ABOUT ME & THE STUDIO..
In the beautiful area of The Algarve, Portugal & between the fisherman villages of Burgau & Luz, you can find our Transform to Bliss Studio.
After holding space for Yoga & Ceremony mostly in the UK since 2015, we moved to Portugal during the UK lock down of 2020 & opened our beautiful light filled studio in the gardens of the Quinta do Mar da Luz.
Surrounded by Palm trees, beautiful plants, the sound of the birds & within metres of the ocean, our space is a beautiful haven of bliss, peace & light.
I am Joanne Merlini (Given Yogi name Jitendra Mayee by my teacher Swamiji).
I am a Yogi, an energy worker, deeply connected to the moon, a free spirit & a nature lover.
Yoga started gently whispering to me in my early 20's & has been a part of my life since.
Sometimes it was the physical calling, sometimes the need for some quiet 'me time' & it was in my mid 30's that Yoga became more of a shout than a whisper.
I was self employed having built a Fashion brand from the roots up, I was travelling from Fashion weeks across Europe, to Trade shows, to Catwalks. Supplying celebrities & the Royals, but I was unsatisfied & lost in the brand I had created, stressed from self employment & not recognising myself.
My health was being compromised & I wasn't sure what direction to turn. I had started to explore energy work with Reiki, which was encouraging some huge shifts & it was around then I read a quote (Rebecca Campbell who I was fortunate to meet in Glastonbury in 2020) which said
'Follow what lights you up'
I knew my light was Yoga so I started following..and the more I followed, the more I was lighting up.
Yoga became my grounding, my strength & the way back to myself.
So my Yoga journey deepened & I knew I had found my calling & the source of my light.
My initial 200hr training was in Athens under the guidance of Michelle Kaminski (The Director of Yoga Alliance Europe) in the beautiful style of Transformational Yoga (which had drew me to it with its influence of Hatha, Kundalini & Raja Yoga).
A year later & I knew I wanted to deepen my teaching & train direct with the source & creator of this beautiful style & so began my love affair with India & my connection with my teacher - Sri Swami Vidyanand
I trained directly under his guidance in the South of India, Auroville, first as a 'Master' of Transformational Yoga & Meditation & later as 'Grand Master' - Yoga Alliance International.
Swamiji is the creator of this beautiful unique style which has its roots in Auroville & is connected to Sri Aurobindo & The Mother. A system of Yoga integrating the body, mind & spirit, the elements, balancing of the chakras, coming to centre, to stillness, to bliss, to our best self.
The 'Transform to Bliss' is the releasing of the layers, the conditions, the labels we may have taken on as our own through our life, so we can return or 'transform' to that beautiful state of bliss we arrived into this world with ~ knowing we have all we need within.
I trained in India between 2017-2019 & my practice, as my teaching, is now greatly influenced by Sri Aurobindo, The Mother, Erkhart Tolle & having experienced life in the Ramana Ashram of Tiruvanamalai during Maha Shivratri 2019- Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi & the Holy Mountain of Arunachala
My Energy work has deepened as I have gone deeper into my own shadows, Past Life Regression, Family Constellation, Akashic Records, Ancestral Healing & I now incorporate my Light worker training of 2020, Reiki & EFT in to my offerings. Recognising the need to bring light to the shadow to really release, to rise.
Bringing Ritual & Ceremony to my offerings has deepened my connection even more with my centre, to Mother Earth, Spirit & the Universal Energy which connects us all.
My path is dedicated to deepening the connection to the Divine, knowing we are Divinity expressing itself in human form & encouraging this awareness in others as I hold space.
My formal qualifications are -
Grand Master of Transformational Meditation 300hrs
Transformational Yoga Master - 500hr
Transformational Hatha Yoga Teacher 200hr
Classical Hatha - Vinyasa Yoga & Meditation - 100hr
Anatomy CPD - 27.5hr
Transformational Meditation 100hr
Reiki 1st & 2nd Degree (as a reiki practioner I can't help but spread the love & healing during my teachings)
EFT (Tapping) ~ Level 1 & 2
I have been teaching a variety of studio, university & private Classes, Workshops, Meditations, Retreats & Ceremonies since 2015 & have accumulated over 3000 teaching hours for a variety of abilities, ages, & energies.
To offer a deeper practice of this beautiful style, together with my soul partner & husband, Marco Merlini (a practioner of Ayurveda), hold yearly European retreats in Andalucia, Spain & The Algarve, Portugal.
Yoga is my way to connect deeply with myself, the stillness within, with others & the beautiful world around me.
From York, Covid times took us to the beautiful area of the Algarve in Southern Portugal where we have recently opened the Transform to Bliss Studio & Shala.
Positioned by the ocean between Burgau & Praia da Luz, this is an area of sacred paradise (Luz meaning Light)
We teach & hold space from here, in classes, online & on retreats.
I hope we can journey together!
Click to see how you can connect with me this month
Much love, Jo xx
"I thoroughly enjoy coming to your classes & I always leave feeling fresher & calmer.
Regular Yoga practice has had a huge benefit to my life & wellbeing - Thank you Jo."