"Yoga is a practice that can offer us real relief from the constant distractions in our lives"
I discovered Yoga when I was in acting school as it was apart of our curriculum. I remember thinking how inflexible I was and hating it. It re-appeared later in my life when I was trying to impress a girl by going to the same classes as her. But what I didn’t expect was that I would fall in love with yoga instead. We have been together ever since.
Yoga is a really important part of my life. Our minds are something we will carry around with us for the rest of our lives. And a lot of the time it can be really loud and annoying. In my experience, Yoga is a practice that can offer us real relief from the constant distractions in our lives and the incessant thinking that we all do. It can provide us with the self awareness we need to watch the way we move through the world and can shift our energy in a way which helps us remove what we don’t need. And sometimes, it just leaves us feeling a little bit lighter.
Yoga also provides me with a discipline I can work on. It holds me accountable. And just like acting or music, there is a flow state that I can tap into which can carry me into mindlessness.
The Livingroom is a special place for me. When I first started practicing yoga many years ago, it was at the Livingroom. It has always been a space for me which has allowed for a lot of insight into both myself and my practice. The ocean helps as well of course.
My favourite pose is savasana. It’s because I’m lazy but also it’s always the pose where I feel the most alive. (Which is weird because it is the ‘corpse’ pose.)
Alec completed his teacher training in 2018 with Creature Yoga in Byron Bay. Since then, he has completed numerous modules in philosophy, mantra and sequencing, with teachers like Rose Baudin and Carlos Pomeda. This has given Alec a deeper understanding of what Yoga is beyond the physical practice and also more of an insight into why Yoga is so vital in the world today.
Yoga is a beautiful tool in healing, self-inquiry, expansion and transformation.
I discovered yoga in 2006 when I was studying ballet at school, but it didn’t become a regular practice until 2013, when I was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, a chronic inflammatory autoimmune condition affecting the spine and sacral joints.
My yoga practice when I first started was a safe haven for me, as it was needed to maintain my mobility. Over the years I found that the physical practice expanded my awareness of spiritually and connection (not only to myself, but also connection with others).
Yoga is important to me because I believe it can be used as a beautiful tool in healing, self-inquiry, expansion and transformation. The lessons in the yoga studio can be taken off the mat, which makes the practice never dull- you’re always learning and evolving.
The Livingroom is so special to me because it was my first yoga studio I ever went to! Ive been a dedicated student there since 2013 and had my first ever yin yoga class there (and I fell in love!). Over the years, the teachers have made a huge impact on my life, not only in the way I practice yoga (and how that’s helped my condition) but also how I apply that off the mat. The community is so special, and not to mention the location and breathtaking view. I have felt so at home there for the last almost-decade.
My favourite pose in vinyasa is dancers pose. I love standing balances, they make you so fully present. The mind is clear and calm afterwards. I also love this pose because of its heart opening effects. For yin- dragonfly. I am able to go into deep meditation when i’m this pose (it’s so earthy) and could stay there forever. It’s a great one to stretch the inner thighs too!
Bella completed her 200hr Teacher Training and 50hr Yin Yoga Teacher Training at Sukha Mukha.
"My work revolves around self-healing"
Beverley has worked as a therapist, counsellor, and healer for the past 40 years. It is from this background that she skillfully works to bring about self-healing for her students. Through her many years of work she has come to know that to really unravel patterns and stuck energy, one needs to face the issues at the mental, emotional, physical, and energetic level, with guidance from the spiritual level.
Beverley runs group Meditation classes and also has a private practice. She teaches meditation 3 times a week at The Livingroom which consists of a combination of Buddhist style sitting practices and deep relaxation.
Beverley’s qualification includes diplomas in Bodywork, Breathwork and Transpersonal Psychodynamics, Sand Play. She has a post-graduate diploma in Transpersonal Studies, Psychophysical Healing, and Hypnosis. For the past 20 years, Beverley has been a practicing Buddhist in Tibetan Buddhism.
The Livingroom is a special sanctuary for Beverley, she has been teaching here since the very beginning in 2008!
Yoga is like jumping in the ocean, walking out new, fresh, and energised!
“The Livingroom is so special to me, because I get the privilege of sharing my passion with lovely people, while watching the sun rise over a beautiful beach!”
Cailey’s qualifications include Yoga Works 200hr YTT, Yin YTT with Melanie McLaughlin at The Yin Space, and Functional Range Conditioning (FRC) Mobility Specialist Certification with Dr. Andreo Spina.
"Yoga is the link that unites the soul to the source it comes from"
Dara discovered Yoga in 2002 taught by Gavin Robins during her time studying at theatre and television college.
Yoga is important to Dara as it is the link that unites the soul to the source of where we come from.
Dara’s qualifications include: Advanced Diploma in Yoga studies, plus frequently travel to India to deepen her practice.
“The Livingroom holds a special place in my heart because it is a place for each of us to come and connect to the divine and attracts likeminded people who all contribute to an environment that is welcoming and feels like home.”
I practiced as a student for many years at the Livingroom mostly in the early mornings as the sun rose over the ocean ... I learnt so much from the teaches there. Now I feel grateful to be able to teach in this beautiful space.
Yoga and Buddhism are my passions in life. I find Yoga so sophisticated with the body and Buddhism with the mind, making them very complimentary. Practiced correctly they can lead to exceptional levels of health and happiness.
A type of health & happiness that generates wholesome mental states of non-clinging such as calm, empathy, compassion, generosity, patience & spontaneous wellbeing. A health & happiness gained from changing the habit patterns of body and mind. A health & happiness that is simultaneously good for oneself, for others and potentially our natural environment.
This seems so important in a world desperately needing a sustainable way forward.
Vrischikasana is my favourite pose. After 10 years of yoga practice, I can finally access it! I get so much from this pose that now I practice it every day. At first I saw the pose as a chance for me to work on opening my tight shoulders along with building strength, balance, body awareness and control. However, as with most asana and pranayama, practicing them you come to realise further benefits they have to offer. Vrischikasana uses gravity to first traction my spine then it puts me into a back bend. Lengthening the spine when back-bending is an excellent combination. The pose feels so rejuvenating and calming! These aspects came as a surprise to me.
Drew’s qualifications are extensive, with 200 hour Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training PowerLiving, 10 years (~2500 hours) of Vinyasa and Ashtanga practice , 22 years (~9000 hours) of Buddhist mindfulness meditation including 20 retreats and a Bachelor of Philosophy (Eastern & Western) & Language UNSW
"Getting out of my head and into the magic of Yoga"
Izabela first discovered yoga when she was 15. Oddly, it was from a book that her parents had on a bookshelf. Her flow was a Sun Salutation A, and she was hooked.
Yoga is important to Izabela because she feels that no matter what is happening in her life, the moment she steps on the mat everything falls away and she can get perspective.
“My favourite yoga pose is Tadasana, because I live in my head, and to have a moment to feel my feet plug into the ground is super special, I do it all the time, works like magic.”
Izabela’s qualifications are 500hr+ Senior Hatha Yoga teacher, Yoga Therapist, Prenatal/Postnatal, Kids Yoga Teacher, Meditation Facilitator, Pilates Instructor, Massage Therapist, Myotherapist and Exercise Physiologist in the making. …and that is just a snippet!
The Livingroom is special to Izabela because she absolutely loves the distant sound of the ocean, the community, and collection of very unique teachers.
"Yoga highlights the interconnectedness of Everything"
Karolina discovered yoga when she was in college. “I remember my first class being extremely challenging as I couldn’t do most asanas, but I also recall feeling very content, happy and alive afterward.” Karolina knew back then, that this practice would be an essential part of her everyday life… and she was right!
When Karolina first started yoga her practice was all about being able to execute the asanas (physical postures) and maintain mindful breathing, but with time the importance of yoga and the reason why she practiced had shifted. Today her yoga practice keeps her grounded and reminds her of the interconnectedness of all things. It keeps her accountable for her own integrity expressed through her everyday living.
Karandavasana is Karolina’s favourite pose, as she has been challenged by it and working on it for some time now and she finds there is no time or space for switching off while attempting it. Full presence!
Karolina is 1000+hrs Advanced Certified Jivamukti Yoga Teacher, a mentor at the Jivamukti Teacher’s Apprenticeship Program, a certified Yin Yoga Teacher, and a Mysore Program Assistant under guidance of Eileen Hall.
"Nothing encompasses the body, breath and mind the way that yoga does"
Yoga was actually something that chased me for years, it was always something on the periphery that I read about or that my friends were into. In 2014, I finally committed to a regular practice. I was experiencing a lot of change in my life and one of my friends suggested we go to a yoga day retreat. From then on I knew that I needed to be practicing regularly. The consistency and discipline of a regular practice helped to ground me through a challenging time both physically and emotionally.
Yoga is important to me because I have experienced it change me and have watched it change so many people. It’s a truly transformative practice. I have tried lots of different wellness practices, but there is nothing that encompasses the body, breath and mind the way that yoga does. I find refuge in the movements and in the philosophy.
The Livingroom is a magical space to practice in. The sound of the waves and the beauty of the sunrise and sunset over Coogee are breath-taking, but more importantly the teachers and students make the space even more special. The Livingroom attracts some of the kindest and most passionate teachers and students alike, and this makes it a wonderful place to practice or teach.
Right now it’s supta kurmasana, bound tortoise pose. It’s my favorite right now because I can’t do it on my own! The more I find myself exploring this pose, the more I learn about myself. I think that we all benefit from things that challenge us (whether that’s a deep forward bend or a handstand in the middle of the room), if I could easily bind in this pose, I wouldn’t have as much knowledge or respect for it as I do currently.
I completed my 300hr training with Jivamukti Yoga in 2017 and finished my 500hr apprenticeship through Jivamukti Yoga with Karolina Szymala (an amazing Livingroom teacher) in 2018. I love studying and exploring different types of yoga and completed a 50hr training with Sarah Powers, studying Yin yoga in January 2020. I’m currently completing another 500hr training in Yoga Therapy with Nikola Ellis of Adore Yoga.
Before I started studying yoga I also completed two master’s degrees one in Peace and Conflict Studies and the other in International Public Health. They come in handy more than you would think as a yoga teacher!
Yoga is important to me, it’s a way of life with the aim to awaken to the present. Is there anything more important than that?
Mark first discovered yoga in the 90s with his mum at a Les Mills’ Body Balance gym class and liked how it calmed the mind and stretched the body.
Mark’s practice has ebbed and flowed into a way of ‘being’ since then. From trainings in Sydney at Samadhi and Sukha Mukha 200hr to ashrams in India at Sivananda Trivandrum and Osho Pune and intensive retreats with much-loved guru Clive Sheridan where the adventure toward consciousness has been transforming.
“As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul…” Hermes Trismegistus
Mark has also been studying astrology for almost two decades and interweaves the cycles of the planets and seasons into his teachings. Mindfulness, acceptance, kindness, joy and the art of ‘sitting with’ are what he wishes to bring to his practice.
I first went to a class at the Livingroom back in 2012 and was taken aback by the waves being such an integral part of the class. There have been many memories along the way like doing astrology readings in the clinic room and holding Kirtan with Beck, Phil and Julio.