Meet your Santosha Retreat Instructors…
Twiggy Van Ryan, Surf & Yoga Instructor
Having lived near the ocean my entire life and a keen surfer since the age of 6, I am very grateful to have been offered such an amazing opportunity with Santosha Yoga. I really do feel that adding yoga to my life has been a natural progression and I’m loving the benefits it brings to my surfing and also to my life on a daily basis. I look forward to sharing my experiences and knowledge in the ocean and on the mat with surfers and yogis of all levels and ages. I will endeavor to be of as much help and service whenever and wherever I can. I look forward to meeting you and spending some very memorable moments in the incredible oceans and beaches surrounding the magical Santosha locations!
Lauren Hill, Retreats Manager & Surf Instructor
After undertaking Santosha’s 200 hour YTT training, driven by the desire to share her passions for surfing and yoga, Lauren joined the Santosha team to help manage Santosha retreats and instruct surfing.
Lauren has taught surfing for more than a decade and loves to share the spirit of Aloha with all.
Gina Hewson, Yoga Teacher, Surf Instructor + Captain of Super Yachts
I have been working on superyachts for the past 10 years. Last year i
fulfilled my dream of sailing all the way home from France to Tasmania, in addition captaining the yacht I have put so much time and energy into to the Sydney -Hobart yacht race. My other loves and passions are surfing and yoga!
This year i have taken time off work to reflect on where i am in life.I spent a month surfing in Indonesia surfing and practicing yoga. Both amazing ventures. I know how to read the ocean, how to surf and how to create stillness through the motions of yoga.I love teaching and sharing my knowledge and Santosha and I fit together well because of my foundations in life. I look forward helping you be all you can be and have fun!
Damon Hodge, Surf Instructor
Damon hails from Sydney but grew his sea legs when he moved to Queensland, where he honed his skills on the fun waves in the southeast region. His passion for waves lead him to Tasmania in search for quality, uncrowded surf, and he resides there now, regularly making the journey north to warmer climates to thaw out. Damon was state champion and still competes to stay on his game. It is the journey that’s most important in all aspects of life for Damon, however, and it’s this attitude that he brings to Santosha. His mission is to put a smile on your dial, and he certainly lives by that rule. Damon is well travelled and welcomes your spirit to the healing qualities of our oceans.
Jason Rawnsley, Chef
Jason has been working in Byron Bay for more than 10 years, since he moved from South Australia in search of better surf. He has been involved in several successful restaurants in Byron Bay, the latest being Mokha, a laid-back lounge/café where one can sit and enjoy the Byron life passing by. His philosophy is simple: clean healthy food with an emphasis on contrasting textures, colours and flavours to excite the senses. He is passionate about giving people an exciting experience when they see, smell and taste their food. Jason loves to cook and stay healthy and fit with yoga and surf, so joining Santosha was a natural choice.
Anna Heggie, Yoga Teacher Retreats + Children’s Yoga Teacher
Anna (Annushka) has been doing yoga for over 20 years and is a professional artist and yoga instructor who completed her advanced yoga teacher training with Santosha. Anna wanted to extend her knowledge base and found the study of biomechanics, anatomy and the correction of form in asana, to be particularly beneficial. Her programs have since developed into highly creative and unique sessions where Asana, creative visualisations and Tai-chi style Vinyasas combine in musical synthesis.
Periods of silence and stillness are also incorporated into a mindful approach in Anna’s classes with an emphasis on the breath. Breath awareness becomes an essential focus. Anna’s loving-kindness meditations, chakra balancing visualizations and deep relaxation work wholistically to balance body, mind and spirit. “The balanced harmonisation acknowledges the life-force. By embracing the act of stretching and moving mindfully to the breath with moments of stillness between we connect within to the source.”
As an artist, Anna draws on the creative imagination, interweaving a rich visual tapestry that references both the ancient yogic principles with other Eastern philosophies. Private classes and small group yoga classes are run from her studio. Anna has also teaches Childrens Yoga and Teenagers in Byron.
As a former Santosha student I am now looking forward to becoming part of the Santosha teaching team, sharing the powerful attributes of yoga that simply open the gates in surrender to love, compassion and joy.
Trish McCarthy, Massage Therapist
Trish has always lived on and loved the coast, from Brighton and Inverloch in Victoria to Byron and Lennox Head in NSW. She has practiced yoga for many years and loves to develop her understanding of its many facets, bringing mind, body and soul into health and harmony.
Trish has a background in teaching but has gradually taken her interests in nutrition and massage to a professional level. As part of the Santosha team, Trish uses her skills as a Swedish massage therapist to create a tranquil atmosphere in which her caring hands will nurture and restore your whole body to bliss.
Emi Lizuka, Japanese Translator and Oriental Barefoot Massage Therapist
Emi Iizuka is a Japanese born practitioner who has completed studies of Oriental Barefoot massage, traditionally known as Kalarichikitsa, under Dhanurvedic master Viney Gurukkal in Southern India. Barefoot massage is based on an ancient Indian Martial Art, and was an integral part of the training regime for warriors and athletes ,used to increase their physical capacity and heal training injuries. Sudents who receive massage during their yoga courses will find themselves making enormous gains in flexibility, resilience to injury, reduced muscular pain and abundant energy. Emi’s understanding of dance, martial arts and ki/prana (energy flow) contribute to her ability to apply the powerful, precise strokes and rhythms necessary for this exacting form of massage.