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 offering services & events that are functional, relevant and interesting.

Ever since I was young I’ve always been drawn toward 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 hilarious, yet alarming time in hindsight. In amongst the 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 direction moved 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 literally coming home to Yoga in 2002.

I’ve loved, lapped up & been inspired learning from some of the best in the business: Dede Daniels and Denise Klatte from Flow-Yoga, Judith Hanson Lasater, Donna Farhi, Seane Corn, Twee Merigan, Sharon Gannon & David Life, Shiva Rea, John Friend Roger Cole 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 30+ years experience teaching humans AND my sense of logic strongly supports the necessity to modify poses and teaching styles for many individuals in order for the practice to remain accessible, functional and safe. As a generation, our lifestyle and postural issues aren’t even close to what they were all those years ago in India.

I''m embracing the way our practice changes over time.
Yoga isn’t one-size-fits-all. Lines sometimes need to be blurred, and most importantly we should stop and listen inward with the underlying enquiry of, "How is this practice serving me NOW?"

I enjoy the scope that Hatha opens up, so love dipping into any combination of inspiring offerings from Vinyasa, Iyengar, Restorative, Ashtanga and even Prenatal Yoga (I''m a qualified Prenatal Yoga teacher). I''ll infuse traditional Yoga poses with safety guidelines to ensure the practice is safe, effective/functional and accessible to most individuals. I make a point of teaching to the human, not just teaching a sequence.

Restorative has become my greatest Yoga love, my specialty, and my personal practice.We ALL need to do less. A lot less. I''m honoured to be a registered
Advanced RELAX AND RENEW Trainer, certified by Judith Hanson Lasater. It’s an honour to be part of that lineage, and profoundly affected by her wisdom.

I’m hugely passionate about how and what I do, and about the Yoga Community. Even though teaching will always be my first love and my therapy, I’m truly loving Mentoring other Yoga teachers. The energy exchange I experience continues to nourish me in ways I never expected after 35 years of moving bodies around & sharing my experience.

Come and visit soon. Namaste.

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

John McWhorter

Some years ago I heard a fellow say he had been practicing yoga for 30 years and he finally understood why. And now, 20+ years into my own practice, I do too. It’s because after all this stretching, strengthening, breathing, studying, chanting, meditating and just paying attention, I’m felling quite well. I work a physically-demanding day job and take no medications. Now in my mid-50s, I give a lot of credit to yoga.

See, yoga’s not just stretching. There’s way more to it. There’s this magic, alchemical, mysterious thing that happens when we get on the mat and move our bits around in this particular way. While scientific studies continue proving it, I’ll tell you that yoga simply improves life. Over 5000 years, a lot of really smart, dedicated and passionate people have a developed a really good way of helping ourselves live better. I’ve proved it to myself and it’s right there in every class. In 60 short minutes, we can go from feeling negative and stagnant to happy and energised.

Looking back, when I first began teaching, my Ashtanga-oriented classes made people sweat. We worked hard and got strong. I believed that if some was good, more was better. That was till I damaged both knees and overstretched my back. It took a while, but I’ve learned something about limitations and acceptance and the value of experience. I offer people a safe and sustainable way of making yoga part of their life. The classes are challenging but also accessible, with options to make the practice easier or more difficult, depending on your ability and preference.

These days, I know what it feels like to live in a 50-year-old body. I’m not as bendy or strong or fast as I used to be. Still, yoga practice has helped me reduce stress, kept me physically capable, created a steadier mind and more balanced life. I believe it can do the same for anyone regardless of age or ability.

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 makes time to teach 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.

Kirralee is also a passionate Desire Map (created by Danielle LaPorte) facilitator, specialising in setting heart-based goals for the soul.

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 11 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 - passionately specialising in Mindfulness. 

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.
She combines her Yoga and Masters of Clinical Psychology (researching Mindfulness & Self Compassion) training to bring the ideal blend of wisdom and empathy to her work.

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

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 several Yoga studios around Sydney, or working with Corporate Yoga clients in the workplace, 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."

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...

Anita Wong

When I’m not assisting Mitch with running Yogabowl, I’m a Yoga teacher.

My personal practice has evolved with continual, mindful learning and exploration of how healing a simple Hatha or Yin experience can be. This is what I would like to share with my students.

Classes revolve around finding balance in the challenge. We let go of the ''perfect'' pose and come back to what is simple (certainly not always easy) and joyful. We emphasise kindness and gentle self-care as key to developing a healthy and long term Yoga practice. My favourite pose is Savasana (it''s probably yours too) -  it''s the perfect opportunity to surrender the mind, body and breath to its natural healing state.

My training began with Sunny Richards and Santosha Yoga Institute and has since included Yin Yoga training with Marcus Felicetti (Bodhi Yoga), Adjustments and Assists with Nicole Walsh and Rod Galbraith at InYoga and finishing a diploma of Mindfulness. 

After a recent visit for training in Thailand, I’ve added Thai massage to my skill set - and really enjoy the combination that Yoga and Thai massage brings to busy, stressed out students. I look forward to meeting you at Yogabowl soon.

Natalie Haider

Natalie has worked as a Psychologist since 2002, and completed her 500 hour Yoga Teacher Training qualification at the Yoga Institute in Sydney.

She is a Health At Every Size ® (HAES) practitioner, and is passionate about providing every body with a safe space to participate in breath-centred Yoga for holistic wellness.

Natalie’s special interest lies in helping women to develop a positive relationship with their mind, body, and movement – and she brings an empathetic connection to her work.

She works and hangs out in the Inner West, and is looking forward to bringing this work to Yogabowl.

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, Roger Cole and Lizzie Lasater - whom have influenced her teaching style emphasising on student safety, individuality and alignment.
 
Since becoming a mum, she was inspired to add Prenatal Yoga teaching to her repertoire - being fortunate enough to experience its benefits during her pregnancy giving her the strength and tools for a calm and positive birthing experience.
 
She is passionate about sharing her Yoga knowledge and specialise in Hatha and Restorative Yoga, 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.

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.

Philippa Masaoka

Philippa is passionate about Yoga as a wonderful gateway to open the body, mind and most importantly, the Heart. She began teaching after completing her Yoga teacher training in Bali with the ‘Awakened Life School of Yoga’ in 2012. Since then, she has undertaken further training in assisting and alignment, yoga sequencing with Simon Park and Noelle Connelly and Yin Yoga with Melanie McLaughlin.

Philippa has a love for all styles of Yoga and as such, her classes combine a a hybrid of different influences. Her background is in Natural medicine (Naturopathy), the basis of which aligns with Yoga and empowers the individual to engage in self-healing on many different levels.

Philippa’s intention to teach Yoga is to create space for one to open their Heart and thereby develop a deeper understanding and connection to oneself - physically, mentally and spiritually.

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.

Alison Auland

Alison’s Yoga Journey started in 2006 ago at Yogabowl with Mitch as her first teacher.  With her passion for dance and movement growing up, there was an instant connection with the rhythmic movement and breath practice that a Vinyasa Yoga Practice could offer to navigate the shades of life off the mat. 

Since starting her teaching journey in 2013, Alison has continued her learning and studying in ‘Prana Vinyasa’ with Shiva Rea, and recently Restorative Yoga with Mitch. She is also certified to teach Meditation, Yin Yoga, and Yoga for Cancer.
 
Alison shares her inspiration of movement through Yoga as an empowering way to overcome physical and mental tension. Release stress and invite spaciousness for connection, creativity and the beautiful simplicities of life. 
 
Alison has taught at many Sydney studios including Power Living, In Yoga (now closed) and Soulful Fitness in Lane Cove, and other studios and corporate clients across the North Shore.  She is also dedicated to teaching Yoga for Cancer Rehabilitation at Cancerfit Australia..

Johanna Brown

I discovered Yoga quite by accident.  It was as though a very precious and profound gift was delivered by the universe at precisely the right moment.  During a period of darkness in my life, Yoga was a guiding light and a grounding force. 

21 years on I continue to be a student of the practice, and as a teacher, my strongest driver is the wish to share the gifts of Yoga.  My hope is for students to discover a connection to their own light and ultimately peace, through a practice that is real and accessible. 
 
My classes are a personal expression of the flowing style of Yoga in which I originally trained, with a focus on embodiment of the poses, transitioning with mindfulness, and linking all with breath. In my classes you can expect to move a little slower and more deliberately to create a space for that experience. 
 
In more recent years I’m finding a stronger pull towards the deeply nourishing and restorative, and it excites me to add those offerings.
 
My wholehearted intention is to hold space where anyone stepping onto their mat, whether for the first, 100th or 1000th time, is empowered and enriched by their experience that day. 
 
“We don''t use our body to get into a pose, we use the pose to get into our body” - Bernie Clark

Liz Morgan

My philosophy is that Yoga is for everyone and not just for the young, fit and flexible!

I teach Yoga with a classical approach, following in the tradition of
T. Krishnamacharya. I teach gentle, mindful and breath-focused practices, which are not competitive and cater to individual needs.

My love of Yoga was sparked twenty years ago when I first started working in the beauty and wellness industry as a spa and remedial massage therapist and then later as a college educator. What began as a pursuit to ease my chronic back pain and improve my general fitness quickly became a fascination with the history and philosophy of Yoga and a love of teaching it to others.

I completed the Diploma of Yoga Studies & Teacher Training at the Yoga Institute in 2016 and more recently, the Zenergy Foundation Yoga for Children course. I currently teach Senior Yoga, Yoga for Therapeutic Needs and Restorative Yoga.

I am confident that Yoga is for everyone, regardless of age, fitness, flexibility or previous experience, and I look forward to sharing my passion for Yoga with you at Yogabowl.

Mandi Jackson

Hi, I''m Mandi Jackson and I love sharing the profound joy and transformation Yoga has brought into my life. I believe everyone should be able to enjoy its benefits through skilled instruction.

I began my Yoga journey at 16 years old as I struggled with anxiety and depression; Yoga offered a gentle and disciplined practice that allowed me to experience an integration of mind and body that I did not know was possible. This miraculous healing stoked a fire and passion which I had to share and I began teaching my earliest classes for free for anyone interested. I began my formal 500-hour Teacher Training at YogaWorks, a renowned training provider where top Yoga teachers in North America go to learn and teach.

I''ve been a full-time Yoga instructor for over 7 years and I teach across all ages, levels and methods. I pride myself on providing safe client-centred instruction that is sensitive to individual needs, giving particular emphasis to breath awareness and alignment. I love seeing students leave my class feeling strong, calm and vibrant.

I love travel and I recently moved to Sydney; if you see me please say hello! 

Anita Foster

Anita is a certified Forrest Yoga Teacher L1 (RYT-200), has trained with Rainbow Kids Yoga and earned her intermediate certification in ‘Yoga Therapy for Children’ with Global Family Yoga in 2015.

She has also just completed Adaptive Yoga training in the US with MindBodySolutions, which brings another layer to her Yoga teaching skills. 

With over 15 years of personal practice, she has a passion for Yoga, health & wellbeing, and giving back to the community. Yoga keeps her grounded and helps manage stress and anxiety levels during challenging times. 

Anita has volunteered with A Sound Life, teaching Yoga to at risk youth since March 2017. She integrates the intelligence of a Forrest Yoga practice using breath work and mind-body connection whilst creating a safe space for the teens to be open to the restorative and calming benefits of Yoga. 

Feedback from the facility is that the sessions help them get back in touch with their emotions, assists them in calming down, improves stress levels and helps improve their sleep.

Wendy Millyard

Having spent some 12 years travelling and working overseas (mainly in London), Sydney-born Wendy now calls Australia home. Whilst it was never her intention to become a Yoga teacher, the common denominator among Wendy’s many vocations (arts management, talent management and in the feature film industry) has been her love of being with and helping people. Working with people in ways that enable them to feel calmer, more grounded and connected with themselves and others is therefore a pretty good gig!

Wendy teaches Restorative and Hatha Yoga. Her first 300hrs of training was in Anusara Yoga. Whilst living in London, Wendy was privileged to spend many years practising and studying at triYoga with some of the world’s finest teachers, mainly from the Iyenagr and Anusara lineages. It was at triYoga that she first met her mentor and friend, the esteemed American Yoga teacher, Richard Rosen.

In November 2018 she completed a 20-month advanced 300hr teacher training at triYoga led by senior UK teachers Anna Ashby and Jean Hall. Having suffered with chronic back pain since she was very young (and spinal surgery aged 17), Wendy is particularly interested in Yoga therapeutics which she has studied in depth. She is also deeply passionate about the benefits of Restorative Yoga.
A perennial student of Yoga, she has a habit of haemorrhaging money on Yoga books and other props.