About Neville Cregan
I was born and grew up in Manchester. After an uncomfortable time at school I travelled and worked around continental Europe for three years until a a trip to India and Nepal in 1987 provided much needed time for reflection, adventure and reading . During this time I 'accidentally' spent a week at an ashram ( yes really accidentally, tagging along with a newly met friend ). This was about as far away from my origins as I could have imagined, and at the age of 21 I mostly just found it weird; BUT I read one of the books in the ashram library called something like: All Religions Are One , which sowed a seed of philosophical curiosity in me.
On my return to the UK I took a modular Humanities degree in Brighton as a mature student, the seed ripened, and I ended up in the Anthropology Department studying Indian Philosophy including some traditional yoga texts.
Whilst working in Social Care and Mental Health Services in Brighton I started more formally practicing hatha yoga in various styles and this lead to a teacher training course and teaching opportunities from there. I've taught yoga since 1997 in most settings including community centres, yoga studios, retreat centres, a learning disability day centre, a mental health rehab institution and work places such as Brighton Council and Gyndebourne Opera House. I also teach history and philsophy of yoga on two yoga teacher training courses in London.
Massage and Reflexology.
When I first trained in yoga my main interest had been in philosophy and meditation. But the practicals of hatha yoga necessarily put me in touch with teachers very knowledgeable in anatomy and physiology and matters of the body . I was very fortunate that two of my teachers were osteopaths and had more knowledge than most on this aspect of yoga. Despite my initial resistance to learning this I eventually became fascinated and decided to expand my studies to Thai massage as this was the best massage I had experienced, and it's theory base shares much with hatha yoga . I've studied all aspects of Thai massage that I've been able to access ( without speaking Thai) through courses in the UK , Thailand and even the USA. I also discovered reflexology in Thailand with it's many surprising effects in supporting health and well-being.
I've also always been very active (though perhaps not traditionally 'sporty' ) , particularly with regular and long distance cycling and more recently competitive table tennis . I've always found Thai massage and Sports type massages helpful to keep me well on top of my yoga practice as well as to address any particular aches, pains and minor injuries. More recently I'm currently studying Soft Tissue Therapy at the London School of Sports Massage to expand my massage skills and knowledge .
Health , Wellbeing and Spirituality .
I has become clear to me over time that true health really is a combination of factors: feeling physically well and balanced, feeling mentally/emotionally comfortable with oneself and others and having some sense of connection with community, nature and the wider world . It's also not always that easy to create this amidst the demands of life.
Whilst it is certainly not the only way, for me a combination of hatha yoga ,meditation, some cardio exercise, receiving massage sometimes, a decent diet and making time for hobbies , commmunity and social activities has been winning combination in staying well amid the demands of a full life of work , child rearing , relationships etc !
I hope that my work can help support people in their efforts to find this kind of balance.
My other interests include travel, literature and reading, photography, film, music and attending gigs, surfing, competitive table tennis (South Devon League) and following Manchester City FC. I am also a freelance writer contributing to various magazines and websites . I attempt to keep up a blog here.
I live in Totnes, Devon where, apart from my work, I am raising my two sons.
Qualifications and Experience.
University of Brighton.
BA Hons Humanities - 2/1
1995 - 1997 with Mary Stewart , Sophy Hoare and Peter Blackaby.
Post Graduate Courses
Too numerous to mention everything, but most significantly:
Many of my teachers were influenced or directly taught by Vanda Scaravelli which has been a helpful approach for me regarding the postures part of hatha yoga. But not only , my practice and teaching has been supported accross the yoga practice spectrum by a variety of teachers, practices and approaches. Particularly:
Desikachar ( RIP)
Attending Silent Retreats at Gaia House. And taking a meditation course by Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Salzberg supported by Catherine McGee from Gaia House .
Despite variations in presentation and style all these teachers helped me understand core universal principles of yoga common to all approaches.
I also learn much (if not the most) from my students through their varying needs, questions and responses to my teaching.
Thai Massage and Sports/Remedial Massage
I've practiced massage since 1998 and have taken numerous courses of study including:
Core Practice Courses.
Several courses of study and practice at Sunshine Massage School in Chiang Mai and their accredited teachers including - Kira Balaskas (UK) , Asokananda ( RIP ) ( Thailand ) , Ralf Marzen (UK) and Suriyan Punyafoo (Thailand).
Thai Medical Massage Practice Courses:
Thai Acupressure with Noam Tyroler - Thai Acupressure
Thai Massage Theory and Practice with Felicity Joy , Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Thai Massage Medical Therory and Practice with Nephyr Jacobsen at the Naga Centre in Portland USA . Naga Center
Thai Massage Therapy with Suryan Punyafoo in Chiang Mai , Thailand . Therapeutic Thai
Western Massage Training
I'm currently studying Soft Tissue Therapy at the London School of Sports Massage . As a BTEC level 5 it's the highest level massage qualification available in the UK at present . There is much useful knowledge as well as techniques and ideas that can only enhance Thai massage.
As with anything I learn at least as much from my clients and their needs and responses to my work as any theoretical work.
I've been practicing since 2006.
The School of Precision Reflexology with Jan Williamson.
Post graduate qualifications:
Chinese Reflexology with Sue Ehinger .
Thai Foot Massage at the Traditional Medicine Hospital in Chiang Mai.
Insurance to practice.
I'm insured for all of these with Balens Insurance , specialists in health practitioner insurance.