In an emergency call 999 and ask for Police then Mountain Rescue

Meet our Supporters – Paula and Al and Yoga Events

Meet our Supporters – Paula and Al and Yoga Events

22nd November, 2022

Find out more about our supporters Paula and Al including why they decided to hold a series of yoga events for Scottish Mountain Rescue.

Further details including how to sign up to the events is available below.

Can you tell me a bit more about yourselves?


Originally born in the Highlands, I spent a handful of years in the RAF before embarking on a career as a Sports Therapist and Yoga Teacher. For what spans over two decades, I have studied and lectured in my field, including a couple of years with an Awarding Body where I produced and collaborated Curriculum, conducting QA assessments at training establishments. I find the human body, and the challenges that it can present, absolutely fascinating.

Whilst working with people on my treatment couch, my philosophy and goal is in fact to make myself redundant to them. Teaching Yin Yoga, augmented by the knowledge and experience I have is immensely satisfying. Being able to share this practice with people from all walks of life, of all shapes and sizes, people with restrictions and those struggling with chronic muscular skeletal conditions, and seeing incremental improvements is just the best feeling, and one which encourages me to learn and share more.

I have a love of the hills of Scotland which was nurtured at a young age. Spending time in the mountains for me is year-round constant delight. Whether it’s cross country skiing around our local trails, walking, running or climbing among the hills, waiting to capture the morning sunrise in my camera lens, or taking a dook in the seas, lochs and rivers around Scotland; this is where my heart is.

Originally from London, I settled in Scotland (drawn by the mountains) whilst serving in the Royal Air Force. After nearly two decades of being a member of the RAF Mountain Rescue Service I left the military and have been working offshore in both the Oil and Gas Industry as well as more recently in offshore renewables.

After years of pushing my body on the hills, and in RAF MRT with ridiculously heavy hill-bags, I decided it was time to re-assess and focus on body maintenance to ensure that the hills can be enjoyed for a lifetime.

Having a rough understanding of the human body thanks to numerous First Aid courses, operational experience with casualties in the hills and from experimenting with a variety of training regimes, I began to put my energies in to yoga.

In 2020 I won a bursary from the renowned Edinburgh based yoga teacher, Dhugal Meacham, after which I qualified as a Yin Yoga Teacher.

Despite my job being on a vessel somewhere in the world, I am often lucky enough to share a little yin yoga knowledge with crew-mates who express curiosity to the shapes I make on the gym floor. Invariably this leads to an impromptu workshop and perhaps a wee class on board.

What made you decide to support Scottish Mountain Rescue?

Some years ago, Paula’s uncle was recovered after an extensive search which included the Dundonnell Mountain Rescue Team along with other search and rescue organisations. During her time serving in the RAF, she was part of the Crash-Guard for a Hercules that came down in the Perthshire Hills. These events; particularly at the Hercules site, highlighted just how much physical, emotional and mental endurance is required from the Teams. Our joint love of the hills and wild places of Scotland coupled with living in a rural area emphasises just how valuable our volunteer Search and Rescue assets really are. Giving something back in to the system is always a worthwhile thing to do.

How did you come up with the idea for your yoga events?

The answer to this is threefold.

  1. We wanted to make available a unique class for remote communities throughout Scotland.
  2. The invitation to MRT/SARDA members and their families for a complimentary class is in recognition to the sacrifices made by not just the women and men who volunteer, but also to their loved ones who give them their continual support.
  3. Heading to locations throughout Scotland is a real gift to us. The Friday night events will enable us to make a weekend of it, enjoying our own mini-adventures throughout the seasons.

Tell me more about the events. What do they involve?

We aim to host these events in village and church halls, community centres and the like. The First element is the for the local Mountain Rescue Team, local SARDA handlers, their partners and children. This will be an hour long class where we will introduce Yin Yoga to participants. Emphasis will be on bits of the body that typically take a pounding on the hills in training and call-outs, (legs and backs being prime examples). Even with just a little tuition, class members can take home some “shapes” and techniques to help maintain their own health and add to their repertoire of fitness routines. In recognition of the giving nature of the class members, this will be entirely complementary. Numbers will be restricted to 20.

The second element will be for members of the community. Again, an hour long Yin Yoga class, but this time followed by a Gong Bath, a 30 min auditory experience. At the end of the class you will be in a pose called Pentacle/Savasana. Basically lying in whatever you feel is a comfortable resting position for you. Again you can use bolsters, cushions and props to enhance your comfort as you completely relax. If you wish, you can have a blanket place on you to further the relaxation. In this pose, the sound waves from the gong gently wash over you and the vibrations felt within the body add an entirely unique, deeply relaxing experience. You may need a gentle nudge to wake up afterwards! 50% of all proceeds from this class will be donated to Scottish Mountain Rescue. Again we would like to keep the class to a maximum of 20 which allows everyone plenty of free space to move, to observe and to hear what is happening.

When are the events?

Our first event will be held on December 2nd 2022.

Location: Ullapool village hall.

Timings: 1830 to 2000 for yin yoga and sound bath.

Exchange: £20 for session.

Max 20.

Our second event will be held on 13th January 2023.

Location: Dornie village hall.

Timings: 1830 to 2000 for yin yoga and sound bath.

Exchange: £20 for session.

Max 20.

How can people join the event?

You can contact Al or Paula to book or ask any questions you have via the following means:


Phone Paula or leave a message on 07513310774

Phone Al or leave a message on 07796 992731

We promise to get back to you, and look forward to seeing you there.

After booking, just turn up on the day! As Yin Yoga is a slower form of yoga, you won’t over heat easily. Clothes that don’t restrict your range of movement are ideal, a couple of comfortable layers works well. A fleece, leggings, jogging bottoms, t-shirt or similar. Please bring a mat with you though. We do have a limited amount of yoga mats available, but if you have or can borrow a yoga mat, exercise mat, foam sleeping mat, then that will work just fine. Anything to protect your body from a hard wooden floor.

Who are the events for?

In short – everyone. You don’t need to be already practicing any form of yoga. Beginners are absolutely welcome. You can be any age, any gender. Often people say to us that “I am not flexible enough to go to yoga”. These are precisely the people we love to work with. Yin yoga does not require you to stand on your head or even one leg! We offer a variety of props (bolsters, blocks and cushions) that can support your body as we make a series of shapes that work the deep connective tissues, which of course is largely fascial tissue. Yin Yoga differs from other forms of yoga, (Hatha and Vinyasa for example), there is no focus on perfect alignment. Yin Yoga poses are held for longer. As we focus on our breathing, we allow ourselves to loosen any tension within the body and relax. Listening to our bodies, we can move deeper into the shape. Recognising that we are all anatomically unique, we highlight the target area that the shape aims for and how to move in to that shape, with variations offered. After that, the shape is completely yours. To experiment with, explore, be curious with, and to make it your own.

Recent news