“Personal Philosophy of Life, Practice and Process”

My Story

Santina’s journey from suffering to awareness and understanding through yoga has led her to a rich and real study of yoga as a living practice. San’s practice embodies the Ashtanga Yoga system, and she has diligently completed the Primary, 2nd and 3rd series of this method under the guidance of Mark Togni. Santina first travelled to Mysore, South India in 2014 and commenced tutelage under R. Sharath Jois, grandson of the late Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, and current Director of KPJAYI, the birthplace of Ashtanga Yoga. In 2016, Santina was granted Level 2 Authorisation to teach Ashtanga Yoga, by her teacher R. Sharath Jois. Santina is also a certified Master Teacher in the Nicky Knoff Yoga System.

As Santina’s teacher, R. Sharath Jois, says “Yoga is a spiritual practice;” so through devotion, determination and tender endurance with each asana of her advanced Ashtanga yoga practice, San has developed an intimacy with the physiology and spirituality of our human form. San’s commitment to a life of process, practice and courage cultivates rich soil from which to provide meaningful guidance as an Ashtanga yoga teacher. Santina augments her yoga teaching with her work as a therapist, holding a Masters of Gestalt Therapy — A humanistic therapy focusing on sharpening an individual’s awareness of emotions and behaviours in their experience of themselves in the present moment, to reveal what really “is”.

It is through Santina’s theoretical and applied educational background that enables her to insightfully and compassionately work with students of all experiences and skills. Santina intuitively customizes yoga asana programs that work for every students’ unique constitutions and capacities.

 Santina has had the opportunity to study and practice with some of the world’s most respected teachers, including Nicky Knoff, Kino MacGregor and Tim Feldmann, Matthew Sweeney, and Prem and Heather Radha Carlisi. She has assisted Kino and Tim on three retreats abroad.

Santina has also attended and continues to attend month-long intensives with Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor.

Santina has been sought out to work with a number of elite athletes from various sports disciplines, including world class surfers, swimmers, NRL players, boxers and triathletes. Santina has taught world champion pro surfer Mick Fanning, women’s surf life-saving iron woman champion Courtney Hancock, as well as surf lifesaving iron man champions Shannon Eckstein and Pierce Leonard.

Santina holds degrees in Law/Arts from the University of Melbourne as well as a Master of Gestalt Therapy. Santina was given her Level 2 Authorisation to teach Ashtanga Yoga by KPJAYI in 2016 [Link to KPJAYI website].

Personal Philosophy of Life, Practice and Process 

With each breath and in every moment we are in a process of evolving from who we have been to who we are becoming.

Blending yoga asana and the Gestalt Method, I work using an experiential, dialogical and integrative approach to self-discovery and embodied awareness.

Through compassionate understanding, confirmation to present-moment experience and heightened awareness, we can complete what is unfinished from the past and open pathways to our emerging creative selves.

Understanding how our inner processes can function to sustain disruptive patterns, as well as challenge and support the possibilities for creative problem solving, can lead to deliberate actions that transform our relationship to ourselves, to others and to life!

I believe there are many pathways into and towards healing and inner transformation. After years of anorexia, bulimia, heroin and other substance abuse, I came to understand that these compulsive behavioral patterns were just a means to escape the boxed-up feeling of terror, rage, shame, despair, grief and unworthiness deep within my psyche and physicality.

Paradoxically, the Ashtanga Yoga and Gestalt methods help me to realise that whenever I wanted to escape myself through compulsive behaviour, what I was really hungry for was a deep and abiding connection with myself that brings forth the joy of being comfortable in my own skin.