Teachers

Amelia Disspain

Director and senior yoga teacher at Yoga Bellingen

Co founder of Balanced Practice Yoga Teacher Training and Retreats Yoga Australia Senior Member, Yoga Alliance International Expert registered teacher 1500+

Amelia brings with her a genuine love of yoga in all forms and a desire to share this passion with others. Amelia teaches the ancient art of Yoga in a safe, fun and intelligent way, based on a deep understanding of anatomy and physiology, modern medical science and traditional Hatha Yoga .

Amelia was first introduced to yoga in 1999. Inspired by the joy and serenity it brought her, Amelia began a regular practice before going on to complete her teacher training with Katie Manitsis (now Katie Rose)at Samadhi Bliss Yoga, Sydney in 2002.

Amelia taught Yoga full time at Samadhi Bliss until she was selected to undertake a one-on-one apprenticeship in 2006 with Simon Borg Olivier and Bianca Machliss of Yoga Synergy Sydney, one of the few schools left in Australia still instructing teachers in this traditional way.

Amelia taught as a senior level teacher at Yoga Synergy Sydney, instructing group classes from brand new beginners to advanced practitioners as well as private lessons, working with students with injuries and also training yoga instructors, until 2013 when she relocated to Bellingen, there she opened her own studio, Yoga Bellingen. Amelia built the studio from a bucket of mats in a school hall to a thriving full time business now training and employing local teachers,  creating a special supportive place in the Bellingen community for people to experience and grow in the practices of yoga. 

Amelia’s classes are informed by her many years of yoga practice, teaching and study, her classes are inclusive and always incorporate the deeper teachings of Yoga. Amelia has continued to study different aspects of the yoga tradition including Traditional Yoga Studies 800hr History and Philosophy of Yoga course by Georg Fuerstein and The Art of Teaching with Donna Farhi. Amelia loves to support other yoga teachers in their practice, teaching and the business of yoga through her role as a senior teacher and mentor with Yoga Australia 

In 2015 Amelia co-founded Balanced Practice Yoga and co-teaches Yoga Teacher Training Courses and international retreats with her sister in Yoga, Liz Bennett a physiotherapist and yoga therapist and director of Balanced Practice Yoga  in Warriewood.

Eva Joan

My introduction to the intricate realm of the body-mind complex started when I took my first yoga class at age 15 – deeply touched by the calming and opening effects of the practice on my body & mind, I have been practicing ever since.

Throughout the years, I’ve explored different styles of yoga and had the privilege to learn from wonderful teachers such as Kristen Boddington, Glenn Ceresoli, Simon Borg-Olivier and Bianca Machliss of Yoga Synergy, Sarah Powers and Tina Nance. I became certified with the School Of Sacred Arts in 2013 (RYT 200) and have been teaching since.

In addition to yoga, I was also interested in the healing arts and so at 19, with a lust for travel, I moved from my native France to Australia, where I studied Herbal Medicine and a range of tactile therapies for 4 years.

After completing my studies, I travelled through South-East Asia to West Africa, Europe, North America and Mexico, broadening my view of the world. Upon returning to Australia, I decided to take my interest in the mysteries of pregnancy and birth and become a Doula (and a Mum!) A journey that has brought me to tears many times – tears of joy for being given the opportunity to share the most precious and intimate moment in a woman’s life.

My approach to life and healing stems from my belief that we are all made up of many layers: physical, emotional, mental and energetic – which all need to be communicating to each other harmoniously, so we can live conscious & healthy lives.

As a yoga teacher, herbalist & body worker, I am passionate about the connection between body & mind & how they affect each other. I am constantly amazed by the infinite intelligence of the body & its innate capacity for balance & healing. I have been practicing Yoga for the last 25 years and I never tire of how profound an effect it can have on people’s lives, by allowing & fostering a better connection between body & mind.

It is with deep gratitude & commitment that I wish to share the gifts of yoga & living a life of balance.

Donovan Craig

Donovan has been practicing yoga for over ten years and increasingly, yoga has become an important part of his life. Over the last four years he has intensified his practice and has felt the urge to share his passion for yoga with others.

Donovan completed his initial 200 hour traditional Hatha teacher training at Arogya in Rishikesh, India. Officially, he was qualified to teach and had strengthened his personal practice, but he did not yet feel ready to take on open classes in a modern setting.

He then completed the year long, 350 hour Balanced Practice teacher training with Amelia Disspain and Liz Bennett in Australia and Bali, focusing on modern, effective sequencing, physiology and the intricacies of teaching accessible classes to people of all fitness levels. After this, along with ongoing mentoring with Amelia, Donovan felt ready to start teaching.

Donovan loves to travel and learn along the way, attending many workshops and courses, including spending time, online and in person with his spiritual teacher, Master Ketut Arsana.

With a passion for all the limbs of yoga, Donovan recently went back to India to deepen his knowledge in the less physical aspects of traditional Hatha yoga and completed his 500 hour training with Dr. Amaravathi Eraballi at Rishikesh Yog Sansthan.

Donovan loves to explore many different yoga styles and practices including traditional Hatha, Ashtanga, Yoga Synergy and Kundalini Tantra. He brings these, along with his friendly, relaxed manner to his classes.

Jo Cunningham

I have been practicing Yoga for more than twenty years. Yoga is the vehicle I use to find, develop and maintain strength and harmony in all aspects of my life. I have travelled extensively, studying and teaching Yoga classes, workshops and retreats around the world.
I am a devotee of the Divine Mother. She has nurtured and expanded my Yoga practice, given me clarity and insight into myself and the world around me. Fostering my love of Nature and appreciation for the gift of this life.  For the last twelve years I have been blessed to receive the generous teachings and guidance of Master Yogi Clive Sheridan. I continue to be inspired by and live deeply the philosophies and practices of Tantra and Advaita.

I endeavour to bring a shift in consciousness to each Yoga class, challenging students to stay alert and present with the body and breath through each posture (and the spaces in between). With attention Truth is revealed and with Grace illusion dissolves and drops away, both on and off the mat.

Jemima Wright

Jemima is a dedicated household practitioner of Yoga. Her commitment and dedication shine through her dynamic teachings and deep understanding of the physical body and movement, encouraging students to explore, question, challenge and develop a personal relationship with themselves that goes much beyond the outer physical sense of self and steps into the more subtle layers of our being.

First being introduced to yoga through the Jivamukti yoga Method, completing the Jivamukti yoga teacher training in New York in 2014 under the guidance of the Jivamukti yoga founders David Life and Sharon Gannon. She then completed the 800hr Jivamukti yoga apprenticeship with mentor Sandy King at Jivamukti yoga Sydney, and in 2017 was blessed to receive Advanced certification.

Curiosity drew Jemima towards Ashtanga yoga, with many years of committed practice she has learned both primary and intermediate series (forever grateful to the many teachers that have guided her on this path) Jemima is also currently enrolled in Yogic studies, furthering her knowledge on ancient yogic texts, yogic history, and Sanskrit.

For Jemima, A yogic practice is ever-changing, just like life. We need to be able to be fluid, to be able to adapt and build resilience. For most of us our introduction to yoga is through a physical body, over time, with commitment, it becomes a journey much further inward. Jemima is humbled to be able to teach and share with students her knowledge to support their journey, to help build their courage and to inspire their curiosity.

Nadine O’Mara

A practitioner of yoga for almost 30 years and a senior teacher under Yoga Australia and Yoga Alliance E-RYT 200 RYPT YACEP, Nadine has channelled her passion for yoga toward nurturing pregnant and post natal women and their babies.

While studying and teaching varying styles of yoga on both sides of the world for many years, Nadine gave birth to two girls. The pregnancy yoga she practiced through out both pregnancies taught her how to breath properly for the first time in her life, helped alleviate uncomfortable symptoms of pregnancy and made her feel more in touch with her baby in utero. Both girls were born calmly at home in water and their beautiful births she greatly credits to her yoga practice before and during pregnancy.

“Practicing yoga through out pregnancy gives you a chance to tune in to your baby and your body. It provides you with skills in breathing, movement and relaxation that so become a part of you that when you go into labour you don’t even have to think of what you should be doing for a positive birth, you know it”.

She attended Mother and Baby Yoga classes with her girls religiously and found that not only did they strengthen the bond with her daughters but also created long lasting friendships with other mothers. She believes the classes encouraged the positive relationships her daughters have with their bodies today.

Since moving permanently back to Australia in 2011, Nadine looked to help other women have an experience similar to her own hence she studied under the Birthlight Foundation, She Births® and certified as a doula under DONA. Nadine is Director and Lead Teacher at Bliss Baby Yoga, specialising in Pre and Postnatal Yoga Teacher Training and has had the delight of taking further trainings and workshops with Debra Pascali Bonero (Orgasmic Birth), Robyn Lim (Bumi Sehat Birth Clinic, Bali), Anna Watts (Celebration of Birth), Jane Hardwicke Collings (Ten Moons and Shamanic Women’s Craft) and Rainbow Kids Yoga to name a few. She is a women’s circle facilitator under Woman Within International.

Nadine is passionate about “mothering the mother” and feels so blessed to be a part of family’s lives at this very special time. She believes the practice of yoga during pregnancy is essential for preparing not only the body but the mind for birth, giving the best possible chance for a normal delivery and a positive birth experience for both mother and baby.

Lily Howard

I have a passion for heartfelt human connection. For me, yoga has been a constant in my life since I was 15 years old. Yoga has been my reminder that the beauty of life exists in our moment-to-moment experience. It wasn’t until my 17th birthday that I was given my first 200 hour Teacher Training by my greatest mentor, my mum. Since then I went on to complete an additional 300 hours of Training, alongside becoming a Zen Thai Shiatsu level 1 and Reiki level 1 & 2 practitioner. I owe my life to this practice, as it teaches me about myself, and guides me on how I show up in the world around me. 

My teaching style is like a slow moving meditation which has an emphasis on connecting to our own innate goodness. Knowing that the way you practice is created for you, from you and by you. With no two journeys ever looking the same. In a world that is so busy, my hope is that the time we spend together on the mat can feel like a hug.

Emma Hudson

Yoga has been a part of Emma’s life for 8 years now and it is a practice that she lives in eternal gratitude for. Her journey began when living in London and she would follow along to videos online in her bedroom. This evolved when moving to Australia and beginning classes at the gym and finally coming across Yoga Bellingen where the deeper connection really began. But that is the beauty of yoga, it does not matter where you find the connection, it is an ever evolving practice and that is the essence that she would like to share.

Emma has a love for movement, starting off training as a dancer and finding deep connection to her wellbeing and connection with her body. Using the means of Asana to begin a journey to deeper relationships to spiritual practice seemed an accessible way to take the first steps.

Emma is a primary school teacher and teaching is her passion. She found that the reflective process of sharing a practice with others only helps strengthen your knowledge and understanding, it is a deeply humbling experience. Teaching brings her so much joy and she wishes to share that with others in the ever evolving process that is practice. She is thrilled to have completed her 250hrs with a beautiful community at Balanced Practice Yoga and endeavours to continue her learning.

Kara Neel

I attended my first Yoga class roughly 25 years ago. I can’t remember much about the actual class

 – only that it was difficult, confusing, powerful, and mysterious! From that day forward, I was completely hooked.

Shortly thereafter, I moved to the Mid-North Coast of NSW. At that time I was living on a remote property, so I started a home practice based on Ashtanga Yoga. I continued a dedicated home practice for the next 15 years, using books, research, perseverance, and my own body’s wisdom as my guru.

In 2015, I contracted a chronic illness and I became unable to continue my usual practice due to pain and fatigue. It became clear that I could no longer tolerate a life without Yoga and so despite my continued illness, I needed to find a way through. Trying many teachers and styles, I eventually found Amelia and the Synergy system.

My health improved so much, I was able to complete a 200hr A Balanced Practice Yoga Teacher Training course. I am currently undertaking Yoga Synergy mentoring with Amelia. I feel so blessed to be learning how to teach the asana practice that has been so powerful for my own health and wellbeing.

My longstanding relationship with all of the tools of Yoga has had a profound effect on my life. In some ways, it seems to me that from my first class, Yoga has slowly but surely shaped the course of my life – connecting me more and more deeply to the truth within me and allowing me to move through life in a way that feels increasingly more authentic and joyous. I feel deeply honoured and privileged to have the opportunity to help sow the seeds of growth and transformation that Yoga offers.