Cat Small

"Although I came to yoga for a new workout, what really got me hooked was the effect yoga had on my mind. Yoga went from just my latest fitness fad to a rare moment of sanity in an otherwise high-stress lifestyle. I’ve heard that you know your yoga is improving when your life improves, and this is really what I saw – that my yoga practice was improving life off the mat in the way I felt physically, the way I perceived and treated myself, and the way I responded to situations.

Teaching seemed to be a natural step to take, both to deepen my own understanding and experience of yoga, and to direct my energy towards sharing something that means a lot to me, something that for many people will help them to be the best versions of themselves.

The most powerful aspect of yoga, to me, is breath and meditation. As a method of movement yoga is great, but as a way to quiet and focus the mind, as a way to actually know yourself and find joy in being exactly who you are, as you are, it’s the training of the breath and the taming of the mind that is transformative.

I am drawn to stronger physical styles of yoga such as power and vinyasa yoga, both because a strong practice builds physical strength and mobility, but also because it allows no room for distraction, enabling a complete absorption in the present moment – a moving meditation. I also teach Yin yoga which provides balance to the stronger styles. I teach with a focus on clear instruction of alignment principles, sharing only what I believe provides actual benefit.”

Liza Spengler

Liza is a Physiotherapist and started her Pilates training in early 2016 with the Australian Physiotherapy Pilates Institute. She has been teaching Clinical Pilates for over a year and started teaching mat Pilates classes at Studio Akasa upon their opening. She is passionate about fitness, having participated in many areas of sport included cycling, power lifting, body sculpting, tennis, volleyball, and snowboarding. Having sustained sporting injuries herself, she understands the importance of maintaining flexibility, moving mindfully, and building core strength to keep injuries at bay. 

Having worked in Rehabilitation wards for years, Liza developed an interest in Pilates as a tool to use to improve the strength and mobility of her patients. She went on to work primarily in a Clinical Pilates setting to further develop her skills in the area of neuro-rehab, pre/post-natal pilates, and rehab post surgery/sports injuries. She believes Pilates is a great way to build not only core strength, but also allows people to become more mindful about how they move on a daily basis. 

Liza believes the most powerful aspect of the practice is mindfulness. Although Pilates tends to be quite fast-paced at times, the basis of Pilates is control, and this control can only come from being truly mindful during the practice of Pilates. 

The style of Liza's classes vary from week to week but always incorporate the whole body. The classes are challenging but there are always be options to make the exercises easier if needed. She likes to see people work hard and makes sure that you are performing the exercises correctly and that you are feeling it in exactly all the right spots.

Olivia Main

"I started practicing yoga six years ago with a regular and consistent physical practice. After suffering a spinal injury 2 years ago, I saw how yoga works on not only the body, but the mind as well. Yoga was my saving grace as I under went surgery and intensive rehab. It was this insight that led me to undertake my Level 1 teacher training in 2016 through Being Yoga. I am currently working through my Level 2 training.

I enjoy a strong practice but enjoy working within mine and my students abilities. As a currently pregnant practitioner, I am exploring the changes that are occurring within my body, from a mental and physical perspective. This has allowed me to further tune into what my body requires and craves on any given day.

Overall, I offer a class that works with a student and the body they present with on that day, continually offering modifications and variations to ensure all students benefit from their time on the mat."

 

 

Tes Byrnes

"What got me hooked on Yoga was my first class in Ubud Bali back in 2013, I was there for a month and just loved the Yin and Restorative classes. I felt like I was so at peace with myself and I met some really amazing people on my journey.

After being a student of yoga and meditation for many years and loving every class, I booked myself in for my 100hour meditation teacher training. Finding I needed more and wanting to take my passion further, I embarked on my 200hour training in Ubud Bali to where it all started.

Restorative would have to be my favourite class to teach, getting my students to totally relax and let go is the most rewarding. My training has been in Hatha/Vinyasa, which makes a beautiful balance between both classes, a strong flow and gentle flow."

Tes has been in the fitness industry for many years, as a personal trainer and running her own cycle studio. She brings this knowledge of the body and movement to her yoga classes.

 

Jen Greenslade

"I first came onto my mat when I was 17, with my mum and a close friend. Over the years my yoga practice was like a best friend I didn't see very often. The intention was there to do more, knowing that when I did practice how much it lit up my soul. My practice was Ashtanga-based, and I loved the community feel my studio had.

When I moved to Brisbane, I knew I had to meet my old friend more often than I had been. I was introduced to Vinyasa Yoga at my local studio. The Vinyasa practice not only helped me transition through a real tough time in life, but also the physical benefits of healing back problems was the defining moment when I knew I wanted to share this beautiful practice. I undertook my teacher training in 2016 with Being Yoga and continue to learn about the magic of yoga.

My practice is about connecting the mind, the body and the breath. A moment to leave our egos at the door and surrender to what presents itself to us in that moment. A playful approach where you can work within your own yoga journey, whether being new to the practice or a seasoned yogi."

Ric Stafford-Smith

Ric initially began his yoga journey six years ago on the recommendation of a friend. Before long he was practicing everyday.

What resonated was the fusion of physical movement balanced with the mental and emotional connection required to complete a practice. It was unlike any other form of physical activity he'd ever experienced & Ric now teaches yoga full time.

His classes embrace all body types, fitness levels and abilities and his intention is to empower and inspire all students. Expect to challenge yourself whilst remaining mindful and present, experiencing complete self awareness and self acceptance.

Ric says "Yoga isn’t just about movement, alignment or creating shapes with our bodies. It’s about developing new skills, about opening our heart, about being comfortable with feelings of discomfort, knowing it’s not permanent. It’s about being brave and finding peace, clarity and stillness. I think when you can carry all these things off your mat and apply these simple concepts into your daily life, it not only deepens your yoga practice but gives us a greater courage, empowerment, self acceptance and resilience."

Kat Chamberlain

“I first came to yoga about 8 years ago when my mum convinced me to come along one day. I soon realised the majority of individuals were far more flexible than me, despite being double my age! After a few years of not engaging consistently with my practice and focusing on my studies, I came back to the matt to alleviate symptoms of study related stress.
Despite originally being drawn to yoga for a different physical practice, I was fascinated by the calming side effects that consistent pranayama (breath work) and asana (physical postures) practice had on my awareness. As an eternally curious and self-reflective individual, I have always been interested in the mind-body connection and how this is affected by our ever-increasing pace of life, constant availability to others through electronic media and limited downtime. Its becoming hard to understand what being ‘in the present moment’ actually means – it’s hard!
This naturally lead to my teacher training through Pine Rivers yoga in 2016. For me, yoga is so much more than the poses – it utilises a holistic mind-body awareness that we can apply on and off the matt. Combined with my practice as a psychologist, I believe that the effects of yoga can be far-reaching in relation to both physical and mental health. I aim to teach classes which are both physically challenging to create a sense of mastery, but one which also allows individuals to realise that anyone can do yoga. Yoga is about helping us to tune into our body and our thoughts. It helps us to detach, to reduce our tendency to over-engage with our emotions and helps foster an understanding that the present moment is all we have.”

Bryce Tunny

Joining the Army at a very young age (15), the lifestyle and physical training methods proved to be unsuited to my body (took 14 years to learn and accept that though), with constant injuries and a lack of sufficient recovery causing mounting health and wellbeing issues. Leaving the army to give myself time to recover and repair, I found that the new less active lifestyle was causing it’s own problems, weight issues and loss of strength and endurance. I tried out many different styles of exercise looking for one that would suit me, until finally a friend dragged me kicking and screaming to a Yoga class, swearing that it would help with the back pain caused by sitting in front of computers to much. During that first class starting, the instructor told us to “rest” in downdog, and here was me, with sweat pouring off me, my arms and legs shaking and unable to catch my breath, astounded at the concept of “resting” in this torture position.

Needless to say, I was hooked immediately. For me, this was perfect, an incredibly intense workout with no impact, which was not likely to aggravate any of the niggling injuries I carried. Trying a few different styles, I found that I didn’t like the softer styles, and that I really didn’t like the “hippy” talk from some teachers and styles. I found the right instructors for me, teaching physical classes with a minimum of “hippy”, and I was good to go! Fast forward from that point, and over time I came to the realisation that I was getting more than just a workout.

I had not even considered teaching yoga until I had several different instructors recommend that I do it, and even then it took a while to bite the bullet and go ahead and do it. My first teacher training was a 6 month course with Health and Harmony Colleges (Yoga Teachers Diploma), mentoring with 3 different local instructors whilst doing this, doing 2 classes on most days. Since then I have done teacher trainings with Baron Baptiste (Baptiste Power Yoga Institute, Level 1) and Duncan Peak (Power Living, Level 1, 2 and 3), as well as classes and workshops with fantastic instructors from all around the world (John Friend, Matthew Sweeney, Rodney Yee, Bryan Kest, Steve Ross, the list just keeps going!).

My passion and the focus of my teaching is Power Yoga, but I also practise and teach Yin Yoga, which I find to be an excellent balance to the dynamic Power style.

The Power style I teach is Power Living Yoga, which is derived from a merging of Ashtanga and Iyengar yoga. Ashtanga, smooth flowing vinyasa practise with each new pose held for 5 breaths and Iyengar, precise biomechanical alignments of the body with long holds. The lineage is ironic, the founders of these two styles K. Pattabhi Jois, and B.K.S. Iyengar, both had the same teacher, Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya.