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.


Peter Clifford – Byron Bay

Peter is the founder and director of Anahata Yoga, senior yoga teacher (E-RYT 500) and teacher of the Five Element Form. Peter has studied and practiced yoga for 52 years. He has had the honour of studying with many wise and knowledgeable teachers in India including Swami Shankara, Swami Sarasvati, TKV Desikachar, AG Mohan, BKS Iyengar and Rishi Nityabhodananda. Combining his study of Anahata Yoga with a lifelong interest in learning about bio-mechanics, postural integration, anatomy and physiology, Peter has developed the unique, powerful and comprehensive Anahata Yoga philosophy, which manifests in asana as the Dance of Shiva and Shakti.

Peter’s teaching style reflects his experience as a household yogi and his training in Assam, India. He embodies the qualities of grace, humour, compassion and non-judgement, and provides his students with the tools to apply the philosophy of yoga to all aspects of daily life. His classes are joyous, opening and transformational.

Peter commenced the study of yoga in 1963 at University to complement his studies of civil engineering and discovered the wealth of benefits that it contained. This began a lifelong exploration of the inner conscious aspects of yoga and its many different paths.

After commencing studies in Hatha and Raja yoga in 1963, a deepening interest in yoga led Peter to travel through North East India into Assam. Here he studied Tattwa Shuddhi Sadhana (the Five Element Form) with an Aghor Tantric Sadhu Shankara at the Kamakhya temple near the city of Guwahata, where he was taught Anahata Yoga and became proficient in the Five Element Form. Over a period of 50 years, Peter has practiced and studied this ancient form and he is one of only five yogis around the world entrusted by his teachers to impart the knowledge of the Five Element Form to his own students.

Peter continued his yoga journey and studied Iyengar Yoga with BKS Iyengar, Nicky Knoff and James Bryant. In the 1980s he continued his Iyengar studies with Michele Besnard in Noosa and in 1992, he was trained in the theory and practice of Hatha yoga, anatomy and physiology by Swami Sarasvati and became a qualified Yoga teacher recognised by the Australian Yoga Masters Association.

While teaching yoga internationally, he also studied with TKV Desikachar and AG Mohan of the Krishnamacharya Yoga tradition, which is similar to the Anahata Yoga tradition of Assam. Following a serious motorcycle accident in 1997, Peter commenced studies in Vinni Yoga with TKV Desikachar, the son of Krishnamacharya, his wife, Menaka, and later with Desikachar’s son Kaustub. With the goal of personal rehabilitation, Peter studied the internal aspects of therapeutic yoga and his knowledge in this area was further deepened through his studies with AG Mohan and his wife Indra in 2003.


Jo Farrell – Byron Bay


Joanne is certified through Polaris International College in Denmark with a Diploma of Transformational Kinesiology and Transpersonal healing. This diploma has a focus on esoteric Ageless Wisdom teachings and astrology.  She completed a second Diploma of Kinesiology with Create Your Reality Kinesiology School in Brisbane.  This has a focus on anatomy physiology, TCM, and neuroscience. She is also a certified educator of Transformational Kinesiology and Energetic Anatomy.

Joanne has participated in a vast variety of  transformational trainings all over the world, mostly yoga and transpersonal creative teachings in India, Nepal, Thailand, Brazil, Peru, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia. She has a special interest in yoga & the subtle energy body, esoteric astrology, shamanic teachings and Druid mysticism. . She is currently doing extra training learning indigenous healing traditions with an indigenous elder healer in NSW.


Jasmine White – Byron Bay

Jasmine is a passionate and motivating speaker, practitioner and healer of Ayurveda. These ancient principles of diet, lifestyle and specific treatments support the body’s natural balance and have been profound in her own journey of self-healing. 

After completing the Advanced Diploma of Ayurveda through Australian Institute of Ayurvedic Studies (AIAS), Jasmine has travelled to Northern and Southern India to further study these ancient healing techniques. Inspired by these powerful healing methods, Jasmine continues to spend her time engaging in seminars, lectures, courses and practitioner discussions to further her knowledge of Ayurveda in order to share it with her clients and students.

Jasmine has worked with many clients through consultations, massage and therapeutic treatments to bring health, wellbeing and balance. Having also continued a strong personal yoga and meditation practice for many years, she understands the importance of a holistic approach to wellbeing. Our students enjoy Jasmine’s lively engaging classes and have the opportunity to wrk one-on-one with Jasmine for consults and massages.


Darla Baldwin – Byron Bay

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!


Vasudha Harte – Byron Bay

Vasudha Harte has been working with the healing power of music and sound for over 30 years. An experienced and qualified Music Therapist (University of Melbourne) and Music Teacher (Grad Dip.Ed), Vasudha also trained in India at the Nada (Sound) Yoga school, Rishikesh, and studied the ancient meditative art of dhrupad singing. A professional singer and multi instrumentalist, she intuitively combines her wealth of knowledge, expertise, artistry and passion for the healing power of sound to present unique experiences for individuals and groups.

“Sound Healing facilitates a vibrational state change. It depends upon a talented sound healer who not only understands the intricacies of sound, but also carries the healer archetype. Vasudha Harte is a gifted sound healer and comes highly recommended” ~ Lisa Fitzpatrick, Founder of Sacred Women’s Business


Yusuke Komiya – Byron Bay

Yusuke was born in Japan, and there he encountered and began practice in Yoga, Aikido and Qigong in 2006, as well as adding Japanese traditional martial art (Shinto Muso Ryu Jodo) Taikiken his practice in 2008 and Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu 2015.

He completed his 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training under Krishna Chaitanya in Mysore, India in 2017
Yusuke works in the field of Remedial Massage, Shiatsu & Oriental Therapy, Reiki and along with Yoga and Kirtan is currently practicing Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu. He is a member of Australian Natural Therapy Association (ANTA), Yoga Alliance Australia.

From his extensive training and practical experience Yusuke brings a deep understanding of the principles of movement and energy to the training, sharing skills from his shiatsu, reiki and oriental therapy through his popular Yoga Massage module.


Mian Meuthai – Online + Bali

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


Andrea Abian – Online + Bali

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


Piera Fromm – Online + Bali


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


Meret Wandeler – Online

Meret’s love for yoga started when she took her first class in order to manage an injury – but quickly turned into a passion when she discovered the immense physical and mental health benefits yoga offers.

Meret has since become an exercise scientist, and started her health professional journey teaching anatomy at university, then working as part of a  team at Griffith University running clinical trials, aiming to design effective exercise programs to improve the health of people with chronic conditions.

Her yoga and meditation practice brings peace and unity to her mind body and soul, helping her being her healthy, happy self. She is passionate about helping people feel great in their skin and loving themselves through yoga and exercise.

She loves sharing her acquired knowledge of health and wellness as well as learning from each and every student. When not on the mat you’ll find her near the ocean, she adores surfing, diving, snorkelling, sup yoga and soaking up the sun.


Barbara Kundig – Yoga Nidra

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.

 

Hamid Ebadi – Spirtual Counsellor

Santosha is privileged to have a dedicated spiritual counsellor – Hamid Ebadi – on our team, to assist and support our students with their psychological, spiritual and mental health.

Along with his western psychology qualifications and experience, in 2000 Hamid was ordained as a monk and subsequently authorized in 2010 by his master to teach and 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 and has been in active practice since then.

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 a trusting and accepting relationship is essential for it is the relationship that ultimately heals. His counsel has proved to be invaluable help for many Santosha in the past.

Today a growing number of people are turning to the internet for counselling. Hamid uses both Skype sessions and e-mailing in his work. All contacts with him are private and covered by confidentiality.


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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