Yoga Teacher Training: About the Tutors

Daizan Skinner

Daizan Roshi at Zenways

Julian Daizan Skinner is the first Englishman to go to Japan and become a Roshi or Zen Master in the rigorous Rinzai tradition of Zen. About twenty years ago, he gave up a promising career as a scientist in the pharmaceuticals industry, sold his house, gave all the money away and entered a Zen monastery.

He has studied yoga with many teachers, including travelling to India to study with 90 year-old Sri Pattabhi Jois. He has synthesised the most useful elements of what he learned, both within and outside Zen monasteries, into Zenways yoga – a practice that fosters the Zen experience and develops wellbeing, focus, awareness and suppleness on all levels.

He has also studied yoga in China and Japan. This means that he is able to bring diversity to your yoga and is able to make available a style that will bring you success when you teach and at the same time will allow you to develop as a person and as a teacher. His knowledge and training in Zen means you can take things just as deep as you like spiritually and know you’re in safe hands. Daizan Roshi has ten years of experience in teaching yoga with the Yoga Alliance and over ten years of teaching meditation to Zen students.

Mark Westmoquette

Mark Westmoquette

Mark has been practising yoga since 2000 and since then has studied a wide variety of different styles. He first met Daizan Roshi in 2007 and immediately connected to his way of teaching and the Zen yoga style. This led him to do his yoga teacher training with Zenways in 2009. Mark recalls “the 2 weeks I spent on my yoga teacher training course with Daizan changed my life in ways I can’t describe – they were magical!”

Alongside his work with Daizan, Mark has studied intensively with London-based yoga teacher Jonathan Monks. Jonathan’s style is infused with his many years of Tai Chi practice, together with the more classical foundations of Hatha Yoga. Mark’s concurrent practice of yoga and Zen meditation means that, like Daizan, he embodies the Zenways yoga method of fostering the Zen experience and developing wellbeing, focus, awareness and suppleness on all levels.

Until recently Mark was a scientist doing research in astronomy. Before turning to yoga and meditation teaching as a full-time career, he found his practice to be a wonderful antidote to all those hours working at a desk.

Daizan has this to say of Mark:
Mark has studied with me since the very first week I began publicly teaching Zen in London. Over that time I have observed an incredible transformation in his work priorities, his relationships, even his domicile! A peak within this transformation was when on retreat in Japan with our teacher Shinzan Roshi, he experienced kensho, the Zen term for the liberating insight into the truth of things. Mark has considerable international experience of teaching, both academic and practical. He has been working closely with me over the last few years and I trust his clarity, responsibility and practicality.