Leah is the Collective studio owner and teacher. She is a passionate yogi, human rights activist and storyteller, dedicated to strengthening human connection both on and off the mat. She is an Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga teacher and eternal student to the practice who has shared her love of yoga with men, women and children in London and Australia, as well as with marginalised communities including refugee women and the elderly. She found her spot on the mat more than 10 years ago, drawn in by the holistic linking of the mind, body and soul and has been mentored by Mardi Bell (former owner of the Collective), as well as Joy Kunkanit from Thailand and Ricardo Martin from Venezuela who are trained in Ashtanga and Rocket yoga.
During Leah’s classes, she teaches from the Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Hatha traditions (catered for all experience levels), guiding you through the movement of the postures, linking the breath, the drishti (point of gaze) and the body’s bandhas (energy locks). Combining a dynamic flow of movement with relaxation, you will learn to better understand who you are and how you connect with the world.
Her storytelling social enterprise Freethinker Co. is a collaborative partner of the Collective, offering workshops and events on how to strengthen human connection for the greater social good off the mat at the studio. See our events page.
Mardi gained her teacher accreditation in 1992 and has continued her studies in different Yoga traditions both in Australia and Internationally with Yoga Masters: Simone Borg-Oliver Australia (Anatomy & Physiology). Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois Mysor India (Ashtanga). Clive Sheridan India (Hatha). Rodney Yea Australia (Iyengar). Shandor Remit Australia (Iyengar). Donna Farhi New Zealand (Vinyasa). David Life New York (Jivamukti). Manjui Jois Bali (Ashtanga) David Swenson India (Ashtanga). Twee Meridan Australia (Flow Yoga), Shiva Rea Bali (Flow Yoga).
Mardi has taught both nationally and internationally, gaining her teaching experience in both Hatha, Ashtanga and Vinyasa traditions in New Zealand, Bali, Nepal, India and Bhutan.
On the first Saturday of each month, Mardi leads a 3 hour Mysore Ashtanga Yoga Practice in the tradition of her teacher, Pattabhi Jois. Mardi also teaches a 6 week Pre-Natal Course, and Holistic Birth Preparation Workshops, sharing her experience of yoga as an aid to pregnancy and the birthing journey. Her intention is to support woman to embrace their unique experience, prepare themselves physically, mentally and emotionally, and to ultimately embrace the courage to birth their family.
Nana discovered Yoga in 1999 when she joined a Hatha class in Sydney. She was challenged beyond her expectations and stuck with Yoga ever since. She practiced Hatha, Iyengar, Ashtanga and Vinyasa Yoga for several years in Australia as well as in Europe.
In August 2014, Nana became a certified Yoga Teacher with Yandara Yoga. In May 2015, she trained at Byron Yoga to attain her level 2 teacher training. Her teaching experience has been with beginner groups and individuals, teaching introductory and gentle yoga. She has also enjoys teaching people with a physical challenge and the elderly.
Jeannie’s yoga practice began growing up in the foothills of Byron Bay. Here she also trained in classical and contemporary ballet. Finding a passion for music later she became an electronic music producer and D.J, founding her own record label. This took her on many travels around the globe, sharing her love for music and dance and helping many others to fall in love with movement through music.
Jeannie was blessed with a pathway to yoga teaching training through an internship with Sandy Delgado (Savvy Soul Yoga U.S.A) and Samantha Bijok at Austral Yoga. Samantha and Jeannie are sisters and it was because of her constant love and encouragement that she finally came back to yoga and now to teach others this way of healing. Jeannie teaches Vinyasa Flow, Vinyasa Power, Pranayama, Yoga Nidra and meditation, using music and mantras as sound therapy throughout class. Focusing on breath, creating freedom through movement, restoring strength and flexibility, Jeannie’s intention is to help others find peace, internal strength and wellbeing … with a dash of music and a whole lot of Aum!
Diana helps both kids and their parents and caregivers discover an emotionally empowered practice so they can feel more joy in relationship with themselves and each other. After receiving an ‘At Risk of Redundancy Notice’ by her 10 year employer, Diana knew it was time to serve others as she long desired. During her last week of corporate employment she serendipitously stumbled upon her first Rainbow Yoga Teacher Training. As a mother herself, she was in awe of the power of connection she witnessed between families, completed Level II Rainbow Kids 300 HRS, and founded Yoyful. Diana serves as a Connection Coach, teaching and support-ing families about connection and relationships on and off the mat.
Simone began her yoga journey in 1996 and from her very first practice, experienced a transformation in her well being and happiness. Realising how Yoga can bring vitality and great health benefits to the body and mind, Simone chose go devote her life to the study and practice of yoga. She has studied under Mardi Bell, Trevor Tangye (former student of the late B.K.S Iyengar-Iyengar Yoga), the late Sri K Pattabhi Jois in Astanga Yoga and current student of Shandor Remete-Shadow Yoga. Simone draws her teaching from her own personal practice, from her study of the Yoga scriptures along with ayurveda (the sister science to Yoga) and from the guidance of her senior teachers. Her classes are based on the Hatha Yoga tradition. She focuses on the vinyasa system, which emphasises the correct order of progression to introduce the asanas. We start with the basics and build upon them. With each and every person being a unique individual, Simone works with her students to help them establish a lifestyle and practice to benefit their personal needs.
After promising a friend for 6 months that she would join her for a yoga class in Sydney then running out of feeble excuses as to why she was not living up to these promises, a vague sense of guilt finally brought Phiona to the mat for the first time in 2004. Phiona was thrilled to discover that she left that first class with a profound feeling of euphoria and peacefullness. As she floated out of the yoga studio, Phiona knew that she had found an incredible spiritual practice and she has been a keen student of hatha yoga ever since. In 2006, Phiona completed her Bikram’s teacher training in Los Angeles and went on to teach at her home studio in Brookvale under the guidance of her beloved teacher and mentor Jodie Petersen. Phiona has been teaching Bikram’s and Hatha Yoga for 11 years. Her teaching and personal practice centre on somatic observation in which focusing on the physical sensations of the body during asana creates states of deep meditation that transcend the limitations of everyday consciousness. Phiona encourages students to surrender their minds to the observation and acceptance of the here and now without judegement or self-criticism; to focus and rejoice in the feelings of physical manifestation such as muscles stretching and contracting, the heart beating and the lungs filling and emptying. Phiona is a two time Australian asana champion and has represented Australia three times in world asana championships. She has been teaching advanced asana postures for many years, has coached people for asana championships and has a strong technical understanding of asana techniques and alignment.
Lou has a BSc in Psychology and has been practicing yoga for 20 or so years. “I have a passion for yoga, meditation, psychology and philosophy; my studies will never be complete.” Lou has trained with the Byron Yoga Centre in Purna/Hatha yoga, Rainbow Kids Yoga, Sarah Powers Insight Yoga (yin and meditation) and Maria Kirsten (Remedial Yoga) and the journey continues. Lou is English born but has now spent half of her life in England and half in Australia. She has 2 teenagers who are the light of her life, she loves nature, laughter and sharing a positive energy with all beings.
As well as loving yoga, Suzi is a Mental Health Nurse, a mum of two beautiful kids, an avid gardener and a surfer. In her daily work, she sees the detrimental effects of lifestyle choices, life events and everyday stress on people mentally, emotionally and physically. Teaching yoga offers an empowering opportunity to expand on ways to help people strengthen, heal and grow. Suzi has practised yoga over the last 20 years and trained with Tara Fitzgibbon Byron Yoga Centre and Sarah Powers Insight Yoga and Mysan Sidbo from The Sanctuary. Teaching is such a privilege, one that Suzi is grateful for every day. She looks forward to sharing this powerfully healing practice with you this month at our monthly Yin workshop.
Philip has been curating spiritual experiences internationally over the last 25 years. Recently he and his wife Susan started The Gathering Cloud; monthly groups that meet in homes in NSW and QLD. These practice based gatherings focus on communing with a higher power, and being community to one another; that we are created from love, for love.
Through practices such as Centering Prayer, Breathe Prayer, Divine Gaze and other forms of contemplative spiritual disciplines, that we can experience life from our divine indwelling connected to the universal divine, be transformed through participation, and operate from a collective unitive consciousness based on love, rather than the hyper-individuation that society has brought.