Hamid was born in Tehran, Iran, and has lived and traveled in many different countries, becoming exposed to different cultures, languages and traditions. He is truly cross-cultural. Hamid has also traveled a years-long spiritual journey to discover meaning and truth. He studied philosophy in Paris and learned that he was more interested in wisdom and spiritual truth than academic learning. Hamid practiced meditation until he encountered Japanese Zen Master Ryotan Tokuda in 1998. In 2000, he was ordained as a monk and subsequently authorized by his master to pass on the ancient teachings. In 2005 he finished a three year training program in counseling at ETAPE (École des Praticiens de la Psychothérapie) in Nice, France. Hamid is able to integrate much of Western psychotherapy with Eastern wisdom and meditation traditions. He spends a good part of the year in India and has taught meditation, philosophy and comparative spirituality. His own life experiences have helped him gain empathy towards the difficulties of others. He understands that trusting and accepting relationships are essential, for it is relationships with others that ultimately heals. His guidance has proved to be invaluable help for many students who have required personal and professional support to deal with emotional crises that trainees often experience during intense yoga practice. Hamid is eager and excited about working with Santosha students to create positive change in their lives. Today a growing number of people are turning to the internet for counseling. Hamid uses both Skype sessions and e-mailing in his work. If Santosha students wish, we can have an initial free counseling session to determine if this is what you are seeking. For spiritual counselling enquiries: Hamid can be contacted on Skype: hamid.ebadi3 and Email: email@example.com.
Mark Wali is a Yoga teacher and healing facilitator currently living in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia. Upon completing the Abhyasa Yoga Teacher Training in 2008, Mark has had the privilege of spending over three years living with a self-realized yoga master in a small Balinese village and teaching throughout Asia and Australia. Along with the classical teachings of Yoga, Mark is a student and initiate of Kala Cakra Tantra and Hatha Nava Sanga. All of the teachings he has studied and shares with others are centered in the principles of the Universal Dharma, and offered to his teacher, family, and for the benefit of all beings. Mark is pleased and privileged to be a part of the Little Great Way,where he plans to teach the philosophy and fundamentals of a breath-centered, therapeutic practice of Hatha Yoga. A native of New York City, he now calls the Heart home.
Sebastian is a South American certified Yoga Instructor born in the Chilean Patagonia and trained in Northern India. He has been travelling the world exploring and connecting with different disciplines from healing arts and mindful-eating to Tantra and Meditation.
He started Yoga as a complementary practice for Martial Arts and Outdoor Sports and as an attempt to overcome an anxiety disorder that was affecting him in different areas in his life. He finally not only found a path for healing, body awareness and self-understanding, nowadays, he also understand Yoga as a philosophy of life, as a way of living based in love and compassion.
Sebastian has been featured in Chilean wellness journals like Sana Magazine, he is a mindful-eating blogger in “Comienza con tu plato” and founder of Menfulness.com, as a way to empower men to reach their full potential and have a conscious living through mindfulness and meditation.
He has been teaching Yoga in Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia and South America, also assisting in several Teacher Training Courses. His classes are fun and inspiring. He strongly believes that observation is the key that leads to understanding, so creating the space to observe ourselves through meditation, breathing and movement is highly necessary to understand our deeper self and in consequence, to understand everything.
Tracey began practicing Soloman Yogalates in 2000 and was amazed at the gradual improvement that a regular yoga practice focusing on functional movement patterns made to her overall health. She studied the Soloman Yogalates method in 2007 – 2008, and has been teaching weekly classes since then. Since beginning to teach, she has also been studying the Tattwas Shuddhi Sadhana (5 Element Purification) under Peter Clifford. Tracey practices and teaches her classes with joy and gratitude. She feels honoured to be a part of the Santosha team, and to have the opportunity to observe the new paths embarked and ventured upon by others.
Analu is a natural born Costa Rican citizen. You can catch her somewhere in the world, given her nomadic free soul; she is constantly on the move. She is the founder of Pranaluz Conscious Living, dedicated to support individuals in the path of awakening to a conscious life, by offering yoga, meditation and mindfulness; retreats, classes, coaching and workshops all over the world.
Analu is a passionate writer and a musician, who loves sharing her kirtan (plays harmonium, singing and guitar). She holds an EYT-500, an MBA from Costa Rica, and a Master of Arts in Environmental Leadership from Buddhist University Naropa in Boulder, CO. U.S.A. where she deepened her studies in Buddhism, Meditation and Mindfulness.
Analu has been inspired by many teachers and philosophies in her spiritual path. From studying with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh in France, to the Dalai Lama in India, self inquiry with vedanta master Sri Mooji, to the Shambhala and Tibetan Buddhist traditions to Vipassana etc. She is passionate for teaching yoga with strong emphasis on alignment, pranayama and meditation; and encouraging students to reconnect with their body mind and spirit; develop a deep sense of self-inquiry, and inspiring them to live a spiritually fulfilling conscious life, in harmony one another and with our planet.
Darla is a California born physiotherapist who is certified as an instructor in yoga and pilates. Her passion is educating and promoting total wellness. While studying exercise & rehabilitative sciences at the University of Hawaii, Darla attended the required yoga course. It didn’t take long until she became addicted to yoga and the many benefits it provides. In addition to the physical benefits of improved strength and flexibility, she realized practicing yoga helped in other areas as well. Yoga provided her with the ability to focus and dramatically improved her sleep. After graduation, Darla attended Bond University in Australia and earned a Doctor of Physiotherapy. As a physiotherapist and a pilates instructor she had the ability to help people in many ways, but there was still a component missing. It became apparent that by incorporating the powerful practice of yoga, she could provide total care and cultivate a sense of well-being. So, she was inspired to become a certified yoga instructor and had the opportunity to attend a Santosha RYT-200 session. She was privileged to learn from many amazing teachers there. Darla is grateful and excited to be join the Santosha Teaching Team. She is looking forward to meeting the new students and sharing her passion for yoga, anatomy, and biomechanics!
Peter Clifford is the founder and principal of Anahata Yoga school, master yoga teacher (E-RYT 500) and pioneer of Elemental Yoga including the Five Element Form. Peter has studied and practiced yoga for forty-eight years. He has had the honour of studying with many wise and knowledgeable teachers in India including Swami Sarasvati, Aghor Sadhu Shankar, TKV Desikachar, AG Mohan and BKS Iyengar. Combining his study of elemental yoga with a lifelong interest in bio-mechanics, postural integration, anatomy and physiology, Peter has developed a unique, powerful and comprehensive yoga philosophy described as the Dance of Shiva and Shakti. Peter has been involved with the development and teaching of numerous teacher training courses around the world. His teaching style reflects his experience as a household yogi and his classes are joyous, opening and transformational. His intention is to introduce Santosha’s students to the magic of internal yoga and provide them with the ability to apply the philosophy of yoga to all aspects of their daily lives.
Lily Stokely completed her yoga training with Santosha in 2010 and has been teaching and exploring health through yoga ever since. Currently Lily is a student at Bastyr University in the United States studying naturopathic medicine focusing on primary care, counseling, biofeedback, physical medicine, family medicine, and eating disorder prevention and treatment. Bastyr University is a 4 year medical doctorate program with extensive training in herbal medicine, homeopathy, naturopathic manipulation, hydrotherapy, anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, nutrition, and counseling.
Lily lives and practices from the perspective that every individual has their own unique definition of what it is to be healthy. She is passionate about aiding people in their health journey and loves to work from an integrative, whole body, mind, spirit perspective. She believes that it is important to practice what she teaches and does her best to live from a place of self-care, kindness, and compassion as she hopes to help others do the same. Her yoga teaching comes from this place of integrative health and body love. She emphasizes the importance of structural alignment and safety from her students and uses yoga as therapeutic exercise as a component of her medicine.
She has a bachelors of science in dietetics from The University of California, Berkeley where she gained additional training in teaching Health at Every Size and Intuitive Eating models. She is also a licensed massage therapist with a focus in myofascial release, craniosacral therapy and visceral manipulation.
Lily has experience as a group facilitator for support groups of varying topics including eating disorders, intuitive eating, relationships, and movement/exercise.
Prior to her work in health, Lily grew up in a very small, rural community in the far northern mountains of California. She was raised learning to care for the land through gardening and tending to the farm animals. This childhood allowed her to develop a deep appreciation for nature and a passion for discovering the human connection within it. In her spare time she currently enjoys spending time with family, hiking, camping, skiing, gardening, and playing frisbee with her German Shepherd.
As a Santosha RYT-200 (2011) and RYT-500 (2013) graduate, Jennie is honoured to be joining the inspirational yogis and teachers who have united their knowledge and passions to create the Santosha team. Having studied under Sunny and her team of dedicated teachers, Jennie knows first-hand the deeply transformative power of undertaking a teacher training through Santosha… and of being welcomed warmly into the Santosha family. Jennie is excited to now be sharing this experience with others, and to offer support, strength and smiles along the way. With a background in graphic design, marketing and office management, Jennie is happy to be combining the skills she has gained from her previous positions with her true passion… yoga! She came to yoga – as many of us initially do – for the physical benefits. It was not until her own struggle with depression and anxiety that she realised the deep strength and stillness that a regular yoga practice brings. Since this realisation, she has studied and worked to share this gift with others who may be struggling in different ways along their own path, or who may simply benefit from a regular practice of stilling and calming the mind. As Jennie learned and study more, she was inspired by the healing powers of yoga and meditation. She cannot wait to embark further along this journey and to work with the amazing people Santosha attracts as both students and teachers.
Barbara has been practising Yoga Nidra herself for many years on a daily bases. She has conducted hundreds of classes and workshops on Yoga Nidra as well as many teacher training courses in Europe. Barbara is the author of a German bestselling book on Yoga Nidra as well as many CDs. She is currently living on the Gold Coast with her family and is very happy to share all her knowledge and experience.
As a yoga practitioner and Group Fitness Instructor of 10 years, Sharon was well aware of the wonderful benefits of fitness and yoga for the mind and body, yet became increasingly aware of these benefits during her prenatal and postnatal months with her first child. Since then, it’s been her passion to share this knowledge with other women to assist them through this amazing chapter in their lives. Sharon teaches Prenatal, Postnatal, Active Birth, Children’s Yoga and Vinyasa Flow classes on the Gold Coast and coordinates Teacher Trainings around Australia. Sharon is also an active member of the ‘Australian Birth & Parenting Network,’ conducting seminars on gentle and natural ways of birthing and parenting. As a registered Yoga Teacher (YTAA) and Fitness Professional (Fitness Australia), certified to teach Prenatal, Postnatal, Active Birth & Children’s Yoga for all ages, she looks forward to sharing her knowledge and passion of yoga with you and is excited to be part of the Santosha Teaching Team!
Liza Lilintahl’s chanting brings a fresh and unique soulful blend of devotional kirtan, infused with modern flavor. She enjoys allowing the spirit to sing through her to facilitate a space for healing, heart-opening, celebration, joy and creative expression. Liza has had the privilege of studying with Jai Uttal amongst other kirtan “wallas,” and sang and performed in yoga festivals and centers around Europe where she lived for the last 10 years. Originally from Venezuela, she now lives in Bali where she shares kirtans and songs of devotion around the island. For more information about Liza and her music visit www.lizalilintahl.co.uk.
Jean has taught and practiced various styles including Iyengar, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and pre and postnatal yoga. With a great interest in the many aspects of yoga, Jean has travelled to India several times. She continues to further her study in Anatomy, Ayurveda and Yoga Philosophy. Jean’s Anatomy teaching emphasises core strength and stability. She loves yoga because it is such an effective system for cultivating awareness, strength and flexibility, while at the same time stilling and calming the mind. Jean Campbell has been practicing yoga since 1994. As a qualified yoga teacher, Jean has been running yoga teacher training courses in Australia for the last four years and is currently involved in workshops and teacher trainings both at home and internationally.
In teaching philosophy, Consta works by developing a narrative that is engaging and stimulating and can cover a wide range of topics all geared towards encouraging insight and enquiry. Consta began a yoga practice in 1989 and has since studied various popular forms with many talented teachers. Since 2000, he has worked on various teacher training programs ranging from teaching asana to philosophy, as a principle teacher to a guest speaker. In the last few years he has worked exclusively in Drug and Alcohol rehabilitation, bringing the insights he has developed in yoga practice for the service of others who are in crisis. He believes a yoga practice is worthless unless others benefit from it.
Edo and Jo
Edo and Jo are eclectic Australian kirtan artists and singer-songwriters. Their music creates a magical journey of Eastern mystical mantras expressed in soothing and joyous folk-pop melodies. The marriage of lush vocal harmonies, rapturous rhythms and sweet devotion is like honey droplets for the soul. Their live kirtan is an organic and spontaneous process for emotional release, divine connection and inner-transformation. Edo and Jo are gifted songwriters individually and collectively. Edo Kahn is an award winning musician (APRA song of the year) and has had songs in Film, TV and Radio (with his bands Kahn Brothers and Gelbison). Combined with Jo Mall’s ethereal voice and innate melodic sensibility, the divine duo is a creative force radiating an invitation into love. Dedicated to conscious living and humanitarian works, they lead Kirtan and Sacred Sound Yoga (Nada Yoga Nidra Meditation) at yoga schools, retreats, festivals, yoga teacher trainings, temples, hospitals and orphanages worldwide. Edo and Jo are excited to share their love and experiences with Santosha students. Their Kirtan Alive CD, a fusion of live kirtan, mantras and soothing chants for yoga, meditation and bhakti bliss is out now www.edoandjo.com.
Dr. Sandip Sawant
Being born and brought up in a Goan village, nature was part of Dr. Sawant’s life since early days. Seeing his grandfather, a Traditional Healer, treating patients with the freshly prepared herbal medicine developed his curiosity about nature and natural medicine, and hence that was his first tryst with Ayurveda. After his initial schooling, Dr. Sawant was strongly attracted to the stream of Ayurveda and completed four & half years of B.A.M.S (Bachelor in Ayurvedic Medicine & Surgery) Degree with Merit from Goa University in the year 2003. This was followed by a one-year strenuous internship in Ayurveda Hospitals as well as with renowned Practitioners from Goa and nearby. To understand the nuances of Panchakarma Therapy, he did a course in Panchakarma under the world-renowned Panchakarma Specialist from Dhulia, Maharashtra Vaidya.P.T.Joshi. With the bag full of knowledge and experience gathered by meeting the experts in the field of Ayurveda, he started his Panchakarma Clinic in the year 2005. Dr. Sandip is presently associated with Sandu Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and Sandu Ayurvedic Spa and Wellness Centre for past 5 years as well as Ayurclinic Goa since its inception. Happily Married to Dr. Jyoti, who is also an Ayurvedic Doctor and presently managing our Ayurveda Clinics in Bicholim and Sanquelim, Dr. Sandip has been blessed with a sweet daughter, ‘Shaivee’.
Through Classical Ballet, Kanako developed body awareness and the joy of using her body in expressive art, which led her to discover Yoga and Pilates. In order to cope with the hectic city life in Tokyo, she practiced yoga at home and attended classes and workshops with different teachers; however, it was when she first came to Byron Bay that her real journey had begun. Since then she received training in Solomon Yogalates and in Ishta System with Rachel Zinman. She has also been studying 5 Element Form as part of apprenticeship with Peter Clifford for more than 4 years. She has worked internationally in many teacher trainings, retreats and workshops as both interpreter and assistant teacher since 2007. She is excited to join Santosha, as sharing yoga is her passion and she always learns a lot from the students and feels honored to be part of their journey.
Sarah has a deep belief in the transformative power of yoga and its ability to bring health, balance, peace and above all joy to her own life and the lives of those around her. She is excited and honoured to have the opportunity to share this journey with Santosha Yoga students. Sarah has been practicing hatha yoga for more than ten years and has studied a number of styles including Iyengar, Ashtanga and vinyasa flow. Sarah completed yoga teacher training in Nasik, India, in 2006 and Anahata Yoga teacher training (RYT 200) in 2011. Sarah is a highly experienced teacher with a lot to share.
Anna came to yoga in her late teens looking for a source of energy and inspiration. Anna has continued to draw on yoga to navigate her life path. Anna completed her Level 1 Teacher Training with Santosha in 2009 and feels so blessed to have shared this experience with some beautiful women who she now calls her best friends. Anna currently lives in a little beach village on the Northern NSW coast, where she practises yoga and plays with her dog on the beach every morning. Professionally, Anna is an accredited Exercise Physiologist and runs a small private practise, using exercise as medicine, to assist people to achieve optimal health and well-being. Anna also teaches yoga classes in the local community. Working with and for Santosha has been a natural flow of energies, and Anna feels blessed to be part of something she is passionately connected to with an application of knowledge beyond her years.
Sid Sidhamo is the Director and founder of the Unity International School of Massage. Sidhamo is a senior teacher of Ayurvedic Yoga massage, an accredited yoga teacher (RYT-200) and Certified teacher of the Five Element Form. Says Sid, “I love to share Ayurvedic Yoga Massage, Yoga and the Five Element Form. I am in love with the Great Spirit and everything in my life, I see the divine in everything. This is my eleventh year sharing and growing as a man, human and facilitator. Santosha allows me to teach what I believe in.”
Carla has worked with Santosha on yoga teacher trainings delivering raw and living food models and modelling asana. She has been the raw food chef for retreats at Seecreek. She enjoys the organic-ness of working with Santosha and the way that Santosha gives students a base of solid knowledge and the space to evolve through their own yoga journey, both on and off the mat. Carla became interested in yoga when she was in Bangkok living the expat lifestyle and indulging in ‘booze hagdom 101’. Self confessed P.E dropout, she found tranquility and grace from competitiveness in her own yoga practice. Miraculously yoga offered a haven from the million thoughts that ran through her head as a busy primary school teacher. Weight melted off, and she became interested in the magic of raw and living foods. She checked out for a year and undertook travel and study in holistic health, raw and living foods and yoga. She traveled through the USA and Australia, enjoying old friends and making new ones. Her sharing of Yoga and incorporating raw and living foods into everyday diets has taken her to Cambodia, Thailand and the UK. She has been blessed with an array of wise and beautiful yoga teachers, each who has transformed her practise. Passionate about having a balance in life, she is focused on bringing more space and flow to her thoughts and interactions while embracing the moment. Moving on from Primary school teaching, she has recently set up a yoga studio in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Born and raised in Slovakia, Peter first came in contact with yoga through a yoga book which his mother bought. They later moved to Germany when he was 12 years old. Every now and then he used to look at the pictures and think to himself: “that’s just insane, I will not be able to do this stuff.” So he began to practice some breathing. A decade later a friend of his took him along to a Yoga studio in Munich, and from the first day on he knew that yoga was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. The practice was based on Pattabhi Jois’s ashtanga yoga, but also included pranayama, theory and regular kirtans. In 2007 Peter decided to travel Australia for an extended period of time. It was in Byron Bay that he met Peter Clifford and was fortunate enough to stay in Byron and to study (as an apprentice) with Peter from 2008 on. Peter also took him along to assist at Santosha teacher trainings. Through Peter Clifford and his previous experience with TKV Desikachar, he became more and more interrested in the tradition of Krishnamacharya. As Krishnamacharya was THE teacher of all well-known teachers today. In 2009 Peter started his studies in Chennai at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram and since then committed to the principles of Viniyoga. His practice evolved into much more than he ever was able to imagine. One of his strengths is working with breath. Peter also likes to work one-on-one with clients and students as he is convinced that individual work/training is most beneficial.
Yoga has not only taught Ingrid how to heal herself with asana and meditation, but also to connect with her heart and embrace the present moment to accept, love and forgive herself and others completely. These are the gifts she loves to share with the world as a yoga teacher. Completing her 500HR yoga studies with Santosha in Bali and India, Ingrid turns to many sources for inspiration, especially nature. She believes in the interconnectedness of all living things and is always looking for ways to bring nature into her life – she loves practicing outdoors and dreams of establishing regular yoga sessions in parks around Sydney. A freelance graphic designer, photographer and yoga teacher, Ingrid helps with Santosha’s website, social media, communications & marketing.
Hiromi’s strong interest in Indian Philosophy led her to travel many countries, including India from 2002 – 2005. Since 2005 Hiromi taught Yoga at a Hot Yoga studio in Japan for three years and In 2008 Hiromi travelled to Australia and studied with Santosha Yoga and acquired her RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) certificate at the 200 hour level. Hiromi then travelled back to India again to practice Ashtanga Yoga under Sharath Rangaswamy at Mysore, India. During this time Hiromi fulfilled her interest in Ayurvedic Massage and gained her Ayurvedic Massage Cerification. Hiromi has found herself back in Japan and is currently teaching Hatha Yoga. She really enjoys this life and wishes to grasp as many opportunities to meet people who are like-minded and connected through yoga. Hiromi believes that yoga will bring you all the beauty in the world and allow your heart to be full of love. Yoga allows you to place things into perspective so you may focus on what is really important. To spread the joy of yoga she has chosen to walk with Santosha.
It was the stretching and strengthening component of a dynamic yoga practice that initially drew Tracy to yoga in 2003, but she soon found that the benefits were far-reaching, spreading into every aspect of life. Tracy is a level 2 teacher with over 800 hours training in yoga teaching and yoga therapy and has a keen interest in bio-mechanics and its application to postural alignment in asana practice. Inspired by the more dynamic tradition of Ashtanga vinyasa yoga, Tracy’s teaching style is also influenced by her studies with Simon Borg-Olivier of Yoga Synergy and senior teacher Kate Pell. Her classes are dynamic and enthusiastic with attention to detail in alignment, balanced with patience and a sense of humour which are essential to a yoga practice. Students are encouraged to practise with ahimsa (non-violence and non-harming), listening to their bodies, and gently challenging themselves to enrich their experience. More recently Tracy has been studying yoga therapy with Dr. Ganesh Mohan of Svastha Yoga Therapy to enable her to better assist her students with injuries or medical conditions. Yoga truly is for everyone.
Bettina Freake (E-RYT 500) is the founder of Touched by Yoga and has been deeply involved in human health and wellbeing for over a decade.
With a background in remedial therapy, Human Movement, Exercise science and Psychology her work over the last 12 years has seen her become a specialist in bodywork, massage, injury rehabilitation/prevention and alignment. She is motivated by a core belief that holistic wellbeing is everybody’s human right. Working with the Bluearth Foundation exposed Bettina to many yoga teachers mostly in the Iyengar method and for many years she passionately practiced and taught them to hundreds of students, teachers and individuals Australia wide. Studying herself with Santosha (200hr) and the Jivamukti method (500/800hr).
Bettina is known for her light heart, open mind, healing hands and philosophical teachings. Her focus is on the joy of movement, finding comfort in silence and the depths of self exploration. She continues to learn and teach, and feels blessed to travel the world connecting to so many wonderful souls from all walks of life. Bettina is truly fascinated by the human condition, how we choose to relate to each other, our environment and ourselves. It brings her great joy to create experiences and environments that allow others to look within.