IYTA Faculty

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Diploma of Yoga Teaching - 2018 Faculty


Alana Smith

Alana Smith

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Philosophy

Alana is passionate about yoga philosophy and practice, and specialises in yoga for stress and anxiety management. She has her own yoga studio, "Stag Hill", at her farm in Jamberoo and she also teaches at Manly Yoga & Mediation Centre, Alana did her teacher training with the IYTA and is now involved in designing and delivering yogic philosophy lectures through the IYTA DYT. Prior to her yoga teaching career, Alana was a high school English and French teacher and Year Co-ordinator. As well as yoga, Alana loves dancing, gardening, tending to her dairy goats and chooks and spoiling her beloved pooches.


Alex Cogley

Alex Cogley

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Asana

Alex had been practicing yoga for over 20 years. In 2000 she started her three-year training program with the founders of Yoga Synergy, Simon Borg-Olivier and Bianca Machliss. Over the last few decades she has studied with many other renowned teachers including Clive Sheridan, Shandor Remete, Donna Farhi and in 2015 started the IYTA Advanced Teacher training program. As a qualified Yoga Synergy teacher, Alex ran the Yoga Synergy School in Manly, which she taught at for over 11 years, she later started up the Yoga Co-operative Manly and in 2016 she was invited to mover her classes to the long established Manly Yoga Centre, (a highly respected centre, established in Manly over 40 years ago). Alex believes that safely challenging the body, in a fun and intelligent way, helps create a strong, healthy body and a calm focused mind - not just on the mat, but beyond.


Amy Seal

Amy Seal

IYTA Diploma of Yoga Teaching Course Manager

Amy is the manager of the IYTA DYT Course and Foundation of Yoga Studies. Previously, she managed the IYTA Pre & Postnatal Course. Amy has a background in Science (BSc) and IT (working at both Qantas and Yahoo7). Amy has been dedicated to practicing yoga since 2000 and has completed several yoga courses including the IYTA Diploma of Yoga Training, IYTA Diploma of Pre & Postnatal Yoga, Restorative, Teacher Mentoring and Children’s Yoga courses. She currently teaches at a local studio and covers classes for workplace, prenatal and senior yoga classes. Amy is passionate about continuing her yoga journey with her strong connection to the IYTA community and educational courses.


Astrid Pickup

Astrid Pickup

Lecturer, President
EXPERTISE: Asana

Astrid has been a yogini for the past 19 years and has been teaching yoga for the last 14 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 2012  Astrid completed a Diploma in Pre-Natal Yoga with IYTA and has also completed 3 Yoga for Children Courses with Zenergy Yoga, to specialise in teaching yoga to Teenagers.


Catherine Carter

Catherine Carter

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Applied Yoga Anatomy

Like many people, Catherine found yoga through illness and injury, and hasn't looked back since. She completed her Diploma with the IYTA in 2017, and balances teaching yoga in Toowoomba with corporate work, being a mum, and being involved in local community groups. Catherine started her professional career as an acute care nurse for 10 years before voluntarily having a career change.


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

In 2003 Jacki completed her ISHTA (Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra and Ayurveda) yoga teacher training in Tokyo. During this time she also undertook the IYTA training by correspondence. Jackie has now been instructing yoga for 10 years and currently teaches in selected studios across Sydney as well as providing corporate and private classes.

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. Jacki is an integral member of the IYTA Asana Team.


Jeff Lou

Jeff Lou

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Asana, Yin TCM

Jeff started his yoga and meditation practice with his mother as a child more than 30 years ago. Over this time he has studied and practiced extensively in styles such as Hatha, Ashtanga, Jivamukti, Yin, Anusara and Vinyasa. Yoga to Jeff is a pathway to self-love and self-acceptance, he believes only by knowing who you are, can you truly understand the world around you, thereby living in harmony with-in and with-out; and every other 'physical improvements' that comes with yoga are just the icing on the cake. Jeff is also a qualified and registered therapist in other healing modalities like Acupuncture, TCM, Shiatsu, Remedial massage, Spiritual Healing and Aromatherapy.

In Jeff's classes, alignment, form and intention are emphasised. A steady practice where mind and body are equally important and responsible for reaching a level of mental peach and relaxation, while maintaining postures that may present a physcial challenge to the practitioner. This is the very essence of equanimity that yoga teaches us to manoeuvre through life's many situations.


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: Asana, Pre & Post Natal Yoga

Katie is a senior yoga teacher with 18 years' experience. She teaches a range of classes from general to pre and post-natal yoga, mums and bubs yoga, chair yoga and yoga for special needs. She trained with IYTA in 2000-1 and lectures on both the IYTA's Teacher Training Course and the IYTA's Pre and Post Natal Yoga Teacher Training Course.

Katie is also a qualified massage therapist (ITEC), Infant massage educator (MA), doula (Optimum birth) and has done trainings in Children's Yoga (Zenergy Yoga) is a qualified Laughter Yoga Teacher and has studied Yin 1 and Yin 2 with Sarah Manning. She has also produced three DVDs, two CDs and an online yoga and massage program for the Huggies website, and is also the author of: Mother Me – a mum's guide to balance, wellbeing and harmony.


Liz Kraefft

Liz Kraefft

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Asana

Liz completed her Yoga teacher training in 2003 and instructs in her studio at Pymble, on the Upper North Shore of Sydney. Liz lectured for the IYTA Teacher Training course (2008-2013) teaching Asana and class planning and believes very much in sharing knowledge, providing honest and loving encouragement to students by mentoring and helping them to grow and develop their own yoga journey.

Returning to Lecturing with the IYTA Teacher Training Team in 2016 and excited to offer further perspectives after a time away. Completing the Advanced Diploma of Yoga Teaching with the IYTA in Jan 2015 which further supports her depth of teachings of Classical Hatha Yoga. Liz also holds a Diploma of Teaching and a Bachelor of Education (Adult Education).


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.


Nick Flatman

Nick Flatman

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Asana

Nick started yoga 23 years ago and completed his Teacher Training diploma with IYTA in 2004. At that time, Nick commenced Macarthur Yoga and has been teaching yoga around the Macarthur region in South West Sydney. In 2014, Nick returned to complete his IYTA Post Graduate (Advanced) Teacher Training course. Nick also has a Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) and since 2010, has been working for Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect). His teaching role as allowed him to continue an ongoing action research project, collecting data and recording the therapeutic benefits of yoga, with students with autism. Nick Flatman teaches yoga at many local gyms and has been a workshop yoga tutor for the Campbelltown City Council for over 6 years. He is also an instructor with the "Live Life Well" program established in 2015 and offers classes from his home studio.


Rebecca Lean

Rebecca Lean

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Koshas

Rebecca is a 500hr yoga teacher with qualifications in Anatomical Yoga Therapy for Injury and Pain, mental health first aid, Children's Yoga, working with disabilities and laughter yoga.

While teaching in the general community she also enjoys working in private rehabilitation and is a member of A Sound Life, bringing music and yoga to public hospitals and working with young patients living with psychosis, depression, anxiety and eating disorders.


Robyn Lynch

Robyn Lynch

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Philosophy, Ayurveda

Robyn has a passion for "True Wellness". Her dream is that all people have access to the wisdom of self-knowing that allows each of us to experience our Perfect Healthy. As the founder of the Perfect Health Centre, she has facilitated life-change for hundreds of clients through Yoga teaching, Ayurvedic Medicine and on-line courses. Robyn has a B. Ed., has studied extensively internationally and her qualifications include being an Advanced Ayurvedic Practitioner, holding a Masters from Chopra Centre University and gaining her initial Yoga teaching qualifications from IYTA.


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.


Ruth Burgess

Ruth Burgess

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Anatomy

Ruth began teaching in 1981 and has taught yoga ever since both here in Australia and beyond. Over the years, she has spent two extended periods of her life - amounting to 18 years - living full time in ashrams and contributing to ashram life as a yoga teacher, course developer and lecturer. Concurrent with her passion for yoga has been for her a deep interest in the health sciences and complementary medicine; resulting in the attainment of Bachelor Degrees in both Naturopathy and Nursing with Distinction. Ruth is also a classically trained musician who sings kirtan and bhagan beautifully, as exhibited on the various CDs she has produced and performed on.


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.


Tessa Hoffmann

Tessa Hoffmann

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Philosophy

Tessa began practicing yoga in 1996. Since then she has studied mainly in the Satyananda tradition, developing a strong interest in yoga philosophy and kirtan, and more recently coming to the teachings of TKV Desikachar being attracted to the idea of modifying yoga to suit the individual. In 2016 she undertook teacher training with IYTA. Tessa is a journalist with a medical news publication and teaches on Sydney's northern beaches.