Our Teachers

Meet our teachers.

Michelle (Mitch) Gibson

I have been the proud and nurturing Director and Creator of Yogabowl and its community, since October 2005, and am passionately focused on continually making small changes that align client needs with my vision for my business.

Ever since I was young I’ve always been driven to do something that involves movement. After 8 years classical ballet & 5 years of competitive softball and volleyball, my career in fitness started at Chase Fitness Centre (Chatswood) in the early 80’s– a pretty scary & funny time in hindsight. In amongst all that Lycra & leg-warmers, the very early fitness industry’s growth was initially trial and error – mostly based on how people looked and how much an exercise hurt. It was when instructing developed into a skill, and exercise began to evolve as a science that it all started making sense to me.

My fitness industry career evolved into training new generation instructors, presenting at fitness conventions nationally and internationally, and teaching fitness classes (mostly step, muscle conditioning, stretch classes and later on Pilates) for 18 years before making the delicious transition into yoga in 2002. I’ve loved learning from and studying with Dede Daniels and Denise Klatte from Flow-Yoga, Twee Merigan, Donna Farhi, Judith Lasater, Seane Corn, Sharon Gannon & David Life, Shiva Rea, John Friend AND each one of my students. What a blessing to have crossed paths with you all.

My philosophy around yoga continues to evolve. While maintaining utmost respect for the original yogic teachings, my enquiring mind, sense of logic AND 30 years teaching experience strongly supports a necessity to modify poses and teaching styles for some individuals in order for the practice to be not only accessible, but functional and safe. As a generation, our body types and postural issues aren’t even close to what they were hundreds or thousands of years ago back in India. I strongly believe in an underlying enquiry of "How is this practice serving me NOW?"

I enjoy the scope that Hatha opens up, so I love dipping into any combination of inspiring offerings from Vinyasa, Iyengar, Restorative, Ashtanga and even Prenatal Yoga (I''m a qualified Prenatal Yoga teacher) - always infusing traditional yoga poses with safety guidelines, making the practice safe, effective/functional and accessible to most individuals.

Restorative Yoga is a huge passion for me, and with such relevance. I''m very proud to be a registered RELAX AND RENEW Trainer, certified by Judith Lasater.

Music is another passion I''m able to combine with yoga, and I adore creating playlists and music to support what we do on the mat.

I’m hugely passionate about how and what I do, being one of those lucky ones who genuinely loves her work. The energy exchange I experience when I teach continues still nourishes me in ways I never expected after 30 years of telling people how to move.

We also bring CORPORATE YOGA (and Pilates) to the workplace of clients including Ernst & Young, First State Super, BT Financial Group and Supreme Court.
I look forward to meeting you on the mat, and on the path. Namaste.

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a current moving in you, a joy.” RUMI.

John McWhorter

I came to yoga in 1993 during a difficult period in my life. I had spent the previous 20 years in an emotional freezer, trying to make the world fit my expectations. It wasn’t working and through the power of Grace, I was offered the chance to try a new approach. Soon after taking my first steps on the yoga mat, I began to reconnect.

After ten years of practice, I let go a career as a radio journalist in Alaska to study yoga full time at Yoga Arts in Byron Bay. I immersed myself in the yoga world, learning postures, breathing, meditation, philosophy, chanting, fasting and any number of other practices. In 2005, yoga took me to China where I taught full-time and led a teacher training before landing in Sydney with a sore back.

Since 2007, I’ve been studying with Simon Borg-Olivier at Yoga Synergy who has helped me put my ageing body back together. His teaching has added to my own experience with several popular yoga forms. I now teach a Synergy-inspired form of Vinyasa yoga which I believe offers students a safe and sustainable way of living yoga every day. Yoga practice has helped me reduce stress, develop a stronger body, steadier mind and more balanced life. I believe it can do the same for anyone regardless of age or ability.

I try to make my classes fun and accessible, offering options to make the practice easier or more difficult, depending on your ability and preference.

Kirralie Dillon

(Written by Mitch) Kirralie has been a dear friend and colleague of mine for years. We met in the 90''s during our fitness industry teaching days. Kirralie went on to teach Pilates - and fell madly in love with Yoga some time after that. Her authenticity on so many levels, really inspires me. She''s the real deal when it comes to yoga; living your truth and feeding your soul. I''m so thrilled & honoured she''s joining us at Yogabowl. This - one of her favourite quotes, sums her up beautifully: "If we make sacred space for ourselves we are replenished, and we have the energy to look around and see the joy in life..." Come and experience her unique energy and passion for teaching and the practice of Yoga.

Anne Saymontry

Anne has over 16 years of yoga practice, developed in London, India, and Sydney.
She has completed teacher training with BodyMindLife and Baron Baptiste.

Anne has taught yoga to diverse communities in Sydney, such as refugee groups in the western suburbs, to time poor mums and corporate professionals in the inner city. She is also qualified to teach kids and has been regularly leading classes for teenagers and primary aged school children.

Anne''s classes are based on a vinyasa flow style. Her intention is to get students to experience their body, mind and being, in a way that is different way to what they have before.

Vivienne Dias

Vivienne discovered yoga 10 years ago and has never looked back to the life that once was, simply, yoga has transformed her life. It has provided the inspiration, pathway and tools to overcome many serious life-challenges and to live a life of balance, good health, happiness and abundance which she never knew possible. What started as a purely physical form of exercise for Vivienne, has enabled her to make a deep and strong connection with her own spirit, sense of identity,
self-love and self-worth. Yoga has been a solid and empowering foundation upon which to rebuild and grow her life and her relationships.

It is her own, deeply personal, yoga journey which drives Vivienne’s
unique, all-embracing teaching style and her passion and mission for
making yoga accessible to as many people as possible, without boundary or limitation. Vivienne has an acute awareness of the unique needs of every student in her class. She has a rare and intuitive teaching approach which underlies her ability to effectively adapt and modify asanas (yoga poses) for individuals of varying yoga experience, No matter what the style of yoga being taught, the ‘level’ of the class timetabled or the fitness level of the student, Vivienne insists on
ensuring that each and every class is an amazing experience for each
of her students. She will meet you where you’re at, guide you to ‘play
your edge’ and stretch to grow your own potential and the sense of
self-empowerment which comes with that. Watching her students ‘grow’ through their practice of yoga is her ultimate joy and reward as a teacher.

Angela Mifsud

“The greatest gift we can give to another is our full attention.
Through Yoga, we give that gift to ourselves."

Angela discovered Yoga 9 years ago to complement her running and resistance training. She soon noticed her posture improve and knee injuries subsided, whilst building strength and increasing her flexibility. The most profound benefit - the quietening of her busy mind. Yoga became her refuge. Regardless of how crazy life was – all the demands, expectations, triumphs and disappointments were left behind. 

Her passion and curiosity led her undertake Yin, Yang and Mindfulness Training with Sarah Powers. Within a few months, Angela left the stress and ''shackles'' of her corporate career to follow her dream and become a Yoga Teacher and Psychologist. 

Angela believes that life is about relationships and none is more important than the one we have with ourselves. Our health and how we treat ourselves (what we eat, how we move and what we think) is reflection of our own self-worth. By combining her yoga and psychology training, Angela seeks to empower people to discover their optimal health and feel fabulous in mind and body. We are all worthy of that.

Angela''s classes find a balance between accepting ones limitations, delving deep to expand the edges of our comfort zone and connecting with our playful spirit. Encouraging students to both honour their strengths and enjoy some sweet surrender.

Off the yoga mat Ange loves to explore the outdoors and feed her curious mind by continually learning about nutrition, people and movement.   

Deb Hennessey

I was introduced to movement through Disco dancing as a 70’s child – and I haven’t stopped dancing yet!
A brief journey into yoga started in the 90’s but didn’t fully start until the year 2000.

Yoga helped connect me to my body, then towards my breath, onwards to my mind and spirit. As humans we tend to make life complex and yoga helps me revert to simplicity and joy.

I started developing a fascination for Anatomy pre yoga days and this love continues, develops and deepens which helps me to make yoga accessible for EveryBody.
I have studied with a broad range of styles and teachers – the most influential and long-time teacher for me is Yoga Synergy co-founder Simon Borg-Olivier.
As much as I love sharing yoga with students my plan is to also never stop being a student. There is always something new to learn, integrate and share.

My hope and aim is that I can bring movement, strength and a little play into every class. To encourage some freedom of choice for the students to make an open class a little more tailored.
After finishing class with me my wish is for you is to walk out with a lighter step and some delight in your heart.

Darshna Siva.

Yogabowl is delighted to welcome Darshna Siva - who works with clients focusing on physical, emotional and energetic release. The aim of her work is simple: To bring people back to their balance, harmony and give them an awareness of the choices they have.

Her practice builds on qualifications in Yoga, as well as several modals of body work and energy healing including Reiki & Mexhika Pactli: a very old health and wellbeing practice from Mexico.

Darsh also facilitates meditations, workshops, retreats and has worked within the corporate environment facilitating meditation and Yoga programs.

With 10 years of experience - and more recently extensive study in Yoga Therapy, her intuitive treatment approach has benefitted people attempting to overcome physical & emotional challenges in their day to day life.

Jolie Brook

Yoga, for me has been the magic in my life.
This magic has not waned for over 20 years.

It''s pretty wonderful to have a practice that I was initially drawn to for it''s physical benefits (being a dancer by profession) to be awakened to much more beyond the realm of the physical. As a teacher of yoga my life is, without a doubt, enriched from the wide variety of folk from all walks of life that I connect with.
My path of teaching has taken me back into the world of pre & professional dance and to those in the far away corporate field.
A melting pot of people that allow me the privilege of teaching as a way of life.
A path I''m content & excited to continue on...

Tory Lane

I began my yoga adventure over 10 years ago and it continues to evolve. Yoga balances me - physically, mentally and emotionally. With a penchant for all of life''s pleasures and the ability to burn the candle at both ends, yoga is my trusty equilibrium.

Yoga encourages me to constantly reveal, question and embrace my physical boundaries as well as the mental and emotional clutter of my life.  I’m  learning  (always  learning!)  to  let  go  and  just be.

Teaching has been a natural progression. I thoroughly enjoy sharing my knowledge & spirit with others and receiving theirs in return. Most of all, I love the continuous learning and exploration of yoga. Just like in life, there’s  always more.

While I adore teaching and practicing Vinyasa style with its dance like flow, I have more recently been drawn towards yoga therapy and Yogalates for its care and understanding that not one physical body is the same. I now teach both yoga & Yogalates. In addition, I love bringing lightness and laughter into the class. Life outside can be so serious and laughter is a delightful medicine!
My advice...be curious about you, have fun & play with your yoga practice!!

Monica Sayers

I was absolutely hooked on yoga after receiving my first class, when I was 15 years old. Having come from a dance and singing background, yoga became a part of my makeup. Movement has been a passion of mine and I was attracted to yoga asana postures, which to me seemed like a form of dance. However, it wasn’t until I gave up dancing and pursued acting that I discovered yoga played an important role in how to be in the present, and how to have a form of connection with the Self. I have found it has been an invaluable vehicle - to not only help centre body and breath, but allowing the space between thoughts to become the retreat from the chaotic madness we often get caught up in daily. This then releases the mind so it can clearly focus when it is called upon.

I am a registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance and completed my teacher training at Samadhi Yoga 2009. I graduated from NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Art) with a Bachelor of Dramatic Arts in 2004.

My approach to yoga is very simple – to be present to each moment. I teach in a smooth flowing manner, working closely with linking the breath to movement. I have experience in teaching a mix of levels and can tailor a session to suit individual needs. Incorporating music along with pranayama (breathing techniques), highlighted readings and quotes from all sorts of writing including ancient sutras, poetry, inspirational books and plays, my classes will leave you feeling restored, refreshed and centred.

Cecilie Farrar

Cecilie discovered yoga several years ago whilst living in the U.K as a professional dancer, initially expecting the practice to complement her dance training with extra strength and flexibility. However she soon discovered the richness of this ancient practice.

Her formal teacher training began in 2004 in New York City in the style of vinyasa (hatha) yoga. Cecilie''s classes are a flowing style class with plenty of space and time to focus on safe awareness of postural alignment and a connection to building core strength.

Over her teaching career thus far she has really enjoyed making students of all levels feel welcome and accommodated. Whether in the Yoga studio, or working in Corporate Yoga, her students really enjoy her caring, graceful style.

Off the Yoga mat, Cec is a dancer who regularly performs with Opera Australia - and a proud Mamma.

"Beyond that which you think, is that which you are."

Mary Mathews

I’ve been teaching yoga and fitness since the early 70’s. I was teaching weight training at age 16, and at 20 was working at Rancho La Puerta - a health resort in Mexico. That was where my love of Yoga began.

From there I worked and was exposed to many Yoga teachers in California.

I went to study with Geeta and Mr Iyengar in Pune, India - where I was initially introduced to the Restorative practice. I took classes in Northern California, and learned from many teachers at the Iyengar Institute in San Francisco. I was Director of the Golden Door Health Resort in California, and taught Yoga for many years there.

Fast forward to recently, where I furthered my study in Restorative Yoga with Judith Lasater, and Roger Cole - and passionately believe in its relevance. The shared joy I feel when teaching and assisting, is very special.

My aim is to allow students to discover the peacefulness, joy and fitness that Yoga offers.

Andrea Martinez

Andrea has been practising Yoga for over 20 years and has been teaching Yoga since she completed her training in 2009.

She is a primary school teacher with a Masters in Inclusive Education and she is committed to including diverse students in mainstream classrooms, as well as bringing Yoga to diverse communities in inclusive ways.

Andrea is passionate about Seva (service to others), and her wish is to use the gifts of Yoga and mindfulness to be inspired, and to inspire others to contribute positively to the world.

Vincci Law

Vincci started her Yoga journey 18 years ago to reduce chronic back pain and has evolved from a physical healing process into a discovery of her own spirituality, mental and emotional strength. Her love of Yoga led to her decision in leaving a 9 -5 career and pursuing studies to become a Yoga teacher. She completed her training at Qi Yoga and has studied with various teachers including Donna Farhi, Leslie Kaminoff and Roger Cole whom have influenced her teaching style emphasising on student safety, individuality and alignment.
 
Since becoming a mum, she was inspired to become a Prenatal Yoga teacher, being fortunate enough to experience its benefits during her pregnancy giving her the strength and tools for a calm and positive birthing experience. Based on the phrase –‘knowledge is power’ her aim is to empower mums through this wonderful experience dispelling any fears and misconceptions around pregnancy and birthing. She is honoured to be able to provide a nurturing and safe environment for mums through this special journey into motherhood as well as creating some ''me time'' to honour their body and baby.
 
She is passionate about sharing her Yoga knowledge and specialise in Hatha, Restorative, breathwork and meditation. Vincci believes ‘how we act on the mat will translate how we are in life and it is an ongoing practice of self-discovery just like Yoga.’
 
When she’s off the mat you''ll find her running after her baby girl or cooking up a new recipe in the kitchen as cooking brings calm and mindfulness back into her chaotic life. She also loves being outdoors going for walks by the beach or camping with her family.