Urban Soul Yoga - Our Teachers

I ASKED ALL THE TEACHERS TO GIVE ME 3 WORDS TO DEFINE THEIR TEACHING STYLE. I HOPE THIS HELPS YOU FURTHER CHOOSE A TEACHER THAT SUITS YOUR PRACTICE

MELANIE SHAFER

ADAPTIVE, SUSTAINABLE, DIFFERENT

Melanie is a teacher (and student) of yoga with an emphasis on exploring balance for the body and mind.

With 20 years of industry experience, including 9 years teaching, Melanie facilitates Flow, Slow Flow and Yin classes, as well as specialty workshops, retreats and teacher training. Frustrated with sports injuries, Melanie found balance and a sense of putting her body back together with yoga. Melanie is inspired by a variety of styles and teachers including Baron Baptiste, Duncan Peak, Jill Mille and Ido Portal and is working towards 500 hours of teacher training. She creates grounded, challenging and accessible classes, providing the opportunity to get out of your head, into your body and experience the power of movement and breath awareness.

Rua Hvitulv

POWER-PROVACATION-PLAY

From a history as a teacher of sciences, to a journalist writing about the Mafia in the heated Neapolitan metropolis, to a multi-disciplinary artist fiddling with print and the web, Rua has changed lives a few times over. The only thing that​ has been​stick​ing​​ throughout​is her passion for learning​,​and sharing mindful experiences rather than just knowledge - and that’s how today she is a dedicated meditation facilitator, a stretch therapist and a multi-style yoga instructor.

​She is striving​ to teach - or perhaps even better, facilitate yoga, and movement - the way​ she would have always wanted to be taught. ​Her long-term goal is to gather around ​her a new generation of practitioners who think of yoga​​and all its​ ​offshoots critically, not superstitiously, who aspire to work healthily and live mindfully; to offer a resource for those who want to approach it from a different angle; to offer a space for those who have tried and failed to get into it many times before, to try once more.

Marnie Palomares

MINDFUL RESTFUL AWARENESS

For over a decade Marnie has been performing as a professional contemporary dancer with a dedicated yoga practice as her main accompaniment. She believes yoga is similar to dance in its syncing of breath, movement and creative flow. Yoga has been her medicine, helping her maintain a healthy lifestyle and sustain a long career.

Marnie is passionate about teaching and practicing a mindful sequential flow with a strong focus on alignment and full body awareness.

What Marnie loves about yoga is how your experience is different everyday. She loves that it encourages acceptance and humility by challenging you to observe and move your body in the present moment without judgement.

Marnie enjoys teaching because she is inspired by an individual’s journey and progression in their practice, and its potential to influence their life off the mat. She enjoys a space that brings people together to share breath, movement and positivity.

Sol Ulbrich

HILARIOUS, CHALLENGING, GROUNDED

Sol comes from a background as a professional dancer and choreographer.
Having trained with many leading Yoga teachers including David and Simi Roche, Gary Cook, Baron Baptiste and Duncan Peak, Sol is qualified in Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin, Children’s and Chair yoga.

A Yoga Alliance E-RYT 500 Certified teacher trainer, Sol’s 20 year teaching and mentoring experience includes being a Master Facilitator and Training & Development Manager for Power Living Australia Yoga from 2011-2020.

Sol takes a joyful and intense class, rich in visualisation and imagery. Happiness for all is his goal.

Jenna

EXPANSIVE, CURIOUS, KIND

Hi my name is Jenna, my approach with teaching asana is the same approach I take with my health & wellness clients; respecting bio-individuality while engaging in functional movement that supports us day to day.

My 14 year love affair with yoga began when I was able to develop a new relationship with my mind & body with less judgment of the outcome. As my curiosity grew so did my desire to learn all aspects of the ancient yoga system such as pranayama, meditation & Ayurveda. Seeing how it can be used in modern times has now become my passion and joy to share with others. With 1200 hours of teacher trainings under my belt I still am a student and students are my teachers.

Come and join me for a breath centered practice that explores your own body’s movement and encourages safety, awareness and wellbeing.

Chelsey Gunning

ADAPTIVE, INTROSPECTIVE, WELCOMING

"I first began to practice yoga in 2015, as part of a fitness program. I had previously been ill and overweight for a number of years. While I was off to a slow start, I thoroughly enjoyed the way this practice felt in my body. A few months in I began to recognise the impact it had begun to have on my mind too. I was no longer anxious! I felt calmer and more content.

After this realisation I was hungry to find out more about the history and philosophy behind this beautiful and ancient system. I knew at the end of my studies I couldn't wait to teach and share what I had learnt!

I know that attending yoga classes can be intimidating for many but I strive to ensure students feel welcome and comfortable. I give variations for poses so that everyone is being challenged at their own level. My classes are very breath focused in order to cultivate a stronger connection between the mind and body."

Andrew Wong

MINDFUL, CHALLENGING, CREATIVE

Andrew is a certified 200 hour yoga teacher in Vinyasa. He has also completed an additional 200 hours of study in alignment and assists, meditation and yoga philosophy.

Andrew first discovered yoga while living in Singapore. Yoga was an incredible counter balance to his training in Muay Thai and to offset the stresses of corporate life. Andrew completed his teacher training in Sydney to deepen his practice and to be able to share the benefits of yoga with others. His classes emphasise a connection with breathing above all. He is passionate about assisting and deepening the practice of his students with correct alignment and physical assists.

Andrew teaches part-time and assists weekly in large, advanced classes. His favourite pose is Triangle and he can usually be found with his mat close to an open window. Students can expect chilled but challenging classes,peppered with traditional yoga themes and philosophy and most importantly, a sense of humour.

Mel Manuel

UPLIFTING, MINDFUL, CREATIVE

Melanie first discovered the healing powers of yoga in 2012 while living in Jakarta, Indonesia. Trying to find an escape from the chaos of a big city, she stumbled across her first yoga class in the tranquil home of her first yoga teacher, Dini Maharani. Melanie discovered a positive way to move her body and calm her mind. From then on she was hooked, and she brought her yoga practice back home to Sydney.

Melanie loves the multi-dimensional aspects of yoga and the way it can heal, restore and re-energise - both mentally and physically. She is excited to share her love and passion for yoga with others.

Leah Donovan

FLUID, INTUITIVE, CENTRED

Yoga has been apart of Leah’s life for over 10 years.  It’s been her saving grace while navigating the often challenging and rejection filled life of an actor!

As Leah’s passion for the practice grew, she was drawn to take a 200hr teacher training in India and during this time she discovered a love and a calling for teaching.

With a deep respect for the tradition of yoga, Leah aims to fuse her classes with a balance of traditional and modern practices to encourage strength and flexibility not just in the body but also in the mind.  

Leah seeks to help others thrive and connect to the true essence of who they are through the practice of yoga.

Sophie Coldham

PLAYFUL, ENCOURAGING, JOYFUL

Originally from the UK, Sophie has called Sydney home since 2015. Her yoga journey took her to Canggu, Bali in early 2018 where she completed her initial training, followed by mentoring in Sydney and completion of 350hrs certification.

Sophie strive to make the experience of practicing yoga accessible to all levels, ages and abilities. Her style of teaching is friendly, non-judgmental and playful with the emphasis on having fun while practicing. She likes to push her students in their abilities by providing an encouraging and safe space, while nurturing the mind-body connection through breath work and meditation. Her belief is that anything is possible (on and off the mat) and encourages her students with laughter and balanced practice.

Bethany Rumore

CONTEMPLATIVE, MODERN, FLOWING

What I love about yoga is its versatility. Yoga is at once a tool and a skill; an exercise and a chill pill; a hobby and a way of life.

Like so many, I came to yoga for physical exercise but stayed for the extra-physical teachings. After practising yoga from the age of fourteen, I finally found the courage to teach and enrolled in a Teacher Training program. For a long time I thought that in order to be ready to teach yoga I had to be able to do the splits or stand on my head or do something picture-worthy. That was to miss the point entirely. Teaching yoga has taken me back to the roots of yoga, to the understanding that it is not just about kicking out some beautiful shapes but about cultivating stillness through movement, bringing a softness to it that helps us to live more gently. That said, I do like a good Chaturanga!

For me, yoga isn't just about what we do on the mat, but about how we use Asana, our physical practice, as a metaphor to inform how we live our lives.

Minnie McCoy

GROUNDING, CALMING, MINDFUL

Minnie has been a lover of yoga ever since she can remember. Growing up with a yoga teacher mother, the yogic philosophy and lifestyle has been instilled in her from a young age. She has been practicing yoga since the age of 15 and in 2018 joined Urban Soul as a student. It was here that her passion and dedication to yoga really grew. She is trained in Purna yoga which is a blend of Hatha and Iyengar. This style was developed in Byron Bay where she received her 200h certification.

It is an honour for her to be able to share her love of yoga and all that it brings to the community of Urban Soul. Her style of teaching is relaxed and gentle with a strong focus on Ahimsa (self-care) in all classes.

Jodie Mayer

NURTURING, FUN, EDUCATIONAL

Jodie runs a tutoring school which helps both primary and high school students gain skills and confidence in all areas of their learning.  After a few years of tutoring, she became aware that many students were feeling anxious, overwhelmed and lacking in self-confidence and she began searching for a way to help them.  This lead her to yoga.  She had experienced the calmness that yoga had brought into her own life and she became passionate about sharing this knowledge with the young people in her life.  She began her studies with a 500 hour teacher training course in 2018 and then added her Kids Yoga teaching qualification early in 2020.  Jodie feels blessed to share with all the children in her life the benefits of yoga on both our bodies and our minds.

Lara Liberman

KIND, CALM, HAPPY

Lara teaches Kids Yoga with Jodie. Jodie and Lara met at a Kids Yoga Teaching training course and haven’t looked back since. They decided they would love to impart their knowledge of Kids Yoga to children together.
When Lara isn’t teaching yoga she is works as a Primary School Teacher. Lara also enjoys running, reading mysteries and drinking cups of tea.

Together with Jodie she is excited to begin their Kids Yoga adventure.

FRANK BARAN

SAFE, COMPASSIONATE, FUN

Frank became the owner of Urban Soul  in January 2017 after an extensive career as an addictions counsellor. 

Frank is a job whisperer in many communities throughout Australia. Having developed health issues due to unhealthy eating and an inactive lifestyle, Frank found a dramatic new direction and immersed himself in the world of yoga, meditation and a plant based diet. Frank now lives pain free and looks forward to everyday. Frank’s vision for Urban Soul is to provide a holistic and relaxed wellness space that supports the community through the practice of yoga and associated healthy concepts. Frank is always up for a friendly chat at the beginning or end of class and loves community ideas and feedback on the studio.