Leah is The Collective studio owner and teacher. She is a passionate yogi, human rights activist and storyteller. Drawing on the inspiration of sages, poets and freethinking minds, Leah’s classes are fuelled with purpose. Linking the physical body with the intellect, breath and spirit, Leah uses her skills in storytelling to create a class that takes her students’ practice off the mat and to empower positive change.
She is an eternal student to the practice who has shared her love of yoga with men, women and children in Australia and London, as well as with refugee women as a way of healing. She found her spot on the mat more than 10 years ago and has been mentored by Mardi Bell, Mary-Lousie Parkinson, Joy Kunkanit, Ricardo Martin, Kat Clayton and Noelle Connolly in Ashtanga, Hatha, Vinyasa, and Pre-Natal and Post-Natal Yoga. During Leah’s classes, all levels of experience are respected. You will be guided through the movement of postures, while linking the breath, the drishti (point of gaze) and the body’s bandhas (energy locks). Combining a flow of movement with relaxation, you will learn to better understand who you are and how you connect with the world.
Through Leah’s many years of advocacy work, she has discovered a profound truth: Yoga and social justice are one and the same. Yoga teaches us to live and speak our truth (Satya), to collaborate with comm‘unity’ (Sangha) and to be of service to others (Seva). Yoga is a vehicle for the ethical and sustainable changes we seek. The Collective is an initiative of Leah’s social enterprise Freethinker Co., which offers workshops and events to connect people to community. See our events page.
Yoga came into Samie’s life 7 years ago when she experienced her first yoga class right here at The Collective. Finding her place on her mat in a beginner’s Ashtanga class taught by Mardi Bell, Samie fell in love with the practice instantly. Growing up as a dancer, she had spent most of her life training and performing in most types of dance, particularly contemporary ballet. Eventually her love for dance was replaced with the busy-ness of life, stress and the drive to succeed in the corporate world. Yoga entered her life at the right time, teaching her awareness and to honour her truth. Samie is a devoted student to yoga and will always describe herself as a student first and teacher second. She has been mentored in Ashtanga yoga by Mardi Bell, Gregor Maehle, Monica Gauci and Leah Davies and is forever grateful for the wisdom and teachings they have shared. Samie is passionate about sharing the gifts of yoga with everyone, supporting her students through a nurturing practice to discover union of mind, body and breath. Samie weaves yoga philosophy, nourishing asana, pranayama and essential oils to support her students to feel grounded and restored during her classes.
Isabel has been practising and studying yoga for 7 years. She’s a globe trotter and competed her Hatha Vinyasa training in India. Her teaching style harbours both tradition and free flow while integrating philosophy and pranayama into each class. Seeking to help others thrive by nurturing body, mind and soul with yoga, Isabel’s intention is for you to step off the mat feeling nourished, refreshed and balanced. Passionate about the great outdoors and connecting to nature, when Isabel is not on the mat, she can be found outside immersing herself in Gaia’s gifts, expressing herself creatively through painting and music, or travelling to new places off the beaten track. Always learning, always growing, Isabel understands that the journey is never complete.
Jeannie’s yoga practice began growing up in the foothills of Byron Bay. Here she also trained in classical and contemporary ballet. Finding a passion for music later she became an electronic music producer and D.J, founding her own record label. This took her on many travels around the globe, sharing her love for music and dance and helping many others to fall in love with movement through music. Jeannie was blessed with a pathway to yoga teaching training through an internship with Sandy Delgado (Savvy Soul Yoga U.S.A) and Samantha Bijok at Austral Yoga. Samantha and Jeannie are sisters and it was because of her constant love and encouragement that she finally came back to yoga and now to teach others this way of healing. Jeannie teaches Vinyasa Flow, Vinyasa Power, Pranayama, Yoga Nidra and meditation, using music and mantras as sound therapy throughout class. Focusing on breath, creating freedom through movement, restoring strength and flexibility, Jeannie’s intention is to help others find peace, internal strength and wellbeing … with a dash of music and a whole lot of Aum!
This amazing practice called Yoga helped to dig Polly out of the depths of a lifelong anxiety disorder, mild depression and low self worth. Yoga brought her back to herself with a new sense of freedom and peace she didn’t know possible. Polly is passionate about creating a nurturing space for others to heal and discover more about their own true nature. She is dedicated to her own continual practice as well as professional development and has a Certificate in Holistic Counselling (The Awakening Group), 500 hour Advanced Teacher Training from the Byron Yoga Centre, 30 Hr Yin Yoga Teacher Training with Jo Phee, 100 hour Embodied Mindfulness Teacher Training with Tina Nance, 30 hrs of Yoga Psychology online training with Ashley Turner and is currently studying Yoga Therapy with Adore Yoga. Polly is particularly interested in empowering women along their spiritual journey.
Nana has been studying yoga for nearly 19 years and has explored the likes of Hatha, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Vinyasa, Yin, Restorative, Acro, Kundalini, pre-natal and postnatal as well as yoga therapy and senior yoga. She discovered yoga after various traumatic experiences and found her roots and wings again when practicing and studying yoga. Nana is a registered yoga teacher with the Yoga Alliance and has over 500 hours of professional training to support her teaching. Her real love is yoga philosophy and the thought shift that can take place in a yoga class when there is intention and purpose. Her background is in psychology and welfare where she assisted the less fortunate residents of the Central Coast for nearly a decade. Her passion is in making a real difference and for this reason she has dedicated her last few years to sharing the healing benefits of Yoga with the elderly and those seeking refuge from their challenging existence. Her dream is to see more people step into the roles of yoga teacher and to see yoga spread to all corners of the world.
After being inspired by the amazing physical benefits of practicing yoga, Anna decided to take a leap of faith and travel to Thailand for a month of total immersion into all things Yoga through her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) with AllYoga Thailand. She wanted a deeper understanding of Yoga beyond the physical asanas. Anna received so much more during her training and she can only describe it as a gift. Since her first training she has gone onto complete two 300 hour Advanced Teacher Trainings, one in Fluid Vinyasa and the other YinYasa. She has completed a 50 hour YTT in Yin and has assisted 300 hour Advanced Teacher Training. With regular pranayama and meditation practice Anna has experienced a level of wellbeing and connection she never thought possible and she wants everyone to feel the same way. Anna studied a Bachelors Degree in Human Movement (anatomy, physiology, biomechanics). Her teaching has a strong base in anatomical and physiological alignment and adjustment, she is fascinated by the miracle that is the human body. Anna wants to share her passion for yoga and living with everyone. When you don’t see her in the studio on her mat, you will find her playing with inversions or out on her surfboard riding the natural energy of Mother Nature.
Anna leads our monthly Ashtanga Vinyasa Workshop on the first Sunday of the month from 2.00pm – 4.00pm.
As well as loving yoga, Suzi is a Mental Health Nurse, a mum of two beautiful kids, an avid gardener and a surfer. In her daily work, she sees the detrimental effects of lifestyle choices, life events and everyday stress on people mentally, emotionally and physically. Teaching yoga offers an empowering opportunity to expand on ways to help people strengthen, heal and grow. Suzi has practised yoga over the last 20 years and trained with Tara Fitzgibbon Byron Yoga Centre and Sarah Powers Insight Yoga and Mysan Sidbo from The Sanctuary. Teaching is such a privilege, one that Suzi is grateful for every day. She looks forward to sharing this powerfully healing practice with you at our monthly Yin workshop held the last Sunday of the month.
Lou has a BSc in Psychology and has been practicing yoga for 20 or so years. “I have a passion for yoga, meditation, psychology and philosophy; my studies will never be complete.” Lou has trained with the Byron Yoga Centre in Purna/Hatha yoga, Rainbow Kids Yoga, Sarah Powers Insight Yoga (yin and meditation) and Maria Kirsten (Remedial Yoga) and the journey continues. Lou is English born but has now spent half of her life in England and half in Australia. She has 2 teenagers who are the light of her life, she loves nature, laughter and sharing a positive energy with all beings.
Kathryn is a professional trained kids’ yoga teacher who has taught yoga and mindfulness to hundreds of children across the Central Coast. She is filled with joy everyday because of the positive changes her classes have already made in children and their families here in our community. Kathrun established Bearfoot Yoga in 2016 after recognising a great need for a non-competitive wellness program, which would benefit the whole child – physically, mentally and emotionally. This led her to discovering her passion, which is delivering the highest quality kid’s yoga and mindfulness classes that will have a lasting impact on children’s lives. She looks forward to welcoming your Yoga Bear to the Bearfoot Yoga family 🙂
Philip has been curating spiritual experiences internationally over the last 25 years. Recently he and his wife Susan started The Gathering Cloud; monthly groups that meet in homes in NSW and QLD. These practice based gatherings focus on communing with a higher power, and being community to one another; that we are created from love, for love. Through practices such as Centering Prayer, Breathe Prayer, Divine Gaze and other forms of contemplative spiritual disciplines, that we can experience life from our divine indwelling connected to the universal divine, be transformed through participation, and operate from a collective unitive consciousness based on love, rather than the hyper-individuation that society has brought.