Yoga helps us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.
Yoga Instructor / Accupuncturist
Milly has had a lifelong interest in all aspects of health and wellbeing. As well as being a yoga teacher and co-owner of Illuminate Yoga Studio with her husband Brad, she is also a Registered Acupuncturist and co-owned Fertile Ground Health Group, a multidisciplinary natural medicine practice in Melbourne for 14 years.
She has been practicing yoga for 20 years – a constant passion among life’s many changes and challenges. She began her teaching journey in the Iyengar tradition in 2010 but those challenges and changes swung her off course and she finally qualified as a Hatha and Yin yoga teacher in 2015.
These core influences shape her teaching style which seeks to develop her students understanding of yoga, their own body, health and wellbeing. Her classes aim to find the balance between building physical and mental strength, flexibility and resilience with developing open hearted compassion for self and others through gentleness, softening and letting go. Her favourite saying is: “You don’t have to be good at yoga for yoga to be good for you!” Her other favourite saying is: “Don’t let perfect get in the way of done.”
Lee began practicing yoga in 2002 at the Iyengar Yoga Institute in London to aid his running program. The process of spiritual evolution through the precise physical alignment, movement and breathing techniques of Iyengar Yoga instantly captured him. He has had a daily yoga and meditation practice ever since. In 2005 he began the three-year program to become an Iyengar Yoga teacher at the Clifton Hill Yoga Studio in Melbourne, and taught there for over six years until 2012. He has practiced yoga with senior teachers from Australia, England, India and the US, including Geeta Iyengar.
Lee has an empathetic quality to his teaching. His classes focus on the key technical aspects that flow through various groups of yoga poses. He is a firm believer in building the knowledge and enquiry of each student to facilitate them cultivating their own independent practice.
Lucy began practicing in her late teens in an effort to find an alternative method for dealing with an ongoing medical condition. She found the integration of whole body and mind through asana, pranayama and meditation incredibly effective. Having practiced extensively in the Iyengar system and Vinyasa Flow, Lucy completed her Advanced Diploma of Yoga Teaching with the Australian Yoga Academy in 2013 and her Post Graduate Yoga Teacher Training with Ihana Yoga in 2016. Lucy has also completed training with renowned Ana Davis of Bliss Baby yoga. Lucy is a qualified and registered pre- and post-natal yoga teacher, and currently welcomes pregnant women into her General and Back To Basics classes.
With a strong focus on safe and healthy movement patterns and solid anatomical understanding, Lucy believes that yoga should be accessible to everyone, regardless of age or ability. With an emphasis on graded variations of poses so that all can participate, Lucy emphasises the importance of safety and alignment, always working with and respecting the body we have.
See more about Lucy and her work www.lucyjames.net
Yoga Instructor / Yoga Therapist
Simone began practicing yoga on a regular basis in 2002, after the birth of her first son. It provided some balance at a time of what seemed relative chaos. Through regular yoga practice she felt calmer, stronger and more able to cope and also began to connect with a deeper part of herself.
In 2009-2010 Simone completed a 12 month course with Vitality Yoga Teacher Training Academy in Bendigo, where she began to understand and experience the richness of yoga. In 2010, Simone commenced studies with the Australian Institute of Yoga Therapy, graduating as a Yoga Therapist in 2011. Simone has also completed Prenatal Yoga Training with Janice Clarkefield, two intensive courses with Donna Farhi and an Adrenal Healing Workshop with Leigh Blashki.
Simone teaches in a way that encourages enquiry and cultivates individual awareness. Yoga has something to offer everyone regardless of age or ability. It can balance, strengthen, heal and help us to realise our potential.
Yoga Instructor / Yoga Therapist
Jo and her family moved to Kyneton in 2002 from Melbourne. Jo began to practice yoga as a way to bring some calm into her life after having her second child. She has a passion for yoga and a belief that yoga is something that everyone can experience regardless of abilities and limitations. In 2011 Jo graduated as a Yoga Therapist with the Australian Institute of Yoga Therapy and believes that our various abilities need to be honoured in our practice of yoga. She believes that yoga helps people to realise that we don’t need to strive to be anything other than who we truly are.
Jo’s classes are varied with an emphasis on the breath to guide movement and to keep focus. They involve asana (postures), pranayama (breath work), relaxation and meditation. She has undertaken courses with Donna Farhi, Leigh Blashki and Edna Reinhart (children’s yoga), and is currently teaching yoga to adults and children in Kyneton and Woodend.
Fiona was introduced to Iyengar yoga 30 years ago and has been a dedicated student ever since. Her practice supported her through two pregnancies, the challenges of balancing career and family, and coping with all life’s ups and downs. In her 50s, she felt ready to take on yoga teaching, and completed her Iyengar yoga certification in 2013. Since then, Fiona has visited India three times to study at the Iyengar Institute and with other senior Iyengar teachers.
Fiona currently splits her time between Melbourne and Bullarto South. While in Melbourne, she continues to attend advanced-level classes and workshops with senior Iyengar teachers, teaches workplace yoga, and takes part in a volunteer teaching program for refugees and asylum seekers. Life in Bullarto South is about living in the bush, being part of a small community, growing food and flowers, and having time for her yoga practice.
“Teaching allows me to grow in my understanding of yoga, and give back, in return for all the benefits yoga gives to me.”
Renata began practising Iyengar yoga more than 30 years ago, whilst studying dance. During her career as a dancer, which took her to many countries, she continued to learn and advance her yoga practice working with a variety of teachers. Arriving in New York in 1999 she had her first experience Vinyasa yoga and it wasn’t long before she was teaching her first class. Vinyasa flow resonated with Renata immediately. The classes involve movement which is synchronized to the breath and the poses are connected together in a smooth motion, becoming like a dance.
Renata’s classes could be described as dynamic yet gentle, progressing through differing sequences and enabling her to cater to a wide range of levels. Safely, she builds up her students’ bodies toward final more challenging poses. Although Renata takes her yoga seriously, there is always an element of play in her classes.
Yoga Instructor / Meditation Teacher
Whilst having dabbled in Yoga over many years the last five years has seen Brad embrace Yoga with the same passion that he has Music and Meditation making it another of the corner stones of a healthy and fulfilling life.
Brad brings qualifications in Hatha and Yin Yoga teaching and his extensive practice of meditation in Buddhist and Yogic traditions to his roles as Director, Yoga Teacher and Meditation Guide at illuminate.
Brad’s overriding philosophy is one of ‘self compassion’ believing that accepting who we are in this place and at this time is always the first step to greater peace of mind and ultimately to happiness.
After Ellen’s very first yoga class in 2001 in Santa Cruz, CA she ran straight up to the teacher and asked how it worked. How did a 90 minute class calm her anxious mind and make her feel so…good? But it wasn’t until her second yoga class years later in Sydney that she really became hooked. From that point on, the one constant in her life has been her yoga mat as she’s moved between London, California and Australia.
Ellen completed her 200 hour Integrative Yoga Therapy teacher training through Aloha Yoga Shala (now the Soma Yoga Institute) in Hawaii during 2013. The training offered a solid foundation in hatha yoga – including alignment based vinyasa flow and restorative yoga within a therapeutic framework.
An eternal student of yoga, Ellen is not an adherent to any specific style. She is grateful to have studied with a number of senior teachers from different backgrounds including Leila Sadeghee (Anusara) and Catherine Harper-Tee (Ashtanga/Vinyasa Flow).
Ellen believes yoga is for everybody and hopes to share what she’s learned so far in answer to her initial question after her very first class – how yoga works.
Merinda began her yoga journey in 1989 when she ventured into an Iyengar class in St Kilda. It was then that she knew Yoga would be her companion as she journeyed through life. Merinda immersed herself in study and practice. She is blessed to have practiced and studied in both Australia and the United States. Initially practicing Ashtanga Yoga, Merinda then studied Yoga Teacher Training and Yoga Therapy in 2013 with Australian Yoga Academy (500hrs) and again in 2016 in San Francisco, Lotus Vinyasa Flow at Laughing Lotus (200hrs).
Merinda’s love of yoga is a testimony to her incredible teachers. Amanda Stead (Melbourne Ashtanga Yoga), Melanie McIntosh (AYA), Matthew Sweeney (Ashtanga, Yoga Temple, Bali), Jasmine Tarkeshi (Lotus Vinyasa Flow, San Francisco), Jason Crandell (Vinyasa Yoga Method, Love Story, San Francisco), Jason Bowman (Vinyasa Flow, Yoga Tree, San Francisco). She has also attended workshops with Nicky Knoff and Simon Borg-Olivier in Australia.
Merinda’s approach to teaching is influenced by the wisdom of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, the father of Ashtanga Yoga… “yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory”. Her classes foster breath awareness through movement (Asana). This sweet and sacred connection nourishes the soul and calms the nervous system, cultivating strength and softness as the body unfolds with devotion to the practice…. “practice, practice, practice and all is coming” ~ Sri K. Pattabhi Jois.
Merinda is also an Interior Architect and Designer. Yoga informs all facets of her life, on and off the mat. Her business The SoulFull Home, embodies Merinda’s values and passion for yoga and meditation, empowering and teaching planet-loving, curious Householders to “Live SoulFully, Consume Mindfully, Design Beautifully”.
Lz (Liz) Dunn loves to move in all directions. She also loves to play and includes both these things in her practice as an artist and a teacher. Over the past 10 years Lz has worked with children and young people running art workshops in schools and galleries as well as making performances around Melbourne, Australia and internationally. She trained in Vinyasa yoga through Gertrude St Yoga Studio in Melbourne, 2017 and now lives in Castlemaine with her family.
Lz is inspired by spending time with young humans and is very excited to be taking the little yogis class this year.