Tag: yoga teacher

Yoga teacher

Graduate Story: Christine Chu – Graduated 2020

Yoga as a microcosm of life and a pathway to conscious living

Written by graduate of the 500-hour Yoga Teacher Training Diploma, Christine Chu

From my first exposure to yoga, I always knew I would be a yoga teacher. It was only a matter of ‘when’.

I was fortunate to discover yoga in my youth at 14. After viewing photos and videos on social media, I was instantly drawn to inversions and the playfulness of the practice, but what captivated me most was an unshakeable sense of liberation and an inclination to share it.

My self-practice developed with great ease and consistency. I practiced unguided daily, until yoga was offered as an extracurricular school activity to which I latched onto quickly. After my first official class, I remember rising up from savasana seated across from the teacher, with a great sense of homecoming and knowing, “This is the role I want”.

There were countless other instances where I had these experiences of knowing, but I blindly assumed yoga had the same effect on others and lightly brushed them off.

Ultimately, I came to realise that not all individuals appreciated yoga to the marked depth as I did. Almost each night after school and still to this day, my head hits the pillow with yoga philosophy and teaching on my mind.

Enter The Yoga Institute at 19! 500hrs and many months later, I am now blessed to be sharing this practice.

What Yoga Means To Me

I believe yoga is a microcosm of Life. What we experience in the world around us – impermanence, fear and obstacles – can be preempted and explored through yoga. The only requirement is an attunement to breath and a willingness to learn.

The beauty of the practice is that it grows as we grow- changes as we change. If we are willing to become quiet, turn inwards and remain consistent, our ability to navigate the world and our mind with ease and resilience grows stronger. Yoga is a physical discipline which, if given time, transforms to a mental discipline. It is a pathway to conscious living.

Creating a Sense of Homecoming for Others

Today I am completing my final year of physiotherapy studies and allowing it to inform my delivery of safe and functional yoga classes and workshops. Although the Western expression of yoga is heavily imbued with asana, I seek to further weave through the gifts of breathwork, meditation and philosophy to the Western understanding of yoga. I hope each practice moves students closer to their own homecoming (in whichever form that may be) and a remembrance of the empowered, creative beings we all are.

“Life is a GPS, you can’t go wrong, but you can prolong”

To any out there who are considering Teacher Training at The Yoga Institute (or any individual considering a new path or life change of any sort)- I look at you, and I see me, living another life.


We are all our greatest obstacles or our greatest launching pad. I firmly believe the resources, support and opportunities leading you to your goals are already here and simply waiting for you to get out of your own way.

Come with ease and a beginner’s mindset – You won’t go wrong and you will not be disappointed.

You can contact Christine via Email: christinechuyoga@gmail.com or Instagram: http://instagram.com/christinechuyoga


How can we support you?

Our study options aren’t just for aspiring teachers, but for anyone who wants to deepen their personal practice or simply gain a better understanding of the breadth and depth of the life-affirming practice of yoga.

Interested in our 500-Hour Teacher Training Course?
Get course prospectus
Join our next information session

Prefer to start with a smaller commitment?

Learn more about our 100-Hour Yoga Studies course

Get in touch:
Email: teachertraining@yogainstitute.com.au
Phone: 0477 021 219

Join us, together we will grow, learn and inspire.

Yoga teacher trainee

Graduate Story: Marion Just – Graduated 2020

From Gym Junkie to Aerobics Instructor to Yoga Teacher

Written by graduate of the 500-hour Yoga Teacher Training Diploma, Marion Just

It was in my early 20s that I embarked on a path to get healthy and fit, learning about good nutrition, eating less and exercising in the gym…. ALOT!  I was a serial gym junkie.. even becoming an aerobics instructor for a few years.

Then one day (still in my twenties) while working in the city I checked out the Adyar Bookshop in York Street where I discovered an entire wall of yoga books.  Intrigued I decided to try this yoga although there were very few studios in which to practice.  I dabbled in a few classes, but it didn’t excite me enough, so I stuck with sweating out in the gym until my late 30s.

It was at that time I discovered the first Australian Bikram studio had opened up near my home on the northern beaches.  I knew about this Bikram yoga as it was the only book I purchased at the Adyar Bookshop.  So I gave up the gym for another sweat filled room in Bikram’s studio -aka- the “torture chamber” for almost 10 years.  Then another type of strong and strenuous yoga landed on our shores – Vinyasa Yoga.  Woohoo!

When I realised yoga was more than just physical exercises

After some 25 years of sweating it out and contorting the body in hot yoga rooms I felt there must be more to the practice than just asanas. 

During those years, Sanskrit words were sporadically used to describe asanas.  Words such as the ujjayi breath, the bandhas and drishti were mentioned.  What did it all mean anyway?  Who was Patanjali?  What were the Yoga Sutras and the 8 Limbs?  Did Patanjali have 8 limbs?  What had I been practising all those years?

What brought me to teacher training?

I can’t really pinpoint what compelled me to seek out teacher training.  There were many opportunities to sign up for teacher training at the heated yoga or the vinyasa studio, but something intrinsically kept holding me back! 

Then one day, I was ready to finally put all the pieces of the puzzle in place – to learn more about yoga’s history and philosophy. 

Oh My Goodness – I signed up!

After scanning the internet I found The Yoga Institute, phoned them, attended the information session and just like that – I signed up! I was very excited. And then the excitement turned to fear.  

What followed were feelings of anxiety, hesitation, regret, uncertainty that I had embarked on an intensive course of which I knew very little and which required a huge commitment. 

My fear rapidly subsided when I had my first session with my fabulous mentor who re-assured me and helped me focus on an important component of yoga – breath control and chanting with a little bit of asana to keep the mind focussed!  Wait…what?

Initially, the practice of chanting, pranayama and gentle asanas to help me release thoughts of attachments while quietening the mind seemed very strange and I didn’t take to it immediately.  I quickly realised and felt the benefits of slowing down and practising breath awareness.  My mentor knew best. 

I learned the importance of not only practising asanas, but also to learn and practise the entire 8 limbs of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.  No, not Patanjali’s limbs – the 8 aspects of the Yoga Sutras – a philosophy about how to live life harmoniously.

Post Teacher Training

Since completing my training, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to go back to where it all started for me and to teach a yoga class on Mondays for a short time in the Cammeray Yoga studio, back on the premises of The Yoga Institute!

I currently have a home studio set up where I teach my corporate clients online via Zoom, as well as group classes, and one to one personal yoga training. 

How does yoga fit in my life now and how has it changed me?

Many stages of my life have been filled with sometimes overwhelming challenges.  If I had found yoga in the early stages of my life, I believe I would have learned how to better handle these challenges – I’m certain I would have been a calmer, less stressed person for it.

Any obstacles and annoyances that I encounter now are a lot more manageable when I stop and take time out to practise pranayama and meditation.

To anyone considering doing Teacher Training at The Yoga Institute

I am so pleased that I chose The Yoga Institute for my teacher training.  Each of the teachers are world class, incredibly supportive and thoroughly knowledgeable. 

The co-founders, Dr Michael de Manincor and Lisa Grauaug studied for many years with the son of the father of modern yoga (Sri Krishnamacharya) TKV Desikachar.  My assigned mentor studied meditation with A G Mohan who was a personal student of Sri Krishnamacharya for 18 years. 

The best part of the journey for me has been learning to sit quietly, drawing inwards to meditate, learning to become un-attached to things that aren’t so important, to gain contentment within myself and to connect to my inner light of consciousness.  Hopefully one day I will attain the 8th Limb of Yoga, SAMADHI – to experience bliss and enlightenment!  YES!

You can contact Marion via her website Just Yoga By Marion


How can we support you?

Our Teacher Training Course isn’t just for aspiring teachers, but for anyone who wants to deepen their personal practice and gain a better understanding of yoga.

Need more information?
Get course prospectus
Join our next information session

Get in touch:
Email: teachertraining@yogainstitute.com.au
Phone: 0477 021 219

Join us, together we will grow, learn and inspire.

Graduate Story: Silvia Cagorski – Graduated 2019

Making that big career move from the corporate world to Yoga teaching

Silvia’s Yoga Journey

I started 11 years ago at a local studio in a group class setting. At the time, I was seeking ways to improve my mental and emotional health – this was the beginning of my Yoga story.

Yoga Teacher Graduate Silvia

Ever since, I have been on and off with my practice which mainly consisted of group classes in a Yoga studio or gym. I always was drawn back to Yoga and decided in 2018 that I would partake in studying Yoga.

After thorough research on where to do my Yoga teacher training (YTT), I narrowed down two potential places.

Why The Yoga Institute?

I went to The Yoga Institute information session at Cammeray and immediately knew I was at the right place. I fondly remember my chat with Kirstie Christensen who spent her time in the kitchen guiding me through the course – she ended up fittingly being my mentor during my studies!

Studying Yoga Abroad

Since completing my 500hr YTT in 2019, I have also fortunately travelled to do further studies abroad in India – Developing a Personal Practice at Yoga Vahini with Saraswathi and Yoga for Mental Health at Baulkham Hills Yoga Studio with Michele Sierra.

My trip to India was beyond my expectations, and if it were not for the lovely Lisa Grauaug who organised a group connected through The Yoga Institute, I would have been unaware of this opportunity.

What Silvia loves about Yoga

First thing that comes to mind are the practices or poses. Those who know me are aware I love Warrior poses and sequences, particularly “Warrior 3” (Virabhadrasana III).

I also love strong poses such as “Chaturanga” and “Upward facing dog” (Urhva Mukha Shvanasana) in a sequence.

I enjoy pranayama techniques that are calming and focusing in nature. Initially, I struggled with designing class plans (mainly because of my drawing skills!) But now I genuinely enjoy creating class plans bearing in mind intelligent sequencing, as Michael would say, and tailoring to student’s needs by researching online and through books.

A career shift to teaching Yoga

I have had a colourful working life, where I’ve dabbled in various careers ranging from childcare work to 8 years as a Senior Consultant in Personal Injury Insurance.

Towards the end of my YTT course, I was working in my insurance role and I knew I “hit the wall” mentally and physically as I was no longer able to continue working. After a career break, completing my YTT studies, my new “career” aim was to be a full-time Yoga teacher – which I fortunately currently do.

Initially, I thought my path would be Yoga for children, and I was interested in further studies to teach Yoga at schools. However, my path detoured down to Yoga for mental health, and I am truly happy.

Silvia’s experience as a Yoga teacher

As a Yoga teacher, I have taught at various gyms, outdoor yoga as a part of a bootcamp, teen yoga at a girl’s Catholic high school, teachers at a Muslim high school, physiotherapy and remedial massage clinic, and classes at a community hall run via the Liverpool council. I still teach 3 classes at a gym and one outdoor class on Sunday mornings.

Now, I predominantly work at a Private Mental Health Hospital where I teach Yoga to inpatients and outpatients.

Yoga was included as a part of the inpatient and outpatients’ treatment program. During the COVID lockdown, they would only have group therapy sessions and art therapy, while the gym and walking group were temporarily stopped.

The patients really embraced the classes – it is an amazing feeling to know patient’s and management at the Hospital recognised the benefits of Yoga to the patients’ health.

Whilst it can be challenging at times, it is completely rewarding seeing patients who, for instance, were jittery and anxious at the beginning of class and by the end were calm and centred. I had a few patient’s say that they no longer needed to take Valium and no longer experienced side effects of certain medications they were on. Yoga had allowed them to feel at ease.

How did Silvia obtain this teaching job?

Yoga Teacher Training Sydney

I was in a consult with my treating Psychiatrist who mentioned the Hospital was looking for a Yoga teacher. During the consult, he called the Allied Health Manager informing her that he had a teacher and an hour later I was having an interview with the Manager and Chief of Staff!

This occurred pre-COVID and I began teaching 3 classes a week, post-COVID my classes jumped to 14 a week! Now, I teach 11 classes at the Hospital. 

Overall, I teach 15 classes a week, for me personally it is manageable and can earn a solid living.

Advice for aspiring Yoga teachers

It has taken time, a good self-care regime, and support from loved ones along with a Yoga mentor and my psychologist to adjust.

My advice regarding opportunities for Yoga teachers is to think outside the box. Approach not only gyms and studios, but schools (for students and teachers), physiotherapy or other allied health clinics, hospitals, sport clubs (e.g. soccer teams) and bootcamps.

Yoga is a gift

I have been lucky to be guided by few mentors, including Lisa and Kirstie from the Yoga Institute. Another is Laurin Vassella a YTT graduate as well, and she mentioned a statement that really resonated with me – “Yoga is a gift”.

Each time I teach and particularly when I receive feedback from a student on how my class impacted them, I think of this statement and how Yoga is truly a wonderful gift that I enjoy sharing.

Contact Silvia

Feel free to reach out to me via Instagram


How can we support you?

Our Teacher Training Course isn’t just for aspiring teachers, but for anyone who wants to deepen their personal practice and gain a better understanding of yoga.

Need more information?
Get course prospectus
Join our next information session

Get in touch:
Email: teachertraining@yogainstitute.com.au
Phone: 0477 021 219

Join us, together we will grow, learn and inspire.

The Yoga Institute acknowledges the Cammeraygal people of the Eora nation as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which our centre is based.

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