Meet Our Teachers & Facilitators
Kristen's vision and passion is behind the realisation of this consciously evolving collective of Living Yoga Sanga. "Breaking away from the old structures of the past yet drawing from the essence of ancient teachings, natural law, integrity and sound experience to inform innovative ways of learning, healing and living; inspires and opens my heart", says Kristen.
Kristen met Natanaga Zhander- (founder of Shadow Yoga) and moved to Australia to study in a traditional yogic apprentiship. This experience formed the foundation for the way of yoga she works with today. Based in Chikitsa krama, it is the study and understanding of healing through yoga from the lineage of T.K.V. Krishnamacharya.
Influenced by incredible teachers including the Dalai Lama, Geshe Sonam Rinchen of the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, Tibetan Medicine with Tulku Lama Lobsang Dhamchou Nyima, Ngon-Dro practice and Truk-khor Buddhist yoga of the Arti lineage with Dhongri Lama, opened her world to the experience of Tantra and Dharma, further developing deeper self-inquiry, compassionate being and visualization meditation.
Jason is inspired through a deep and broad perspective to bodywork. Describing it as a multi layered experience that ought to address an entire being at one time or another and at times all at once.
Kahuna Bodywork uses the movement of the entire body much like a martial artist does. Blending the fluid and graceful motion of Hawaiian Hula with martial art principles, gathering Qi, or Muna as the Polynesians called it and applying it through movement that is governed by the hips and expressed through the fingers, hands, forearms to the elbow. The result is an engaging motion that sweeps through the body dissipating tension, stretching, opening and bringing space, breath and light to the held places within. It can be sharp and focused directionaly, broad like a rolling pin or as subtle as a feather adjusting to shifts in the wind. It is a delicate, silent and often challenging dialogue between what is and what is possible.
Kahuna Bodywork is not a style as such but "A Way" that aligns for a harmonious state physically, mentally and emotionally of both the receiver and the giver. It is an approach to bodywork like no other, viewing what is as a whole rather than a collective of pieces. Clients often remark they feel like they have been danced, massaged by the ocean, cradled by their mother, or like a instrument in a symphony. I often hear that their relief last for days, weeks, months and sometimes pain & discomforts disappear completely.
Beginning with the Osho Massage training I worked alongside some of the greatest healers in the world who instilled in me the principles of wholistic health and working with Presence. I completed my training in Advanced Craniosacral to Practitioner Training level with my teacher Bhadrena Tschumi Gemin and with a colleague went on to present courses throughout Australia. I have also studied Craniosacral Biodynamics, Kinesiology, Anatomy, Physiology, First Aid, Vision Improvement and Master Classes with visiting teachers.
I am now specialising in Craniosacral Pediatrics in the Biodynamic Field for pre and post natal care and the alleviation of birth trauma in newborns and young children. I work in collaboration with other health care practitioners, including wholistic dentists helping in the treatment of breathing, hearing and jaw related dysfunctions, speech therapists, optometrists, chiropractors, yoga and pilates teachers, and kinesiologists.
I feel humbled and privileged to be able to sit with a client in a deep space of stillness and presence, to listen to the body and work with the Inner Healer to help bring the various parts of the body and being into alignment and wholeness. I support the innate healing ability of the body to find a new state of balance. Healing happens as a consequence of deep stillness.
Siddhartha's Intent Australia workshops, retreats and study groups are conducted by Jakob Leschly. Jakob has been appointed by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche as his resident teacher in Australia. He began his studies of Buddhism in 1974 and has studied with numerous great teachers, particularly Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Dudjom Rinpoche and Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. Jakob completed a three year retreat in 1984 and has since worked as a translator and interpreter as well as a philosophy and meditation instructor, also completing a BA in Tibetan Studies. He now lives with his family in New South Wales and teaches in Australia and New Zealand.
"In my approach, I aspire to be non-exclusive. The purpose of the Buddhist path is to uncover a common heritage of awakening. Growing up multi-lingual and being at home in several cultures, I am aware how ordinary common experiences and truths can be obscured across languages. I wish to share the heart and spirit of Buddhist insights in contemporary terms, and through the practice of meditation. I do not subscribe to the current trend of sanitising Buddhism for modern consumption, and see all aspects of the various Buddhist traditions as having a valid role in uncovering buddha nature". Jakob Leschly
Tabatha Smith is an experienced and passionate yoga and meditation teacher.
Her teaching style is inspired by her study of Vinyasa, Restorative, Iyengar and Yin Yoga. Into her teaching she weaves her experiences with joy, emotions, the senses, instincts and nature.
Tabatha completed her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training with Being Yoga in Brisbane, Australia. She has also studied yoga in India, Oregon and California with a variety of knowledgeable teachers. She has been intensively studying Instinctive Meditation with Lorin Roche and Camille Maurine for three years.
In her classes, privates and workshops Tabatha aims to help students relieve tension and find more ease and pleasure in their bodies. She encourages students to connect with and explore their own innate wisdom. She weaves together yoga and meditation to provide an experience that is rejuvenating and nourishing for the mind, body and spirit.
Simon has been practising and teaching yoga for over 30 years. He is the founder / director of St. Kilda Iyengar Yoga School, Melbourne since 1989 and has been teacher-training many yoga teachers in Australia since 1992. He went on to create the Yoga Gurukul retreat centre in 2005 in the idyllic and beautiful rainforest region of northern NSW. He has been travelling yearly to Pune, India to study many times with our late Guruji BKS Iyengar and also has attend many workshops and classes with Geetaji Iyengar and Prashantaji Iyengar. He teaches all over Australia and internationally, he is a Senior Iyengar Yoga teacher level 3.
In 2016 Simon was awarded a Master Yoga Teacher Platinum certificate by the Yoga Alliance Australia, one of only 6 people in the world have this distinction, celebrating genuine Yoga Masters of our time. In addition to a deep understanding and practice of yoga asana (postures), pranayama, meditation and mantra, Simon has combined his love for chanting with his love for a stratocaster.
Lucy has practiced Yoga for 17 years, teaching for the last 13. She runs regular Yoga Retreats in Bali, India, Japan and Australia, is a senior teacher on Yoga Arts Level 1 & 2 Teacher Training courses, as well as leading workshops and classes internationally.
Her teaching seeks to nourish and enliven body, mind and heart. For the body – both dynamic and restorative yoga asana in a fluid vinyasa style, and guided movement/dance meditations; for the mind – meditation, pranayama, mantra, and the philosophy that binds them all together; and for the heart – sweet music, kirtan, puja, community, and the aspiration to align her life and will as much as possible to that which feels like wisdom and love.
Her long-standing teachers are Louisa Sear, Rose Baudin, nature, silence, relationship, and her beloved guru, South Indian saint Sri Sakthi Amma, who is slowly but surely teaching her what Love is.
Om Namo Narayani!
Vasudha was introduced to yoga at a young age and has developed her own practice over the years under the influence of many inspiring teachers in Australia and overseas.
A qualified music therapist and music teacher, professional singer, musician, sound healing practitioner and poet, Vasudha was naturally drawn to explore Nada Yoga, the yoga of sound. In 2016 she travelled to Rishikesh Nada Yoga School to complete a teacher training. Nada Yogis experience the world as pure vibration that originated from the cosmic sound of Om.
Vasudha is passionate about researching, experiencing and sharing sound based techniques that have healing and integrative effects, leading to increased self awareness, self empowerment and higher consciousness.
Heart Sound Yoga classes are a beautiful opportunity to attune, combining Hatha Yoga, Nada Yoga and Sound Healing. Explore vocal sounds and postures that help energise the body, relax the mind and open the heart. Focus on the breath, refine your awareness and enjoy being immersed in harmonious vibrations.
“ Meditation returns you to the source. And the source of all is sound.” Kabir (mystic poet and nada yogi)
Aesha discovered yoga during a stressful time at work and break-up of a relationship. She found yoga and meditation offered not only deep relief but another way of living life. This led her to enroll in a teacher training in India in1991. Back in New York she started to teach yoga and continued to learn from teachers Cindi Lee of Om Yoga, Sharon Gannon of Jivanmukti, and later discovered Yin Yoga through Paul Grilley.
Aesha’s yoga practice and teaching continues to evolve but at the core is self-enquiry and investigating the nature of reality. Her classes are slow and meditative with a focus on mindfulness and presence. Her calm energy guides students to witness the fluctuations of mind/body phenomena and focus attention in the divine presence of what remains constant.
When she’s not teaching yoga classes, Aesha can be found painting, drawing and making pottery. She is inspired by the beauty of nature.
Aesha also facilitates the popular yearly Bali BlossOM retreats for women combining yoga and creativity.
Lily found Yoga as a teenager and after several years decided to take the leap and follow her dreams of becoming a teacher. She was passionate to find a way of using Yoga to help others the way it had helped her to live a more balanced and full life. She trained at the Byron Yoga Centre, and is a 500hr Yoga and Meditation Teacher in Purna Yoga (a form of Hatha Yoga), meaning integrated or complete. Purna Yoga represents a holistic approach to yoga integrating not just the physical postures but also philosophy, meditation and pranayama breath control.
"I really love Lily’s teaching, her voice takes me to a really calm state and she has helped me to realise and understand what postures are good for my body and how to do them safely. Lily has shown me that using props is really beneficial in my practice. I always leave Lily’s classes feeling relaxed and energised." Jen, Yoga Student