Who We Are


Lynne Tome

Lynne Tome

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Course Co-ordinator

Lynne has been a practitioner of Hatha Yoga for over 30 years and strongly believes that Asana, Pranayama and Meditation are the tools we need for optimum health and wellbeing and for integration of mind, body and soul. She qualified as a Yoga Teacher with IYTA in 2007 and is currently a teaching member of Kuring-gai Yoga School in Sydney and runs classes privately as well. Her teaching is influenced by ongoing professional development and studies with many different teachers.The practice and philosophy of Yoga are an integral part of her life and Lynne is passionate about sharing this with her students and offering them the skills to take their Yoga “off the mat” and into their daily lives. She joined the Diploma of Yoga Teaching faculty in 2018 and loves being a part of the IYTA community.


Muktimurti Saraswati

Muktimurti Saraswati

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Mantra

Muktimurti spent 40 years living in yoga ashrams in both Australia and India and is well known for her singing and chanting. She has pursued a deep interest in music for the past many years, incorporating her background in devotional singing (kirtan, bhajan and stotram), mantra, classical North Indian music, and her love of music and chanting in general into an experiential perspective on the practices of mantra and nada yoga, which she has taught in many parts of the world. During this time she has also been active in finding ways to bring these practices into the broader community and thus encourage others to discover and develop their own deeper connection with the music of the spirit.


Astrid Pickup

Astrid Pickup

Senior Lecturer, President
EXPERTISE: Asana

Astrid has been a yogini for the past 22 years and has been teaching yoga since 2004 when she completed her training with IYTA in 2005. In that time Astrid has regularly practiced Hatha and Iyengar yoga and dabbled in Bikram (2 1/2 years) and many other yoga styles. In 2012 Astrid completed a Diploma in Pre-Natal Yoga with IYTA and has also completed 3 Yoga for Children Courses with Zenergy Yoga, to specialise in teaching yoga to Teenagers. In 2019 Astrid completed a YA300hr Course in the 5 Elements of Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine with Trimurti Yoga, Goa India.


Deb Collie

Deb Collie

IYTA Diploma of Yoga Teaching Course Manager
EXPERTISE: Course Manager

Deb is the manager of the IYTA DYT Course and Foundation of Yoga Studies. Deb has a strong background in Admin Management (working at Qantas and various companies throughout her career). Deb has been dedicated to practicing yoga since 2000 and completed the IYTA Diploma of Yoga Training in 2015. Deb currently teaches at a local studio and in her private studio. Deb is passionate about continuing her yoga journey with her strong connection to the IYTA community and educational courses..


Alana Smith

Alana Smith

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Philosophy

Alana is passionate about yoga philosophy and practice, and specialises in yoga for stress and anxiety management. She has her own yoga studio, "Stag Hill", at her farm in Jamberoo. Alana completed her teacher training with the IYTA and is now involved in designing and delivering yogic philosophy lectures through the IYTA Diploma of Yoga Teacher Training course. Prior to her yoga teaching career, Alana was a high school English and French teacher and Year Co-ordinator. As well as yoga, Alana loves dancing, gardening, tending to her dairy goats and chooks and spoiling her beloved pooches.


Katherine Mair

Katherine Mair

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Asana

Katherine has taught yoga since 2008 along with working in several demanding corporate roles since 1999.  In 2016, Katherine launched M.A.D. Mindworks to help organisations, their leaders and teams to be more present, connected and effective. She blends a variety of disciplines in her work including traditional Yoga practices, Mindfulness techniques, along with insights from Leadership, Business, Behavioural Science and Economics, Psychology and Neuroscience to deliver bespoke experiences that make a material difference to the working lives of her clients. She is a regular teacher on the IYTA Teacher Training Program specializing in delivering lectures on the Business of Yoga.


Cathy Young

Cathy Young

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Asana

Cathy has been practising yoga regularly for over 20 years. She qualified as a yoga teacher in 2007 and has been teaching with Kuring-gai Yoga since this time. In 2014 Cathy completed her Advanced Teacher Training Certification. Both of these trainings were with the IYTA. Cathy has followed the teachings of many esteemed yoga teachers including TVK Desikachar, Kausthub Desikachar, Judith Hanson Lasater, Donna Farhi, Dr Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani and Sinder Pal Kaur. In 2012/2013 Cathy was a member of the committee that revised the IYTA Asana Handbook. In 2018 Cathy undertook meditation teacher training and hosts a regular meditation group. Cathy also facilitates a group called Yoga for Yoginis which comprises yoga teachers that meets monthly to share teachings, practise together and to provide a community for like minded yoga teachers. Cathy is passionate about yoga and meditation and sharing with her students the benefits that these practices bring to the mind, body and spirit. Cathy believes that yoga is for everyone and caters for all levels of students..


Alex Cogley

Alex Cogley

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Asana

Alex had been practicing yoga for over 20 years. In 2000 she started her three-year training program with the founders of Yoga Synergy, Simon Borg-Olivier and Bianca Machliss. Over the last few decades she has studied with many other renowned teachers including Clive Sheridan, Shandor Remete, Donna Farhi and in 2015 started the IYTA Advanced Teacher training program. As a qualified Yoga Synergy teacher, Alex ran the Yoga Synergy School in Manly, which she taught at for over 11 years, she later started up the Yoga Co-operative Manly and in 2016 she was invited to move her classes to the long established Manly Yoga Centre, (a highly respected centre, established in Manly over 40 years ago). Alex believes that safely challenging the body, in a fun and intelligent way, helps create a strong, healthy body and a calm focused mind - not just on the mat, but beyond.


David Burgess

David Burgess

Senior Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Pranayama & Meditation

David has many decades of yogic practice, yogic lifestyle and teaching experience behind him. Along with lecturing on Pranayama & Meditation for IYTA, he has a broad knowledge of the history and philosophy of yoga and has been a major contributor to yoga teacher training within and beyond Australia. He is a Life member of IYTA.


Deirdre Gomez

Deirdre Gomez

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Anatomy & Physiology

Deirdre has been practicing yoga for over twenty years and completed her Teacher Training with IYTA in 2016. Deirdre’s inspiration to study yoga was influenced by the ever-increasing rates of anxiety in children and teenagers. She finds yoga is the perfect way to bring balance to the often busy pace of living. She has completed several courses in Children’s Yoga at Zenergy Yoga and runs workshops, group and private classes for adults and children. She is passionate about yoga being taught to young children in the education system, equipping them with valuable skills for life.Her background as a registered nurse and clinical nurse specialist in Intensive Care for many years have contributed to her understanding of the multiple dimensions of health and wellbeing. Deirdre teaches anatomy and physiology of cardiovascular, respiratory and lymphatic systems


Debbie Hodgson

Debbie Hodgson

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Anatomy & Physiology

Debbie lectures on the Course in anatomy and physiology. She is currently studying physiotherapy at the University of Canberra. She has two children and a growing family of guinea pigs too. "My motivation to do the Yoga teacher training in 2008 was my experience with yoga while pregnant, with IYTA teacher Rosie McCaffrey in Seaforth, Sydney. Yoga practices smoothed my pregnancy, strengthened my labour, and helped me survive early motherhood. My favourite yoga practice is Yoga Nidra because it's so simple yet so challenging, with the greatest rewards."


Edda Board

Edda Board

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Course Co-ordinator

Edda Board first discovered yoga many years ago in Sydney. Her motivation to study yoga with IYTA was not to teach but to immerse herself fully in the ancient offering. After graduating in 2011 she found herself holding classes and now teaches five classes per week in Bathurst. Attending workshops, further training and keeping up a strong and regular personal practice she believes are the foundations of a worthy yoga teacher.Her favourite pose is Sirsasana as it reminds her to remain calm and breathe easy when things are "upside down". Edda is the study weekend and Residential support person.


Jackie Engelmann

Jackie Engelmann

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Asana

In 2003 Jacki completed her ISHTA (Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra and Ayurveda) yoga teacher training in Tokyo. During this time she also undertook the IYTA training by correspondence. Jackie has now been instructing yoga for 10 years and currently teaches in selected studios across Sydney as well as providing corporate and private classes.Her calm and attentive teaching style focuses on correct alignment and physical safety. In each class Jackie incorporates a variety of creative sequences with a well-balanced practice of pranayama, asanas, meditation and relaxation. Jacki is an integral member of the IYTA Asana Team.


Jeff Lou

Jeff Lou

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Asana, Yin TCM

Jeff started his yoga and meditation practice with his mother as a child more than 30 years ago. Over this time he has studied and practiced extensively in styles such as Hatha, Ashtanga, Jivamukti, Yin, Anusara and Vinyasa. Yoga to Jeff is a pathway to self-love and self-acceptance, he believes only by knowing who you are, can you truly understand the world around you, thereby living in harmony with-in and with-out; and every other 'physical improvements' that comes with yoga are just the icing on the cake. Jeff is also a qualified and registered therapist in other healing modalities like Acupuncture, TCM, Shiatsu, Remedial massage, Spiritual Healing and Aromatherapy.In Jeff's classes, alignment, form and intention are emphasised. A steady practice where mind and body are equally important and responsible for reaching a level of mental peach and relaxation, while maintaining postures that may present a physcial challenge to the practitioner. This is the very essence of equanimity that yoga teaches us to manoeuvre through life's many situations.


Katie Brown

Katie Brown

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Asana, Pre & Post Natal Yoga

Katie is a senior yoga teacher with 23 years' experience. She teaches a range of classes from general to pre and post-natal yoga, mums and bubs yoga, chair yoga and yoga for special needs. She trained with IYTA in 2000-1 and lectures on both the IYTA's Teacher Training Course and the IYTA's Pre and Post Natal Yoga Teacher Training Course.

Katie is also a qualified massage therapist (ITEC), Infant massage educator (IMA), doula (Optimum birth) and has done trainings in Children's Yoga (Zenergy Yoga) is a qualified Laughter Yoga Teacher and has studied Yin 1, Yin 2 and Yin 3 with Sarah Manning. She has also produced three DVDs, two CDs and an online yoga and massage program for the Huggies website, and is also the author of: Mother Me – a mum's guide to balance, wellbeing and harmony.


Liz Kraefft

Liz Kraefft

Senior Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Asana

Liz completed her Yoga teacher training in 2003 and instructs in her studio at Pymble, on the Upper North Shore of Sydney. Liz lectured for the IYTA Teacher Training course (2008-2013) teaching Asana and class planning and believes very much in sharing knowledge, providing honest and loving encouragement to students by mentoring and helping them to grow and develop their own yoga journey.Returning to Lecturing with the IYTA Teacher Training Team in 2016 and excited to offer further perspectives after a time away. Completing the Advanced Diploma of Yoga Teaching with the IYTA in Jan 2015 which further supports her depth of teachings of Classical Hatha Yoga. Liz also holds a Diploma of Teaching and a Bachelor of Education (Adult Education).


Loraine Rushton

Loraine Rushton

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Children's Yoga

Loraine is founder and director of Zenergy Yoga and a leading authority on yoga for children and teens.  Over the past 25 years, she’s spent over 20,000 hours teaching 1000’s of kids of all ages.  She has trained thousands of yoga teachers, school teachers, parents and others who work with children throughout the world on how to teach yoga in a way that is meaningful, impactful and fun.Loraine authored the standards for Children’s Yoga in Australia and is the Chairperson of Yoga Australia’s Children’s Yoga Committee.She was featured in the documentary ‘Yoga For Change’ and has been a board member and keynote speaker for organisations such as the International Yoga Teacher’s Association and the Australasia Yoga Therapy Association.Loraine has authored over 35 articles on the benefits of yoga for children and team for the Australian Yoga Journal and Australian Yoga Life Magazine. Her mission is to impact the lives of millions of children worldwide.


Nick Flatman

Nick Flatman

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Asana

Nick started yoga 24 years ago and completed his Teacher Training diploma with IYTA in 2004. At that time, Nick commenced Macarthur Yoga and has been teaching yoga around the Macarthur region in South West Sydney. In 2014, Nick returned to complete his IYTA Post Graduate (Advanced) Teacher Training course. Nick also has a Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) and since 2010, has been working for Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect). His teaching role as allowed him to continue an ongoing action research project, collecting data and recording the therapeutic benefits of yoga, with students with autism. Nick Flatman teaches yoga at many local gyms and has been a workshop yoga tutor for the Campbelltown City Council for over 6 years. He is also an instructor with the "Live Life Well" program established in 2015 and offers classes from his home studio.


Robyn Lynch

Robyn Lynch

Senior Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Philosophy, Ayurveda

Robyn has a passion for "True Wellness". Her dream is that all people have access to the wisdom of self-knowing that allows each of us to experience our Perfect Healthy. As the founder of the Perfect Health Centre, she has facilitated life-change for hundreds of clients through Yoga teaching, Ayurvedic Medicine and on-line courses. Robyn has a B. Ed., has studied extensively internationally and her qualifications include being an Advanced Ayurvedic Practitioner, holding a Masters from Chopra Centre University and gaining her initial Yoga teaching qualifications from IYTA.


Tessa Hoffman

Tessa Hoffman

Lecturer
EXPERTISE: Philosophy

Tessa Hoffman completed her Diploma of Yoga Teaching in 2016 with the IYTA and now lectures on the topics of yoga philosophy and anatomy/physiology. Tessa has a background in journalism, most recently working as a staff writer with medical news publications, and is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) at the University of Sydney. Tessa loves the breadth of yoga and is passionate about many areas including meditation, yoga philosophy, yoga psychology and mantra. She also loves playing her harmonium and singing kirtan.