Meet our teacher trainers

John Ogilvie
John OgilvieFounder and Director
John Ogilvie is one of Australia’s most respected and experienced teachers and founder of Byron Yoga Centre. John has been practicing yoga for more than 30 years and teaching for over 28. John developed his signature style of yoga, Purna Yoga after 20 years of disciplined training in the Iyengar method and six years of a steady Ashtanga practice. His yoga journey has seen him learn from various yoga masters over the years in Australia and internationally.

The Purna method John teaches focuses on correct alignment. His teaching covers the basics with additional emphasis on refining alignment, corrections and adjustments. John’s teaching style is entertaining and completely accessible. His instructions are clear and simple, always with a focus on keeping his students safe and encouraging them to listen to their own body’s needs and only work at a level appropriate to the individual, at any given time.

John encourages students at all levels to build flexibility, strength and stamina of body, mind and spirit. Many students discover, as a consequence, that yoga becomes a way of life.

Swami Pujan (Stephan Kahlert)
Swami Pujan (Stephan Kahlert)Senior Teacher
Stephan who is also known affectionately by his students as Swami Pujan, has over twenty five years’ experience as a meditation practitioner and teacher in the Soto Zen, Vipassana, Vedanta and yoga traditions. He has taught overseas on many occasions in his capacity as a meditation teacher. Stephan trained as a yoga teacher with John Ogilvie in 2005.

He teaches meditation and Hindu philosophy on retreats and teacher training at the Centre. His style is light-hearted, humorous, engaging and fun. Along with his wife Bettina, Stephan regularly travels to India to deepen his practice.

Michael Nazar
Michael NazarSenior Teacher
Michael has a background in fitness, remedial massage and sports injury therapy which is apparent in his dynamic Vinyasa flow-style classes. He has been practising yoga since 1990 and gained his level 1 and 2 teaching qualifications from Byron Yoga Centre in 2006 and 2007.

Michael seeks to incorporate the ethical and moral teachings of yoga into his classes, as well as pranayama and meditation, and delivers on the teacher trainings as well as teaching regular general classes at the Centre.

Kara Goodsell
Kara GoodsellSenior Teacher
Kara is a senior certified teacher who trained in dynamic Vinyasa flow-style yoga with John Ogilvie, as well as regularly attending yoga workshops by other senior teachers, including Pattabhi Jois in India. She has been teaching beginners, general and intermediate classes since 2006 at the Centre after apprenticing for 4 years with John.

Kara teaches yoga asana, pranayama (breathing techniques) and dhyana (meditation) safely and joyfully, giving students the opportunity to deepen their awareness and practice with integrity and fun. She is constantly updating her skills and expanding her yoga teaching experience. Kara is part of the teacher training staff at Byron Yoga Centre.

Davina Kruse
Davina KruseSenior Teacher
Davina started practising yoga in 1998 and has been teaching since 2006. Davina is a Certified Senior Teacher holding Level 1 & 2 500 hour Certificates, Certificate IV in Yoga Teaching and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.

Davina’s yoga classes always include pranayama and dhyana. Davina guides students through an awareness of body, mind and breath and her teaching assists participants to explore life motivations and goals and ultimately become more fully present. Davina is also deeply influenced by the teachings of Buddha and has studied meditation and pranayama in India and Australia. Meditation teacher and psychologist Radha Nicholson continues to guide Davina in her ongoing study of the teachings. Regular yoga and meditation practice has transformed Davina’s life, cultivating a new realm of inner peace, strength and serenity.

Chloe Thorogood
Chloe ThorogoodSenior Teacher
Chloe has been practicing yoga for almost ten years. In 2008, she felt compelled to travel to India and deepen her personal practice. Here she studied Hatha yoga focussing on asana, pranayama, meditation and philosophy under Swami Brahmanand (SajiRamaswamy) at Vinynana Kale Vedi Cultural Centre for Indian Arts. Chloe was able to draw on her experiences in India and offer yoga on the senior curriculum at the school where she worked as a full time Physical Education teacher. Chloe supported her studies with a yoga tools for teachers certification and began teaching regularly. It was during this time in London that Chloe knew that yoga was her ultimate passion and she decided to travel to Byron Bay to complete her 500 hours Certificate IV with the Byron Yoga Centre.

Chloe believes that everyone can enjoy different aspects of yoga and likes to include philosophy, pranayama and meditation in her flow classes. Chloe teaches regular classes for Byron Yoga Centre, and at other studios in the Byron shire. She also works on the level one and two teacher trainings.

Maria Kirsten
Maria KirstenSenior Teacher
Maria teaches the applied anatomy and physiology component of our teacher trainings conducted in Byron Bay at Byron Yoga Retreat Centre. Maria has been doing yoga since 1989 and began teaching in 2000 after gaining accreditation with Yogalates. Maria is passionate about making yoga accessible to as many people as possible, especially those who don’t consider themselves to be yogis.

She focuses on teaching teachers how to avoid injuries and strains and how to give alternatives and props to injured students. Maria has trained with Louise Soloman at Yogalates, Peter Clifford, Libby Nelson and Simon Borg Olivier.

Lila Kirtana
Lila KirtanaSenior Teacher
Lila first discovered the healing benefits of yoga 8 years ago, and was immediately entranced by all aspects of the yogic lifestyle. In 2006 she became a Bhakti yogi, and whilst managing a yoga retreat centre in Sydney she first met John Ogilvie.

Over time Lila completed her Level 1 and 2 training, and moved to Byron Bay. She teaches regular asana classes at the centre, is a qualified Massage Therapist, and teaches on the teacher training courses. Lila is passionate to share her love of yoga through Kirtan [spiritual chanting], and also teaches Ayurveda on the courses.

Michael Sharpe
Michael SharpeSenior Teacher
Michael is one of the primary trainers on the Byron Yoga Centre yoga teacher training courses. He brings his wealth of asana experience along with a grounded approach, connecting with students to bring out their natural aptitude.

Michael started practicing yoga in 2006 to help his recovery from a spinal injury. He was initially drawn to Iyengar and hatha classes before moving into the more dynamic Ashtanga and Jivamuki styles. After completing his teacher training with Byron Yoga Centre in 2012 he began teaching at Yoga Well in Sydney. Michael has been working at Byron Yoga Retreat Centre since moving to Byron in 2013.

At the Byron Street Studio, Michael offers classes that combine his background in alignment focused Purna and Iyengar along with dynamic and strengthening postures linked to create a nurturing sequence. His method is to continuously bring students back to their breath so his classes become a moving meditation.

Judy Krupp
Judy KruppSenior Teacher
Judy is a senior teacher trainer and founder of The Yoga Room in St Ives, Sydney. With a career spanning over 25 years as a yoga teacher, Judy was originally trained in South Africa as an Iyengar Teacher. She now teaches a multifaceted approach, blending the science of asana practice with the science and mechanics of movement.

Her astute knowledge of the body and its movement is central to the core of her teaching to both students and teachers alike. She encourages her students to move beyond their perceived limitations, while working at an individual pace with grace and core stability. From her studio in St Ives, Sydney, Judy specialises in teacher training programs that are therapy based and conducts numerous workshops and masterclasses.

Judy is known both here in Australia and internationally, and travels worldwide teaching at conferences, retreats and conducting training programs for teachers. From her studio in St Ives, Sydney, Judy specialises in teacher training programs that are therapy based and conducts numerous workshops and masterclasses.

Ana Davis
Ana DavisSenior Teacher
Ana has been teaching yoga since 1996 and founded Bondi Bliss Yoga Studio in Sydney. Ana has been specialising in the area of teaching and training teachers in prenatal and postnatal yoga for the last 5 years. As mother to a 4 year old, Ana is passionate about sharing the benefits and joys of yoga during pregnancy and early motherhood. She teaches the yoga and women’s health sessions for our Teacher Trainings and retreats.

Ana also conducts regular pre/postnatal teacher training intensives at the Byron Yoga Retreat Centre.

Linda Newman
Linda NewmanSenior Teacher
Linda has gained a reputation as a leader in the Pilates and Yoga community. She is the founder of the highly successful Pilates & Yoga Styles Studio in Geelong and has been teaching for more than 25 years in the UK, USA, Asia and Australia.

She has taught anatomy and physiology on Byron Yoga Teacher Trainings, lectured for the Victorian Fitness Academy on Cert IV and Diploma in Fitness and she regularly leads these nationally registered and accredited Mat Pilates teacher training courses.

Meet our studio class teachers

Bettina Kahlert
Bettina KahlertYoga Teacher
Bettina first did yoga more than 30 years ago and became serious during pregnancy 20 years ago. She trained as a fitness instructor 20 years ago and more recently complemented this with Pilates teacher training. Bettina has done 4 different yoga teacher trainings, most recently with John Ogilvie and has recently been studying the use of yoga nidra in rehabilitation, recording a CD in India.

Bettina’s classes emphasise the core, pelvic floor and the bandhas. Bettina has been lucky to meet with and learn from several spiritual masters, including B.K.S. Iyengar, Pattabi Jois, T.K.V. Desikachar and Clive Sheridan.

Kirsty Nugent
Kirsty NugentYoga Teacher
Kirsty teaches a strengthening and energising dynamic vinyasa class as well as deeply opening yin and restorative class styles.

She has been on the yogic path for most of her life. Yoga helped her recover from injury when she was a member of Canada’s national gymnastics team. It sustained her through a globetrotting marketing career. Arriving in Sydney in 2000 she became a student of Yoga Synergy and Dharma Shala. In 2008 she moved to Byron Bay to complete her 500 hour teacher training with Byron Yoga Centre.

Every class incorporates a strong focus on the breath and elements of mindfulness meditation. Her classes are suitable for beginner to advanced. She has a breadth of experience having a foundation in Ashtanga and Iyengar Yoga. Kirsty finds great joy and gratitude to be able to wake up near the ocean each day and to share the benefits of yoga.

Gitam Garden
Gitam GardenYoga Teacher
Gitam has been practising yoga for many years and has been involved with Byron Yoga Centre management since 2006. Since completing her yoga teacher training with BYC she has been teaching classes regularly and particularly enjoys her involvement with yoga retreats where she offers cranio-sacral therapy treatments.

Gitam was instrumental in the creation of the Byron Yoga Centre kitchen and her skills in providing trainee yoga teachers and retreat participants with cleansing, nourishing and delicious food has led to the publication of her book ‘Gitam’s Garden – Healthy Sattvic Recipes from the Byron Yoga Kitchen’.

Danielle Sherlock
Danielle SherlockYoga Teacher
Danielle is a Naturopath and Remedial Sports Therapist. Her experience of yoga spans 20 years, traditionally trained in Iyengar paying particular attention to the medicinal effects of yoga with balancing physiological body systems. Danielle’s teaching incorporates a well rounded meditative approach to assist your awakening into a deeper experience of yoga.

Danielle is passionate about chanting, pranayama and meditation and teaches Anatomy and Physiology on the Yoga Teacher Trainer courses.

Wong Mui Yuen
Wong Mui YuenYoga Teacher
Wong began her personal practice of yoga in 2004. After initially being drawn to yoga for its physical benefits, she became dedicated to a regular practice and inspired by yoga’s elements of philosophy and meditation. Wong began to feel the physical benefits of a consistent practice as she noticed her body becoming stronger and less impacted by illness. Her strong physical practice, combined with great admiration for her teacher at the time, and passion for yoga’s history and philosophy led her to her teaching journey.

In 2008 Wong moved from Malaysia to Australia where she began training with the Byron Yoga Centre. Wong’s classes combine dynamic core work with more gentle asanas to encourage students to enquire within and find stillness within.

Tabata Villares
Tabata VillaresYoga Teacher
Tabata has been practicing different styles of yoga for 13 years and combines Yoga with Astrology bringing the aspects of the stars to each yoga class. Her passion is women’s health and practicing yoga according to the moon cycle. She now works with the Teacher Trainings and assists with the Retreats at Byron Yoga Centre.

In 2010 she started a self-discovery adventure leaving Brazil for Findhorn in Scotland. She then she moved to Totnes in Devon, UK for a Master Degree where she learned more about herself and yoga, meditation and astrology. From there she travelled to different spiritual and sustainable communities on different continents.

Back in Brazil in 2013 Tabata lived at a Tantric Ashram studying Biopsychology and Tantra. From that moment on her yoga teaching started to develop and she found her personal style of teaching – the combination of her passions: Yoga and Astrology.

Jessica Humphries
Jessica HumphriesYoga Teacher
Jess’s classes are dynamic and melodic, but she also loves to teach a more gentle/yin style. She introduces elements of philosophy into her teaching, so that students can gain a holistic understanding of their practice.

Jessica began practicing Iyengar yoga as a university student in 2004. She was impressed by how much healthier she felt and, as a philosophy student (studying western philosophy), she was drawn to the eastern philosophy that it introduced.

She soon aspired to one day become a yoga teacher and this dream came to fruition in 2011 when she completed her 200 hour teacher training in vinyasa power yoga. Jess moved to Byron in 2012 and completed the level 2 training with Byron Yoga Centre.

All of her classes aim to encourage students to work with their own body, to nurture themselves and approach yoga from a place of curiosity and acceptance.

Becky Buckwell
Becky BuckwellYoga Teacher
Becky teaches a dynamic flow style, incorporating the alignment focus of Purna Yoga with her love of Ashtanga and vinyasa – encouraging active breathing, opening the heart and keeping the mind present.

Qualifying as a teacher after nearly 20 years practice, Becky gained her Level 1 with Yoga Arts and then taught in Bali before returning to Byron for three months of workshops with her primary teacher, Dena Kinsberg. Becky did her Level 2 with Byron Yoga Centre and assists on the Purna teacher training courses.
Becky has studied with many inspiring teachers in Byron Bay, India, London, Miami and Asia including Dena Kinsberg, John Ogilvie, Louisa Sear, Matthew Sweeney, Simon Borg Olivier, John Scott, Kino MacGregor, plus Pattabhi Jois and Sharath.
Becky has an obvious passion for teaching and passing on the knowledge built up through 20 years experience.

Anna Stawell
Anna StawellYoga Teacher
Anna started practicing yoga in her early 20s after holidaying in Byron Bay. She continued her yoga journey back in Melbourne, attending classes and building a regular self-practice.

In 2012 she moved to Byron Bay and completed her Level 1 Yoga Teacher Training with the Byron Yoga Centre. Anna has since been a regular teacher at the Byron Street Studio and is part of the team working at the Byron Yoga Retreat Centre.

The practice of Yoga has taught her many things, especially to be kind to herself, using the discipline as an opportunity to slow down and to reconnect to the present moment.
Anna teaches a beautiful heart opening flow that leaves you feeling grounded and ready for the day ahead.

Caitlin Reilly
Caitlin Reilly Yoga Teacher
Caitlin has been actively practicing and teaching yoga for the last twelve years. Recently returning to Byron Bay she has been living in China for six years, teaching at Yplus studio Shanghai and facilitating her own retreats in the bamboo forests of Moganshan.

The unique combination of Vinyasana Flow and Yin styles that Caitlin primarily teaches creates a dynamic blend of balance, strength, flexibility and endurance. Caitlin’s modality of yoga can be used for fitness, relaxation and as part of the therapeutic process of rehabilitation and recovery.

As a mother of three, Caitlin’s extensive knowledge of Pre and Post Natal Yoga gives her the opportunity to support expectant mothers and new mothers creating modifications to suit the students needs. Special interests that Caitlin freely shares with her yoga pupils include: diet, nutrition, meditation and serving others through the practice of yoga.

Sarah Michael
Sarah MichaelYoga Teacher
Sarah’s positive and uplifting classes journey through pranayama, asana, meditation and philosophy.
Perfect for beginner to intermediate students, Sarah focuses on key alignment points and experiments with flow, inviting you to feel into your own rhythm.

Originally drawn to yoga and meditation as tools for personal healing, her dedicated practice continues to bring vitality and balance into her life.

She completed the Certificate IV in Yoga Teaching and began teaching at the Byron Yoga Centre in 2014. Sarah is passionate about creating playful and energising classes that deeply nourish the soul and enrich your life.