Andrea has been practising yoga for 15 years and loves the benefits and balance yoga has brought to her life while raising a young family. In 2010 she completed her yoga teacher training with John Olgivie at Byron Yoga Centre. Andrea is now undertaking further training with Sue-ellen Kohler and Senior Iyengar teacher Peter Thomson and is excited to be teaching at Black Lotus Studios. Andrea is a caring and inspiring teacher who aspires to share her love of yoga with others.
After finishing University in Melbourne in 1988 Sebastian left to live on his aunt Diane Cilento's property 'Karnak' in the Daintree Rainforest, Far North Queensland. Diane ran 9 month courses in esoteric studies with all the students living and working together as a self-sustaining community. He stayed for four years. It was an experiment and preparation for the needs of the future and a question about the sense and significance of life on Earth. This was the beginning of a Spiritual search that has led in many directions and has found many teachers.
Sebastian began practicing Iyengar Yoga in 1992 at the Hatha Yoga Shala in Bondi Junction with Shandor Remete, an intense and inspiring teacher who lit the fire of practice and discipline, the persistent work through yoga to burn off the dross, to work through the outer shell and reveal the deeper Reality of life.
In 1995 he went to live in Santa Fe, New Mexico where he spent the next seven years doing a jewellery apprenticeship and continued his study and practice of yoga with Stephen Norvell. The pursuit of intelligence and the uncompromising work that BKS Iyengar has given us were again transmitted through Stephen whose classes were all three hours long and were restricted to a core group of people. Any new person to the class was given a harrowing three hours of standing poses. Not many returned. In 1999 Sebastian started teaching classes at Santa Fe Community College.
In 2002 Sebastian returned to Australia and began teacher training with Glenn Ceresoli. In 2004 he reconnected with old friend James Hasemer and began teaching at Central Yoga school where he developed his teaching and practice and became a Certified Iyengar teacher. He began studying under Pixie Lillas and then in 2007 Sebastian went to the Iyengar Institute in Pune, India. He now currently holds an Introductory Level 2 Certification.
In 2009 Sebastian started working with Peter Thomson at Black Lotus Studios. A teacher is the rope of knowledge that one must hold fast to, that pulls us back in the right direction as we are swept off inevitably in the rip-tides of worldly life and the conjuring of the mind. Knowledge has it’s source and it’s lineage of transmission, but it is only given a living reality within you through work and effort, the commitment to practice and the willingness to learn.
Sue-ellen Kohler is the director and founder of Black Lotus Yoga School. She has been teaching yoga for 20 years, and started practicing in 1986. Her teacher here in Australia is Peter Thomson, and she travels regularly to the school established by BKS Iyengar in Pune, India to study with the Iyengar family. Mr Iyengar, born in 1918, is still an amazing and inspiring yoga practitioner and teacher at the Institute.
Sue-ellen is also a dancer. Her early dance training was at the VCA in Melbourne and she spent the first 2 1/2 years as a professional dancer with ‘Tasdance’ in Tasmania. She worked with Dance Exchange for a year and over the next twelve years choreographed and performed new dance work in collaboration with all kinds of art makers – choreographers, composers, writers, filmmakers, dancers, improvisers, visual artists and actors.
Her performance work was premiered at The Performance Space in Sydney and toured throughout Australia and Asia. ‘Hybrid’, ‘BUG – Body Under Ground’, ‘Premonition’ and the films ‘’Vivarium’ and ‘Falling’ (with director Mahalya Middlemist) are among her best known work.
She was a director on the board of The Performance Space during the ‘90’s and was also a member of the Australia Council for the Arts, Dance Committee between 1994 and 1997.
Sue-ellen’s very first experience of yoga was as a 12 year old in Buderim, Queensland in the 1970s. Imagine - yoga poses on the carpet in the lounge room, with her beautiful Aunty Margaret teaching her in flowing muu muu, a family friend whose garden was full of magical spirits, and another who was a medium communicating with Sue-ellen’s own personal spirit guides, and even some excruciating moments on the local nudist beach. All contributed to an unusual and very entertaining entry into womanhood, and a first taste of ‘yoga’.
Sue-ellen moved to Sydney in 1985 as a young professional dancer from Melbourne to join Russell Dumas’s company ‘Dance Exchange’. She was performing with 'The Sydney Front' at Expo '88 in a public parade as a butterfly, when a fall from stilts crushed a vertebrae in her spine. This accident became an important catalyst for her yoga development, helping her to understand yoga’s capacity to heal on a holistic level.
When she had recovered enough from her injury, she began initial yoga teacher training with Martyn Jackson at the Australian School of Yoga in Bondi Junction, and began teaching there in 1999. She was one of the first teachers in Sydney to introduce ‘stretch’ classes to gyms as a form of extending yoga practice beyond the boundaries of yoga-specific school sites. She remembers having to convince ‘City Gym’ to add a stretch class to their timetable as yoga was not yet a part of gym culture. Now they have a dedicated yoga room. She was also well known for her classes for dancers at Sydney Dance Company in the early 90’s.
When Peter Thomson opened the Glebe Yoga School in 1993 Sue-Ellen began teaching there, and then continued when the school moved to East Sydney at the Sydney Yoga Space. When that school closed in 2007, she opened her own yoga and natural therapies centre in Enmore – Black Lotus Studios.
Sue-ellen became a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher in 1995, three weeks before the birth of her daughter, and she now has a Junior Intermediate - Level 1 certification.