Br. Shraddhamrita will be joining Yogafest for his sixth visit. Living as a monk for many years, his insight and clarity on any spiritual subject gives us a chance to witness the depths of the truth spoken by one who has journeyed beyond average daily life. Amma has again blessed us with his presence and we experience Amma’s Grace and love with Shraddhadji joining us to open to our retreat with this very special talk.
Founder and Director of Dance of Life from 1975-2008 and Founder/ Director of Yogafest since 2005, Eugenie remains committed to her loving and devoted role as teacher and advisor as well as ardent student of Amma, world renowned guru and humanitarian. Eugenie began as a contemporary dancer and formed her own company creating and mounting theatrical feature length dance-works with spiritually based themes for many years. Eugenie and her two teenage daughters developed a mime and dance team Clown Theatre, and travelled extensively in Australia and India. In 1978 after meeting the Guru Swami Muktananda she learned meditation and under his tutelage became a teacher of Yoga. Since those early blissful days she remains devoted to truth and Reality, the subterranean depths of our mortal existence and conveys this understanding to her students. Still teaching at 75 Eugenie loves each and every moment sharing with her students and certainly intends to continue till her last breath. Eugenie has been producer of every Yogafest Retreat since it’s inception in 2005 (excluding 2016).
Director, Dance of Life
Johannes has been a yoga teacher for nearly 20 years and has been the Director of the Dance of Life since 2009. He has studied a variety of styles including Iyengar, Ashtanga, Hatha, Power Flow (Vinyasa) and Bikram. His versatility and experience is reflected in his ability to create inspirational and dynamic classes with solid foundation. In supporting safe practice whilst also challenging growth and development, Johannes focuses on attention to detail, considered alignment and effective use of the breath.
Douglas (Vishal) Brook
Douglas – Spiritual name Vishal – started practicing yoga in 1994 with Eugenie Knox at The Dance of Life Studio which led to an apprenticeship. Since his first apprenticeship, Vishal has studied Ashtanga Yoga with Founders of The Ashtanga Yoga Centre of Melbourne Greg and Tracy Cooper, Graham Northfield, Mathew Sweeney and Deena Kingsberg. He currently teaches at The Ashtanga Yoga Centre of Melbourne and Fitness First. Vishal is one of the founders of Yogafest Retreat and has taught at nearly every event. He also has visited India nine times and is a devotee of spiritual teacher Amma whose Australian and Indian Tours he assists on regularly. Vishal was the Producer of Yogafest Retreat, Winter 2016.
Phoebe has been teaching yoga since 2009 and practicing since 1996. After completing her 500RYT with Byron Yoga in 2009, her inquisitive mind and dedication to the practice has taken her on to study with a wide range of teachers from around the globe including Judith Lasater, Donna Farhi, Sundernath (Shandor Remete), Emma Balnaves and Simon Borg Olivier. Since 2013 she has committed her practice to the Shadow Yoga system with Louise Goodvach and annual teachings with Founding Director Shandor and Director Emma Balnaves. She teaches a strengthening, energy-based asana practice that is influenced by the philosophy and theory of this system. Phoebe also teaches restorative yoga and reads and practices meditation and philosophical inquiry informed through Buddhist complentative teachings.
Jean comes from a background of Chinese Medicine through kinesiology, shiatsu and other healing modalities. A yoga and meditation practitioner for over 20 years, her initial formal teacher training was in Integral Yoga. Since these early days of teaching, Jean has gone onto further studies in Vinyasa Flow and undertaking extensive studies on the Yoga Sutras and yoga philosophy and pranayama. “I regard the healing power of yoga with awe. Being constantly inspired with this ancient form that simply uses mental focus, breath and a series of postures to soothe and clear the mind, strengthen the body and enrich the spirit, I see yoga as the best medicine imaginable.”
Nirupa is a devoted yogini, passionate about yoga and meditation and their ability to heal and transform lives. She has been studying and teaching yoga for over 25 years, studying a variety of styles including Iyengar, Asthanga, Vinyasa and Bikram. She is inspired and humbled by the spiritual teachers Osho and Amachi. In conjunction with a regular practice of yoga asana she practices Osho’s active meditations to restore the natural flow of energy.
Emma was introduced to yoga on a beach in Goa over 15 years ago and upon returning home to Melbourne started attending classes regularly at the Dance of Life. She completed yogic studies at the Satyananda ashrams in Victoria and NSW and completed her teacher training at INSPYA in Byron Bay in 2005.
A senior teacher, Bryan has over 45 years’ experience in practicing, and over 30 in teaching yoga. He carried out his Iyengar teacher training with Martin Jackson in Sydney the late 1970s and ran a yoga school in Christchurch New Zealand in the early 1980s for five years. He trained with Mr Iyengar in 1983, 1987, 2012 and 2014. Bryan also has teaching qualifications in Qigong, Tai Chi and Wushu and has studied the yoga sutras in detail. Bryan is dedicated to helping students overcome issues and build confidence. A dedicated practitioner of pranayama, he incorporates this into most of his classes.
Telford began his yoga journey in 1994. He completed teacher training soon after and has since studied and practised in many traditions. His early influences include dance and martial arts. After many years of asana practice he now focuses on the more esoteric and energetic aspects of yoga.
Jayashree guides the beautiful and calming morning meditation sessions which start the day feeling connected, grounded and blessed.”I feel honoured to be part of Yogafest. Beloved Amma’s influence has inspired us on this spiritual journey.”
Jayashree is also our Head Chef and provides us all with delicious vegetarian fare throughout the YogaFest. Her humility and love has a powerful effect upon us all.
Adam Breman (Dadu) was initiated into yoga at the age of 7 when living at an Ashram outside of Mumbai India where he met Swami Muktananda (1980) and received a blessing that enlightened him emotionally and spiritually to adopt his bhakti yoga practice.
Bhakti or devotional yoga, includes meditation and chanting as well as karma yoga (seva or selfless service). These practices have helped Adam through thick and thin during his own life journey.
“Ever since I was a young child I have embraced the path of yoga and seen the benefits threaded throughout my life. “Mindfulness and meditation are wonderful gifts for stress removal and unwanted thoughts and have help me to be in the moment.”
Many years later Adam discovered Hatha yoga at Dance of Life Yoga Studio and has been a student there for the last 6 years. Adam also graduated with a certificate in Hatha yoga teacher training from the Yoga Social with Ambika after studying a 200 HR teacher training course there. Adam’s other interests include; Marathon running with yoga stretching (Melb Marathon 9 years), kite surfing, snowboarding and the philosophy of Yoga and Buddhism.
Pamela is Yoga Teacher, Therapist and Transpersonal Art Therapist. Pamela has extensively travelled India and Asia to learn from experts of yoga and healing and continues a personal connection to her mentors – esteemed yogis AG, Indra and Ganesh Mohan from whom she learned how to adapt yoga to the individual using Yoga, Ayurveda and Yoga Therapy. She is passionate about adopting yoga to the needs of women and mothers and draws on knowledge passed down by Judith Lasater, Donna Fahri and Janice Clarfield. Pamela has created Yoga Sanctuary, a small studio on the Mornington Peninsula. She is a contributor to the online yoga site themindfulmum.com and also freelance broadcaster for SBS radio.