IYTA Faculty

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Diploma of Yoga Teaching


Astrid Pickup

Astrid Pickup

Lecturer, Vice-President
EXPERTISE: Asana

Astrid has been a yogini for the past 16 years and has been teaching yoga for the last 10 years when she completed her training with IYTA. In that time Astrid has regularly practiced Hatha and Iyengar yoga and dabbled in Bikram (2 1/2 years) and many other yoga styles. In the last 3 years Astrid has completed a Diploma in Pre-Natal Yoga with IYTA and 3 Yoga for Children Courses with Zenergy Yoga, to specialise in teaching yoga to Teenagers.


David Burgess

David Burgess

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Pranayama & Meditation

David has many decades of yogic practise, yogic lifestyle and teaching experience behind him. Along with these subjects he lectures in he has a broad knowledge of the history and philosophy of yoga and has been a major contributor to yoga teacher training within and beyond Australia. He is a Life member of IYTA.


Edda Board

Edda Board

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Course Co-ordinator

Edda Board first discovered yoga many years ago in Sydney. Her motivation to study yoga with IYTA was not to teach but to immerse herself fully in the ancient offering. After graduating in 2011 she found herself holding classes and now teaches five classes per week in Bathurst. Attending workshops, further training and keeping up a strong and regular personal practice she believes are the foundations of a worthy yoga teacher.

Her favourite pose is Sirsasana as it reminds her to remain calm and breathe easy when things are "upside down". Edda is the study weekend and Residential support person.


Gwen Bitti

Gwen Bitti

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Yogic Philosophy

Gwen has been practicing yoga and incorporating its philosophy into her daily life since her youth. Born in India Gwen believes yoga and its philosophy seeped into her bones without her even being aware it had. Her first yoga teacher in Australia was Roma Blair (Founder of IYTA). Gwen followed a career in financial management, and realised that yoga was beneficial to overcome the stresses involved in this profession. Later, she embarked on a career in yoga; on gaining her qualifications she opened her own yoga school.

She is a meditation facilitator and member of the Australian Teachers’ Meditation Association, an Ayurveda lifestyle consultant and Masseur, an Energetic Healer, and plays the Crystal Bowls. She has been involved with her local community for over thirty years in various positions and is the Founder and major sponsor of Surya Namaskar Yoga Centre, Rimbik, India and a sponsor of Malbazar Boystown Orphanage, Mal, West Bengal, India. She conducts regular tours to India. Gwen is a current member of the IYTA Committee of Management, and a member of the IYTA faculty as a lecturer on yoga philosophy.


Jackie Engelmann

Jackie Engelmann

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Asana

Jackie Engelmann completed her ISHTA yoga teacher training in 2003 in Tokyo and at the same time completed the IYTA training by correspondence. She currently teaches in selected studios across Sydney as well as providing corporate and private classes.

Her aim is to ensure her students get the most out of every class emphasising mindfulness and awareness. Her calm and attentive teaching style focuses on correct alignment and physical safety.

In each class Jackie incorporates a variety of creative sequences with a well-balanced practice of pranayama, asanas, meditation and relaxation.


Karen Nicoll

Karen Nicoll

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Applied Anatomy & Physiology

Karen began yoga in 1972 and graduated from the IYTA Teacher Training Course in 1985. She has completed a Bachelor of Health Science (Complementary Medicine) and Leslie Kaminoff’s Yoga Anatomy Principles Course.

Her training as a massage therapist, herbalist and counsellor have all contributed to her understanding of the various factors that contribute to our wellbeing.

Karen teaches in Newcastle, leads yoga retreats and presents yoga and meditation workshops throughout Australia. Karen teaches the Applied Yoga Anatomy & Physiology module.


Katie Brown

Katie Brown

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Pre & Post Natal Yoga

Katie Brown has been teaching pregnancy yoga and running natural childbirth workshops for more than a decade.

She is a mum of three, infant massage therapist, doula and author. She has also produced three DVDs, two CDs and an online yoga and massage program for the Huggies website.

She lectures on the IYTA's Teacher Training Course and the IYTA's Pre and Post Natal Yoga Teacher Training Course.

And is also the author of: Mother Me – a mum's guide to balance, wellbeing and harmony.


Lisa Blanch

Lisa Blanch

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Asana

Lisa Blanch is a certified IYTA hatha yoga teacher, Accredited Yoga Therapist, Level 2 Yoga Australia registered teacher and Somatic Movement Exercise Coach Level 1 who has offered therapeutic yoga across Sydney, Australia, for over 12 years.

Her YogaCPR programs offer tailored therapeutic yoga sessions to individuals, specialist groups and corporate clients. Lisa has headed the Asana Team since 2014.


Liz Kraefft

Liz Kraefft

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Asana

During the last 12 years since graduating from the IYTA Teacher Training Course Liz has followed the teachings of many inspirational Yoga Teachers from many lineages and backgrounds. She acknowledges her colleagues and peers in the IYTA (including her teacher Margaret North who encouraged her to participate in further yoga studies) of which she believes provides such a great source of knowledge and wisdom.

Completing the Advanced Diploma of Yoga Teaching with the International Yoga Teachers Association ( IYTA) in Jan 2015 which will further support her depth of teachings of Classical Hatha Yoga. Continuous Professional Development allows accreditation with IYTA and YA. She holds a Diploma of Teaching and a Bachelor of Education (Adult Education).

Liz is absolutely convinced that yoga is the path to happiness, contentment and a healthy mind, body and soul.


Loraine Rushton

Loraine Rushton

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Children's Yoga

Loraine Rushton has been an international teacher, trainer and leading educator in Children’s Yoga for nearly 20 years. She has taught over 10,000 hours of yoga to thousands of children and teens of all ages. Loraine has trained hundreds of yoga teachers and school teachers on the benefits of yoga for children throughout Australia and internationally. Her mission is to impact the lives of millions of children worldwide by having them believe in themselves and shine their light out into the world.

Loraine was instrumental in bringing yoga into the Australian school system and runs numerous courses throughout Australia. Her programs have been taught in primary and secondary, private, public, selective, and religious schools for over 16 years.


Mary-Louise Parkinson

Mary-Louise Parkinson

Lecturer, President
EXPERTISE: Yogic Philosophy

Mary-Louise Parkinson is the president of IYTA. She has run a yoga studio, built an eco-yoga retreat, lived and worked in Nepal, co-founded the Asha Foundation. She is Senior Certified with Yoga Alliance and Yoga Australia and holds Post Graduate Qualifications with IYTA and Dru. Mary-Louise teaches the Business Studies Module.


Natalie Bull

Natalie Bull

IYTA Diploma of Yoga Teaching Course Manager

Natalie is Manager of the Diploma of Yoga Teaching. Since graduating from the IYTA Pre and Post Natal Course she has specialised in running Pre and Post Natal Yoga classes. She also trained with Anna Davis (Baby Bliss) and completed her Diploma of Yoga Teacher Training while living in Brisbane in 1997. As the mother of two young daughters Natalie brings her ability to multi task and operate under pressure to the task of managing the Diploma Course – with a sense of passion and joy.


Nick Flatman

Nick Flatman

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Asana

Nick has been teaching yoga for 11 years and feels passionate about sharing the experiences, professional development and skills he has gathered on his yoga journey with other following a similar path.


Dr Rama Prasad

Dr Rama Prasad

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Ayurveda

Ayurveda doctor Rama Prasad is in clinics, international classrooms and stage for over 25 years, after his 8 year Gurukula training in south India, during which each day started with Yoga and meditation. He has been part of over 25 international conferences and has taught at Nature Care College for over 10 years. He has identified over 1700 Ayurveda herbs that are native to Australia.


Rosemary Pearson

Rosemary Pearson

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Yogic Philosophy

After completing the IYTA Teacher Training in 1992 and being impressed by the quality of the course and the organisation, Rosemary offered to take part in the running of the Association. Rosemary explains: "One of the attractions of IYTA to me was the fact that the faculty and management worked from the heart and without the need of a guru to mediate the learning of Yoga and its life lessons."

After 22 years of teaching and involvement in many aspects of IYTA, Rosemary works with faculty members in course quality control, in marking assignments and examinations and with the Course Committee. With a long history with the Association, she is also the ‘go to’ person to help look back to keep the best developments within the course as IYTA moves forward developing and encompassing the new in education.


Shannon Townsend

Shannon Townsend

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Applied Anatomy & Physiology

Shannon’s love of physical activity balanced with time to relax lead her to yoga in 2000. She has worked in leading health retreats, resorts, spas, aquatic and recreation centres. Her thirst for learning has focused on wellness and health with degrees in Human Movements and Leisure Management, IYTA diploma of Yoga Teaching and further studies in massage, Chinese medicine and aquatic bodywork.

With her solid experience Shannon delivers fun, informative training on subjects that can often be less than exciting. Shannon infuses her training sessions with humour and enthusiasm, allowing participants to feel at ease, encouraging curiosity and questions. Shannon heads up the IYTA First Aid training for Yoga Teachers and delivers First Aid training throughout Queensland.

Shannon teaches yoga at conferences and events, workplaces and for the community. She is a firm believer in sharing her knowledge and passion to help others lead a positive inspiring life.


Stephania Bejma

Stephania Bejma

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Senior's Yoga

Stephania started her yoga journey 17 years ago, doing her Teacher Training in 2004. Her background is in Diversional Therapy – leisure and lifestyle in the aged care sector- and it is on this principle that she delivers the “Yoga for Seniors” Module in the IYTA Teacher Training Course.

Stephania’ s passion is education and she loves passing on her knowledge and practices to best address the issues that affect people that may be dealing with physical and sometimes perhaps emotional health ailments or changes.

Stephania is a Life Coach, Cert IV Trainer, wife, a mother to boys and experienced yoga teacher who enjoys the flows and ebbs in life and will instil a desire to bring the benefits of Yoga to those who just might benefit the most from your Yoga teaching.


Susie Lapin

Susie Lapin

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Applied Anatomy & Physiology

Susie Lapin has spent over 25 years working as a physiotherapist specialising in the prevention and rehabilitation of musculo-skeletal injuries, postural correction and core stability. Susie is also a qualified yoga teacher who is trained in MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) and runs Restorative Retreats for Women in Bali and Australia. She has taught applied anatomy and physiology to the Dru Yoga school for the past 10 years and on the IYTA Post Graduate Back Care course.


Suzanne Ellis

Suzanne Ellis

Head Mentor
EXPERTISE: Yogic Philosophy

Suzanne Ellis graduated from the IYTA Teacher Training Diploma Course in May 2009. Since then she has been teaching a variety of classes in the lower mountains area including adults, seniors, kids, teens, cancer care, pregnancy and mums and bubs. She currently runs her own studio in Glenbrook, NSW.

Her philosophy is that Yoga is for Every Body, from babies to the elderly and this is reflected in her teaching. She also runs regular meditation courses.

Since graduating, Suzanne has completed a Graduate Certificate in Yoga Therapy with Australian Institute of Yoga Therapists, as well as the IYTA Back Care and Pre and Post Natal Diplomas. She has a special interest in Ayurveda and Somatic Movement.


Wendy Batchelor

Wendy Batchelor

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Yogic Philosophy

Wendy Batchelor is passionate about yoga and its potential for bringing inspiration, fulfilment, peace and lasting happiness into our lives. She graduated in the IYTA TTC in 1980. She is a past President of IYTA and was a member of Committee of Management for many years. She has been part of the Teacher Training Course as committee member and teacher since 1981.

Wendy teaches History and Traditions and Philosophy of Yoga (Classic Paths, Karma, Gnana and Bhakti), Relaxation in Yoga and Communication in Adult Learning. She has a Masters Degree in Health Science Education (University of Sydney) and is trained in Curriculum Design, Implementation and Evaluation. She was a Subject Coordinator and lecturer in Health Science Education at University of Sydney. She is a specialist in transformative education and change management.

Wendy has taught Yoga for Children and Yoga for Older People and developed programs for teaching yoga to older people for IYTA that were adopted by NSW Department of Health Promotion’s Healthy Lifestyle program.

Wendy’s realisation that the body is central to all transformation and change led her to study and graduate in Hakomi Psychotherapy, a body focused psychotherapy based on Eastern/yogic principles.