The Om Space Teachers

Serena Burgess

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Serena Burgess is a UK qualified yoga teacher and is registered with Yoga Alliance UK as a senior teacher.  She has been practicing yoga for 17 years and teaching, predominantly Sivinanda style, here in Sri Lanka and in the UK. Serena owns and runs the Om Space Yoga Studio, teaches multiple classes a week, writes a weekly yoga column for the national press, runs a home and is the very hands-on mummy of two!  Needless to say life is full and Serena says it is her yoga practice that keeps her sane and centred.

Come and experience for yourself some of the energy that fuels Serena’s busy life and find a balance in your own lives that will allow a significantly healthier and happier lifestyle.

Fiona Raymond

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Yoga has been a central part of Fiona Raymond’s life.  She began learning Hatha yoga at age of 18 but became inspired by Kundalini Yoga and qualified as a teacher in 2003 in Ecuador, South America.  She has been teaching yoga and meditation for 10 years.   She holds IKYTA (International Kundalini Yoga Teachers Association) Levels, 1, 2 and 3 qualifications.  She is also on the Academy of Teacher Trainers.  Fiona has taught in Ecuador, UK and Sri Lanka.

Fiona is fascinated in the link between quantum physics and yoga.  In her classes you will get the experience of yoga and a meditative mind whilst intellectually understanding the benefits of practicing this ancient technology.  Great emphasis is placed on learning to be present so we can learn to live in each moment and fulfill our potential. Music and mantra are an essential part of classes allowing people to connect to the rhythm of life. Fiona has a holistic approach to life; she is a healer and Reiki Master and also runs detoxification programs.

Sanjaya Shantha

14724494_1107497942659470_186287326630610581_nSanjaya’s teacher training started in Germany where he was guided by 2 reputed teachers. After his training he continued to live in Germany and teach yoga for 2 more years. He then moved back home to Sri Lanka and worked for Siddhalepa Ayurveda for 12 years where he conducted his classes. He currently has classes at The Om Space and also works for Pulse Beat gym. He has been teaching for 20 years now and his classes are applicble for students of beginner, intermediate and advanced levels as well as athletes. Here is his class schedule.

 Jagath Gunaratne (RYT200)

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Jagath became interested in yoga when he was a teenager. As a committed athlete, he explored healing forms of body movement for sports injuries. He was drawn to yoga immediately, but, unfortunately, the opportunities to seriously study and practice yoga were limited then. Keen on pursing his interest, Jagath followed the developments in yoga and finally began an active practice in 2005. After leaving a busy career in Sri Lanka’s business world, he decided to take his passion for yoga to the next level and completed his 200-hour yoga teacher training in 2013. Jagath travelled to the Arhanta Yoga Ashram in Khajuraho, India for this training, and he has been teaching Hatha Yoga ever since. Jagath is registered with Yoga Alliance, USA (RYT 200) and is also a certified Reiki Healer/Master.

Jagath’s ability to empathize with people has lead him to focus his teaching on the healing values of yoga. He encourages his students to use the practice of asana and pranayama not only to relieve stress and develop flexibility but also to cultivate compassion towards themselves.  The learning process therefore encourages self-exploration and self-transformation. There is no “must be” or “should be”: each student embarks on his/her personal journey in order to rediscover and gently enrich the inner harmony and strengths that they already possess. Jagath strongly believes that yoga is about being present to the process of self-growth and not about achieving preconceived goals. The intention of the practice is to remain in your asana comfortably, consciously present to the movement and the stillness within you.

Rene Woo

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Rene comes from Malaysia. She stepped on to the yoga mat for the first time in 2004, whilst working in London, and has since experienced remarkable transformation in her life – It not only toned her body but provided her with the inner peace necessary to deal with the doubts in life.
What she loves about yoga is that it is a never ending practice where every practitioner has their own path and goals without the need to compete with one another. Through practising challenging postures she was humbled and constantly reminded to keep a beginner’s mind on and off the mat. Yoga has also taught her to cherish every moment and see the beauty in every situation.
In 2014, 2 years after returning to Asia, to mark a decade of practice, Rene decided to deepen her yoga study by undertaking a teacher training programme with Lance Schuler in Shanghai. Under Lance’s guidance, Rene reaffirmed her belief to stay true to herself and her practice by building a solid foundation with proper alignment.
Rene focuses on using alignment-oriented principles to help students exploring basic poses more deeply, and safely. You will learn the finer details of alignment as she shares her knowledge in class, ultimately bringing you an experience that bridges the body-mind complex and plants the seed of conscious living in you. Encouraging beginners is important to Rene, and she enjoys helping them to build a strong foundation on which to develop their practice.

 

Amice van der Burg

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Amice is a Yoga Teacher at the OM Space and will also be conducting Yoga and Well-being programs at Brook Boutique Country Hotel in Sri Lanka, as well as abroad. Her interest in yoga came about as a natural development after early years studying ballet, through team-based sports during her schooling and as a law student at university, on to a lifelong exercise regime which saw her research varying forms of holistic health (reflexology, aromatherapy, spiritual healing) and Yoga  while she was living and working as a lawyer in the United Kingdom. In 2003 she settled with her Sri Lankan husband in Sri Lanka where she feels at home ever since.

Having been exposed to numerous yoga styles and teachers over the years (Ashtanga, Power yoga, Ayengar, Viniyasa Flow, Hatha and Sivananda) she completed her 200 hr. Yoga Teacher Training with the eminent teachers at Blooming Lotus Yoga (then in Thailand, now in Bali) in 2014.

Her overarching intention is through teaching Yoga compassionately and with grace, to share her approach to spiritual awakening – and perhaps to different ways of life. During her classes she will, little by little, welcome you to the journey of ‘Being’, the essence of Yoga and invite you to listen to your inner voice and intuition, which is your supreme teacher. From the heart, the place of stillness, balance, openness and love, she wishes to support students in their journey into the inner heart of Yoga.

Yoga does take discipline. Part of her predominantly Hatha – infused practice and teachings are meditation, pranayama and mantra’s.  During her classes, Amice may teach mantras that bestow liberation, give peace and for healing.

Born in the Netherlands but travelled and lived in many parts of the world, she fluently speaks English, Dutch, German and conversational French.

Uta Gunawardena

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Born in Hamburg, Germany, my yogic journey started in the mid 1980’s at a health club in the heart of London, UK.  The introduction of yoga and mindfulness became the guiding thread that has spun throughout my personal history. Before finally finding my true home in Kundalini Yoga, I practiced different forms of yoga for many years. I am passionate about helping people find their true voice and live from the heart. Sharing yogic and eastern philosophies related to awakening the greatness that lies within every one’s self is part of every class. All classes combine kundalini yoga  practices with astrology, attuning ourselves with universal power by aligning our whole Being with the cyclical rhythm of the Sun and Moon. The student will be guided through coordinated movements, deep breathing exercises, chants, stillness and laughter to help releasing of what’s not working any more, stepping into the fullness of life with more radiance and from the heart! My vision for every living soul on our Mother earth is:

May you have VISION to see your POTENTIAL, and FAITH to BELIEVE that YOU can!

Then COURAGE to Act with CONVICTION, to become what YOU were MEANT to BE!

It’s not how high you build your DREAMS that makes a DIFFERENCE, but how high your FAITH can climb.

Believe in the IMPOSSIBLE which is the POSSIBLE YOU!

With over four years of Yoga teaching experience with children and in the corporate world in Sri Lanka, at wellness Centers, the Diabetic Association and various  hotels in Sri Lanka, additionally I hold a certificate as a Reiki Master and Teacher, Marketing Manager and Simultaneous Translator (English/German specialized in psychology and medicine)

Alexandra Marti (details will be updated shortly)

Hope Lofgren-Schmidt

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Hope is a 200 RYT from the USA who trained in the yoga capital of the world, Rishikesh, India. Holding a BA in Dance Performance and Choreography, she is a passionate mover inspired by the art of physicality. Hope is an avid world traveler who has rooted herself in Asia for the past few years exploring, connecting, and finding love for the self and this expansive universe. Believing that healing the body is instrumental in healing the mind, Vinyasa will be a powerful flow of dynamic Asana practice designed to strengthen and lengthen, release tension, balance energy, and bring awareness and breath to the body. Hope encourages her students to honor their bodies, and to awaken each morning to Rise and Om.

Christina Syms (details will be updated shortly)

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Tarlina Jayasinghe

IMG_5975Tarlina is a Social-Entrepreneur, Yoga Instructor and Artist. She is an Australian born Sri Lankan who was introduced to the concepts of Yoga over the past 10 years. Her desire is to improve the holistic wellbeing of others as from this place, they too can become powerful change makers in society. After having devoted 9 years into researching Peak Performance/Human Potential and being mentored by incredible critical thinkers, and psychology/spiritual experts, her mission is now to train and work with communities to best enhance our Creative-flow, Peak Potential and wellness.

In 2015 she devoted a year to travel, and found herself adventuring through the culturally rich localities of Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, India, Nepal. She found a strong fondness and connection to Eastern wisdom, foods, traditions, and philosophies. Her travels ignited a deep desire to renew human values in service of our Humanitarian Heritage.
During her time in India, she was taught by Teachers and Gurus in Rishikesh, India, which is recognised as the Capital of Yog, who initiated her 200 Teacher Training education in Ashtanga, Hatha. Himalayan Masters offered wisdom which illustriously saw her understanding to a deeper level the interconnectivity between Mind, Body and Spirit, human nature, and the natural order of the World. She recognises that an unlimited potential sits dormant within us, until we understand processes of unlocking the unique and limitless intelligence each cell of our bodies possesses.
It is her hope to improve this home we are dependent on, not only for our experience but also in compassion for future generations. As her journey continues, she looks forward to sharing collaborative creativity, practises in Yoga, Self-Healing, Self-Mastery, Spiritual purification, and collaborative growth projects.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Classes with Tarlina are a gentle and gradual introduction to the Yogic lifestyle, and practise. Tarlina carefully creates her flow sequences inspired from the Ashtanga Primary Series, however shares a Vinyasa Style of training so it is most accessible to any beginner Yogi/Yogini. Her classes will share the introductory practises into arriving into a relaxing state of meditation, Pranayama, and asanas. Her students often feel refreshed, stronger and more flexible and enjoy watching their confidence build in the art of Yoga.

Shemali Weerasinghe

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Shemali is a certified yoga teacher trained in Rishikesh, India. She is a graduate and full time practitioner of Chinese Medicine and a member of the British Acupuncture Council. Over the years, yoga has become an integral part of her life and she loves to share this practice with anyone who is keen to explore for themselves the benefits that yoga has to offer. Shemali brings both her fun loving nature and her deep connection to natural healing to her yoga classes. To all her students she has this to say – “Yoga requires nothing of you but to be present. To be with yourself in this practice that is yours; a practice that is in no way limited to the asana (postures of yoga), pranayama (working with breath) or any other technique. Yoga is when you are in union, mind, body and soul”.

Kiran Dhanapala (details will be updated shortly)

Rachel Chanmugam

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Rachel has lived in Sri Lanka since 2006 and her life is shared between her work with her Sri Lankan husband, her 6-year-old son and yoga … She has been a certified Kundalini yoga instructor since 2013, and is continuously training since then. She has been teaching adults, kids and teens, in schools, yoga studios and private classes. She is action and science driven, while always keeping a fun and cheerful approach.

Tara Germani

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Tara is a 500 RYT yoga teacher who has a deep curiosity about our human capacity and creative potential. Her main focus is understanding and captivating the essence of the teachings as simply as possible – where we encounter both the ease and challenges of the practice and begin to fully experience the flow of Vinyasa.

What to expect in a class – Group classes are 60 – 75 mins where we begin with pranayama and in seated meditation to establish our breath awareness, which quietly evolves into a moving meditation as I begin to introduce music. From here we flow into a warm up of various namaskars to increase awareness and heat in the body and establish the basics for the class.  For the main body component of the session I will guide us to flow through a series of asanas/postures opening up and exploring the different energy points (chakras): forward bends, back bends, twists, side opening and inversions. The general tendency is to flow through the postures for 3 – 5 breaths, which makes the sequence somewhat like a structured yet dynamic dance. It becomes a really intuitive practice once you start to experience yourself moving from your breath.

Jessyca Canizales

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Jessyca is an expat gypsy, making Sri Lanka the 6th nation she has called hOMe.  For over 12 years, Jessyca has been teaching dance, movement, yoga, improv, science, maths, literacy, and more to adults and children alike. She is dedicated to individualised instruction and inspiration!

Jessyca has vast expertise and training in movement, anatomy, nutrition, yoga, crystal healing and energy work.  She feels impassioned to share the transformative magic of yogic living with the world.  Yoga has served as the perfect medium for Jessyca to achieve a healthy body as well as mental and emotional balance.  Throughout her journey, Jessyca has gained and employed yogic understandings and principles allowing her to connect deeply not only with others, but with her authentic self. Believing that yoga is truly for everybody, she teaches a variety of styles including vinyasa, chakral, restorative, hot, pre/post natal, kids and Hatha yoga.

In addition to teaching yoga, guided meditations and leading yogic retreats around the globe, Jessyca is a homeopathic practitioner, certified Reiki Master, mala crafter wellness advocate, and life coach.

She is currently working with brands and organisations here in Sri Lanka and all around the world promoting artistic and holistic living and dedicating her life’s work to the service of others. She is eager to connect more deeply with the yoga community here in colOMbo and looks forward to meeting you all!

Nivedita Kamat

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For every Yoga practitioner, it starts with trying to get somewhere and believing that Yoga could help. I was no different. Over the years of my personal practice, i have realised that there’s nowhere to get to, its all about “just being”.I believe that there are so many aspects to experiencing Yoga, it takes many lives probably to really understand it. So here is where i begin my journey with Yoga and to be able to share this with others makes it even more of a holistic experience for me. 

I am a Psychology graduate followed by Masters in Communication Design and since then, a User Experience Designer by Profession. Committed  to Yoga since the past few years, and having completed my Hata Yoga TTC-200 (Yoga Alliance certification) in July 2016 from Bangalore, India, I started teaching soon after. I completed my Therapeutic Yoga Certification in Dec 2016 and this gave me a more holistic approach to my class and how to modify them for certain people based on their health conditions. Since then, i try to share Yoga on and off the mat.

Being an Indian, where the roots of classical Yoga lie, i was drawn towards reading a lot about its genesis and evolution from the Yogasutras and many other scriptures. When i started teaching, i couldn’t help but incorporate the same into what and how i approach my classes . Hence my teaching and beliefs are very rooted in the early Yoga scriptures.

Teaching approach and expectations from my class: My classes are usually small sized in number and may be theme based. My typical 60 minute Hata class usually starts with a little warming up and centering followed by Suryanamaskaras (Sivananda & Astanga A & B styles) and modified variations of it. An Asana practice thereafter would include balancing postures, forward bends, back bends (standing, prone, supine) , twists, arm balances, inversions in a dynamic flow and holding every posture for a few breaths and cooling down towards the end of the class. A 75 minutes class would follow a short Pranayama practice after the asanas when the body is prepared to be sensitive to the subtle prana energies. Alternatively I also take a 60 minutes Yoga Nidra class. As a teacher i have a long way to go and a lifetime is less, but i believe that i grow and learn a lot more myself when i teach and share my knowledge with those seeking because the best way to learn something is by teaching it.

Amrita Amalean

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I first tasted the essence of yoga within the realms of my own household. My mother has been an avid practitioner and advocate of yoga and homeopathic practices for a long time.  I witnessed first hand how consistent practice of yoga helped alleviate her lower back pain and gave her the mental strength to overcome it. She still stands as an advocate for its healing physical and mental effects on us as human beings, and this philosophy has been instilled in my own view of yoga into my way of life.

My own practice began in 2009. At the time I was working long hours and nights as a NICU nurse. Yoga back then was a way of blanketing my responsibilities as a nurse and relieve the stresses that I constantly experienced in the hospital. It was a way to ‘get away from the world’ as I knew it, and experience something wholesome and unique in a friendly unjudgemental atmosphere.

Being an Island girl that was used to sunny days and warm weather, I again looked towards yoga to sustain the long cold wintery months when I moved to Boston. I caught the ‘yoga bug’ when my mat became a regular fixture at the Back Bay Yoga studio.   I was drawn to an active, power intense vinyasa style of practice and to the instructors who taught the classes with so much passion, wisdom and enthusiasm.

This lead me to sign up for the 200hr teacher trainings lead by Lynn Beiger, Caitlyn Graham and Ryan Cunningham who have all inspired me and enriched my love for the profession and practice. This is just the beginning; I intend to immerse myself in workshops, retreats and further trainings as my journey of self-discovery continues.

My unique background as a Nurse Practitioner and Yoga Instructor will allow me to eventually deliver healthy, safe and engaging classes to my students. I believe yoga is a way to discover our true vulnerabilities in life.  It’s a way to move, ground and release excess energy in a positive light back into the world.

Natalie Lyle-Grant (details will be updated shortly)