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.
Mayra grew up amongst the mountains of Chile and the coastlines of Mexico. Yoga has been part of Mayra’s journey since she started practicing at the age of 18. As her practice grew deeper, she felt the need to immerse into different teacher training to share her love and appreciation of Yoga. She completed her first 200hrs teacher training with Dominique Renucci, and then moved to Byron Bay to learn more at Creature Yoga Byron Bay, studying with Bess Prescott, Tahl Rinsky, Carlos Pomeda, Gwyn Williams, amongst other fabulous teachers. Her teaching style is fun and relaxed with a focus on sequencing and alignment, giving her students a chance to explore new movements and flows, building a better a understanding of body, mind and spirit connection in the safe space of her classes.
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.
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!
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.
Emily has been practicing yoga for many years. What started as a love for Ashtanga yoga has developed into a passion for all yoga and mindfulness practices. She feels yoga has had a profound and positive influence on her life, and believes that yoga can be a powerful tool for transformation, healing and improving overall health and well being. As a lover of movement, adventure and travel, Emily has always been interested in the human body and health. A natural progression of these interests led her to study and gain a Bachelor Degree in the field of Exercise and Sport Science followed by a Masters degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology. She has been working as an accredited exercise physiologist since 2012 and works with a vast range of people in order to prevent or manage chronic health conditions and injuries. Through her own yoga practice and research, Emily has gained the therapeutic benefits it has had in connecting the physical body to the the mind and soul.This is where the combination of her science background marries perfectly with the ancient healing methodologies of yoga. Emily has been practicing with and learning from The Collective teachers Mardi Bell, Leah Davies and Samie Joy. Other mentors include Aisa Locsin and David Lertsin who recently guided her through her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training.
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.
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.
Angie has been practicing meditation and applying tools in her daily life for the past few years. It didn’t take long for her to realise the incredible benefits a daily meditation practice can make. Angie’s relationships and connection with family and friends grew deeper as her understanding, compassion and love opened up to a higher conscious level. Angie knows now more than ever the importance of starting the day with peace and a quiet mind. This then flows onto the rest of her day. Angie has learnt to focus her attention on her attitude consistently and consciously, and take the peace of mind from her morning meditation into her active meditation of life . Angie travels to Bali throughout the year where she spends one-on-one time with her meditation teacher, developing her skills for life and deepening her meditation practice. She also attends a meditation retreat in Bellingen retreat twice a year at Syambaba retreat centre. Last year Angie travelled to Nepal for a two week meditation retreat. When not travelling overseas, Angie values her time to fill up at the Wat Buddha Dhamma Buddhist Monestary in Wisemans Ferry utilising the sacred space to practice her own meditation.