“In the end only 3 things matter, how deeply you’ve loved, how gently you’ve lived and graciously you let go of the things just not meant for you.”
Hello and welcome to Westside Yoga. I am the founder and proud owner of this amazing Yoga School, which is created around living a more conscious and blissful life.
I am a deeply passionate full time yoga teacher with over 15 yrs experience and I love what I do! My teachings extend across many aspects of traditional yoga including Hatha Vinyasa, Yin Yoga, Meditation and Yogic Philosophy. My classes have been described as warm, accessible, challenging, thought provoking and deeply connected.
My training includes:
- Advanced Diploma of Yoga Teaching Australian Yoga Academy
- Bachelor of Human Movement Studies from University of Queensland
- Qualified Exercise Physiologist
- 100 hour Yin Teacher Training Certificate with Mysan Sidbo
- Training and study in India
My life is balanced by the Ocean. I’m a lifetime surfer with a deep affection and affinity with the Ocean. “The connection between the energy of the Ocean and the energy of the Self is seamless. Surfing in many ways is Yoga on a board”.
Being able to teach yoga is something that I’m eternally grateful for, but equally in my opinion you can only continue to teach if you continue to be the student. I try to do this by seeking out the best yoga teachers, philosophers, and thinkers from around the world and then infusing those teachings into my own personal practice and teachings.
Look forward to meeting you and sharing this extraordinary journey of Yoga.
Omm Shanti x
We love this humble silver fox because he is a pioneer in the yogi game, bringing yoga back to it's simple roots. Mark offers as authentic space for people from all walks of life to open up in his soulful Yin yoga class.The Lululemon Team– Highpoint
The kind of teacher who wraps his students up - sometimes with blankets, other times with love, understanding, compassion, gentle touch or knowing listening.Sara– Facebook
Mark Pheely will always hold a place in my heart... Truly special... so many lives touched.Casey– Facebook
"Your life. Love it. From the hurt to the wonder. From the bone to the flower. Love it with everything you’ve got. It’s yours."
– Nayyirah Waheed
I teach yoga because I have experienced first hand the potential for the practice to nourish, ground and enhance our lives. I see the practice of yoga as a therapy for healing and unraveling the complications that got in the way of our essential experience of unity and joy.
In my experience the practice that we do on the mat is so closely integrated to the way that we move through our lives, and thus, our practice has the power to bring us back into conscious awareness of how we want to experience each moment that inevitably adds up to be our life.
In my teachings and my own practice, I recognize the constant work it takes to stay true to ourselves, and practice living from a place of authenticity. As human beings, we are far from perfect, and I try to consistently remind myself and my students to be patient on this journey. I attempt to teach from a place of compassion that recognises that we are all in different bodies, moving forward from different experiences, therefore, there is not one form of asana or practice that can accommodate us all on any given day.
I combine my teaching of yoga with knowledge I’m learning in my current studies in Shiatsu and Oriental Medicine. This insight enables a diverse and holistic approach to self-care and natural wellbeing.
I’ve been lucky enough to have many knowledgeable and inspiring teachers along the way. I’ve studied Hatha and Vinyasa Yoga, Meditation, Pranayama, Ayurveda, as well modern yoga anatomy. I am a teacher, but first and foremost I am always a student.
I attempt to let my students find space on their mats to unravel, settle in, open up or just let it out. I always hope that in the end the classes I teach inspire students to simply find their own way deeper into a practice that they love.
Having come from a background of dance and circus, Karina is a lover of movement. Yoga was the evolution of that love. Karina completed her teacher training at AYA in Melbourne in 2010, before travelling extensively throughout India where she studied further Yoga Teacher Training, and applied and theoretical Ayurveda, as well as spending time deepening her spiritual practices.
The eternal student, Karina has since taken up in-depth studies in Anatomy and Physiology, Biomechanics, Health Sciences, and is currently completing her B.A in Chinese Medicine.
Her interest in teaching yoga is the facilitation of bringing the meditation experience out into the physical experience on the mat; allowing the inward journey to inform the outward journey.
Having lived here on the Westside for the better part of a decade, she loves the realness of our yoga community. We all come here with our battles, our challenges, and our mind stuff, but we drop in side by side with each other and be ourselves.
Having worked as a health and fitness athlete, coach and professional for more than 10 years, I have had the joy of later witnessing my own body, mindset and life literally transform through my own personal yoga practice at the Australian Yoga Academy under the inspiring guidance of AYA Principal Dominique Santana Salerno and Senior Facilitator Mark Pheely.
After completing my Advanced Diploma of Yoga Teacher Training with AYA in 2014, I conducted specialist private and semi-private yoga therapy sessions in addition to hosting major Lifestyle and Wellness Retreats for select groups.
In 2016 I was honoured to become a member of the permanent teaching team at AYA, at the same time undertaking a Post Graduate Advanced Teacher Training degree under the auspices of Jenni Morrison-Jack at Melbourne’s Ihana Yoga.
I have had the privilege of participating and practicing in a variety of workshops and trainings with many amazing teachers such as Simon Borg Olivier, Nikki Knoff, James Bryan, Duncan Peak, Tiffany Cruikshank, Emma Power, Mysan Sidbo, Les Leventhal and Ana Forrest to name just a few.
I am in LOVE with our planet and all living things (especially people and dogs!) and I am ever-fascinated by the human mind-body connection. I thrive on experiences and am constantly focusing and refocusing on personal and professional development through yoga in all its forms, and all trainings that promote the nourishing and nurturing of body, mind and soul.
I express this through practicing what I preach and sharing as I teach on this amazing journey called YOGA.
Yoga on the mat is a sacred exploration, where we get to shed our protective layer and be with our self in a deep and healing way.
Immersed in dance, holistic wellness and studying Health Science, yoga arrived in my life as a way to heal and transform.
Moving across the globe in 2004 I sought opportunities to study and practice with senior teachers and yoga schools; most notably Prana Flow, Jivamukti, Yin and Amrit Yoga- ‘Meditation in Motion’, which has become the underpinning of my teaching style.
At the start of 2016 I bid farewell to the varying roles of life to welcome a life as a full time yoga teacher/student and animal activist with BAWA and The Orangutan Project.
My own practice has been a devotional practice for healing and peace. Through cultivating inner peace, together we can transcend that to the rest world creating a better place for ALL beings to live in.
Through intention and dedication my classes are devoted to creating a safe and healing space. Through a journey of embodied prayer; movements are initiated from the inside out creating a slow, deep, sensorial ‘mediation in motion’ practice.
Be marvelled in the mysteries and beauty of life, step into the unknown and embrace it all with an open heart.
“Teach to learn and learn to teach” was the motto where Cecily undertook her first 200hr teaching training at Yogaworks in the US. An eternal student, Cecily has dedicated herself to the practice, studying yoga since discovering its joys and benefits while living in New York in 2003. She has trained in the disciplines of Prana Flow (Shiva Rea), Anusara (Noah Maze, Desiree Rumbaugh), Hatha (Rod Stryker), Prenatal (Janice Clarfield) and Yin (Jennifer Crescenzo) and combines elements of these styles into a dynamic and inspiring alignment-based flow.
Cecily ensures each class includes a balance of pranayama, relaxation and meditation as a “well-rounded practice brings a sense of lightness and joy and more importantly, practising these disciplines encourages a deeper exploration of the true essence of yoga; union of the body, mind and spirit”.
Mumma to two small boys, yoga has become a constant tool for Cecily to maintain balance and health both physically and mentally. She is passionate about sharing the joy that yoga can bring to your life, encouraging students to play their edge, while providing a safe, encouraging, nonjudgmental environment where each individual can awaken into their full potential.
Cecily has been co-facilitating 200hr teacher trainings over the last 3 years and regularly leads retreats, immersions and workshops.
I’m a firm believer that when yoga is playful and accessible it becomes a great way to manage the mental, emotional and physical demands of daily life. My classes are dynamic but light-hearted with alignment cues and philosophy delivered in straight forward, jargon-free language.
I’ve been a student and teacher of yoga and meditation for over 20 years and have completed formal trainings with Power Living, Laughing Lotus (NYC), Jennifer Crescenzo and Jo Phee (Singapore). I’ve also furthered my studies in mindfulness and meditation with Elena Brower (USA), Melbourne Meditation Centre and Monash University.
I’m a mum of three young children, so my own yoga and meditation practice has become an indispensable tool to manage overwhelm, develop kindness and increase self-awareness. Through teaching I aim to share practical tools and techniques to help others experience the same benefits.
“Melissa is a fantastic teacher for newbies to yoga like myself. As a man who takes to most physical activities like a fish out of water, Melissa has helped me manage the difficulties I had with body and mind. Both are in substantially better shape since my sessions with Melissa.” – Duncan, Footscray.
Connect with Melissa
I am a creative at heart, and an eternal student, I love learning new things. I think I teach because I have more questions than answers. When not exploring aspects of yoga, you’ll find me engaged in my other passions, graphic design, hanging out with my dog Maisie, art, books, travel, cooking, anything crafty or creative.
I believe that yoga is an empowering self-care practice that encourages and supports personal reflection and growth. After sporadic practice through my 20’s, I returned to yoga in my 30’s looking to overcome persistent back pain… but I found so much more. A truly holistic practice, yoga supports not just the physical, but also the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of our lives.
I completed my first teacher training at Australian Yoga Academy in 2014-15 and in 2017 completed a Post Grad training at Ihana, St.Kilda. My love of learning has led me to further workshops and trainings with Donna Farhi, Sadie Nardini, Simon Borg-Olivier, Jenni Morrison-Jack, Dominique Salerno, Les Leventhal, Mysan Sidbo, and many inspirational local teachers.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about the idea of yoga as a living tradition. While humbly acknowledging the ancient wisdom on which we all build our interpretations, this is an experiential practice that is deeply personal. Learning to trust in our individual experience and knowledge is part of the journey. I am excited and grateful to be able to share this practice with the wonderful Westside community.