interactive and experiential workshops aim to empower people, improve focus and inspire productivity, positivity and resilience.​

Andrew trained with The London College of Clinical Hypnosis in 1995, opening a successful private practice working with one to one clients on addictions, phobias, stress, pain and confidence building. He then began working with the corporate world and business leaders, delivering workshops that help businesses thrive.

We are thrilled to have Andrew on board for those soul spas that include a mindfulness course. He will provide you with valuable skills that can help you feel more positive again and coming to terms with your “new normal”.

​Chef Lesley Gillespie


Lesley will join us at some of the soul spas to spoil us with her cookery skills. She grew up in a family heavily immersed in the fishing industry and in an environment where food was fresh, seasonal and locally produced (often from the garden) and above all, home cooked.

Lesley is a professional chef who has a wide experience of teaching cookery skills to both young and old. Her award winning sustainable menu was showcased for the summer season at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh and gave Lesley the opportunity to work in Scottish Chef of the Year Neil Forbes’ Cafe St Honore.  It was here that Lesley was introduced to Slow Food and has now become the first Slow Food Chef Alliance member for the North East Scotland. A scholarship award allowed Lesley to experience Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage and the Shoreditch Trust’s Waterhouse Restaurant.
As an award winning student Lesley was asked to remain and teach at college as a Chef Lecturer.  She is involved in many community food based initiatives and has carried out research projects for the QMU Scottish Centre for Food Innovation following her Masters Degree in Gastronomy. As a freelance chef, Lesley can be regularly seen at Aberdeenshire Farmers’ Markets showcasing and promoting local market produce. 
I believe that the philosophy of eating fresh local seasonal ingredients is of immeasurable benefit to the body and soul.  I feel privileged to be cooking dishes using the natural larder that will be available to us on Arran and Mull for the guests of the soul spa breaks.
So….only the best for our Soul Spa guests 🙂