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 became part of Samie’s life many years ago when she experienced her first class as a student right here at The Collective. Our studio has been lovingly called ‘home’ by Samie (and many), as her journey with yoga continues to unfold like a lotus-flower unfurling its petals. Mentored in Ashtanga yoga by Mardi Bell, Gregor Maehle, Monica Gauci and Leah Davies, Samie has also completed her pre and post- natal training with Katie Manitsas and is forever grateful for the wisdom and teachings they have all shared. Walking a path of self-discovery, of connection to our community, and to mumma earth, Samie is passionate about sharing the gifts of yoga with everyone. She loves to create a sacred and safe space, guiding students to awaken to the power and joy of yoga, to explore the union of their body, mind and breath, and to take yoga off the mat into everyday life.
Rose believes that yoga allows you to breathe, focus and tap into your talents and passions – and therefore, live a more vibrant life! Originally an English teacher, Rose changed direction after ten years of practise with an experienced Hatha teacher in Perth, who taught her how to use yoga to control stress and build a stronger physique. She completed her yoga teacher training at the Byron Yoga Centre and has recently travelled India, strengthening her skills under a range of traditional Indian yoga instructors in both Hatha and Ashtanga styles. She is also passionate about meditation, kundalini dance and creative writing. She is currently studying her Masters of Writing at UTS, and specialises in workshops that utilise yoga and meditation to unlock creativity.
Like many, what started out as a purely physical practice with time I started to notice the shifts that were occurring as a part of this re-discovery of body, breath and mind. Yoga has brought me back to myself with a new sense of freedom and peace I didn’t know possible, and helped me to heal from chronic anxiety. Through my experience I am passionate about creating a nurturing space for others to heal and discover more about their own true nature. I do this by combining my personal experience with my various trainings in Yoga, Counselling and Embodiment practices to hold a non-judgemental and empowering space without any dogma or fancy tricks. I find Yoga to be the most impactful when it is meditative, fluid, slow and breath-centred. I am dedicated to my own continual practice as well as professional development and and have over 1000 hours of teacher training including 500 hour Advanced Teacher Training from the Byron Yoga Centre, 80 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, 220 hours of Yoga Therapy training with Adore Yoga and 200 hour Women’s Self Care Yoga Teacher Training with Emily Kuser and Women’s Yoga Therapist, Uma Dinsmore Tuli. Yep, I’m pretty much obsessed with learning all things Yoga!
Yoga has been the key part in Sophie’s life for four years now. What started as a new year’s resolution to commit a whole entire month to practicing yoga daily, she found herself finally awake with a passion she never felt before and has not stopped practicing since. Born and raised in Austria, Sophie moved to the Central Coast three years ago to be with her partner. Throughout the process of finding herself again and the pain of homesickness, the only steady thing in her life was her Yoga practice so she decided to follow this path and do her 200 hour Teacher Training in Bali where she then fell in love even deeper with the yogic philosophy, meditation and the spiritual aspects of Yoga practice. She has been taught in Vinyasa and Yin Yoga and is passionate about nature, the moon and encouraging people to carve out more time for themselves and focusing on sending love inwards first, so they may then share it with the people in their life.
Emily has been living in Australia for over 10 years and been practicing yoga for many years. Born and raised in France, she moved to Australia in her twenties where her free spirit and love for the ocean continues to deepen. One day she decided to change her life and went on a journey of discovery to India to grow, to learn more about herself and the Universe, and to progress within the profession of teaching yoga. She completed her yoga teacher training with Indea yoga in Mysore (IYT) with 250hrs+ in Hatha Yoga and been teaching in Australia and abroad since. Her passion for teaching comes from a place of love and a genuine desire to help others to connect with themselves, to find peace, identify wisdom and live in the present moment. Using a combination of meditation, pranayama and asanain her classes, Emily guides you into a place of pure bliss.
Dhyan has practiced yoga for over 10 years and she is a KRI Certified Teacher and dedicated student of Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan. She received her training through Suraj Kaur Khalsa and the team at RA MA DA SA Australia where she continues to receive mentorship from her trainers on this lifelong path of deep learning and self inquiry. Dhyan serves to hold space for community where they can access and practice the ancient and traditional practice of Kundalini Yoga which engages all four aspects of yoga with pranayam, asana, meditation and mantra/sound. Regular practice of Kundalini Yoga provides you with life skills to build a strong self awareness and enable you to work through limiting beliefs so that you can live a heart led, happy and healthy life. Dhyan is a devoted mother and lover and she lives alongside her passion for food as a commercial food photographer. She is also host to a yoga inspired bookclub and in her spare time you can find her walking in the sun or swimming in the ocean.
Jeannie has been teaching a variety of yoga styles for the last 4 years. Jeannie teaches Dynamic Vinyasa, Restorative Yin, Senior chair Yoga, 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, both physically and mentally with yoga asana and yoga philosophy. Her practice began over 25 years ago growing up in the foothills of Byron Bay, where she also trained in classical and contemporary ballet. Finding a passion for music 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 and movement. Jeannie was blessed with a pathway to yoga teaching training with Sandy Delgado (Savvy Soul Yoga U.S.A) and Samantha Bijok at Austral Yoga, her beloved sister. She is 200hr trained Vinyasa Yoga Teacher, and is currently furthering her education studying a 500 hour pathway to Advanced Vinyasa and Yin Yoga. May the light of yoga bring joy to your life with a dash of music and a whole lot of Aum!
Mardi gained her initial teaching accreditation in 1992 in Integral Yoga (Asana, Pranayama, Bandhas, Mudra, Meditation,Kriya) and continued her studies and gained further teaching credentials in Jivamukti Yoga with David Life (New York), Mandala Flow with Shiva Rea (Bali) Anatomy of Hatha Yoga with Bimone Borg-Oliver Synergy Yoga (Sydney) Ashtanga Yoga Primary Sequence Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois (Mysor India) and further training workshops with Clive Sheridan Hatha Yoga, Pranayama & Meditation (Goa India & Sydney) Rodney Yea Hatha Yoga (Sydney), Shandor Remit Shadow Yoga (Melbourne & Sydney) Donna Farhi Vinyasa Yoga (Sydney & Auckland) Manjui Jois Ashtanga Yoga (Bali) David Swenson Ashtanga Yoga (Goa India), John Scott Ashtanga Yoga (Sydney),Twee Meridan Mandala Flow Yoga & Adjust, Assist, Enhance (Sydney)
Mardi has taught both nationally and internationally, gaining her teaching experience in Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Restorative style teaching in Australia, New Zealand, Bali, Nepal, India and Bhutan. She hopes to create space for students to connect, listen and nourish their ‘whole’ selves in this moment, gaining the tools for acceptance, gratitude and humility.
Sharleen is a Certified Baby Massage Instructor based on the Central Coast and is excited to empower you to explore a deeper level of bonding and connection with your baby. Baby massage has been practiced in Eastern countries for centuries and has been known for its amazing benefits for development, physical health and the general wellbeing of infants. Sharleen is a big believer in the importance of the parent/child relationship and baby massage is just one way to enhance and strengthen this beautiful bond. Her focus and aim is to equip you with the skills required to implement this into your daily routine and to create a special time for you and your baby to enjoy learning something new.