Meet Our Teachers & Facilitators
Kristen's vision and passion is behind the realisation of this consciously evolving collective of Living Yoga Sanga. "Breaking away from the old structures of the past yet drawing from the essence of ancient teachings, natural law, integrity and sound experience to inform innovative ways of learning, healing and living; inspires and opens my heart", says Kristen.
Kristen met Natanaga Zhander- (founder of Shadow Yoga) and moved to Australia to study in a traditional yogic apprentiship. This experience formed the foundation for the way of yoga she works with today. Based in Chikitsa krama, it is the study and understanding of healing through yoga from the lineage of T.K.V. Krishnamacharya.
Influenced by incredible teachers including the Dalai Lama, Geshe Sonam Rinchen of the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, Tibetan Medicine with Tulku Lama Lobsang Dhamchou Nyima, Ngon-Dro practice and Truk-khor Buddhist yoga of the Arti lineage with Dhongri Lama, opened her world to the experience of Tantra and Dharma, further developing deeper self-inquiry, compassionate being and visualization meditation.
Jason is inspired through a deep and broad perspective to bodywork. Describing it as a multi layered experience that ought to address an entire being at one time or another and at times all at once.
Kahuna Bodywork uses the movement of the entire body much like a martial artist does. Blending the fluid and graceful motion of Hawaiian Hula with martial art principles, gathering Qi, or Muna as the Polynesians called it and applying it through movement that is governed by the hips and expressed through the fingers, hands, forearms to the elbow. The result is an engaging motion that sweeps through the body dissipating tension, stretching, opening and bringing space, breath and light to the held places within. It can be sharp and focused directionaly, broad like a rolling pin or as subtle as a feather adjusting to shifts in the wind. It is a delicate, silent and often challenging dialogue between what is and what is possible.
Kahuna Bodywork is not a style as such but "A Way" that aligns for a harmonious state physically, mentally and emotionally of both the receiver and the giver. It is an approach to bodywork like no other, viewing what is as a whole rather than a collective of pieces. Clients often remark they feel like they have been danced, massaged by the ocean, cradled by their mother, or like a instrument in a symphony. I often hear that their relief last for days, weeks, months and sometimes pain & discomforts disappear completely.
Siddhartha's Intent Australia workshops, retreats and study groups are conducted by Jakob Leschly. Jakob has been appointed by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche as his resident teacher in Australia. He began his studies of Buddhism in 1974 and has studied with numerous great teachers, particularly Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Dudjom Rinpoche and Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. Jakob completed a three year retreat in 1984 and has since worked as a translator and interpreter as well as a philosophy and meditation instructor, also completing a BA in Tibetan Studies. He now lives with his family in New South Wales and teaches in Australia and New Zealand.
"In my approach, I aspire to be non-exclusive. The purpose of the Buddhist path is to uncover a common heritage of awakening. Growing up multi-lingual and being at home in several cultures, I am aware how ordinary common experiences and truths can be obscured across languages. I wish to share the heart and spirit of Buddhist insights in contemporary terms, and through the practice of meditation. I do not subscribe to the current trend of sanitising Buddhism for modern consumption, and see all aspects of the various Buddhist traditions as having a valid role in uncovering buddha nature". Jakob Leschly
Tabatha Smith is an experienced and passionate yoga and meditation teacher.
Her teaching style is inspired by her study of Vinyasa, Restorative, Iyengar and Yin Yoga. Into her teaching she weaves her experiences with joy, emotions, the senses, instincts and nature.
Tabatha completed her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training with Being Yoga in Brisbane, Australia. She has also studied yoga in India, Oregon and California with a variety of knowledgeable teachers. She has been intensively studying Instinctive Meditation with Lorin Roche and Camille Maurine for three years.
In her classes, privates and workshops Tabatha aims to help students relieve tension and find more ease and pleasure in their bodies. She encourages students to connect with and explore their own innate wisdom. She weaves together yoga and meditation to provide an experience that is rejuvenating and nourishing for the mind, body and spirit.
Simon has been practising and teaching yoga for over 30 years. He is the founder / director of St. Kilda Iyengar Yoga School, Melbourne since 1989 and has been teacher-training many yoga teachers in Australia since 1992. He went on to create the Yoga Gurukul retreat centre in 2005 in the idyllic and beautiful rainforest region of northern NSW. He has been travelling yearly to Pune, India to study many times with our late Guruji BKS Iyengar and also has attend many workshops and classes with Geetaji Iyengar and Prashantaji Iyengar. He teaches all over Australia and internationally, he is a Senior Iyengar Yoga teacher level 3.
In 2016 Simon was awarded a Master Yoga Teacher Platinum certificate by the Yoga Alliance Australia, one of only 6 people in the world have this distinction, celebrating genuine Yoga Masters of our time. In addition to a deep understanding and practice of yoga asana (postures), pranayama, meditation and mantra, Simon has combined his love for chanting with his love for a stratocaster.