Fierce Grace is the new system of 6 interconnected yoga classes brought to you by Michele Pernetta who introduced Bikram Yoga to the UK in 1994 after returning to the UK from LA. Michele was a personal student of Bikram Choudhury for many years, after going to him as a martial artist who needed knee surgery. She healed her knees, and moved to London where she taught for 6 years from rented studios using the heaters she kept in the back of her car. She opened the first Bikram studio in London in 1999, became one of Bikram’s senior teachers, and opened another 3 studios. Michele also studied Ashtanga Vinyasa with Larry Schultz, completing his teacher training in 2006.
Michele is one of the UK’s most highly regarded teachers, having taught over a quarter of a million students in her four studios and all over the world. Her 20+ years of experience in Bikram yoga and Ashtanga Vinyasa and in combination with 15 years of athletic study including a martial arts Black Belt, massage certification and a 25 year spiritual practice, Michele has brought together her knowledge in the Fierce Grace system. Michele has hand picked the best yoga teachers in the UK to be at the helm of this yoga evolution.
"I wanted to offer a range of classes to fully meet the needs of the students that come to my studios, as well as those that haven’t yet felt we could serve them. My hope is that this system will support you at every age and stage of your life. My vision is that in 30 years from now the practitioner practicing Fierce Grace will be a new breed of older person. Gone are the Zimmer frames, walking sticks and aches and pains. This new breed of Yoga Elder will up a mountain in their hiking shoes at 80, teaching their grandchildren handstands or scuba diving on a beach in Goa. Yoga Granddad will be leading fitness revolutions. Yoga is not just for the young and fit. It is to make every age young and fit."
"I have worked closely with Mark Oram, my senior teacher, co owner and friend, and together we built Fierce Grace Primrose Hill and the new Fierce Grace City studio which we designed with Joseph Yianna. We wanted to create yoga studios which felt non-corporate and that didn’t make people feel uncomfortable or out of place, but feel as if they had come home. Although we have done lots of yoga we have spent much of the last 10 years on building sites, building 4 studios, one move and complete renovation, and 5 refurbs!"
"I wish to thank my senior teachers for helping me with their wide array of knowledge, to refine and develop these systems and am so grateful to Mark, Emma Croft, Hortense Suleyman, Jessica Puglie, Adrian Squirrel, Pete Cherry and Karen Bellfield for supporting me and helping to make this happen. And to all the teachers, who have overwhelmed me with their support and enthusiasm."
The Fierce Grace® system draws on classical yoga systems, such as Bikram yoga and Ashtanga Yoga, Power Yoga and Classical hatha sequences, but with the sequencing and modifications based on the needs of students who have practiced with me and fed me back over the last 20 years. It is founded on the knowledge given to me by my teacher, Bikram Choudhury, as well as Larry Schultz, inspiration from Erich Schiffman, Brian Kest and Steve Walther and countless hours of personal practice and research.
Bikram, accomplished student of Shree Bishnu Charan Ghosh, is founder of the Yoga College of India and author of Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class. He was trained at Ghosh's College of Physical Education in Calcutta, India and was a former yoga champion. Bikram is the originator of Hot Yoga and has arguably done more to take yoga to a wider audience than any other yoga master.
Bikram Yoga is now a worldwide organisation. I am proud and grateful for the knowledge Bikram has handed down to me and to have studied with him personally, and grateful for the gifts I have received from him in my own life and practise.
Larry studied with Patthabi Jois and was known as “The Bad Man of Ashtanga Yoga” due to his belief that all students should have access to all the poses in the Ashtanga system and not have the series 2 and 3 witheld from them. He gave his students full access to all the Ashtanga series. In the 1990’s Schultz was the personal yoga teacher to the Grateful Dead. Larry created Rocket Yoga, a series of yoga sequences that are today considered to be the foundation of Power Yoga. Michele and Mark are proud to have known Larry, to have been influenced by him, to have done his certification as well as his Rocket training, and continue to bring his teaching philosophies to their classes.