Meet the team

Claire Thomas

Claire Thomas

Co-Founder

“My love for dance and movement began at a very young age. My mum was a dance teacher and therefore the minute I could walk, I began to learn and my passion has grown ever since to where I am today.

At A level I studied Dance and Theatre studies and went onto to further my education by completing a Degree in Dance at the Laban Centre at London University, where I studied Contemporary Dance alongside Ballet.

My passion for well-being was ignited as I transitioned into my 40’s, I took up running which gave me some invaluable ‘me time’. I discovered yoga initially as a way to stretch, but it very soon became my new passion.

Fast forward, to 2020 and I am now a very proud co-owner in my dream job. I have since trained and become a fully qualified teacher of Pilates and more recently a Professional Relaxation Therapist and soon to be Sacred Dance Teacher.
Pilates for me is the perfect practice to realign the body, develop core strength and reintroduce mobility back into our lives. It focuses on attention to detail and aids in reducing the stresses and strains that everyday life places on our bodies.”

Maria Atherley

Maria Atherley

Co-Founder

“My journey has always been one of a seeker of knowledge and personal development. They say ‘every day is a school day’ and I truly believe the minute we stop wanting to learn and grow then that’s when we begin our demise..

As a passionate ‘People Person’, my early career was in hospitality and then Human Resources. The theme of ‘service’ has always been a thread throughout my life, and now I understand why. To serve others and provide them with a space that brings peace and calm and a sense of completion is what I dreamed of when the concept of Karma Hub was first birthed in 2017.

I have trained in Kundalini yoga, Pregnancy yoga, Embodied Yin yoga and more recently completed my Foundation Certificate in Sound Therapy. I am currently deepening my knowledge of sound therapy as I study the tuning forks, as well as undertaking mantra training with Krishna Das, playing harmonium. My instrument collection grows on a monthly basis! (sorry John!).
The excitement I feel to share all of these wonderful practices with our students and 1:1 clients is heartfelt and genuine. I am filled with such a deep sense of gratitude to know that what we do supports people on their own journey of discovery and growth.

Suzanne Lister

Suzanne Lister

Teacher

“Helping people to be the best that they can be plays a major part in my life. Always working hard to be the best that I can be is who I am. I have a passion for life and life is my passion, I have clear goals and values that enable me to live the life that I love.
I have been in the fitness industry for over 35 years and I believe that keeping your body fit and healthy plays a major part in keeping your mind healthy too.

I began to take part in Pilates over 8 years ago due to constantly having injuries due to bad training practices. Pilates helped me to overcome these injuries by helping me to recognise good posture during training and everyday life.
I then went on to becoming a GP trained Personal Trainer working with clients who had physical injuries and illnesses such as Strokes, MS, Motor Neurone Disease…

This inspired me further to become a Pilates Instructor, Pilates is a form of exercise that everyone can take part in. It benefits the body and the mind, complimenting all other exercises you may take part in.
I believe in teaching Pilates to meet each individual’s needs, I believe in YOU!

Ian Vollum

Ian Vollum

Teacher

“Born & raised in England, I spent most of my adult life abroad, (France, then over 20 years in the USA). Missing real fish & chips I returned to the UK in 2014 bringing over 16 years of yoga practice and teaching with me, (plus my family and lots of boxes…)

I started Fat Whippet in 2017 with the idea of building yoga communities in the local area. I’m honored that Fat Whippet has found a new home at The Karma Hub.

I’ve experienced many types of yoga before settling into a rhythm that suits me and if I had to title my ‘style’ it might be ‘Northern Garage/Grime Yoga’. “A little bit of this, quite a lot of that, and here’s something I certainly didn’t prepare earlier…” Some people think I’m just making up my flows on the spot- and they’re quite right! To me yoga is a dance of the breath, with the body as the (sometimes unruly) partner. The energy will be different on any given day- just as the mind/body engagement can differ daily.

So you might rock up to my class feeling a bit down dog & leave as an exalted pigeon. We might be warrior archers, we might be a Sun Goddess, we might be salsa dancing. I’m not into forced pretzel like bends & twists, I’m looking for a steady breath and a few smiling faces.

Likes: Good wine, quality chocolate and Sufi poets (not necessarily at the same time)
Dislikes: Sentences that begin with “Like…”