Secret Garden Yoga offers to you the most incredible, experienced and passionate yoga teachers around with qualifications from a number of different lineages. We live and breathe yoga in all aspects of daily life and we look forward to sharing what we love so much with you. The types of classes are explained in the timetable; but expect some pranayama (breathe) and meditation along with your asana (movement) practice. Our teachers are all individual in their uniqueness and offerings, so please meet them here:
Nikki was first introduced to yoga in 1996. After experiencing her first class and the high that accompanied it she started on her yogic path of discovery, initially under the guidance of Simon Borg-Olivier and Shandor Remete.
After travels to India and Burma in 2000-2001, where she spent time at the Sivananda Ashram as well as investigating the meditation path through multiple Vipassana retreats, she found that the heart of yoga for her was the balance between the sthira and sukha of the practice – the balance between the spiritual and physical.
In 2001, Nikki undertook a three-year one-on-one teacher training apprenticeship with Simon Borg-Olivier and Bianca Machliss of Yoga Synergy, one of the few yoga schools in Australia still instructing in this traditional way. Nikki then taught full-time as a senior teacher for Yoga Synergy until 2008, during which time she continued to self-study and attend intensive retreats with Clive Sheridan, with whom she continues to study to this day.
From 2008-2011 Nikki also taught with Matthew Bergan at Dancing Warrior Yoga in St Peters and extensively at Body Mind Life in Rozelle. Nikki’s classes are a strong flowing style of asana; with a focus on grace of movement, alignment for flow of prana and control of the breath in order to find the full potential of the practice.
Nikki relocated to Byron Bay in early 2012, and brings with her a genuine love of Yoga in all its forms, and a desire to share this passion with others.
IT WAS THE PHYSICAL ASPECT OF YOGA THAT INITIALLY CAPTURED EMILY’S ATTENTION. HOWEVER, IT WAS THE CALMNESS AND CLARITY SHE EXPERIENCED AT THE END OF EACH CLASS THAT SPARKED HER INTEREST TO DELVE DEEPER INTO THE TEACHINGS OF YOGA.
EMILY COMPLETED A YEAR APPRENTICESHIP WITH SIMON BORG OLIVIER AND BIANCA MACHLISS IN SYDNEY IN 2009 AND TAUGHT FULL TIME AT YOGA SYNERGY RECEIVING HER 500HR YOGA TEACHING CERTIFICATE. IN THAT TIME SHE MET CLIVE SHERIDAN AND BEGAN DEEPENING HER UNDERSTANDING OF YOGA WITH THE TEACHINGS OF ADVAITA VEDANTA AND TANTRIC PHILOSOPHIES IN INDIA.
EMILY HAS SINCE GONE ON TO STUDY THE HEALING POTENCY OF YOGA, COMPLETING A 600HR POST GRADUATE DIPLOMA OF YOGA THERAPY, UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF DR N. CHANDRASEKARAN MBBS (DR NC) IN THE KRISHNAMACHARYA TRADITION WITH YOGA THERAPY AUSTRALIA.
CURRENTLY EMILY TEACHES YOGA AND MEDITATION AT A PRIVATE REHAB CENTRE IN BYRON BAY AND IS ALSO STUDYING A MASTERS OF SOCIAL WORK (COUNSELLING).
OVER THE YEARS, EMILY HAS FACILITATED WORKSHOPS AND RETREATS IN SYDNEY, BALI, INDIA AND VIETNAM.
Indi started practicing yoga eight years ago and has had a daily-dedicated practice for the last five years. She completed her yoga teacher training with Nikki Elwin and her certifications with Byron Yoga. Indi fell in love firstly with the physical asana of yoga and it’s challenges and strength gaining; then came the effects it had on her mind giving clarity and stillness. Yoga is a way of life totally embraced by Indi and she incorporates it into all aspects of her life. Her joy and passion is to teach and grow with her students. It is such a joy for us to be able to offer her, her first studio to teach in.
I found yoga while working as a carpenter,about 10 years ago,primarily to help with a back injury, but then finding the benefits for my whole self, body and mind.
I initially explored Hatha, then Ashtanga yoga, before spending a few years practicing at Jivamukti studios in Sydney.
Deciding to do teacher training with Byron Yoga Centre, and understanding the need for a strong foundational approach to a wholistic yoga practice, then took my journey in a different direction, and I now work as a teacher trainer at their studios in Byron Bay and also internationally. And I also teach yoga in rehabilitation centres in the Northern Rivers area.
I'm a 800hr Cert 4 accredited Yoga Teacher, and have ben teaching full time for about 2 years.
My teaching style draws on the fun flow style of Vinyasa based practice, but has a strong focus on foundations and alignment, providing a good base for beginners, and a challenging practice for the more established yogis.
Katie began her yoga journey 12 years ago and has since studied in the traditional method as an apprentice in the Ashtanga tradition, and completed several trainings and immersions. Katie facilitates and managed high end retreats for one of the worlds most popular women's retreat businesses. Several trainings and immersions followed, leading Katie to manage Byron Bay based retreats for one of the worlds most popular high-end retreat organisations.
Katie teaches an intelligently sequenced flow, encompassing pranayama in each practice for its grounding and uplifting benefits to the mind and body.
Damian has been involved in fitness his while life. He started his passion with fitness by playing rugby union both domestically and internationally for many years before tuning his hand to boxing an Muay Thai in 2003. During his career in martial arts he studied and completed many forms of exercise but still hadn't felt satisfied with the many things he had been taught.
When Damien did a seminar with Mike Fitch (founder of Animal Flow) he was hooked and spent tim doing workshops with Mike and completing the online exams.
“Animal Flow” is an incredible workout! It taps into our primal movements which helps us get back to basics, back to where we developed using many of those muscles we haven't used for a long time. It’s great for keeping you lean and agile, moving in different ways. I am getting some amazing feedback from many different people with varying levels of fitness from trades, surfers, models, footballers to a UFC fighter. Animal Flow is perfect for everyone.
Damien brings Animal Flow to Byron Bay!
Raised in the surf and sunshine of Noosa, Karlye Williamson has traveled the world seeking out adventure and searching for the next big wave. Basing herself in Hawaii for a time, then operating surf safaris out of the Maldives, Karlye now calls Byron home. Settling here with her young family over a decade ago, her local knowledge and community ties have only helped to strengthen Karlye's reputation as a qualified stretch therapist and personal trainer, who's built strong relationships with her clients and is constantly helping to improve their physical body & wellbeing.
Karlye was taught directly by the founder of 'Stretch Therapy,' Kit Laughlin who has over 30 years experience in this type of physical practise.
Julia has been teaching Pilates since completing her training with Polestar Pilates in Sydney in 2011. Since then she has been teaching both in her home country Finland, Sydney and Byron Bay and continues to learn and study more as for her it is a never ending path of exploring the connections in the body as well as the connections between the body and mind.
Feeling both strong & soft after a session of Pilates and the feeling of being realigned was what first got Julia hooked into doing Pilates. Having studied performance arts and new dance in Germany and acting in Finland, Julia's teaching is influenced by many body-mind techniques including Feldenkreis, Alexander Technique and Body Mind Centering.
Wether you are here for body conditioning or to deepen your Yoga practice with Pilates, Julia's classes will leave you feeling centered both physically and mentally.
Tara (pronounced 'Terra') discovered yoga in Byron Bay in 1997. She has been teaching since the year 2000 and training yoga teachers since 2011.
Her passion is yin yoga and yoga nidra. Yin is fast becoming the most popular style of yoga today. Now more than ever we need to balance our yang lifestyles with rest & stillness.
“When you hold the poses a little longer and consciously breathe into that place of discomfort, layer by layer, breath by breath an unraveling occurs. A true letting go.”
Tara’s unique approach to teaching with longer holds, soothing voice and compassionate manner reflect her deep knowledge of yin yoga. She has a magical way of guiding you into a blissful state of being through stillness and the breath.