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Get ready for some major gushing. This is an emotional one for Voyage & Soap since our yoga journey effectively started with these beloved teachers when we first undertook yoga teacher training in Ubud (Bali), Byron Bay (Australia) and of course, India, way back in 2001 & 2002.
These yoga masters are simply amazing, truly world-class individuals whom we feel so incredibly privileged and grateful to have studied with. If you ever go to Australia – nowadays the majority of them reside in Byron Bay as it’s so damn lovely there – then promise us you’ll attend at least one of these teachers’ yoga classes. They are the very best of the best and Australia is incredibly lucky to have them. We’re feeling just a little bit emotional even writing about it.
All of these teachers work globally so check their websites out to find out when they’re in Sydney, Byron or your hometown.
Simon Borg Olivier
So gushing aside, we think this man might be our favourite yoga teacher of all time. Simon is the real deal and we wish we could study with him everyday, so we check in to his classes or workshops whenever we are in Australia and whenever he makes his way west. Simon is so damn passionate and knowledgeable and if, like us, you like to deep dive into yoga then you won’t be able to get enough.
Simon Borg-Olivier MScBAppSc (Physiotherapy) is a Co-Director, along with Bianca Machliss BScBAppSc (Physiotherapy) of Yoga Synergy, one of Australia’s oldest and most respected yoga schools. The Yoga Synergy style is based on a deep understanding of yoga anatomy, yoga physiology and traditional Hatha Yoga. Simon has been teaching since 1982 and is a registered physiotherapist, a research scientist and a university lecturer. Simon has been regularly invited to teach at special workshops and conferences interstate and overseas since 1990.
Simon and Bianca run international Yoga Synergy Teacher Training Courses both internationally (yearly in Goa, India) and also in their hometown of Sydney Australia.
We met Clive during yoga teacher training at Yoga Arts in Byron Bay 2002 and, as with Rose Baudin, we were totally captivated by his spirit. He looks very much the yogi and really doesn’t look his age. Everyone talked about Clive and his teachings and, lucky for us, we got to try them first hand. We emailed Clive asking to be admitted to his 3-week exclusive retreat in Bondla National Park in Goa (the intensity and the depth of the retreat makes it exclusive – not for the fainthearted!). You are not admitted unless you have done some shorter retreats or a weekend with him before, due to the nature of the practice. We’ve since joined a couple of his other retreats in the Spanish countryside (not far from Seville) and are always grateful to be admitted as they are pretty life-changing.
Clive has been practicing classical Hatha Yoga since the late ’60s and started teaching in the late ’70s. After years wandering in India and teaching all over the world, Clive settled 10 years ago in the Northern Rivers of NSW with his partner Miranda (who by the way gives the most mind-blowing adjustments whilst assisting Clive on his retreats).
Clive shares a very free spirited, yet focused practice of classical ‘Asana‘ (the physical postures), with particular attention to the breath. Inner experience is deepened with profound sessions of ‘Pranayama‘ (yogic breathing techniques) – meditation in themselves – explored correctly and safely. He combines the delights of Hatha Yoga with a challenging and transformative cocktail of ‘inner teachings‘ which arise from his spiritual background of both ‘Tantra‘ and ‘Advaita‘. These non-dual traditions when merged in subtle union are the ‘Shakti & Shiva’ (the ‘Heart & Mind’) of Yoga.
Clive runs a handful of workshops and retreats in Byron Bay, Goa, Japan and Spain and if you’re in Sydney in late April 2017 he’s running a weekend workshop at YogaSynergy. Worth going to if you’re really into your yogic practice.
We remember the very first class of Louisa’s we attended in Ubud, Bali at the start of our yoga teacher training in 2001 when we were young and flexible (or so we thought). Boy, did Louisa make us work hard – sweat dripping from every pore. It was here that we understood for the first time what it really meant to search for and live your own truth and also how to do a handstand with the ultimate control and manipulation of breath and prana (energy), not brute strength. Louisa has dedicated her life to the practice and teaching of Yoga. She is passionate in the quest to find one’s true nature and freedom.
In her teaching, Louisa encourages the understanding and acceptance of life, finding the teacher within. Louisa has had a committed Yoga Sadhana practice for 35 years where she teaches the principles of ‘Tantric Advaita‘ Philosophy and specialises in Self Inquiry, Therapeutic Yoga, Ayurveda Lifestyle, Mindful Vinyasa Asana, Pranayama and Meditation. She also teaches Yoga Teacher Trainings, Yoga Retreats and Yoga Workshops around the globe, encouraging students to develop a regular daily yoga and meditation practice. Louisa runs and is course coordinator of Yoga Arts.
Glenn taught us Iyengar Yoga on the 9-month intensive teacher training in Byron Bay. We love Glenn (we remember our very first class when he made us stay in warrior pose for 30 minutes on each side). We thought it was a joke at first, but oh no, Glenn was giving us a taste of how our mind responds. Since then we’ve been addicted.
Glenn has extensive experience as both a teacher and practitioner of Iyengar yoga. A Yoga class with Glenn Ceresoli is an opportunity to imbibe his twenty-nine years of experience and his relentless commitment and intention to break through the restrictive habits and conditions of the body and mind. The man himself says, ‘Attitude and approach is the key to everything.’ Glenn believes that the practice of Yoga utilises what he refers to as a ‘replacement method‘ which simply but effectively replaces the unconscious habits of the body/mind complex with very deliberate and consciously implemented actions and behaviours.
We have all experienced teachers who have inspired us to extend ourselves beyond our boundaries and who have left an imprint on our approach to practising and teaching yoga. Glenn Ceresoli is such a teacher. Glenn has been practicing and teaching for over 30 years and although based in Sydney, he spends a good amount of his time traveling around the world holding intensives, retreats and workshops. When he’s in London we try our very best to go. He’s also got a really cheeky personality and will spend the class ribbing you so go in with a thick skin and appreciate his Aussie humour!
Lance taught us on the 9-month intensive teacher training in Byron Bay. He makes yoga feel like alchemy, he certainly did the day we were able to drop into ‘Mayurasana’ – The Peacock Pose – with minimal effort just through his direction of the energy in our body through the chakras, with no physical instructions at all. Amazing.
Lance is the director and owner of INSPYA – Integrated South Pacific Yoga Academy. After a lifetime of personal practice and teaching experience, Lance developed the unique synergy of Vinyasa and Iyengar styles that is primarily taught at Inspya. Lance qualified as an Iyengar yoga instructor with the Australian School of Yoga in Sydney and has been a teaching instructor for 20 years. Lance also has special interests in martial arts, acrobatics and meditation.
Lance was raised on a farm New Zealand. At a very young age he was introduced to Martial Arts by his father, a discipline which would later help to steer him towards the path of yoga. Lance now conducts regular teacher trainings in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, China and Germany. His workshops take him all over Europe, including Russia and Asia. Lance has also been a participant teacher at Yoga conferences all over the world including Hong Kong, Italy, Cologne and Kuala Lumpur. We adore Lance.
About 15 years ago, a fiery, passionate woman with sparkly eyes entered the yoga studio introducing herself as Rose Baudin. She was there to teach us Pranayama amongst other things. We were mesmerised by her and realised that age really is just a damn number. Instantly we recognised a quality, a sense of connection and wonder about this wonderful human being that was just indescribable. Rose is a wonder to behold.
Rose Baudin has studied and practiced yoga for 43 years and has taught for 25 years. She met her mentor, Swami Gauribala, in Sri Lanka in 1971 and was initiated into the Parampara 1984. During the 16 years she lived in India, she was instructed by master teachers in various schools of yoga: Integral, Iyengar, Vini and Ashtanga, as well as, extensive meditation experience under the guidance of S.N. Goenka (Vipassana), Zen Master Hogen-san Yamahata (Soto) and Sayadaw U Janaka (Satipatthana Insight Meditation).
She was introduced to and taught the ritual of Agni Hotra by Dr. Robert Svoboda who instructed her in the way of his mentor, the Aghori Vimalananda. Since 1986, Rose has been based in Australia teaching yoga classes and meditation retreats. She is a senior teacher instructing and lecturing yoga philosophy and meditation for Yoga Arts – an Internationally Accredited School for Yoga Teacher Trainings and where we spent 9 months training. Rose has been conducting yoga intensives, residential retreats and seminars internationally for the past 20 years.
The incredible Bianca. Again more gushing coming your way. Bianca was born and raised in Sydney, and studied both a Bachelor of Science (Microbiology & Psychology) and Bachelor of Applied Science (Physiotherapy) at Sydney University.
Bianca is the co-founder and owner of Yoga Synergy and has over 27 years experience teaching yoga, managing a studio and creating a community. Bianca and Simon’s shared passion for yoga has led to the creation of Yoga Synergy daily yoga classes, workshops, teacher training courses and international events.
Dena & Jack Kingsberg
Dena is a devoted practitioner of Ashtanga yoga and a senior student of the late Sri K Patabhi Jois. With 30 years of unwavering practice she holds the highest recognized qualification in this method. Dena and her husband Jack live in the hills of Goonengerry with their 2 children. They teach both internationally and from their simple shala in Byron Bay.
Jack first went to Mysore in 1995 and recalls spending three months in daily fear of Baddha Konasana. That first trip coincided with the celebration of Guruji’s 80th birthday and he has since returned a dozen times. Jack teaches classes in Byron Bay, Australia and supports his wife Dena both inside and outside of the yoga room. Most years they travel together to conduct classes and workshops around the globe.
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