Mercedes

Parellada

Eternal student . Devoted yoga sharer . Incurable entrepreneur

About me

I left my hometown of Buenos Aires at a young age to pursue my ballet career. After graduating from The Royal Ballet School in London I pirouetted to Amsterdam to join Het Nationale Ballet. A decade of high discipline in pointe shoes was followed by a decade on my feet managing some of Amsterdam's most demanding restaurants and clubs. Amidst this crazy lifestyle I was lucky to discover yoga at my local gym, and ever since then my relationship to yoga has been evolving. I always had an entrepreneurial spirit - I set up restaurants, large events, and yoga studios (all still thriving!) of which The Breathing Space in Amsterdam I am the proudest to have co-founded. The last twelve years I devoted primarily to my yoga sharing. I recently moved to London with my husband Martin and our four cats.

I like to think of practice as a container for self exploration - each breath, each pose is an opportunity to observe myself, to recognize the patterns that keep showing up while opening up to new possibilities. In other words it helps me own my s*it, learn to accept myself and the world around me just as we are.

In my early days I studied Iyengar & Vinyasa yoga, until I was introduced to the Ashtanga method (by the kind Marilou van Hoek), which soon after became my anchor. Throughout the years I've been inspired by different teachers, especially Nancy Gilgoff, Dena Kingsberg, and Andrea Lutz who I am still learning from today.

I am fascinated by the internal workings of the practice - that which we cannot see. My classes are therefore very much focused around the breath and quality of attention. Sometimes I like to explain in detail, others I prefer the silence and hands-on assists to do the explaining - but always tuning into the energy of the room and the individual’s needs, all while keeping a healthy sense of humor! I am also an advocate of accessible pranayama techniques and loving kindness meditation.

I am not a fan of calling myself a 'yoga teacher', so please think of me as a support, an older sister if you like. At the end of the day just like Ram Dass so beautifully said: "We are all just walking each other home".


Yoga has the potential to be a deep, meaningful, personal journey and I would be delighted to support you anyway I can.


what i offer

Private Classes

One on one or small groups in the comfort of your home or online

Medium to long term substitute teaching

Maintain teaching quality and consistency during holidays, travel or sick leave

Mentoring for yoga

teachers

Build confidence, hone your teaching skills, and get valuable feedback

Corporate Classes

Relieve workplace stress and enhance employee well-being. Classes tailored to your company's needs

private classes

Working one on one is the perfect opportunity to focus on your specific needs. Whether you are new to yoga and find walking into a studio daunting, have been recovering from an illness or injury, or simply would like to get more attention and deepen your practice. I will be happy to support you.

medium to long term

SUBSTITUTE teaching

Consistency is key, especially when it comes to yoga teaching, keeping up your studio schedule, or looking after your beloved shala. I am currently freelancing, able to travel and to jump in weeks at a time to cover your schedule. I can cover your Vinyasa and Ashtanga classes as well as support your Mysore programme. I co-owned and ran my own studio for years so I can relate! I promise your community will be in good and caring hands.

mentoring for yoga teachers

Let's face it, teaching yoga is not an easy endeavour and a 200 hour TT barely scratches the surface. I have have led thousands of classes (literally!), I've made lots of mistakes which I learned from, and have been honing my teaching skills for years. Let me share what I've learned with you.

corporate classes

Whether you are interested in offering weekly classes at your office, or would like to offer a special day to pamper your staff. Yoga at your workspace can help improve team connections, promote a healthy work atmosphere, and reduce stress levels amongst employees.

what i can help you with

Assisting you in your Mysore room

If you have a well established programme and not enough hands I'd be delighted to assist you

Helping you organize your yoga retreat

I have worked as a restaurant manager and event planner for years. Let me do the dirty work for you!

Helping you develop your YTT

I have co-developed in-depth YTT for years, and co-trained over 100 yoga teachers. I'd be glad to share with you a few tips I've picked up along the way

Any other ways you think I could help you with?

get in touch

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Testimonials

'Mercedes is a fantastic teacher, well spoken & professional. The focus on breath was an added bonus for me!'


'Mercedes is a godsend, she makes me discover certain muscles I didn't know my body had and I come out of her class feeling more serene and excited about her next class.'


'The best Ashtanga and Vinyasa in a personal environment. Lots of focus on healthy postures, breathing and good energy.'


'Mercedes is an excellent teacher and seems to have great anatomical knowledge of the body. I’ll definitely be back soon.'


'Mercedes teaches wonderful, real yoga classes. I now remember why I started practicing yoga.'


'Mercedes is always such a pleasure to receive class from. Calm, pedagogic, kind - I missed the calm I feel after her classes!


'A very experienced hands-on teacher!'


'Always the BEST moment to stretch during a busy working week, stretch my body,as well as my mind. And the Vinyāsa Yoga style that Mercedes teaches us made me learn how to breath with control, this eases my mind not only during yoga, but also in life. Mercedes' yoga actually encouraged me during my worst moment of life around 4 years ago, it empowered me and encouraged me to face my inner pressure.'


'One of the many qualities of Mercedes as a Yoga instructor is that she will take her

time to show you how to do your practice correctly to avoid any future injuries. She

will encourage you to overcome your fears and will challenge you to learn more and

go forward. She sets a rhythm in the class that make the difficulties feel easier.

Thank you Mercedes for all this time. It has been a life changer!!!!'


’It was my first time practicing yoga and after a year with Mercedes I can say I love it. It has already become part of my weekly routine. When I don't practice I feel something is missing. I also love her style of yoga, she pushes you to your limits and

discover what you are capable of. I'm sad the best yoga teacher in the city is leaving!'


'The program is intense, diverse, and in combination with the knowledge of the teachers, it gave me a strong foundation for my own practice. It brought yoga into my life in ways I would have never expected.'


'Taking this TT was one of my best decisions ever. The past year changed my body, mind and life in ways I did not expect.'

when & where

I am honoured to have the opportunity to support and assist the following Senior ​Teachers and communities in 2024. You may otherwise find me assisting, or practicing ​daily at Stillpoint Yoga. I look forward to seeing you soon x

what is yoga?

I wish I could tell you, in fact I don't think anyone can. Out there you will find plenty of ​teachers, gurus, and books all describing what yoga is and how it should be practiced, ​but the fact of the matter is - Yoga is to be experienced.


It is a divine gift that can be tasted only by you. So do not take anyone's word for it, ​explore within, trust your own felt sense, and listen deeply.


Don't worry, while you (and I!) might still be figuring out what IT is, the fact that you ​are HERE means that you are already halfway THERE.


Ashtanga opening chant

Traditionally the opening mantra is chanted at the beginning of practice. The first ​verse is part of a longer poem called The Yoga Tārāvalī attributed to Adi Śaṅkara. The ​second verse is part of the Patañjali invocation often used to open Iyengar classes or ​before chanting the Yoga Sutras. I personally like to evoke a feeling of gratitude when ​chanting this mantra.

वन्दे गुरूणां चरणारविन्दे सन्दर्शितस्वात्मसुखावबोधे ।

निःश्रेयसे जाङ्गलिकायमाने संसारहालाहलमोहशान्त्यै ॥

आबाहुपुरुषाकारं शङ्खचक्रासिधारिणम् ।

सहस्रशिरसं श्वेतं प्रणमामि पतञ्जलिम् ॥


Oṃ

vande gurūnāṃ caraṇāravinde sandarśita-svātma-sukhāvabodhe |

niḥśreyase jāṅgalikāyamāne saṃsāra-hālāhala-moha-śāntyai ||

ābāhu-puruṣākāraṃ śaṅkha-cakrāsi-dhāriṇam |

sahasra-śirasaṃ śvetaṃ praṇamāmi patañjalim ||

I bow to the two lotus feet of the gurus,

Through which the understanding of the happiness in my own Soul has been revealed.

My ultimate refuge, acting like a snake doctor,

For the pacifying of the delusions caused by the poison of cyclic existence.

Who has the form of a human up to the arms,

Bearing a conch, a discus and a sword.

White, with a thousand heads,

I bow to Patañjali.

Ashtanga closing chant

The Mangala mantra is a prayer for peace found in the ancient scriptures the Rig Veda. ​It is traditionally chanted at the end of practice as a way to ‘seal in’ the work in a ​peaceful manner, and to offer the fruits of our practice to the greater good. While ​chanting it I like evoking the feelings of generosity and loving kindness.

स्वस्ति प्रजाभ्यः परिपालयन्तां न्यायेन मार्गेण महीं महीशाः ।

गोब्राह्मणेभ्यः शुभमस्तु नित्यं लोकाः समस्ताः सुखिनो भवन्तु ॥

ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ।

Oṃ

svasti prajābhyaḥ paripālayantāṃ nyāyena mārgeṇa mahīṃ mahīśāḥ |

go-brāhmanebhyaḥ śubham astu nityaṃ lokāḥ samastāḥ sukhino bhavantu ||

Oṃ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ |

May the rulers of the earth protect the well-being of the people,

With justice, by means of the right path.

May there always be good fortune for cows, Brahmins and all living beings,

May the inhabitants of all the worlds be full of happiness.

Oṃ Peace, Peace, Peace!

-Translations by Zoë Slatoff

why do we chant as part of our practice?

“Chanting and mantra recitation have accompanied yoga practice for thousands of ​years. Chanting is of course both the in-toning of the rich vibratory sounds and the ​simultaneous listening to them. The deep listening naturally suspends the normal ​movement of the discursive mind and allows contemplation of the patterns of ​sensation, emotion, and imagination.”

loving kindness meditation

This practice is also known as metta (loving kindness) bhavana (cultivation), it is a ​meditation practice of cultivating unconditional loving-kindness and compassion for ​all living beings, in other words it is generosity of the heart no matter the ​circumstances. While it is best known as a Buddhist practice it is worth mentioning ​that Patañjali also emphasized in the Yoga Sutras the importance of fostering these ​qualities. A Buddhist discourse on this practice is found in the Karaniya Metta Sutta​ where the Buddha teaches the monks the practice of Loving Kindness; how to open ​the heart to fear and meet it with kindness and friendliness.

At the end of the day, is there any greater power than love?

reading

A few books that have been personal companions and I return to for inspiration.

inspirational poetry

Poetry always uplifts my spirit. I hope by sharing these poems I love I get

to uplift yours.

inspirational doodles

While I am far from being a gifted drawer, I enjoy scribbling thoughts, observations, ​emotions, and everything in between - I call it pen therapy! You are welcome to ​check them out on my Instagram profile @Scribblyvulnerability

thank yous

I am endlessly grateful to all the teachers and mentors who have ​encouraged me along the path, and to all students who have allowed ​me to play a small part in theirs. Thank you to my loving husband, ​family and friends for their unfathomable support. And last but not ​least a big thank you to my talented friends Paula Garcia Brunelli for ​her beautiful photography, and Simon Flöter for his unique artwork.