Circle Holding Fundamentals

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Circle Holding Fundamentals

Date: Wednesday 9 October 2024

Time: 1830-2130 BST (UK Time) Replays & Support Material

Cost: £67

Feedback from Circle Holding Training Attendees:
"I loved the 'visioning" what my circles might look like and who they are for" Joanna Benn
"I came thinking that I might use the skills in classes or workshops for other things but am now thinking about holding a circle for a specific reason (and I have a bunch of ideas about what that could be)." Ruth
"Today has helped me sort out my ideas and intentions and given me more confidence in my role as a facilitator" Anna
"I found this so inspiring, and I want to create my own monthly circle." Dawn Gibson-Winder
"Love the space we shared and I feel I learned a lot.Have so much to ponder and move forward with... thanks so much!" Corinne Newman
"It was really great to attend your workshop, it encouraged me a lot, giving insights with lots of practical issues at the same time, I felt absolutely welcomed and held securely." Csilla Dulacska

Course Outline:

Facilitating a circle of people, with a non-judgemental and brave space, is an enriching experience.  Facilitation of a circle looks easy when it is done well, but there is a lot going on behind the scenes to make it a place that people trust to share.
The workshop will model the principles of holding a circle as well as explicitly detailing the factors to consider when setting one up, including:
  • Setting your intention for running your circle and finding your audience
  • Understanding the fundamental guidelines of circle
  • Preparation, welcoming, opening & settling 
  • Addressing the challenges and managing circle dynamics
  • deepening connection with listening partnerships
  • Practical considerations of in person and online circles
  • Closing your circle
  • Embodiment circles and special groups

By the end of this training you will have:

  • experienced the benefits of sitting in circle
  • gained practice in circle holding
  • understood how to manage some of the major challenges of circle holding

Tessa has run online women's circles throughout the lockdowns and this format can work very well, including the use of breakout rooms.  She has been running her women's circles for 8+ years, mostly in person, and girls / mother and daughter circles for 5 years.

Julia is an experience circle facilitator running in person and online circles.  She has expertise in integrating circle into yoga classes, workshops and retreats.  

Tessa & Julia will  be sharing exclusive content from their forthcoming book "Circle Holding: A Practical Guide to Talking & Listening Circles"

"Thank you for your care and thoughtfulness. It was so helpful to be with a group of women that I could feel safe with and your space holding is perfect." Kailash

"It was wonderful to be held in a safe space with other likeminded women.  You and your home are so welcoming. That has been my best circle so far." Billy

This workshop will give you skills you can use to confidently plan and hold your first circle or reflect on and grow your circle-holding skills.

These brave spaces are so necessary and appreciated.

Please feel free to contact Tessa & Julia with any questions at

At the end of the training, you will receive Certificate of Attendance from Yoga Teachers Forum.

To see the extensive range of Continued Professional Development and Continued Edocuation we have designed to give you practical tools that can further develop your teaching practice, please click here.

Can we support you in choosing your course?

If you are unsure about your suitability for this course, or if you have any queries please let us know at

Policies & Procedures For the full course policies and terms & conditions please click here.



Tessa Sanderson

About the facilitator - Tessa Sanderson:

Tessa has run online women's circles throughout the lockdowns and this format can work very well, including the use of breakout rooms.  She has been running her women's circles for 7+ years, mostly in person, and girls / mother and daughter circles for 4 years.

She has also taught Pregnancy Yoga for 15 years and has 12,000+ teaching hours under her belt, including Well Woman and Mother & Baby Yoga, Restorative and Birth Preparation workshops.  She has taught yoga in four diverse cities: London, Southampton, Bristol and Reading. She is the author of Pearls of Birth Wisdom: An Inner Journey with Stories, Insights and Practices.

Tessa is a member of her local Maternity Voices Forum at the Royal Berkshire Hospital and runs the Everything Baby Berkshire network for antenatal and postnatal professionals.  She has a PhD in Medical Sociology and loves using balloons as props in her pregnancy classes.  IG@tessa.venuti.sanderson and @birth_wisdom_pearls


About the facilitator - Julia Davis:

Julia has hosted and run online Yoga Teachers Circles throughout and after the lockdowns.  She integrates circle holding into all of the trainings that she runs and also into the classes she runs from her Finchley Yoga studio.  Her circle holding skills originated in the youth groups she facilitated as a teenager.

She has taught yoga for over 20 years with specialisation in Women's Health Therapy.

She is founder of Yoga Teachers Forum & The State of Birth Symposium and runs the Perimenopause Training & Mentoring programmes.  She is an experienced mentor having worked with many yoga teachers who have taken the step from teacher to specialist trainer.