Maggie Brocklehurst – Chairman
Nancy Diver – Treasurer
Joanne Guest – Diploma Board Officer
Jo-anne Standen – Website Co-ordinator (guest)

Amanda Coulson – Director of Education
Christine Clist – Secretary
Norma Jones – Training (Mat.Cover)
Rosanna Meyer – Marketing (internal)
Aimee Newton – Training & Standards
Zoe Smart – Public Relations (external)
Kalyani Verma – Membership Officer



No matters arising.



As always I start with a massive thank you to the Executive Committee plus the Area Officers and Administrators who offer their time in administrating Friends of Yoga for the good of yoga.

Many, many hours of work is spent running Friends of Yoga on behalf of the members.


New European Data Protection Rules

New European data protection rules come into force on 25 May 2018 and there are very hefty fines for non- compliance. I have contacted all the Executive Committee and Area Officers to make them aware of the rulings from the advice given by the Information Commissioners Office.  By 25 May there will be a statement on the Membership Joining page to the effect that membership data will only be divulged to the Executive Committee and Administration Teams for the purpose of informing members of Friends of Yoga educational/CPDs/events and will not be circulated to third parties.  Also, that the information required by Friends of Yoga Membership Officer is the minimum required for effective communication.

E-mail to be sent out to members via Mailchimp giving them to opportunity to opt into receiving communications


Comments from Sponsored CPD Area Meetings

The main topic of discussion is still centered on a hard copy of a magazine and there is still a lack of understanding as to the reasons why it was transferred to digital.  I have written back to the Area Officers explaining that the magazine was costing Friends of Yoga £4,896.24 in 2014 and £5,012.05 in 2013 which was half of the annual outgoings in both years.  This left very little cash to spend on new projects to keep us up-to-date and current in the evolving business world of yoga. Rosanna does a brilliant job in sending out the quarterly online magazine as well as Bulletins plus updating the Facebook page with current and past CPDs.  The new website will make it easier to find all this information.

Devon Sponsored CPD and Weekend of Yoga in Devon

I am working with our tutor in Devon, Sheila Coombes, on organizing the Devon CPD weekend which is already nearly half full.  I am hoping that CPDs will eventually be available to book online with the new website in order to reduce administration for the Area Officers.  The ruling for attending sponsored CPDs is one per member per annum in order to give all members a chance of attending.   However, I feel this ruling could be relaxed if space was available within a set time frame before an event.

Area Officer for South West (North and West)

I recently had a long telephone conversation with Kamna (Kay) Sarna who has been appointed Area Officer for the South West (North and West) and I’m sure her enthusiasm will bring together members in this Region.

Colourfest and Buddahfield

It is now confirmed Sheila Coombes has been offered teaching slots at two very large festivals this summer (Colourfest and Buddahfield).  This will keep us in the public eye as it was decided after long deliberation that we will not have a presence at the Om Yoga Show this year.  The availability of tickets for our members wishing to attend the show will be discussed today.

AGM Guest Presenter

Alexandra Rigazzi-Tarling is our guest presenter for the AGM on 22 September 2018. Last month I was able to attend one of her wonderful sound healing evenings so I’m looking forward to the workshop morning that she will be presenting for us at the AGM.


There is nothing to report on NOS and Skills Active.  I have noted that the Chair of the BWY has recently acknowledged that it is very unpopular.

Amanda is taking up the issue of CPD points allocation for those members working in establishments which come under the umbrella of CIMSPA (Chartered Institute of Sport and Physical Activity). CIMSPA have recently recognized the Friends of Yoga teaching diploma but are only allowing 1 point out of the annual requirement of 10, for a Friends of Yoga CPD.

Honorary Membership

I am delighted that Kathleen Pepper has accepted an offer from the Executive Committee to be made an Honorary Member.




Teacher Register

There are currently 36 teachers on the FRYOG Website Register of Teachers which is an increase of 3 since last report in November. This number reflects a number of membership non renewals who have been taken off the register. Total membership yet to be finalised due to late payments.  You can e-mail secretary.fryog@gmail.comfor an e-mail copy of application form.  Please note you are eligible to join the register providing that you are a FRYOG trained teacher and a current member of FRYOG.


Region Split

As the South West region of membership has become so large this has been reviewed and the regions split – SW (N&W) and SW (S) Hampshire/Isle of Wight.  I have moved the members who are on the teacher register to the appropriate sections and are updated on the FRYOG Website.



Treasurer asked permission to make up the books bi-annually at the end of March and the end of September, instead of four times a year. Unanimously agreed.  Nancy Driver current Treasurer is moving back to Canada and will be retiring from her role as soon as a new volunteer is found to take over.

Cash balances as at 31 December, 2017: £15,616.36(2016 – £12,914.07)

Total Revenue:  £11,013 (2016 – £11,442)

Total Expenditures:  £8,305 (2016 – £8,627)

Total revenues and expenditures in 2017 tracked very close to 2016.

Revenue reflects primarily membership subscriptions as well as diploma fees and Continuing Professional Development donations together with other minor items including the teacher register and CNHC.

2017 expenditures track very close to 2016 with few exceptions.  A more targeted approach to magazine advertisements has reduced our expenditure on printed advertisements by £800.  The other major expenditure is the cost of the rebranding effort shown as a miscellaneous item which almost exactly offsets savings from printed advertisement.  Travel expenses and the costs of AGM/Tutors and Assessors are down by over £500 on aggregate. Other outflows were in connection with diploma administration charges and FRYOG membership fees to Yoga Alliance and BCYT.

It is recommended that membership subscriptions remain at £20 per annum.




Diplomas Issued

Foundation Course 15, 200 Hour 31

Still waiting for all of Lucy and Donna’s foundation course requests for diplomas – 11 students


Courses currently running

Sheila Coombes FC – 3 students due to complete shortly

Debbie Avery FC – 13 Students complete Summer 2018

Vicky Bedford 200 Hr – 8 Students complete Summer 2018

Sheila Coombes 500 HR – 7 Students complete Autumn 2018

Vicky Bedford 200 HR – 7 Students complete Summer 2018

Amanda Coulson 200 HR – 7 Students complete Summer 2018


New Course registered

Lucy/Donna 200 HR x 8 Started January 2018 (no FC Diplomas have been issued)



We have already run a couple of subsidised CPD days this year. One in the North area and the other in the South.

We have two more CPD days advertised for this year, apart from the two retreats, one for First Aid in the South, which is now full and the other 2 day CPD run by Sheila Coombs and Bill Wood, one day of which is subsidised for the SW (N&W) area. The workshop that Bill Wood had booked for September entitled “Moving with the Breath” has been re-scheduled in 2019.

Michelle Mullard has offered to hold a CPD day on the subject of Anatomy/Physiology of poses which will be run by Kay, the new Area Officer for the SW (N&W) area. This will be another sponsored day and we are just waiting for Michelle to provide a lesson plan, which she expects to have ready by the end of this month.

Kay, Area Officer for SW (N&W) Regions, has also offered to run a CPD day with a Diwali/Spirituality theme around October time.

Sarah Irwin has recently submitted a lesson plan for a CPD day on Mindfulness, which needs to be approved. As there is no Area Officer for her area (Hampshire) I have asked if she is able to run the event herself. Maggie is going to ask if any Exec Committee can help out on the day, which means we could possibly run it as a subsidised day.

Swami Satvikananda has offered to do another CPD day later in the year on enhancement the practice of Yoga Nidra, Ajapa  Japa and Antar Mouna, which will be run by Tamasine for the SE area.

A friend of Tamasine’s who is not a FRYOG member, has offered to hold a CPD day on Thai Yoga.  I have asked for a lesson plan first to see if this is a suitable subject.

I have contacted Kate Sabin earlier this month with regard to running a CPD day on Partner yoga. She replied saying she would love to do it and asked for some time to give it some thought. I haven’t heard any more since but have sent an email to follow it up.

I also had discussion with Karen Percival late last year about running a CPD day on teaching children. She said at the time that she was keen but wouldn’t be able to manage anything until this spring so I have just sent an email to see what her current situation is.

If we can run either Kate Sabin’s or Sarah Irwin’s days as subsidised, then we will have achieved a sponsored day for the South, North, SW (N&W) and the SW (S) for this year, so far.

Attendance at sponsored CPD days – at the present time attendance is limited to one event per annum (Jan-Dec) but it was agreed that this can be relaxed if space is available 4 weeks in advance of an event, to enable members to attend more than one day.  A waiting list to be held by the organizing Officer.



Nothing to report this time.



 Marketing (Rosanna)


Email system

Currently we have 596 subscribers (up by 18 since last report), with an open rate on the Spring newsletter of 55% (327 members). Please see separate report for click rates etc.

Member submissions continue to be low for the newsletter, so to combat this I’ve added in some regular features and asked specific members for their inputs. This has taken the pressure from members a little.

A&P: Aimee Newton and Mike Bourne

Meditation: Kathleen Pepper

Yoga Therapy: Pat Cronin and Jean Danford

(In addition to the Yoga Posture clinic and Recipe section)

I did a Facebook and Instagram post to highlight the Newsletter had been sent out, but while the posts themselves got pretty good traction, the newsletter readership did not change.


Pages likes are steadily growing, with 486 likes on the FRYOG page (up by 28 since the last report). Reach of posts is getting lower but Facebook has been altered to make organic reach harder, with the aim to boost paid advertising.

I’ve still not managed to get the password from previous twitter owner, however, Twitter seems to be dying a death so it’s not a priority.

Huge increase here from 91 followers in November, to 220 followers today. With Instagram being owned by Facebook, again they’re pushing towards paid advertising.


PR (Zoe)


Following contributions and ideas from the committee for each of their pages, a new site map has been created.  News page – this will require a volunteer to look after this area of the site to keep it up to date with current FRYOG news. We also need to be clear and agree on what constitutes ‘news’ to be placed in this area.   Find a FRYOG Teacher, will have a button for members to add their own listing, which they will pay £10 for.  Members Area will be accessed by the persons email address and password. Newsletters will be included in the Members Area as PDF documents which can be downloaded so people can print off to read if they so desire.  CPD members logging area – Charles is still investigating the software and how to achieve this in the simplest way, so this is a TBC.  Our People – we need the updated photos and short biogs from everyone on the committee and all tutors.  Jo and I have a scheduled call with Charles on Monday to discuss committee meeting outcome and any adjustments, or further additions to be made prior to moving on to the next stage.


Event Activity

Yoga Show and Festivals

For a number of reasons there will be no Friends of Yoga presence at the London Om Yoga Show this year.   We have been told by the organizers that free tickets will not be made available to members even though we are placing an advertisement in the official show guide.  However, it was agreed that those members who have willingly given up their time to man the Friends of Yoga stand during 2016/17 will be personally invited by the Chairman to invoice the cost of an entry ticket in exchange for a summary of the event in 2018.  This will help us make a decision as to our future presence at the show.  We will also look at the success of our teaching presence at Colourfest and Buddahfield festivals in 2018.

Buddhafield Festival, 18-22 July, Blackdown Hills near Taunton, Somerset

“Buddhafield Festival is an intimate and joyful gathering of around 3,000 people, celebrating community and connection with the land. Song, dance, arts and crafts, yoga, meditation, and play blend together without drink or drugs to create a loving and life-affirming space. There will be Buddhist teaching, workshops and ritual, under sun and stars. The Festival is family-friendly and open to everyone, however you practice.”

Colourfest, 31 May – 3 June, Wimborne, Dorset

“Colourfest is a dynamic, beautiful and constantly evolving gem of a gathering that celebrates life through connection, ceremony, yoga, dance, music, art & theatre.

It was created as an alternative festival for those feeling to connect with life in a deeper way.  Upbeat, nurturing and family friendly, we have dreamed a packed program that will speak to the soul in a variety of ways.

Our musicians are sourced and chosen for music we feel will soothe, inspire and uplift.  We invite tutors and teachers that are well established in their arts and create safe and beautiful environments in which to meet.

For lovers of movement, the festival offers collaborative dance jams, dj sets, a variety of workshops around yoga, the body and psychology of movement, as well as ceremonies and early morning practices rooted in many traditions.

Keeping the event alcohol and drug free adds to the ambience and with all the amazing work taking place in the workshops, the atmosphere continues to charge in beautiful ways to everyone’s benefit.

The event is great for kids, being safe & creative, inspiring them to learn and grow within a gentle and supportive community spirit.  

We encourage you to come to the full four days as it takes time to drop into a slower pace and build our resources enough to really open and benefit from what’s on offer.”

Sheila Combes will be teaching at both festivals and has offered to advertise FRYOG teacher training while there. She has been provided with two pull-up banners, leaflets and bookmarks to handout while there.  This is a new venture, so it’ll be interesting to see what sort of response we get following the two events.


Publication Advertising

We have split the 2018 advertising budget between two publications in 2018, as follows:

January OM Magazine £350 (1/3 page)

April Yoga Magazine £350 (1/2 page)

June OM Magazine.     £350 (1/3 page)

August (TBC depending on content) Yoga Magazine – £200 (1/4 page)

October OM Yoga Show, show guide – £540 (1/2 page) TBC, decision on this to be made by committee,

OR additional ¼ page to go into Yoga Magazine in same or another month?



Member summary to date – 16/04/18

Total no of members recorded – 479 (plus 7 members without email)

No of members successfully renewed – 404

Outstanding non renewals on system – 75

Members requested to leave in 2018 – 10

On March 31st150 outstanding members were sent a reminder email.  They were given two weeks to respond and I am still getting responses.  Of the 150 members I have not yet heard from 75 members. If I don’t receive any response I will take confirm with Chris to remove them from the members list. I will liaise with Rosanna, once I’ve tied up the loose ends of outstanding members to confirm the final mailing list.



Honorary Life Membership

The Committee were very happy that Kathleen Pepper had accepted an Honorary Life Membership with Friends of Yoga from 2018.  Invitations for Life Memberships will be reviewed in November each year. It was not felt that there was any set criteria for offering an Honorary Life Membership.  It will be discussed on a merit basis according to length of membership and karma yoga for Friends of Yoga.


Re-Election of Officers

Both Maggie Brocklehurst and Jo Guest willing to stand again for re- election at AGM. Nancy Driver to retire.  Others TBN.


Expenses – Home Printing

Expenses for home printing for Friends of Yoga business.  It was agreed that, as well as mileage allowance, home printing of papers for Friends of Yoga business can be charged at 7p a sheet (14p double sided sheet).  Printing in colour on 300gsm weight paper for CPD attendance certificates can be charged at 20p.


Date and venue for next meeting

Next Executive Committee Meeting – provisionally set for 28thOctober 2018 – Ascot.

Next Bi-AGM – 22nd September 2018.