James Gopala Burford

James currently co-runs the centre with Anne-Marie and primarily teaches Yoga and Pilates. He spent over 5 years of study and training in India from 2007 – 2012 and is a Sivananda Hatha Yoga and Astanga Yoga trained teacher, as well as a Pilates teacher, Ayurvedic massage therapist and a Reiki master. James runs his Yoga teacher training school (Gopala yoga) from the centre and instructs students on how to become Yoga teachers (see ‘Yoga teacher training’ page).

Due to his interest in spirituality from a young age, James journeyed to South Asia on a spiritual pilgrimage in 2007. After two years of extensive travel, he settled to live in one of India’s most ancient and holy cities, Varanasi. James was awarded a grant by the Indian High Commission – one of the only two grants given to Commonwealth students to to study in India. In 2012, after three years of intensive study, James completed his post graduate degree in Indian Philosophy and Comparative Religion at Banaras Hindu University. His academic studies and personal sadhana has focused primarily on Yoga, Vedanta, Ayurveda and Tantric traditions, including extensive personal retreat and immersion into the esoteric teachings of Kashmir Shaivism and training with the Trika (Agama) school of Tantra Yoga in Rishikesh.

James provides in depth teaching of all aspects of yoga and its underlying philosophy. He has sound understanding of Pilates and physiology and has worked closely with Physiothepists for the last 7 years. He specailses in helping students with lower back issues (eg SI joint, slip disk) and pelvic misalignment.

James has a keen interest in sports, travel and music and is a grade 8 pianist and also plays the guitar, handpan and djembe drum.

James’s personal yoga website can be viewed here: Gopala Yoga Harrogate

  • MA in Indian Philosophy & Religion
  • BSc Biology with Anthropology
  • Pilates Lvl 3 Teacher
  • Astanga Yoga Teacher (Yoga Alliance)
  • Sivananda Hatha Yoga Teacher
  • Ayurvedic Massage Therapist
  • Reiki Master