Meet the Team
David is of Russian descent, the son of a scientist mother and an international Artiste/Performer father, Frankie Vaughan.
He began his practice of Yogaas a direct result of suffering from ulcerative colitis anda spastic colon.
He discovered Tibetan healers and worked with them, and their healing practices saw that on his return doctors were unable to find the tumours. He felt better than he could ever remember, and this completely changed the course of his life. From then on yoga became his life’s focus.
A rich and varied history..
In 1990 he moved to Yugoslavia to work as a Radio journalist on a non-political radio station, whilst also teaching Yoga to classes in Belgrade. Circumstances conspired to the point where he found himself caught up in the middle of the Bosnian war. This resulted in the emergence of his own unique practice….YOGABEATS, a style of Yoga, born out of an environment where the possibilities of death and (the stress of this) were always close at hand. He used music to drown out the sound of the conflict, both “overt” and “covert”.
On his return it took some perseverance before the British Yoga community started to appreciate and accept his radical approach to Yoga. Initially in the media they called him the bad boy of yoga, and that he had destroyed 5000 years of yoga tradition, these same groups now invite him to teach across the UK.
In 1997 he met his late teacher Clara Buck, and studied with her to the end of her life in 2004. She was a student of Krishnamacharya, BKS Iyengar, and a close friend of Vanda Scaravelli, some of he students include Angela Farmer and Shandor Remete.
A dedication to using yoga for peace
David’s Past projects include his groundbreaking “urban” Yogabeats work, notably with Glasgow street youth in the infamous Easter house district – alongside his work with the International Group ‘Youth at Risk’, an extraordinary and effective combination of Yogabeats working in tandem with psychologists and social workers.
He is also internationally known for his work with Palestinians in the West Bank which began in 2004, and was responsible for bringing together for the first time, both sides of this Middle East conflict for a Yoga class in 2006, “without which” as David says, ” a single politician or member of the U.N. was needed to be present. It was just pure humanity inspired by the ancient practice of Yoga. David’s YOGA BEATS CONFLICT fund was born in 2011, and the work continues today with further meetings between the Palestinians and Israelis, and the Yogabeats Foundation Teacher training project in Palestine, thanks to very generous donations from the public in the UK and abroad.
The hear and now
David’s life is now divided by an extremely intensive global teaching schedule, with future projects being planned in Italy and Canada. His passion and excitement for his work arises out of the fact that what is being created here through the Yogabeats practice is not only a model for transformation through yoga, but a system where men and women are given the tools to maintain the transformation, so they can go on to realise their life’s full potentiality taking the techniques out to their communities. The implications for peace and transformation worldwide are all to obvious!
His work in the Community at home and Internationally is developing a life of its own, and is now recognised and acknowledged by peace makers, and at governmental level. Yoga Beats Conflict is supported by His Holiness The Dhalai Lama
David Sye – Yoga Elder, YRT, MAYA, BSYA, NAPT , BWY
Amanda McWhirter – Business Manager
Media, PR, events and bookings
Multi award winning journalist Amanda met David in 2018. After an instant connection the two went to Palestine together that year and have carried on working together ever since through music, yoga and activism.
Amanda has fifteen years experience heading up marketing teams for a variety of companies. That along with her media training and passion for Davids work means she manages Yogabeats alongside her own creative projects and client base.
Amanda is committed to changing the world through creativity, writing to give those a voice who most need it and working as a dance teacher to teenagers in struggling communities, using dance for freedom and joy.
Eilda Zaghmout– West Bank Coordinator
Born and raised in Amman/ Jordan to a Palestinian Refugee family from Beit Jala, moved to live in Palestine in 1999. She pursued her BA degree in Business Administration and Marketing from Bethlehem University. Eilda worked in the business and non- profit sectors for 10 years before she got certified as a 200-hour Yoga Teacher in Power Yoga with the OliveTree Yoga Foundation in 2013. She is a Yoga Alliance Affiliate, a 95-hour certified Kids Yoga teacher with the Baptiste Institute- USA and completed her Level One Baptiste Training in the USA in 2016 and Level 2 in the USA in 2018.
Eilda first met David Sye and Yogabeats in 2012. She Co-Founded Beit Ashams for Self Development in Beit Jala; a community center and the First Specialized Yoga Studio in Palestine in 2015. Eilda is a mother of 2 boys, Jude & Jilan. She aspires to take the people on a journey of Self Discovery through Yoga to see their new way of being in making the change in this Holy Land.
Beit AShams for Self Development