It is our belief that nature is the greatest healer. Ancient traditions teach that living in tune with the seasons is the secret of health and vitality. At Valley View Mark and I enjoy nature’s powers every day – and we can’t wait to to share them with you.
Yoga, diet and lifestyle
Lorraine Clissold teaches yoga and movement as a holistic practice that is energising, informative and accessible. She uses simple but effective relaxation and meditation techniques. And she loves to share her passion for food and the wisdom of traditional diets and lifestyles. From 1995 – 2005 Lorraine lived in Beijing China. There she discovered Qi Gong and Chinese dietary therapy, presented a food programme on Chinese Television and wrote articles for local magazines. In 2007 she published ‘Why The Chinese Don’t Count Calories’ (Constable).
‘In China I became aware of the potential of food, movement and lifestyle changes to restore and rebalance mind body and soul. The Eastern way to health and fitness is about finding balance and harmony inside and out, in ways which do not involve weight-loss diets and strenuous fitness programmes’.
Energising and nurturing
‘It was in China, over 20 years ago, that Lorraine began to develop a regular yoga practice. Her early practices were Hatha, Bikram and Ashtanga yoga. She initially completed 500 hours training with the Seasonal Yoga Academy working with the Chinese meridian lines. Her teaching is still seasonal but, a lifelong learner, she now draws on a number of traditions including the powerful Women’s Wellness teachings of Uma Dinsmore Tully. Lorraine believes that there is a yoga for everyone. She has flown high with Cloud 9 Yoga’s Aerial yoga teacher training and is also a qualified children’s yoga teacher.
Continuing study of the mind, body and soul connection led Lorraine to the practice of Kundalini yoga and she is currently completing the Level 1 Training with the Karam Kriya School. The ultimate goal of Kundalini is to increase your self-awareness by silencing your mind and unblocking your chakras so that your vital energy can flow freely.
‘I am passionate about yoga as a way of life. A regular practice helps students become aware of their own body, connect with their energy and calm their mind. My aim is offer classes that are nurturing and revitalising and bring you closer to your own inner wisdom’
A former history graduate (Jesus College, Cambridge) Lorraine has a natural inclination to delve deeper. Her passion for conscious living led her to the study of Ayurveda. This sister science to yoga supports health and well-being, through diet and lifestyle and helps yoga students both on and off the mat. Lorraine studied Ayurveda with the Dru Yoga Foundation, and holds both the Ayurveda Certificate and Health Coach Diploma.
‘My wellness teachings are derived from the ancient art and science of Ayurveda. My experience of the Chinese five element system is another important influence, especially in the area of diet. Food and nutrition are key to these both teachings and are subjects close to my heart’
Aside from her passion for all things yogic, Lorraine enjoys spending time with her four interesting children. On a daily basis she enjoys tending to her menagerie, riding her pony, Millie, and walking with Mark and their dogs, Rosie and Freya, in the beautiful area around Valley View.
‘I have spent my life trying to balance my love of wildlife cultivation and the outdoors, with the need to achieve the usual wordly goals – all the time knowing that harmony naturally arises when one is true to oneself’.
Mark cares passionately about wildlife cultivation. He manages the Valley View site to optimise its animal, bird and insect life. At the same time he is using his skills to create a haven where Yoga & Spice guests can truly enjoy the natural elements while ensuring that they will be warm and comfortable too.
Caring for the environment
Mark has juggled a number of successful careers in horticulture, environmental enhancement and outdoor pursuits. He left school at 15 and worked in a garden centre. The he started his own nursery where he produced two million bedding plants a year. The organic vegetable garden at Valley View is a showcase of his skill.
In a complete contrast, Mark next spent time in inner city areas improving the environment with non-toxic and easily biodegradable products. This led to an an education programme for council workers, adults and young children. His work in these areas increased his awareness of the need for wildlife cultivation in what is left of the British countryside.
Challenged at school by severe dyslexia, Mark has volunteered mainly with young people to build self-esteem. He worked for the Scout Association, the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and the Youth Service. Drawn to the hills, he was a member of Teesdale Mountain Rescue for six years. During this period he qualified as a Mountain Leader and a Single Pitch Climbing instructor. In 2012 Mark travelled to Westminster to receive the top award for adult education achievement against adversity.
‘While my dyslexia was a major challenge in my early years it ultimately equipped me to help others and to problem solve. I know what it feels like to see the world differently. And it has taught me that every set back is also an opportunity’.
When life took an unexpected turn several years ago, Mark grasped the opportunity to search for the answers that had eluded him for some time. The community at the Buddhist Centre in Darlington put him on a path that he continues to follow.
Mike is a qualified sound therapist, holding a Professional Diploma with Distinction in Group Relaxation Sound Therapy with the British Academy of Sound Therapy. He is also an experienced yoga teacher with 500 hours of training, a teen yoga teacher, a children’s yoga teacher and a certified Yoga Nidra facilitator.
Mike teaches a classical hatha yoga practice in the lineage of the Kaivalyadhama Institute. Each class includes series of asana including back, front, kneeling, seated and standing, and ends with a period of relaxation and perhaps some pranayama techniques. Mike teaches on all residential retreats and his style complements Lorraine’s more eclectic approach.