Our Teaching Team

Meet your Santosha Yoga instructors

Our team of yoga professionals are without doubt amongst the most experienced and qualified in the world. They boast extremely diverse backgrounds and all share one common passion: helping others achieve balance in their lives by finding inner-peace and contentment which allows them to see true beauty in the everyday, and appreciate life for all it has to offer and live it to the fullest!

Sunny Richards

sunny-richardsSunny is the founder and director of Santosha and holds a Yoga Alliance ERYT-500 accreditation. Devoting her life to Santosha which was born from a dream to create a sacred place for healing, transformation and to awaken the incredible potential of happiness. Sunny teaches and supports her student’s journey from the heart. She allows students to find their inner-truths and come to an understanding of their own body’s abilities and strengths through their connection to their breath. Sunny believes wholeheartedly in being a guiding light for others so she may shine the way, and importantly she believes that a guide of Yoga should live a life that is transparent for all to see. In essence, this is what was upheld by Patanjali and is reflected in the Sutras and found in the first two Paths on the eightfold path of Yoga; the Yamas and Niyamas. Sunny states “If we can not be it, we can not teach it”. Sunny’s passion is to teach and share her knowledge. She dedicates herself to studying, learning, and practicing. She feels that self-practice is the key which allows the transference of what she learns from others to become her teachings. This combination of practice and study through dedication and devotion has assisted Sunny to gain some understanding of the art and science of Yoga and to apply this appropriately in Asana, Pranayama, Mantra and Meditation for the different levels of students she has the privilege to share the teachings with. A strong strength of Sunny’s is to present the teachings in an accessible way for her students. Her down-to-earth nature and belief that life should never be taken too seriously means that a sense of play and fun is the foundation of what she encourages in life, so that what we do is done with passion and honesty. As a result, Sunny’s teachings are lively and humorous. Sunny loves what she does, life and all it brings, her family, her friends and is so thankful for her teachers and for the opportunities that allowed her to create Santosha. Sunny welcomes you all with an open heart filled with love and a smile. She considers all who walk through Santosha doors as family and promises to be available to her students throughout her life whenever needed.

Words from students:

“I’ve never known a person name to suit them so well! You are the warmest, friendliest, most down to earth person I have possibly met. What you do is remarkable! I can only imagine the energy you give to create such a wonderful Yoga Teacher program. You have so much love bursting out of you and you give so much to the students. Your honesty, open candor and knowledge is such an incredible quality I only hope I can take a leaf out of your book. Thank you for all you do and you give” – Jehan

“Sunny you are such an amazing woman and a great teacher. You have taught us so much about life and Yoga. You inspire so many and through each of us there will be positive change in this world. Thank you Sunny.” – Milo

“Sunny I am so proud to be one of your students and no words can fully express my gratitiude for an amazing experience . You are an incredible teacher and woman. Much love” – Saeko

“Sunny I can not begin to describe how much I appreciate your passion for Yoga and guiding others. I learnt so much from you and I am now a new person. Everything you have done for us in this course has come straight from your heart. Your smile and bright energy is contagious in the best way possible” – Lily

Layananda

layanandaLayananda 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

peter-cliffordPeter 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.

Jennie Donehue

Yoga Teacher PA – Student Counselor

jennie-donehueAs 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!

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