Teachers

Leanne Grothe
Co-Founder

What does yoga mean to you?

Yoga is a way of life for me.  The practices can be incorporated into all aspects of life and it is an incredible journey of exploring, learning and evolving.  It is a whole and complete practice to balance everything physically, energetically, emotional, mentally and spiritually.

 

How did you find your way to yoga?

Yoga found me in my early teenage years as part of my dance school schedule to balance body and mind whilst juggling almost daily dance classes and exam prep with school and homework.  Yoga helped me balance the busyness, grounded me and gave me the clarity I needed to be successful in both school and dancing.  Since then, yoga has always played a big role in my life and I love learning about this beautiful practice.

 

What inspires you as a teacher?

I am inspired by the people around me.  From other yoga teachers who share something that really connects with me, to the yoga students who share their stories about their lives and the impact that yoga has on them, to my friends and family whose love, kindness and support helps to give me all the inspiration I need to step on the mat and be my most authentic self.

Amanda Grondman

What is your favourite asana?

Savasana - this may sound like a joke but I'm serious! I believe it's one of the most important postures we do - it's a time to receive your practice, bringing everything that has happened throughout your class physically, emotionally and mentally allowing it all to soak into your body. 

 

What was your biggest challenge when you first started practicing yoga?

Letting go of the perfectionist inside.  Coming from a gymnastics background I was used to pushing my body to its limits and I had the same mindset while practicing yoga. It was only after some time I was able to allow myself to feel and be in a pose, letting the pose unfold inside me rather that pushing myself into the shape. 

 

What advice would you like to share with anyone stepping on to the mat for the first time?

Be kind to yourself. Start where you are, use what you have and do what you can.

Alechia Megarry

Yoga became Alechia's focus after experiencing the many benefits practice had on the body and mind. Alechia brings to the mat over 30 years of human movement practices through yoga, dance and martial arts training.  Her passion for movement is strong - the place where the mind is most still. 

 

Alechia’s classes encompass all of her past experience and training. Building internal awareness, focus, strength, challenge, fluidity and finding that balance between effort and ease; and most importantly ‘your breath’ in this present moment.

 

Alechia trained at The Australian Yoga Academy 350hr Advanced Diploma and also their 50 hr Vinyasa Certificate, 50hr Yin with Leonie Lockwood.

Continuing to immerse herself in workshops and training to enhance her further understanding of the bodies’ mechanics, movement and physiology.

 

Alechia is passionate about embracing and promoting a healthy body/mind both on and off the mat; and seeking "Sitham Sukam Asanam' - a balance of effort and ease in practice and in life.

Melody Van Baalen
Co-Founder

What is your favourite asana?

I love the feeling of expansiveness I experience when practicing Ardha Chandrasana (half moon pose)  - the opening of my chest and hips as I reach finger tip to finger tip and heel to crown of the head just feels so good in my body and makes me smile!  

 

What's your teaching style?

My classes are usually lighthearted, encouraging students to move in a way that honours their bodies rather than concerning themselves with if they can/can’t ‘nail’ a pose.  Depending on what my heart, body and mind are telling me the practice may be fast and fiery or slow and simple – one thing that remains constant though is my ability to mix up left and right at least once per class!

 

What do you love about teaching yoga?

The opportunity to share with others this practice which has so profoundly impacted my life.  I love being witness to the physical and mental transformations people undergo through the regular practice of asana, meditation and pranayama and every time I step into class, I feel enormous gratitude to the students for allowing me to guide them.

Katherine Donato

What's your teaching style? 

Although I'm traditionally trained in Hatha, I am crazy about challenging my mind and body through movement and totally love to add a spin on familiar asana or vinyasa.  Yoga should be fun! 

 

How did you find your way to yoga? 

18 years ago my father was diagnosed with cancer and later passed away.  Yoga helped me through the pain, the unrecognised emotions, the persistent physical aliments... all a result of grief.  Over time, it truly helped to heal my shattered heart.  

 

What advice would you like to share with anyone stepping on to the mat for the first time?  

I always share with friends and fellow yogis that the practice of Yoga is not easy.  Your mat knows exactly how you are feeling, from the moment you roll it out...it senses you energetically. So, if you are having a bad day or if you are feeling half arsed in your practice or totally not digging the teacher in front of you, YOUR MAT WILL KNOW.  More importantly though, it will never judge you for what you feel or don't feel.  It is truly accepting!  No judgements!

Sometimes at home, I will roll out my mat with the best of intentions but then scoff at it, walk away from it....sit on it for 5mins and pretend to do something... step over it... and then roll it up again and forgive myself as I do so.  He will be there for me tomorrow...

Rachael Richards

What does yoga mean to you? 

Yoga means I get to come home. My mat provides a space for me to explore my body with curiosity, where I feel empowered by my strength and find comfort in my softness. When my mind is busy, when my heart is troubled or if I just need to take a moment and breathe, Yoga continually guides me home.  

 

What is your favourite quote? 

“It was when I stopped searching for home within others and lifted the foundations of home within myself I found there were no roots more intimate than those between a mind and body that have decided to be whole.”
― Rupi Kaur

 

What was your biggest challenge when you first started practicing yoga?

I had some pretty big barriers when I first stepped onto my mat...I had a very young family and was dealing with some serious mental health issues.  Coming from a conservative Christian family I was wary of anything 'Hindu' - incense, crystals, chanting - the list goes on. But most of all, I just didn't think I had the right body for Yoga. Most of the picture representations I saw of Yoga, were of a body type that was different to mine. I remember going to class and rolling out my mat as close to the back as I could.  During class I felt very challenged physically, mentally and emotionally but when class was over, I felt quiet and still - home. That's what keeps me coming back.

Amanda Horkin

What does yoga mean to you?

Yoga to me is a practice of growth, it’s a consistently evolving journey of love, compassion, connection and acceptance to myself and others. Yoga is always teaching me something new, challenging me, guiding me to be more present and in tune with the way I want to live my life.  

 

What keeps you stepping back on to the mat?

It’s the familiar place where I find my inner stillness. It’s my moving meditation where I challenge myself physically and mentally. My time on the mat has offered me so much personal growth and helps keeps me grounded and balanced in the busy day to day.

 

What advice would you like to share with anyone stepping on to the mat for the first time?

That this is the beginning of your own unique journey. The journey of yoga looks different for everyone so don’t compare, just continue to show up for yourself and you will receive the many benefits yoga has to offer.