Layananda is a swami of the Dashnami order of Sannyasa. She joined the Satyananda Yoga Movement and was initiated into the Dashnami order by Paramahansa Satyananda Saraswati, Rikhi, India, a modern yoga master. Under his guidance and teachings she lived a disciplined Yogic lifestyle learning and teaching the many varied practices and teachings of Tantra, Yoga and Meditation. After 15 years of ashramic life Layananda moved out into the world, blending a householder life while continuing to delve deeper into her spiritual journey.
Layananda teaches both yoga and meditation in a dynamic and fearless style. Her path is one of transformation beyond the rational mind to a place of peace within. Layananda’s knowledge and experience express both a practical, scientific and esoteric approach to the nature of Yoga and Meditation and with her unique blend of kirtan and music these are powerful tools for change. Laya is honoured to be teaching with Santosha becasue of the founding intentions and integrity Santosha believes in.
Peter Clifford is the founder and principal of Anahata Yoga school, master yoga teacher (E-RYT 500) and pioneer of Elemental Yoga including the Five Element Form. Peter has studied and practiced yoga for forty-eight years. He has had the honour of studying with many wise and knowledgeable teachers in India including Swami Sarasvati, Aghor Sadhu Shankar, TKV Desikachar, AG Mohan and BKS Iyengar.
Combining his study of elemental yoga with a lifelong interest in bio-mechanics, postural integration, anatomy and physiology, Peter has developed a unique, powerful and comprehensive yoga philosophy described as the Dance of Shiva and Shakti. Peter has been involved with the development and teaching of numerous teacher training courses around the world. His teaching style reflects his experience as a household yogi and his classes are joyous, opening and transformational. His intention is to introduce Santosha’s students to the magic of internal yoga and provide them with the ability to apply the philosophy of yoga to all aspects of their daily lives.
Yoga Teacher PA – Student Counselor
As a Santosha RYT-200 (2011) and RYT-500 (2013) graduate, I am honoured to be joining the inspirational yogis and teachers who have united their knowledge and passions to create the Santosha team. Having studied under Sunny and her team of dedicated teachers, I know first-hand the deeply transformative power of undertaking a teacher training through Santosha… and of being welcomed warmly into the Santosha family. I am excited to now be sharing this experience with others, to offer support, strength and smiles along the way. With a background in graphic design, marketing and office management I am so happy to be combining the skills I have gained from my previous positions with my true passion… yoga! I came to yoga – as many of us initially do – for the physical benefits. It was not until my own struggle with depression and anxiety that I realised the deep strength and stillness that a regular yoga practice brings. Since this realisation I have studied and worked to share this gift with others, who may be struggling in different ways along their own path, or who may simply benefit from a regular practice of stilling and calming the mind. As I learn and study more, I am inspired by the healing powers of yoga and meditation. I cannot wait to embark further along this journey and to work with the amazing people Santosha attracts as both students and teachers. We all have so much to give and share. I am looking forward to giving and sharing with you!
Sean has dedicated the last 8 years of his life to the process of self enquiry. It begin with a curiosity of the body and hatha yoga, but with time slowly moved towards the practices of pranyama, meditation and mindfulness in daily life. While living at a yoga school in Thailand for several years, he studied various aspects of the tantric system which provided insights into the chakra system and esoteric concepts of yoga. After several years he participated in a 500 hour TTC course focussing mainly on the meditative aspect of yoga in a system incorporating tantra, kashmir shaivism, sufism, bhakti and advaita vedanta. Since then he has run courses and retreats in Brazil, Mexico, Thailand and his home country, Australia. A main theme has been finding the balance between the East and the West, so while being heavily steeped in the esoteric systems, Sean is also a Physiotherapist. This has allowed him to have a deep knowledge of the body and its anatomy. His teachings remain grounded and applicable to an individuals.
It was the stretching and strengthening component of a dynamic yoga practice that initially drew Tracy to yoga in 2003, but she soon found that the benefits were far reaching, spreading into every aspect of life. Tracy is a level 2 teacher with over 800 hours training in yoga teaching and yoga therapy and has a keen interest in bio-mechanics and its application to postural alignment in asana practice.
Inspired by the more dynamic tradition of Ashtanga vinyasa yoga, Tracy’s teaching style is also influenced by her studies with Simon Borg-Olivier of Yoga Synergy and senior teacher Kate Pell. Her classes are dynamic and enthusiastic with attention to detail in alignment, balanced with patience and a sense of humour which are essential to a yoga practice. Students are encouraged to practise with ahimsa (non-violence and non-harming), listening to their bodies, and gently challenging themselves to enrich their experience. More recently Tracy has been studying yoga therapy with Dr Ganesh Mohan of Svastha Yoga Therapy to enable her to better assist her students with injuries or medical conditions. Yoga truly is for everyone.
Hamid was born in Tehran, Iran, and has lived and travelled in many different countries and has been exposed to different cultures, languages and traditions. He is truly cross-cultural. Hamid has also travelled since many years a spiritual journey to discover meaning and truth. He studied philosophy in Paris and learnt that he was more interested in wisdom and spiritual truth than academic learning. Hamid practiced meditation until he encountered Japanese Zen Master Ryotan Tokuda in 1998. In 2000, he was ordained as a monk and subsequently authorized by his master to teach and pass on the ancient teachings. In 2005 he finished a three year training program in counseling at ETAPE (École des Praticiens de la Psychothérapie) in Nice, France.
Hamid is able to integrate much of Western psychotherapy with Eastern wisdom and meditation traditions. He spends a good part of the year in India and has taught meditation, philosophy and comparative spirituality. His own life experiences have helped him gain empathy towards the difficulties of others. He understands that a trusting and accepting relationship is essential for it is the relationship that ultimately heals. His guidance has proved to be invaluable help for many students who have required personal and professional support to deal with emotional crisis that trainees often experience during intense yoga practice. Hamid is eager and excited about working with Santosha students to create positive change in their lives.
Today a growing number of people are turning to the internet for counseling. Hamid uses both Skype sessions and e-mailing in his work. If Santosha students wish, we can have an initial free counseling session to determine if this is what you are seeking. For spiritual counselling enquiries: Hamid can be contacted on Skype: hamid.ebadi3 and Email: email@example.com
She began practicing Soloman Yogalates in 2000 and was amazed at the gradual improvement that a regular yoga practice focasing on functional movement patterns made to her overall health. She studied the Soloman Yogalates method in 2007 – 2008, and has been teaching weekly classes since then. Since beginning to teach, she has also been studying the Tattwas Shuddhi Sadhana (5 Element Purification) under Peter Clifford. Tracey practices and teaches her classes with joy and gratitude. She feels honoured to be a part of the Santosha team, and to have the opportunity to observe the new paths embarked and ventured upon by others.
As a yoga practitioner and Group Fitness Instructor of 10 years, Sharon was well aware of the wonderful benefits of fitness & yoga for the mind & body, yet became increasingly aware of these benefits during her prenatal & postnatal months with her 1st child. Since then it’s been her passion to share this knowledge with other women to assist them through this amazing chapter in their lives. Sharon teaches Prenatal, Postnatal, Active Birth, Children’s Yoga and Vinyasa Flow classes on the Gold Coast and co-ordinates Teacher Trainings around Australia. Sharon is also an active member of the ‘Australian Birth & Parenting Network ‘ conducting seminars on gentle and natural ways of birthing and parenting. As a registered Yoga Teacher (YTAA) and Fitness Professional (Fitness Australia), certified to teach Prenatal, Postnatal, Active Birth & Children’s Yoga for all ages, she looks forward to sharing her knowledge and passion of yoga with you and is excited to be part of the Santosha Teaching Team!
Liza Lilintahl’s chanting brings a fresh and unique soulful blend of devotional kirtan, infused with modern flavor. She enjoys allowing the spirit to sing through her to get out of the way and facilitate a space for healing, heart-opening , celebration, joy and creative expression. Liza has had the privilege to study with Jai Uttal amongst other kirtan “wallas” and sang and performed in yoga festivals and centers around Europe where she lived for the lats 10 years. Originally from Venezuela, she now lives in Bali where she shares kirtans and songs of devotion around the island. For more information about Liza and her music visit www.lizalilintahl.co.uk
Chara Caruthers has been practicing yoga for more than 18 years. A wanderer by nature she’s traveled, lived, and worked all over the world from Sydney Australia, to New York City to Buenos Aires Argentina and many places in between. Each new place and each new face has solidified her belief in the interconnectedness of all things and the power of yoga to heal body, mind and spirit. As an engineer and corporate consultant she worked for many years with some of the biggest names in the media, banking, and pharmaceuticals industries. Then in 2005 she chose to step away from corporate life and answer the calling to dive further into yoga and Ayurveda. Since then she’s studied with a number of extraordinary teachers of yoga and Ayurveda including David Swenson, John Friend, Richard Miller, David Frawley, and Vasant Lad. Chara holds a Yoga Alliance RYT-500 certification. She is a registered Yoga Therapist (IAYT) and an a professional member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association. “I believe in each of us is the ability to heal body, mind and spirit , allowing us to share the full potential of who we are with our families, community and the world. I love seeing others transformed by the gifts of yoga and Ayurveda , and am thrilled to be able to connect with people from such an authentic place within themselves. Why I teach with Santosha…. Yoga is taking the world by storm. Yoga teachers are at the front lines of the transformation of individuals and communities. They give of themselves freely in support of others awakening to their own gifts. Being a part of the process that transfers knowledge, sparks awareness and catalyzes real change is for me an act of love, self-expression and gratitude, honoring those who came before me and those who will come after. It’s my gift to the world… and to myself.
She has taught and practiced various styles including Iyengar, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and pre and post natal yoga. With a great interest in the many aspects of yoga, Jean has travelled to India several times. She continues to further her study in Anatomy, Ayurveda and Yoga Philosophy. Jean’s Anatomy teaching emphasises core strength and stability. She loves Yoga because it is such an effective system for cultivating awareness, strength & flexibility, at the same time stilling & calming the mind. Jean Campbell has been practicing yoga since 1994. As a qualified yoga teacher, Jean has been running yoga teacher training courses in Australia for the last four years and is currently involved in workshops and teacher training’s both at home and internationally.
In teaching philosophy, he works by developing a narrative that is engaging and stimulating which can cover awide range of topics all geared towards encouraging insight and enquiry. Consta began a yoga practice in 1989 and has since studied various popular forms with many talented teachers. Since 2000 he has worked on various teacher training programmes ranging from teaching asana to philosophy, as a principle teacher to a guest speaker. In the last few years he has worked exclusively in Drug and Alcohol rehabilitation bringing the insights he has developed in yoga practice for the service of others who are in crisis. He believes a yoga practice is worthless unless others benefit from it.
Mark Wali is a Yoga teacher and healing facilitator currently living in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia. Upon completing the Abhyasa Yoga Teacher Training in 2008, Mark has had the privilege of spending over three years living with a self-realized yoga master in a small Balinese village and teaching throughout Asia and Australia. Along with the classical teachings of Yoga, Mark is a student and initiate of Kala Cakra Tantra and Hatha Nava Sanga. All of the teachings he has studied and shares with others are centered in the principles of the Universal Dharma and offered to his Teacher, Family, and for the benefit of all beings. Mark is pleased and privileged to be a part of the Little Great Way www.littlegreatwayyoga.com where he plans to teach the Philosophy and fundamentals of a breath-centered, therapeutic practice of Hatha Yoga. A native of New York City, he now calls the Heart home.
Edo and Jo
Edo and Jo are eclectic Australian kirtan artists and singer-songwriters. Their music creates a magical journey of Eastern mystical mantras expressed in soothing and joyous folk-pop melodies. The marriage of lush vocal harmonies, rapturous rhythms and sweet devotion is like honey droplets for the soul. Their live kirtan is an organic and spontaneous process for emotional release, divine connection and inner-transformation. Edo and Jo are gifted songwriters individually and collectively. Edo Kahn is an award winning musician (APRA song of the year) and has had songs in Film, TV and Radio (with his bands Kahn Brothers and Gelbison). Combined with Jo Mall’s ethereal voice and innate melodic sensibility, the divine duo is a creative force radiating an invitation into love. Dedicated to conscious living and humanitarian works, they lead Kirtan and Sacred Sound Yoga (Nada Yoga Nidra Meditation) at yoga schools, retreats, festivals, yoga teacher trainings, temples, hospitals and orphanages worldwide. Edo and Jo are excited to share their love and experiences with Santosha students,Kirtan Alive CD, a fusion of live kirtan, mantras and soothing chants for yoga, meditation and bhakti bliss is out now www.edoandjo.com.
Paul Vella has been practicing and researching yogic techniques since 1985. He has studied Iyengar, Ashtanga and other forms of hatha yoga and attained a yoga teaching diploma in 1990. Paul has also been a student of the Taoist arts of Tai Chi, Bagua and Chi Kung. Paul has a deep understanding of the great traditions of the yogic arts and is continuously researching, developing and refining his own practice and bringing this knowledge to his role as a teacher on the Santosha yoga teacher trainings.
Kester & Nadia Marshall
This husband and wife team are the Managing Directors of the Mudita Institute, an Australian-based education and training organisation established to teach people the fundamental practices of Ayurveda and Buddhist Psychology, to live their lives with greater peace, joy and wisdom. Kester is an Ayurvedic Naturopath specialising in women’s and children’s health. He has run a successful health clinic for over 15 years in South Australia and more recently in Northern NSW and Qld. Originally trained as a Naturopath and Western Herbalist, Kester has studied Ayurvedic Medicine through the American Institute of Vedic Studies, the Australasian Institute of Ayurvedic Studies (A.I.A.S) and the Ayurvedic Research Institute in Pune, India. Kester is also a black belt in the Japanese martial art of Aikido and has practiced yoga for many years. Nadia is an Ayurvedic Consultant, Yoga Teacher, Professional Writer and Author of the Ayurvedic food and lifestyle course, “AGNI: Building a Strong Digestive Fire” and the Ayurvedic cookbook, “WARMTH”. She has practiced yoga for over a decade, predominantly in the Shadow style and began teaching in 2006. The two are both formal students of Zen Teacher and Spiritual Director of the Mudita Institute, Sensei Michael Doko Hatchett. Through the Institute, they run educational and experiential retreats teaching a confluence of Ayurveda, Buddhist Psychology, Meditation and Yoga. They wholeheartedly agree with Santosha’s emphasis on integrating Yoga and Ayurveda into daily life and are delighted to be part of the teaching team.
Dr Sandip Sawant
Being born and brought up in a Goan village, nature was part of my life since early days. Seeing my Grandfather- a Traditional Healer, treating patients with the freshly prepared herbal medicine developed curiosity about nature & natural medicine and hence that was my first tryst with Ayurveda. After doing my initial schooling, I was obviously attracted towards the stream of Ayurveda and completed Four & half years of B.A.M.S (Bachelor in Ayurvedic Medicine & Surgery) Degree with Merit from Goa University in the year 2003. This was followed by 1 year strenuous internship in Ayurveda Hospitals as well as renowned Practioners from Goa and nearby. To understand the nuances of Panchakarma Therapy, I did a Course in Panchakarma under the world Renowned Panchakarma Specialist from Dhulia, Maharashtra Vaidya.P.T.Joshi. With the bag full of knowledge and experience gathered by meeting the experts in the field of Ayurveda, started my Panchakarma Clinic in the year 2005. Presently associated with Sandu Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and Sandu Ayurvedic Spa & Wellness Centre for past 5 years as well as Ayurclinic Goa since it’s inception. Happily Married to Dr.Jyoti also an Ayurvedic Doctor and presently managing our Ayurveda Clinics in Bicholim & Sanquelim, I am blessed with a sweet Daughter ‘Shaivee’
Through Classical Ballet, Kanako developed body awareness and the joy of using her body in expressive art, which led her to discover Yoga and Pilates. In order to cope with the hectic city life in Tokyo, she practiced yoga at home and attended classes and workshops with different teachers; however, it was when she first came to Byron bay that her real journey had begun. Since then she received training in Solomon Yogalates and in Ishta System with Rachel Zinman. She has also been studying 5 Element Form as part of apprenticeship with Peter Clifford for more than 4 years. She has worked internationally in many teacher trainings, retreats and workshops as both interpreter and assistant teacher since 2007. She is excited to join Santosha as sharing yoga is her passion and she always learns a lot from the students and feels honored to be part of their journey.
Wahyu has the ability to use a range of mobilities in his headings such as Chinese, Thai, and Javanese techniques to allow the client to reach their optimum health goals. He has been practicing for many years and is dedicated to helping others in life. Wahyu is honored to meet all the Santosha students and looks forward to helping as much as he possibly can.
Sarah has a deep belief in the transformative power of yoga and its ability to bring health, balance, peace and above all joy to her own life and the lives of those around her. She is excited and honoured to have the opportunity to share this journey with Santosha Yoga students Sarah has been practicing hatha yoga for more than ten years and has studied a number of styles including Iyengar, Ashtanga and vinyasa flow. Sarah completed yoga teacher training in Nasik, India, in 2006 and Anahata Yoga teacher training (RYT 200) in 2011. Sarah is a highly experienced teacher with a lot to share.
Anna came to yoga in her late teens looking for a source of energy and inspiration. Anna has continued to draw on yoga to navigate her life path. Anna completed her Level 1 Teacher Training with Santosha in 2009 and feels so blessed to have shared this experience with some beautiful women who she now call s her best friends. Anna currently lives in a little beach village on the Northern NSW coast, where she practises yoga and plays with her dog on the beach every morning. Professionally, Anna is an accredited Exercise Physiologist and runs a small private practise, using exercise as medicine, to assist people to achieve optimal health and wellbeing. Anna also teaches yoga classes in the local community. Working with and for Santosha has been a natural flow of energies, and Anna feels blessed to be part of something she is passionately connected to with an application of knowledge beyond her years.
Stella Pretty has been practising yoga since 1997. She studied a 6-month course in Teaching Yoga in Byron Bay, then continued her teaching studies in a Hatha Yoga Apprenticeship (over 2 years) with Peter Clifford, and now continues studies in anatomy & nutrition. Stella believes yoga opens your heart to your true potential giving you the power and freedom to create your life with awareness. Stella teaches a balanced mix of Hatha, Vinyasa & the 5 Element Form, encouraging the development of an individual practise that continues off the yoga mat into everyday life. Stella is pleased to teach at Santosha and in the Byron/Mullumbimby area.
Daria discovered Traditional Thai massage in 2003 during her extended visit in Thailand. She soon fell in love with the diversity and the deep stretching involved in the massage, realizing how the body would respond to it feeling energized and relaxed at the same time. Never forgetting her Italian background she decided to move to Australia over 7 years ago and she then certified in 2009 as a *Thai Massage Therapist*. Since then Daria, naturally talented and passionate, has been practicing Traditional Thai Massage. Moving through space with energy, fluidity, balance, rhythm, breath and touch, uses her knowledge and intuition , combined with precise balance and weight , to sends energy freely along the Sen pathways, removing tension and facilitating a healthy physical, mental and spiritual balance.
Sid Sidhamo is the Director and founder of the Unity International School of Massage. Sidhamo is a senior teacher of Ayurvedic Yoga massage, an accredited yoga teacher (RYT-200) and Certified teacher of the Five Element Form. “I love to share Ayurvedic Yoga Massage, Yoga and the Five Element Form. I am in love with the Great Spirit and everything in my life, I see the divine in everything. This is my eleventh year sharing and growing as a man, human and facilitator.” Santosha allows me to teach what I believe in.
Carla has worked with Santosha on yoga teacher training’s delivering raw and living food models and modelling asana. She has been the raw food chef for retreats at Seecreek. She enjoys the organic-ness of working with Santosha and the way that Santosha gives students a base of solid knowledge and the space to evolve through their own yoga journey both on and off the mat. Carla became interested in yoga when she was in Bangkok living the expat lifestyle and indulging in ‘booze hagdom 101’. Self confessed P.E dropout, she found tranquility and grace from competitiveness in her own yoga practice. Miraculously yoga offered a haven from the million thoughts that ran through her head as a busy primary school teacher. Weight melted off, and she became interested in the magic of raw and living foods. She checked out for a year and undertook travel and study in holistic health, raw and living foods and yoga. She travelled through the USA and Australia, enjoying old friends and making new ones. Her sharing of Yoga and incorporating raw and living foods into everyday diets has taken her to Cambodia, Thailand and the UK. She has been blessed with an array of wise and beautiful yoga teachers each who has transformed her practise. Passionate about having a balance in life, she is focused on bringing more space and flow to her thoughts, and interactions while embracing the moment. Moving on from Primary school teaching she has set up a studio in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Born and raised in Slovakia I first came in contact with yoga through a yoga book which my mother bought. We moved to Germany when I was 12 years old. Every now and then I use to look at the pictures and think to my self: “thats just insane, I will not be able to do this stuff“. So I began to practice some breathing. A decade later a friend of mine took me along to a Yoga studio in Munich and from the first day on I knew that yoga is what I want to do the rest of my life! The practice was based on Pattabhi Jois’s astanga yoga but also included pranayama, theory and regular kirtans. In 2007 I decided to travel Australia for an extended period of time. It was in Byron Bay that I met Peter Clifford and I was fortunate enough to stay in Byron and to study (as a apprentice) with Peter from 2008 on. Peter also took me along to assist at Santosha teacher trainings. Through Peter and his previous experience with TKV Desikachar I became more and more interrested in the tradition of Krishnamacharya. As Krishnamacharya was THE teacher of all well known teachers today. In 2009 I started my studies in Chennai at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram and since then I am commited to the principles of Viniyoga of Yoga . My practice evolved into much more than I ever was able to immagine. One of my strengths is the work with the breath. I also like to work one on one with clients and students as I am convinced that individual work/training is most beneficial.
Barbara has been practising Yoga Nidra herself for many years on a daily bases. She has conducted hundreds of classes and workshops on Yoga Nidra as well as many teacher training courses in Europe. Barbara is the author of a German bestselling book on Yoga Nidra as well as many CDs. She is currently living on the Gold Coast with her family and is very happy to share all her knowledge and experience.
Lily Stokely was born and raised in Hayfork, California; a small town in the northern mountains near the Oregon border. Recently graduated from the University of California Berkeley after studying nutritional sciences, she has since completed the Santosha yoga teacher training in Australia and lived the remainder of the year in Byron Bay, Australia enjoying teaching yoga and beach life. Lily is currently traveling throughout South East Asia until the end of the year furthering her yoga studies, volunteering, and exploring new cultures. She will return home to California to complete a doctorate in Naturopathy at the start of the year. Lily hopes to start a private practice in Naturopathy and women’s health center, focusing on a holistic approach in preventative medicine and aiding women to find a balanced and happy life through yoga, intuitive eating and exercise, and creating a safe space to find positive communities to empower other women.
Yoga has not only taught Ingrid how to heal herself with asana and meditation, but also to connect with her heart and embrace the present moment to accept, love and forgive herself and others completely. These are the gifts she loves to share with the world as a yoga teacher. Completing her 500HR yoga studies with Santosha in Bali and India, Ingrid turns to many sources for inspiration, especially nature. She believes in the interconnectedness of all living things and is always looking for ways to bring nature into my life – she loves practicing outdoors and dreams of establishing regular yoga sessions in parks around Sydney. A freelance graphic designer, photographer & yoga teacher, Ingrid takes care of Santosha’s website, social media, communications & marketing.
Hiromi’s strong interest in Indian Philosophy led her to travel many countries including India from 2002 – 2005. In 2005 Hiromi taught Yoga at a Hot Yoga studio in Japan for three years and In 2008 Hiromi travelled to Australia and studied with Santosha Yoga and acquired her RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) certificate at the 200 hr. Hiromi then travelled back to India again to practice Ashtanga Yoga under Sharath Rangaswamy at Mysore, India. During this time Hiromi fulfilled her interest in Ayurvedic Massage and gained her Ayurvedic Massage Cerification.
Hiromi has found herself back in Japan and is currently teaching Hatha Yoga. She really enjoys this life and wishes to grasp as many opportunities to meet people who are like minded and connected through yoga. Hiromi believes that Yoga will bring you all the beauty in the world and allow your heart to be full of love. Yoga allows you to place things into perspective so you may focus on what is really important. To spread a joy of yoga she has chosen to walk with Santosha.
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.