Foundations Training – biographies

Who’s attending – Sydney

Lisa Blanch
Yoga Therapist, Yoga Teacher and Yoga Educator
17 years of Yoga practice

I am a certified IYTA hatha yoga teacher, Registered Yoga Therapist and Level 2 Registered Teacher (Yoga Australia), Yoga for Cancer specialist teacher, and Somatic Movement Exercise Coach who has offered therapeutic yoga across Sydney, Australia, for over 13 years. Working with individuals, specialist groups and corporate clients, Lisa also contributes yoga therapy sessions to wellness programs in Sydney hospitals, and lectures for the International Yoga Teachers Association (IYTA) Diploma of Yoga Teacher Training Course (460hrs), overseeing the Asana Module.

I am increasingly working with specialist groups and students and a comprehensive understanding of evidenced-based techniques for managing pain with therapeutic yoga will be greatly beneficial.


Alecia Filmer
10 years of Yoga practice

I was born in Orange NSW, studied Physio in Sydney and have spent time working in rural and metro areas of Australia and the UK. I’m a Mum to Hugo (4), Sarah (6) and Ava (8). My husband Justin is the the RAAF so our life is fairly movable.  We currently live in Newcastle where I work as part of The Children’s Complex Pain Service at John Hunter Children’s Hospital. I love yoga,  going to the beach, travelling and reading in my spare time.

In the short-term my goal is to have a better understanding of the role yoga can play in supporting people (particularly children and adolescents) who are managing persistent pain, learn from the experience of others currently working in the area of pain management and expand my professional network. In the long-term I hope to become a qualified yoga instructor and utilise this knowledge in a more formal way.


Loiuse Moulang
Yoga Instructor and Counsellor
27 years of Yoga practice

I have been a practitioner of Hatha Yoga for 27 years and now teach Dru Yoga.  I consult privately and in community as a consellor and Yoga therapist on the south coast of NSW.

Attending this workshop with Yoga for Pain Care I aim to increase my knowledge of how Yoga can assist with pain and deliver that back into my region.


Renee Sandells
Clinical Psychologist
On and off over 18 years of Yoga practice

I am fascinated by overall health and the mind-body connection. Overall I strive for simplicity and balance (always a work in progress!)- and have a mild obsession with surfing!

I am hoping to develop an understanding of the evidence base and body-mind mechanics of yoga as it applies to helping children/teens and adults manage persistent pain, and skills to apply this to my work.


Karen Coombes
Yoga and meditation teacher
10 years of Yoga practice

Yoga brings me home to the timeless present. I love teaching Yin and restorative yoga, mindfulness, meditation, and gentle flow. I passionate about sharing simple and creative movement and breathing techniques that feel good. I also have a dance background and love being in nature.

I am interested in working with people who can’t attend a general yoga class because of pain/mobility issues, trauma and mental health concerns. I am currently connecting with the yoga therapist community in Canberra and hope to upgrade my qualifications to Yoga Therapist over the next two years. I want to grow my knowledge and experience to be able to work effectively and sensitively with a range of people. I would like to offer specialist classes in mainstream studios, private lessons, and specialist workshops for small groups.
I’m looking forward to working together with health professionals in Sydney and Canberra to offer yoga to people managing pain.


Dominique Jolivet
2-3 years of Yoga practice

I am from Sydney, but have recently moved to Bombo for a temporary position at a hospital. I am currently doing yoga, body balance, and Pilates through the week.

I am hoping to learn more about the benefits of yoga for chronic pain patients as well as how to promote practice in the community.



Niki Isaacson
Adult Yoga and Aerial Yoga Teacher
12 years of Yoga practice

I started practicing yoga when I was 15 and am a little addicted! It makes me feel calm and refreshed – a feeling I love to inspire in my students. I have been teaching yoga for 2 years now, and from teaching a wide age range of students including kids, I have seen first hand how it can help people in many different ways including helping with pain, injuries, limited function, limited range of movement, balance issues, stress, and worry. My background is in art and design and love teaching art workshops to kids.

I want to understand pain and how it affects different people/students/children/adults in different ways. I also want to learn how yoga can help people with pain and what kinds of movement are and are not possible when in pain. I work at a physio clinic and work with the physios teaching their patients yoga – the patients often have injuries and pain – so would love some new tools to help with this.


Meg Pounder
Paediatric Physiotherapist
Yoga Practise – Hours not years!

I love working with an interdisciplinary team helping children and adolescents with persistent pain. Integrating strategies involving the body and mind is the mainstay of our approach.

I’m hoping to better understand and learn how to better integrate the mind/body practice of yoga in my work and be better able to advise children and adolescents about accessing yoga in the community.


Vanessa Wynne
Counsellor & Yoga Teacher
Yoga Teacher for 5 years but have done personal practice for more than 20 years

I strongly believe in the connection between emotions and the body, so have aimed building my counselling practice around different modalities to provide clients with a holistic approach to issues with both body and mind.

Hoping to learn more about using yoga for pain to accompany my neuropsychotherapy counselling with dealing with clients who suffer chronic pain. Adding more knowledge in this area will help me provide a more holistic approach for my clients.


Cynthia Firth
Physiotherapist for 40 years
Practicing yoga on & off for >40 years, but am now more committed and regular with my practice

I have two sons & two grandchildren.
My hobbies and interests include reading (novels and police procedurals especially), exercise, walking & cycling.

As a result of the training course, I look forward to increasing my knowledge & abilities,& interacting with  people with an interest in the area of chronic pain.
I currently use  some yoga techniques working with individuals, & conduct  a weekly `Simple Yoga` group  with clients dealing with persistent pain.


Who’s attending – Christchurch

Mary-Ann Fraser Somerville
Supply Chain Specialist, Events Coordinator, Yoga Teacher, Thai Yoga Massage Therapist, Mindfulness Coach
14 years of Yoga practice

I am inspired by humility and kindness, I love to learn, I love to share yoga and mindfulness with everyone who wants to feel good :)))) I am 33, born and raised in Brisbane by South African migrant parents, I am married with two step-children and two fur babies

I would like to be able to support my students (and my parents as they age) in allowing space for pain care and help rebuild a solid foundation when there is injury.

Tessa Galvin
Physiotherapy, pain management and vocational rehab.
I have dabbled in some yoga in the past but have become more interested and consistent in practice in the past 6 months.

I am a physiotherapist who has recently returned to physio practise after working in management. I am keen to progress my skills and engage with others who are committed to improving the wellbeing of those in pain or need.

I hope to improve my ability to support pain clients in their recovery journey with lasting effects. To engage with yoga teachers with a similar philosophy and to build my confidence in suggesting group yoga classes to clients in pain, or with significant injuries needing specific care and focus for safety.

Caroline Wong
Pharmacist in retail and hospital for 30 years
3 years of Yoga practice both at a yoga centre and home practice

I am currently completing my Yoga Teacher Training 200 hour certification. I am hoping this course will compliment my learning so I can help people to use yoga to gain relief for their pains and conditions.

I have a lot of experience as a pharmacist on the medicines for treatment but want to learn how one can help themselves on a more holistic level.


Sarah O’Connell
Yoga Teacher and Managing Director of TriEx Health, Safety and Wellness Limited
8 years of Yoga Practice

Yoga lover, competent business person, mother of two beautiful girls. Inquisitive, energetic and mostly joyful!   

What you’re hoping to learn or do as a result of this training course: A greater awareness of how I support those in pain through yoga. Awareness and empathy as a teacher while learning professional practices regarding those with pain.


Jessica Lee Smith
Yoga teacher
17 years of yoga practice, teaching for 14 years

I have always had a strong belief in the mind-body connection since a little girl. I was lucky enough to find yoga in my early teens and saved my pennies to follow my dreams to study yoga. I began my career as a full-time yoga teacher in 2004 and never looked back. I have been teaching in the community of Christchurch since 2007 and in that time have helped co-create Flow Hot Yoga Studio in Christchurch.

I am primarily a Vinyasa Flow teacher, although I adore teaching ALL styles of yoga, because variety is the spice of life! I have certifications in the following disciplines of Yoga, Bikram, Baron Baptiste, Yin Yoga, Pre/postnatal, Childrens Yoga, and Yoga for Pain Therapy. My intention as a yoga teacher is to provide a safe and nourishing experience for all students. Each of my classes consists of thoughtful sequencing with an emphasis on alignment and stability so that practitioners can move with awareness, clarity and grace.  Students are invited to challenge themselves without losing sight of the simplicity and joy that can be found within the practice.

I hope to learn in the course how to understand pain and how to deliver safe and effective yoga to those in need. I would like to collaborate with the other practitioners to inform their clients how gentle yoga can be a strategy and treatment for chronic pain.


Who’s attending – Canberra

Marg Riley
Psychologist and yoga teacher
I have had a consistent yoga and mindfulness home practice for 16 years and am in my 4th year of teaching yoga

MargA few of my favourite things: Spending time with family/friends and pets, movie going, reading, travel, gardening and of course yoga. My yoga practice has provided me with an ongoing experience of equanimity and joy that I like to share with my students. When I began my training my intention was to work with adolescents but I discovered that I really enjoyed working with people who needed a more inclusive and accessible class than was widely available. It gives me great joy to observe students delighting in being able to move more freely and sooth and settle their nervous systems.

I am hoping to develop a deep understanding of up to date perspectives on pain as well as the capacity to explain this to my students in a way that is respectful and validating.  I’d also like to enhance my repertoire for assisting people to experience steadiness and ease in their yoga practice.

Dr Debra Harris
Clinical Psychologist; 200hr yoga teacher
Years of yoga practice: 8 years

Deb H

As a practicing clinical psychologist, I work in public health primarily with patients with persistent pain, helping them to manage pain as best as possible and regain quality of life even when pain does not go away completely. I have been practicing yoga myself for 8 years and have enjoyed the physical and emotional benefits. I recently completed my 200hr yoga teacher training to expand my own practice and to help facilitate the gifts of yoga for others.

 I’m keen to explore the opportunities yoga specifically for pain can offer the patients I work with currently, and in the future potentially offer yoga for pain classes in the broader community. I would like to know how to teach yoga safely for those with ongoing pain, and the sequences and poses most useful for this group.

Pamela Bleakley
Yoga teacher for 15 years in my studio in Chifley ACT


Prior to that, I worked as senior technician in medical research (bowel cancer) and safety officer in John Curtin School of Medical research – ANU (25 years).   My teacher training with IYTA in 2000, a U-turn from the exacting world of science, was a stepping stone into the realm of helping people to be the best they can be – on many levels.

I focus my yoga teaching on helping my students to move well, to breathe well and to find vitality, joy  and inner peace.  My PG training has included Yoga for breast cancer and lymphoedema, (cert recognized by Aust Yoga Therapy Assn), yoga for back care (IYTA).  I have run a 6 week program for back pain sufferers, and my weekly class for women after breast cancer has been running for 5 years.

As a result of this training I hope to be of better service to students with a range of pain conditions.  People after cancer treatment, with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and frozen shoulder come to mind, and I hope to develop and become recognized for proficiency in this specialised field.

Belinda Garratt
Vinyasa flow yoga instructor and Children yoga instructor
20 years Practice, 10 months teaching


I am a single Mother of 2 Children 5 yrs and 7 yrs old. A year ago I decided to leave hairdressing  after years of pain and migraines and weekly visits to Chiropractor and very unhappy children! too many long hours.. I love practising and teaching yoga, which had lead me to children’s yoga, seeing what it does for my kids and working with the general public for years and what people need, love helping people.

I hope that this training will give me more tools to help my students.  I find students at the yoga studios I teach are fairly fit and well and can move well.  I also run Classes at CARM Therapies in Higgins [Massage and acupuncture] and a lot of people are presenting with pain, mobility and postural weakness issues and the list goes on and it’s the whole don’t use it you lose it theory I’m looking at people that haven’t really exercised  because of active jobs, but this has not been enough to keep them strong, fit and well and now they are presenting with pain as a result. Friends and family with arthritic pain joint replacements etc and they are to scared to do yoga because of their pain

Leah Epistola
Occupational therapist
Years of yoga practice: since July 2014

LeahI am an occupational therapist working in community health, who regularly see patients with chronic and complex health issues.  I developed a keen interest in yoga following major surgery for endometriosis. I have found yoga to be helpful in my recovery and am seeing an ongoing improvement in my fitness.

I know I am not a qualified yoga instructor however whatever information I obtain from this course will increase my confidence in recommending yoga to my patients as part of their pain management program. I will also be able to apply the knowledge in my own personal life being a chronic pain sufferer myself.

Alan Johns
MSK Physiotherapist for last 27 years
Years of yoga practice: mostly self taught for 2-3 years. A few classes here and there. Pretty unstructured.

Childhood gymnast and squash player; chronic love of stretching; Father of 8; Ran own private practice up until a year ago (it ran me really); Studied and use TCM also – acupuncture; Hobbies include mountain bike riding, guitar and banjo playing, playing board games and wrestling with my children.

I want to deepen my understanding of pain reduction and pain management and using yoga as a tool. Get practical guidance around the use of yoga positions and postures in the care of those in long standing pain and / or persistent physical limitations.

Tracy Rowe
Soft tissue therapist; dru yoga teacher
Years of yoga practice: 20 on and off.

I love people, bodies, minds, emotions, physiology, neuroplasticity, movement, music, sunshine, nature, colours, children, movement, play, touch, learning, curiosity, making mistakes, growth, authenticity, communication, coffee.

I hope to connect with yoga teachers and therapists to network with and figure out how to better integrate my work as soft tissue therapist with teaching; and to get access/directed to research on the benefits of yoga and pain.

Lynette Heydenrych
High school Science teacher
Years of yoga practice: 19 Years of practice

 I embarked on my yoga journey following the long and painful birth of my son. I was determined not to have this experience repeated with my second child and so I joined a prenatal yoga class. I have since then been diagnosed with a degenerative lumbar disc, a hole in my knee and a torn ligament in my shoulder. Over the last 19 years, I have used yoga and all it’s limbs to manage pain with success.

I am hoping to introduce yoga to others with pain as a way to prevent, heal and maintain.


Who’s attending – Brisbane

Rebecca Shaw
Yoga Teacher
17+ years Yoga practise

Rebecca Shaw

I committed to a consistent Yoga practice back in 1999, after first having been introduced to Yoga in the late 80’s during rehabilitation for illness. In 2009 I became a Yoga Teacher after nearly 20 years in the corporate world and I am currently undertaking a year long apprenticeship with Bianca Machliss & Simon Borg-Oliver at Yoga Synergy in Sydney, after having completed their teacher training in 2015. I have travelled extensively all over the world, but my journeys are a little closer to home now that I have 2 young children.

I have been teaching Yoga for Pelvic Pain at the Women’s Health Research Institute in Sydney for about 18 months, mainly for those with Pudendal Neuralgia. I am very interested in learning about the science and research behind pain and how the techniques of Yoga may assist with the management of this. I would like gain more knowledge so I can be of greatest support to my students as possible. It is my desire to make these Pelvic Pain classes my focus for 2017, offering more class options and possibly broadening them to accommodate other forms of pain.

Pia Barrett
Yoga Teacher
14 years practice and 7 years teaching

My love for yoga began in England after the birth of my first child when I was looking for a form of exercise that would ease my sciatica and reshape my postnatal body. What I found was so much more. I decided that I would like to know more about this system and embarked on the study of yoga and began my yoga teacher training. I became an accredited British Wheel of Yoga teacher and began sharing my love of yoga by teaching it. Last year I moved to Australia, switched my qualifications to Yoga Australia level 2 teacher and have begun teaching in a lovely studio which combines yoga and physiotherapy.

I hope to gain a better understanding of pain in this training course and how it is perceived in students as well as ways that I can help them to better manage pain, improve mobility as well as dealing with the psychosocial aspects of pain management

Lisa Freebury
2 Yoga Lessons taken

As a Naturopath, I see many clients who are stressed and this impacts on their mental and physical health.   One of my lifestyle prescriptions is for them to practice yoga to help them cope in their everyday life.  However, for myself, I have found the physical aspect of yoga to be challenging.   The two classes I have attended, whilst at a beginners level, were not tailored to someone who has a reduced range of motion and often has pain.

Whilst I was originally drawn to Yoga for Pain Care on a personal level, I realised that this training, and the opportunity to network with like minded practitioners, will give me greater insight into how yoga works both on a physical and psychological level.  This knowledge will enable me to provide a more multifaceted range of care for my clients with physical and mental pain, both acute and chronic.

Sonja Varendorff
Physiotherapist, Yoga Teacher, Yoga Therapist
10 years practice and 7 years teaching yoga

My physiotherapy practice and yoga studio focuses on making yoga accessible to people with many different levels of ability and injury or pain. I give individualised practices to people and work with small groups as well. My special interest is in chronic pain.

I hope to be able to give a little more structure to my approach to pain management. I am really looking forward to this course!

Kirsty Stewart
Occupational Therapist, Ergonomist, In-training Yoga Teacher
Years of yoga practice: 10 years (intermittent)

Kirsty StewartI work in rural Queensland as a senior occupational therapist with Queensland Health.  I have a keen interest in sensory loss (vision), rural and remote health and persistent pain. I work with both children and adults and enjoy my being an OT immensely.  Outside of work my life involves yoga, music, travel and lots of arty pursuits.

I am hoping to be able to improve my yoga teaching skills and seamlessly include yoga into my practice at a therapist with both pediatric and adult clients.

Hannah Tregea
Health Pychologist
Years of yoga practice: One

HannahI work in a multi-disciplinary persistent pain clinic in Melbourne. Love learning about the link between mind and body. Have recently started practicing yoga more regularly, but also interested in application of yoga to my work.

I am hoping to gain insight into how yoga is applied with pain. Gain practical skills to apply within my work – e.g. during mindfulness or group sessions.


Angie Vienne
Women’s Health Physiotherapist
Years of yoga practice: On and off for years, currently 1x/wk

I am a Physiotherapist, specialised in Continence and Women’s Health, working at the Mater Mothers’ Hospital, as well as privately in an Obstetrics and Gynaecology practice in Brisbane.

As a result of this training course, I’m hoping to build on my repertoire of healing yoga techniques and poses, as well as learn alternatives/modifications to traditional yoga for pain patients. Ultimately, I would like to take small group classes designed and tailored to women suffering from endometriosis


Participants – Perth May 2016

Nicki Walters (Kundalina Yoga spiritual name: Harsimrat Kaur)
Yoga teacher, Kalamunda
Daily Kundalini yoga practice for 6 years

Nicki W I started Iyengar Yoga as a student in 1994, and practiced intermittently until   beginning  Kundalini teacher training in  2010.  I trained as a dance teacher and was a Community Dance artist in Aberdeen Scotland, mainly working with people with Special Needs. I  moved to Australia in 1998 with my husband and son, and my daughter was born in Melbourne later that year.

I currently teach a gentle yoga class, and my reason for doing this course is to get new ideas and a greater understanding of the needs of this special group in our community. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia three years ago and find helping others with their pain helps me to cope with my own.

Caroline Hayers
Just completed yoga teacher training

I worked as a physio in both the UK and New Zealand for 13 years, before having my children. I have just completed a 2 year yoga teacher training course with the intention of returning to a more clinical setting here in Perth.

The yoga for pain course sounds exactly what I am looking for to hone my skills and be able to share this knowledge to improve the quality of life in an often forgotten population.

Elyse Frankel
Clinical Psychologist
Practicing yoga: 7 years

Just completed yoga teacher training

ElyseI began yoga with weekly classes and gradually increased my interest and practice. I currently have a daily Mysore Ashtanga practice and have additional training in using yoga with anxiety and depression.

My interest is to integrate my work as a therapist with my knowledge and experience of yoga. I work with many clients who have backgrounds of trauma, and symptoms of anxiety and depression, and am interested in helping them use their body as well as their mind in their healing. Chronic pain conditions are often the cause of, or the result of emotional and psychological difficulties and I believe the integration of body, mind and emotion is important for many clients.

Christa Boles
Yoga Teacher & Community Mental Health Worker

Years of yoga practice: 17, primarily Ashtanga

ChristaI enjoy people and a good challenge so have a fiery passion for social justice and social responsibility. To temper and ground me: reading with sleeping kittens cuddled next to me, or exploring outdoors with my very handsome dog, Joe. Laughter is essential!  
Yoga indiscriminately and subtly goes about its work healing and integrating the pathways of the physical, mental and spiritual layers of our being. By investing a small, consistent amount of time in this ancient practice, individuals can rediscover themselves and live fulfilling, purposeful lives, often requiring less medical intervention and expense. 

I would like everyone to be able to access and experience a yoga that complements them and let the ripple effect take hold!  My intention is to bring yoga to who may be limited to their homes or by geographical location.

Rosemary Harding
Yoga teacher, Bunbury

Years of yoga practice: 9 years, with daily Ashtanga Yoga for five years

RosemaryI completed teacher training in 2014 and started teaching full-time in Bunbury at the centre where I first started my journey of yoga.

From this training I would like to learn new skills to provide a comfortable and safe environment for existing students who are challenged in a general yoga classes whilst ensuring that everyone benefits from their practice.  I am also very interested in providing a specific class for people that do not have the capacity to attend a general yoga class and who may not have ever considered yoga for them.

Having personally experienced the vast transformational aspects of yoga myself I really enjoying introducing the practice to others and allowing them to take what they choose from it.

Gemma Barter
Clinical and Counselling Psychologist
Years of yoga practice: 7
I have learnt so much about myself as a yoga student and it is an important part of my mental and physical self-care. I have a special interest in chronic pain management and I am interested in the mind/body connection and body-oriented therapies to treat trauma.

I hope to use the information and new knowledge as part of my clinical work with clients with chronic pain and/or trauma.

Narelle Porter
Yoga teacher, Registered Nurse (southwest)

Practicing for around 16 years, 7 years teaching

NarelleI have been nursing for 15 years and have a passion for Yoga and nature healing. I teach classes in several small towns and have also facilitated corporate classes and courses specifically for teens.

Teaching in small communities gives me the opportunity to bring Yoga to people otherwise unlikely to attend classes and  I love to introduce people to yoga, to witness the opening and transformation that can occur.

I hope to learn and incorporate pain friendly techniques and principles into my regular classes. This will enable people with chronic pain conditions to experience Yoga and the life enhancing qualities it brings.

Julie Sutherland
Yoga teacher and yoga therapist-in-training
Years of yoga practice: I have practiced yoga for many years at various levels of intensity.JulieI teach a very gentle form of yoga and my students are mostly older women with various health issues. I am currently undertaking yoga therapy training to further my skills.I am hoping to learn more about how to assist students who are in pain.  I would like to incorporate this knowledge into my current classes.

Byron Bay

Shelley Barlow
Physiotherapist and gestalt psychotherapist

Years of yoga: tried it on and off but no consistent practice

ShelleyI live on the North Coast NSW and have an interest in contemporary chronic pain management. I am currently doing a PHD at Southern Cross University looking at how physiotherapists work with people with chronic pain.

I am hoping to get an understanding about how yoga can be integrated into chronic pain management as my interest is the mind/body connections.

Martha Regnault

Yogalates teacher

MarthaMy original therapeutic training was remedial massage and kinesiology twenty six years ago. My original movement background is Qi gong which I have been practising for twenty five years and teaching for five years.
I incorporated Yogalates into my personal practice in 2005 to draw in a more structured physical approach and trained to teach two years ago. I now work in Bangalow, Suffolk Park and Lismore.
I  finished training in Craniosacral  therapy  in 2007 and do table work which synthesises the healing and empowerment tradition of qigong with the alignment and integration of craniosacral balancing.

Anne-Maree Patch
Physiotherapist 30 years
Yoga: about 17 years, usually 2-4x per month.

Anne-Maree PatchI am hoping to be able to introduce my patients to the idea of incorporating yoga into their lives.  I feel this will have immense benefits to their well-being – emotionally and physically. My aim is to be able to refer them to a gentle, safe class where they can enjoy the benefits of movement and relaxation and learn how to develop a greater awareness of their bodies, slowly building strength, flexibility and an inner sense of peace and control.

Anna Struyven
Physiotherapist, Perth
5 years of yoga, mainly Bikram.

Anna StruyvenAfter 20 years in Perth, I have grown to like this place. I work as a community physiotherapist, have a keen interest in public health, love to learn in general.
My hobbies are yoga, 3-4 times a week, jogging with my dog in the local bushland, outdoor activities like bike riding, surfing, hiking.
I hope to learn a different approach to teach people with chronic pain how to move their body, and through movement increase their quality of life.

Cheryl Wegner
Occupational Therapist since 1999 and Yoga Teacher
12 years of regular yoga practice.  2 years daily home yoga practice.

CherylMy most profound yoga teachings have been with Matthew Stanford, a paraplegic yoga teacher in Minnesota (my home state). I completed his Yogic Principles for Health Care Workers Course and Level I and II Adapted Yoga Teacher Training. I’ve been teaching 1-3 yoga classes per week over the past 18 months.

I’m hoping to gain confidence in structuring classes for chronic pain and to feel comfortable using appropriate and helpful language to guide people with chronic pain in yoga. I’m planning to commence yoga for pain classes in Sydney’s inner west in the coming months and to continue with the classes following a move to Cairns in the coming year.
I hope to gain ideas for educating health professionals in the benefits of yoga, and how to move yoga into the space of an acceptable treatment modality in the compensation systems.

Angela van der Valk
Exercise physiologist and yoga teacher
Yoga experience: whole life, 7 years as a teacher

Angela van der ValkI studied Exercise physiologist/human movement/exercise science.
After my university degree I started to teach yoga. First in New Zealand now as owner and founder of the Pottsville Yoga Studio, specialising in yoga and stress management.

I am doing the yoga for pain workshop to get a better understanding of what it is to live with pain on a daily basis and how yoga practice can be used to help mitigate the effects of pain in my students.

Judith Rankin

Jan Bavaresco
Occupational Therapist

Lisa Maria Nordstrom
Physiotherapist, teacher, clinical Pilates instructor
Yoga practice:3-4 years, approx 2 sessions per week, sometimes more

Originally Swedish but have lived parts of my life in Norway and Australia. I am now living in the Gold Coast with my husband and currently working as a physiotherapist for a company called Allied connect, completing clinic work, community work and hydrotherapy. I see a lot of people with chronic pain and disability daily and know they can difficult  and challenging to treat. I recently myself had badly fractured my humerus (plate and 16 screws) and also pregnant and have been using yoga to get back on track and another reason I am interested in yoga as a rehabilitation tool for patients.

I am hoping to find out further research within yoga practice and pain.
I am hoping to find out how yoga is used for patients with pain.
Hopefully use some elements of yoga with clients who would benefit from this type of approach to manage pain
Possibly find out how we can use yoga instructors in the local community to manage some clients with chronic pain
Find out what pathways I can take into further developing into a specialised yoga instructor for people with chronic pain.


K&T WEB_066Theresa Venz – course assistant Perth
Anthropologist, Yoga teacher, yoga therapist, rehabilitation assistant, shiatsu massage

Completed Yoga for Pain Practitioner Training Perth 2015

Theresa’s teaching background includes Cancer Council WA, Multiple Sclerosis Society of WA, King Edward Memorial Hospital and Bloom Yoga Room. She also teaches yoga to teenage girls at Standing Strong, a wellness club for girls that aims to build confidence, self-esteem and resilience.

NicoleNicole Moore – pain science presenter Byron Bay (via video and Skype)

Nicole is a pain management physiotherapist at The Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) where she successfully introduced a mindful movement group, and has specialised in the field of neurology and pain for 10 years. Her evaluation of Yoga for Pain Practitioner Training as part of her Master in Public Health was presented as a poster at the Australian Pain Society’s 36th Annual Scientific Meeting. Nicole  continues to advocate for better care for people with pain within the community.

Alana 300x300Alana Brass – course assistant Byron Bay
Physiotherapist & yoga teacher
Completed Yoga for Pain Practitioner Training Melbourne 2015
Highly trained, Alana holds a bachelor and grad cert in psychology, a masters of physiotherapy and is currently studying a master in sports physio to that list. She is accredited as a power yoga teacher and kids yoga teacher.
Tim Mitchell – pain science presenter Perth
Physiotherapist and founder Pain Options
%d bloggers like this: