David Cornwell and his wife Zeynep Aksoy met in Ibiza in 2003. David was undertaking an apprenticeship program with yoga teacher Godfrey Devereux, Zeynep attended as a visiting student.
In 2004 David starting teaching yoga in Zeynep’s native city Istanbul. Zeynep had already established the leading yoga studio in Turkey, Yogasala.
Together David, Zeynep and a friend Rebekka Haas created Cihangir Yoga, Turkeys largest yoga studio, opening two locations in Cihangir and Istinye before leaving the project in 2012. Cihangir Yoga has continued to grow and is now located in three locations, on both sides of the Bosporus.
David and Zeynep left Cihangir Yoga in 2012, to create a new project Advayta Yoga, focusing exclusively on training yoga teachers; and to live in nature with their young family.
David is from Ardglass, a small fishing village in Northern Ireland. He attended university in England 1999-2002, where he first encountered yoga and Buddhist meditation. David trained as a yoga teacher in 2004 and opened Cihangir Yoga together with his wife in 2006. In 2012 David together with Zeynep set up Advayta Yoga to train yoga teachers. David also trained as a Somatic Experiencing trauma therapist with Steve Hoskinson, and is currently undertaking a Masters program in the UK at the Karuna institute to become a UKCP registered Psychotherapist. The masters program is titled Mindfulness Based Psychotherapy, at the Karuna Institute, one of the founding members of the United Kingdom Council of Psychotherapists.
Zeynep Aksoy (Cornwell) was born in Istanbul but grew up in Tokyo and London. She returned to Istanbul for high school where she studied at the prestigious International school, Robert Colej. At university Zeynep studied fine art in Rhode Island School of Art and Design (RISDE). Upon graduation she worked a a production assistant at Grey Advertising in New York for eight years, before leaving to study an MA in Critical Media at the New School in New York. It was at this time that her yoga journey began, beginning at Jivamukti New York, then with periods of practice in Mysore with pattabois Jois. She has continued to train as Family Constellation Practioner, and more recently trained with Paul Grilley in Yin Yoga.
Advayta Yoga, David and Zeynep’s main project is focused on training teachers in Istanbul Turkey. Trainees study a contemporary hatha yoga method, rooted in western scientific understanding of the nervous system, yoga anatomy, and traditional practices such as Vinyasa, the Bandhas, and seated meditation.
The Advayta Yoga platform also supports trained yoga teachers in the Advayta Yoga method, and is helping organise related trainings in Turkey such as the the upcoming Organic Intelligence training in Istanbul and the Family Constellation training in Izmir.