Meet our Team of Passionate Yogis!


Santosha has been running trainings and retreats since 2008 – meaning we can celebrate 10 amazing years of helping our students transform their lives and step into their strength.

Sunny has gathered an incredible team of teachers and support staff, who share her passion for sharing the benefits of yoga and sincere desire to help others live their best, most fulfilled and openhearted life. They can’t wait to meet you and get started with you on this journey.

Sunny Richards – Santosha Founder

ERYT – 500 PLUS – Yoga Alliance International 

ERYT-500 – Yoga Alliance


Tasmanian born Yoga Alliance USA ERYT-500, and a ERYT- 500 Plus  Yoga Alliance International Teacher Sunny Richards is the founder and director of Santosha Yoga. She has devoted her life to Santosha, which was born from a dream to create a sacred place for healing, transformation and to awaken the incredible potential of happiness and connection to ourselves.

Sunny has been teaching for over 22 years and began her yoga teaching journey in Japan where she experienced a broad spectrum of Yoga Therapy needs.  She started Santosha Yoga in 2008 and the company has steadily grown through dedication, love and an impeccable reputation. She has 3 children and currently splits her time between homes in Bali and Australia.

Over the years Sunny has trained in Ashtanga Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Vini Yoga, Yoga Therapy, Pre and Post Natal Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Trauma Sensitive Yoga, Yin Yoga, Children’s Yoga, Restorative Yoga and  Meditation.

Sunny is passionate about dedicating time for continual studies and a deep personal practice, so that what she shares is rooted deeply in the process and understanding and integration of real yoga. Sunny is eternally grateful for her teachers including, Ganesh Mohan, Indra Mohan, AJ Mohan, Dr N Chandrasekaran, Mark Whitwell, Leslie Kaminoff, Jean Campbell, Peter  Clifford, Dr Sanjay Pisharodi, Barbara Kuendig, Janice Clarefield, David Svenson, Doug Svenson, and significantly guided by Gary Kraftsow teachings as well as many others.

Sunny feels so grateful for the opportunity to share what she has learned, and what she feels is needed in this world, her life and all it brings, to her family, her friends and fellow students. She is humbly in gratitude for her teachers and for the opportunities that has allowed her to create and expand her business, Santosha Yoga.

As an ex-pro surfer, Sunny understands the essence of mother nature. Sunny loves to make sure our trainings are always close to the healing ocean waves or to nature, so students and teachers both can swap mat for board and hit the surf or be lost in the trees and mountains.

Sunny’s teachings are layered with depth and understanding, are lively and fun, whilst allowing moments of deep introspection and reflection to find awareness and peace for each student. Sunny feels genuinely guided by a desire to inspire her students to understand the application of the authentic teachings through one’s current life situation, relationships with Self, others, and the realisations of choice to bring peace to their lives so that their teachings evolve from this space of a deeper awakening.

She believes that no one person who calls themselves a teacher, has a higher status – she is no more than a friend and no less than a friend, and welcomes all with an open heart. She considers all who walk through Santosha Yoga’s doors as family and promises to be available to her students/teachers throughout her life, whenever needed.

“I’ve never known a person’s name to suit them so well! You are the warmest, friendliest, most down to earth person I have possibly met. What you do is remarkable! I can only imagine the energy you give to create such a wonderful Yoga Teacher program. You have so much love bursting out of you, and you give so much to the students. Your honesty, open candor and knowledge is such an incredible quality, and I only hope I can take a leaf out of your book. Thank you for all you do and you give” – Jehan

 + Our Amazing Team

Our team of yoga professionals are without a doubt among the most experienced and qualified in the world. They boast extremely diverse backgrounds and all share one common passion: helping others achieve balance in their lives by finding inner peace and contentment so that they may see true beauty in the everyday, appreciate all life has to offer, and live life to the fullest.

Thia –  Core Teaching Team

Anyone who has joined us on a training over the last few years, will already know about the wonderful Thia! Thia is an integral part of the Santosha team in Bali, supporting our students and leading incredible kirtan sessions for our groups. Thia is an RYT-500 teacher and teaches on our Bali courses as well as offering student support and admin on our trainings.

Through yoga Thia started to understand more about her breath, body, and mind. Feeling calm and good about herself,  she simply wanted to share this to others, to help, to have fun, to be present and just be.

For Thia yoga is a never ending practice, a lifetime practice. It is an evolution. Same as music, to know how and what is yoga, what the meaning of yoga, you need to know it from the first time it was invented, back to the roots. And you learn about it, you get the knowledge so you can apply it in your daily life.

Thia loves the joy of sharing wonderful teachings to students, to be able to work and grow together in this superb yoga institute with amazing teachers and team that love and support each other.

Thia’s words of advice for our students: “Come with intention. Trust your heart. Listen to your intuition that you are in the right time and place.”

“Thia’s presence, understanding and unconditional love was so powerful from the very beginning. I felt her energy from the very first time I walked up the stairs into the shala. She set the tone for the whole experience. Thia is this radiant light that makes everyone feel so special. Her passion for Yoga, her guidance and her support made this experience something I will never forget.” – Kristie, Aus

Sebastian – Core Teaching Team

Sebastian is a South American certified Yoga Instructor born in the Chilean Patagonia and trained in Northern India.

He has been travelling the world studying, teaching and exploring different disciplines that he is really passionate about, like Yoga Philosophy, Meditation and Tantra.

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 been teaching classes, workshops and Teacher Trainings in Yoga in India, Nepal, Thailand and South America, 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.

“Sebastian was charismatic and fascinating. I got lost in his words. The way in which he taught philosophy was extremely thought provoking and powerful. I took a lot of things away from his classes and I still share and refer to the things he said” – Kristie, Aus

Andrea – Core Teaching Team

Andrea is a physiotherapist, yoga therapist and also a dedicated Ashtanga and Yin Yoga practitioner.

With over 13 years of experience as a physiotherapist, Andrea is an expert in muscular pain treatment, structural realignment and case resolution. She is specialized in therapeutic massage and fascia release.

Andrea has been passionate about yoga since 2007. Through consistency and dedication to the asana and pranayama practice, she experienced the true essence of yoga and how it can heal parts of the body that have been injured or simply ignored.

With deeper understanding, she came to realize that the cure of our body, mind and spiritual ailments lay within ourselves

Andrea began studying Yoga Therapy in India, with Sharat Arora (Iyengar disciple) and continues courses with Ganesh Mohan (Krishnamacharya tradition). Her motivation is to share the physical and spiritual benefits of yoga and integrate the asana and pranayama practice in her therapeutic healing services.  In her Yoga Therapy sessions she teaches what is appropriate for each individual, according to their age, health condition and daily activity. Andrea uses asana practice and breathing techniques to reach a balance state of mind while we improve and heal the functions of the body.

“Andrea’s deep knowledge and love for Yoga was evident throughout her classes. I learnt so much from her. She was remarkably caring and kind. Andrea always put the students first and went out of her way to help, regardless of what time it was. I am so grateful to have been in her classes and I feel so privileged to have had her as a teacher/mentor.” – Kristie, Aus

Johanna – Core Teaching Team

Johanna began her studies with Santosha – and now has the dream job teaching on our trainings!

“It was such a valuable gift, a truly memorable experience which has transformed me in such positive ways that I want to share its magic with everyone else. To me, Yoga is a philosophy of life”

First teaching in London, and now in Bali, Johanna is a much-lover teacher – renowned for her kind heart and knowledgeable teaching.

“There are so many yoga instructors but it is so difficult to find one that truly helps you at all levels in just one session.  Johanna is one of the few that makes a real difference to your day! She has an ability to inspire in so many ways, not only in her perfect poses and gentle movements but also in her voice which is soothing and content. Johanna also has a big heart which shows in the way she cares that everyone is doing the right postures and is enjoying the session. What I truly like is her style and pace as an instructor. In one session she will cover breathing exercises while reminding us of the breathing during the rest of the session and also physical routines as well as work on poses to focus on specific parts of the body. Moreover, she explains why poses are beneficial to our daily lives which gives it practical meaning as well. Just amazing how skilled she is in so many ways which is why she is such a complete yoga instructor!”~ Natasha Schneider, London

““Johanna is an amazing yoga teacher. Johanna combines in her classes both the physical and spiritual components of yoga practice.  The poses and sequences that are integrated into each session, accommodate students both physically and mentally. Johanna’s warm and kind-hearted personality allows everyone in the room to relax and breath.  She has a deep empathy and understanding of her students’ bodies, their limitations, injuries, strengths, and will work with you to help you deepen your practice.  I can not say enough great things about Johanna’s teachings! She is fantastic!.” – Monica, UK

Piera – Core Teaching Team

Piera Maria was born in Switzerland and was raised commuting between Switzerland and New Zealand. She came into this world with a love for movement and started dancing already in her childhood, finding that movement was one of her portals to connect to her core, to her soul.

After 3 years of training in Switzerland she graduated in 2009 as Exercise Educator (Movement and Dance Teacher) including Therapeutic Gymnastics with emphasis on Anatomy and Physiology. In early 2012 she opened her Dance Studio in New Zealand, sharing her passion with the vision of welcoming any form of movement, self-expression and self-explorative styles.

Since that time Piera has been teaching yoga and a wide range of movement, body- and breath awareness classes to all walks of life. For 3 years she was also teaching Dance at the local High School from which huge, positive changes in her students became obvious. Therefore, she started to get approached to work one on one with traumatised teenagers/young adults. A work she found deeply enriching.

Piera completed her 500h Certified Yoga Instructor with Santosha, has done various trainings on Mindfulness and she is a Reiki- and Massage Therapist. Passionate about the ocean, since moving to the island Piera has trained as a SUP Yoga instructor and looks forward to sharing this incredible practice with our students as a teacher on the SUP Yoga Training,

For Piera it is most rewarding to guide people into their depth and support them into their own healing capacity through yoga, movement and stillness, leading them towards their own alignment and potential.

““First off, I would like to say that I have never been more comfortable in a yoga class…ever! The practice was a body and mental relaxation for me which I thought was the best way to end my busy day. I love how thorough Piera is with explaining varying positions while still being able to keep the entire class in a beautiful flow. “ – Elizard ,USA

“Much love and gratitude to my yoga instructor – you are inspiration for those come to join your class. Piera has a knowledgeable and light hearted teaching style that’s is welcoming to all!” – Marina , BR

Madhu Madhav Das – Level 2 Teacher India

Madhu Madhav Das is a Resident Spiritual Teacher in monastic order at Govardhan Eco Village, the incredible venue for our Santosha Level 2 RYT-500 training. He supports spiritual learning for Yoga participants and facilitates leadership workshops, creative writing workshops, Digital Detox, and other trainings for different visiting groups.

On his journey for spiritual awakening he likes to inspire others along the way – so that we all gradually accumulate assets of permanent value, most important possession of which is our consciousness, our sense of identity, our inner self; all else eventually slips away.

He believes by deepening the understanding of our inner self can assist in our quest for happiness and will answer all the questions in life. Madhu Madhav Das has worked for years with Future Group, Strategy Cell, Group CEO Office – offering practical spiritual guidance and direction.

Madhu Madhav Das is guided by theses words of Krishna:

And of all yogis,
He who full of faith worships Me,
With his inner self abiding in Me,
Him I hold to be most attuned. (Gita, 6.47)

Mathieu (Mat) Côté – Level 2 Teacher India

I’ve been seeking to know thyself for over 10 years now. I’m having beautiful deep experiences while traveling around the world. My life choices are linked to the question: “Who am I?” I have the chance to be guided by spiritual masters and feel very grateful. Since the search seems to go on forever, I enjoy life, accept myself for who I am now, and fill the space with authentic expression (music, water therapy, yoga and more neat stuff:)

 My intention is to follow my heart with no expectations as much as I can. I feel comfortable and confident holding space with integrity for groups of people that are ready (or not) to go within. I believe words cannot describe someone very well so, when we meet, I invite you to gaze through my eyes so you can really see me; I’m an open book ready to share the love I feel.

Mat will be sharing his passion and wisdom with our lucky students as a guest teacher on our 2019 India Level 2 Yoga Teacher training – he looks forward to experiencing this magical journey back to the source of Yoga with you.

Jamie – Support Teaching Team

Jamie is a New Zealand born yogi, with a passion for nutrition, heart-based meditation and authentic living.

He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our trainings, and has studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and the Padmacahaya Institute of Inner Learning as well as graduating from the Santosha Yoga 200 Hour training in 2010.

Multi-talented Jamie shares his infectious sense of joy and enthusiasm to our trainings – teaching Open Heart meditation and Laughter Yoga on the Level 1 course as well as managing our onsite Nusa Lembongan cafe – Ginger + Jamu. Jamie looks forward welcoming you to our island home, and sharing good times and great food with you on our special little spot in paradise 🙂

Madhu Madhav Das – Level 2 Teacher India

Madhu Madhav Das is a Resident Spiritual Teacher in monastic order at Govardhan Eco Village, the incredible venue for our Santosha Level 2 RYT-500 training. He supports spiritual learning for Yoga participants and facilitates leadership workshops, creative writing workshops, Digital Detox, and other trainings for different visiting groups.

On his journey for spiritual awakening he likes to inspire others along the way – so that we all gradually accumulate assets of permanent value, most important possession of which is our consciousness, our sense of identity, our inner self; all else eventually slips away.

He believes by deepening the understanding of our inner self can assist in our quest for happiness and will answer all the questions in life. Madhu Madhav Das has worked for years with Future Group, Strategy Cell, Group CEO Office – offering practical spiritual guidance and direction.

Madhu Madhav Das is guided by theses words of Krishna:

And of all yogis,
He who full of faith worships Me,
With his inner self abiding in Me,
Him I hold to be most attuned. (Gita, 6.47)

Tracey – Support Teaching Team

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.

Our students rave about Tracey’s teaching methods and breadth of knowledge. 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.

Barbara – Yoga Nidra Immersive + Online

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.

Currently based in Germany, Barbara teaches our Online Yoga Nidra training as well as running Yoga Nidra classes and retreats around the world. We are thrilled to offer our popular 50 Hour Yoga Nidra Immersive in Nusa Lembongan in conjunction with Barbara.


Tracy – Support Teaching Team

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.

Darla – Support Teaching Team

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!

Sarah – Support Teaching Team

Sarah completed her first yoga teacher training (RYT-200) with Santosha in 2012 and since that time has experienced a powerful shift in her awareness, perspective and the way she lives her daily life. This experience inspired Sarah to continue her yoga studies and she has since completed a Diploma of Yoga (RYT-500) under Michael De Manicor.

In addition to her yoga studies Sarah is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Physiotherapy at Charles Sturt University in Orange, Australia. Sarah has a strong passion for movement and believes whole heartedly in the powerful effects of yoga as a healing modality for the body, mind & spirit.

Through both her personal practice and her experience working on retreats, one-on-one and in class situations Sarah has observed countless people benefiting from a correctly designed yoga practice. Sarah is available both during training and mid-year in assisting students to design a personal practice to suit their specific physical, mental or spiritual needs.

Jennie – Student Support + Admin

As a Santosha RYT-200 (2011) and RYT-500 (2013) graduate, Jennie is honoured to work for Santosha in an Administration and Student Support role – handling the day to day of keeping a booming yoga business going!

Jennie makes sure life is smooth and easy for all our students – and grads. She handles all student bookings and enquiries and loves to help our new students get started on their journey. She is supported in this role by our accounts whizz, Margie.

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. 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.

Jennie loves working with all the amazing people Santosha attracts – both students and teachers!

 Would you like to know who is teaching on the course you choose ?
If you are wanting to train with a specific teacher please email to attain the teachers for the training you wish to attend.

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