My journey into wellbeing
I am driven to understand people and how we are all unique individuals yet interconnected in amazing ways.
Being fascinated by human movement, in 1986 I graduated in Exercise Science and worked as an Exercise Specialist in Corporate Health Programs, as well as set up and managed Health Spas in Sydney CBD and Hayman Island.
The next phase of my life I not often talk about yet when looking back, it had the most profound influence on my emotional maturity and understanding of the world. In 1996, I left all the comforts of home, my family and friends, the security of a job, and took off with my best friend (now husband) on an overland bicycling journey to France. Yes everyone thought we'd gone mad! After 20 months and 16 countries, and many deep breaths, I had come to realize that growth is always a voyage into the unknown.
Along the way, I spent some time studying in an Iyengar Yoga Ashram in Rishikesh, India and knew that Yoga had a place in my heart. I visited sacred sites like Borobudur, The Ganges, The Schwedagon Pagoda, and learnt to meditate in Sunnataram Forest Monastery in Thailand. I came home with a mind that was ready to learn and share.
Wanting to understand the mind behind the body, I went on to explore Eastern Medicine, and began my Healing Arts practice. I studied Tui Na Chinese Massage with Master Zhang Hao and experienced the philosophy of the Tao, and the mind-body connection. I remember the profound realisation when Zhang said:
'with each breath, you take in the whole universe, and breathing out you exchange yourself'
This was also reinforced with Lilian Rytt, my Shiatsu teacher in Sydney. In 1998 I studied and practised Vipassana Meditation at Dhamma Bhummii in the Blue Mountains, and experienced a deep coming home within myself. It was also the beginning of my mindfulness practice.
Vipassana, which means 'to see things as they really are', led me into the world of Yoga.
I began teaching Yoga in 1998 and undertook Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training, the Yoga of awareness, taught by a mentor, Gail Pisani, from the Saraswati tradition. During the course, I was mentored by Turiya Yoga teacher Megan Jones, who continues to be a source of inspiration to me. I joined the professional Yoga community, and continue my interest in evidence-based Yogic studies provided at Satyananda Yoga Ashram, The Yoga Institute and Enlightened Events.
I have been fortunate enough to be a long-term student of Sue Ehinger, the Director of The Australian School of Reflexology. I continue my post-graduate Reflexology studies with international presenters and amazing interstate practitioners like Leanne Moore, an Ayurvedic Reflexologist who has taught me the Padaveda method.
I have recently completed a 750 hr postgraduate certificate in Mindful Yoga Therapy with Sal Flynn, Louise Godfrey, Annette Louden in the Krishnamacharya tradition and have become the first registered Yoga Therapist in Canberra. I am currently developing yoga for mental health practices and operate a clinical practice from Hyson Green Mental Health Unit at, Calvary Private Hospital.
With a continued interest in Yoga Therapy in healthcare, recent postgraduate studies have been with Dr Timothy McCall learning the Yoga as Medicine assessment model, and further Trauma-Sensitive advanced Yoga training including Yoga for Trauma Anxiety Depression and Body Image with Sarah Ball. Recent studies have been with Professor Amy Wheeler from Optimal State and president of IAYT, on balancing and assessing the human system through the tri-guna lens of yoga, yoga therapy and Ayurveda and iRest level 1 training with Fuyoko Toyota.
I am currently a certificate candidate for Trauma Centre Trauma Sensitive Yoga at the Trauma and Embodiment Centre, The Justice Resource Institute, Boston.
I mentor yoga students with an interest in therapeutic yoga and welcome students of yoga in to view my classes and courses.
More importantly, my children, Oskar and Marvin are my most demanding teachers! They have allowed me to master the art of Karma Yoga, and keep me on my toes of humility.
Also, some of my earliest memories are when I was moving around a packed community hall joining in with my mother as she taught her holistic gentle exercise for health group classes. Her greatest lesson to me was to;
learn from students and always treat them as individuals.
With gratitude to all my teachers and the magic of upholding the healing arts.
WOMEN IN WELLBEING
I’d love to invite you to check out my latest interview on “Finding peace and purpose". The interview is part of the Women in Wellbeing Podcast bringing you inspiring, successful women with a passion for health, healing and happiness.