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MEET YOUR GUIDES.

When one teaches, two learn.


ANNIKA SAIGI - Studio Founder, Yoga & Aerial Teacher

Annika grew up in Western Sydney, and spent most of her late teens and early 20s in People Management, as well as travelling, before discovering movement after being recommended to start exercising to help heal a back injury. The gym bored her, so she took up Trapeze, Tissu and Aerial Hoop at a local pole dance studio, which then inspired her to quit her day job, take a massive pay cut, and start teaching these disciplines instead.

With a love for travel still twirling inside of course, she decides she would feed two birds with one scone, and head on over to India to become a certified Yoga Teacher as well. With only a handful of yoga classes under her belt before arriving, she fell in love with the quiet, the connection to spirit and how accessible yoga can be for all those around her.

Starting with her own classes at the local Community Centre, she has now opened, owned and operated x4 Yoga Studios and x1 Fitness studio, all located within Western Sydney.

Completing now over 900 Hours in Yoga Training, as well as the studio now hosting its own Yoga Teacher Trainings, she continues to work in the day to day operations of the studios, as she adores what she does, not just so she can continue to serve her community, but to also show her 2 daughters that women can do whatever they feel called to.

JACQUELINE FELANGUE - Graphic Designer & Yoga Teacher

It was by chance that I came across NIN Yoga soon after it had opened, and it has been one of the best parts of my life’s journey ever since.

I have obtained extensive experience as a graphic designer over the past 15 years, a passion for overall health and wellbeing and It is a pleasure to be able to encapsulate both of these in one space.

I love being a part of such an amazingly supportive community that has grown exponentially over the years, and I look forward to seeing this space continue to reach everyone out there who shares the same vision of self growth; to strengthen the mind, body and spirit.

DANIEL NUNNARI - Qi Gong, Yoga & Calesthenics Teacher

Qi Gong has been an important part of my life for many years. Since beginning the practice I've improved my health and wellbeing significantly; I now have more energy to do the things I love, better sleep and I feel much more relaxed throughout the day.

The deep breathing and dynamic movements create the perfect environment for the mind and body to synergise.

It is the fundamental practice that helps connect and balance everything in life, it has done this for me and I wish to share this with everyone. Through Qi Gong... "Breathe more, Move more

PAIGE FRANCIS - Yoga & Aerial Hammock Teacher

I first found yoga as a means of support for my anxiety. Meditation and pranayama have since been a regular practice for me. The more yoga I did the better I coped with life and the more I shared yoga the more I saw how it can help everyone.

I made my journey into teaching to share how yoga helped me - observe yourself as you are here and now so you can better move forward. Moving forward has led to me now teaching Aerials and becoming a personal trainer because to me movement is medicine!

ALAINA SCUTTS - Yoga Teacher

My name is Lains (short for Alaina). I completed my Yoga Teacher Training right here at Nin Yoga back in August 2021, which was led by the incredible Sukha Mukha Yoga.

I have lived in beautiful Western Sydney all my life and it brings me great joy to be serving our wonderful community through this life-changing practice.

I went to my first ever yoga class back in December 2016 and I actually didn't love yoga straight away, to tell you the truth. I totally sucked at it, fumbled my way through like a dog wearing socks on a slippery floor, I held my breath a lot, and felt really "stuck" in my head. I was also pretty unwell mentally when I first came to the practice, battling anxiety + eating disorders. I felt like I could never relax or "meditate" at all. How shocking it was, to be a total beginner and be "bad" at something I wasn't born knowing how to do?! (Can you tell I'm a recovering perfectionist? Hahah!)

But despite all my human-ness at play, a little voice inside me whispered; "maybe just try one more class". That "one more class" turned in to another, then another... aaand before I knew it I was well and truly on what I now recognize as my healing journey.

And I cannot even BEGIN to tell you just how nourishing and rewarding this journey has been for me... but I'll try to anyway! –

Yoga gives me the tools to not only cope, but THRIVE in my human experience. The tools I've learnt (and continue to learn!) from my yoga practice helped me move through some really low points in my life. Yoga has been that one constant I can rely on, show up to, and be held and supported in whatever it is that I'm going through. I truly believe in the magic and healing yoga has to offer each and every one of us.

If I had to choose one word to sum up how yoga makes me feel, it would be LIBERATED.I have learnt how to move well, breathe well, how to meditate and “peace out”, how to connect with my inner wisdom/knowing… but the best part? I've actually REMEMBERED myself. Sure, I've learnt a lot of incredible valuable things, but yoga has helped me remember who I am beyond my name, job title, relationship status, strengths and weaknesses... it has been a home-coming to my heart; a return to the fullest expression of ME. A stripping back of all the layers that weren't serving me. So powerful. You can expect a warm, laidback, friendly space, when you come to class with me. My core values as a teacher (and human) are FUN and PLAY, so get ready to be a (big) kid all over again whilst also learning lots about your body, mind and spirit. I cannot wait to move and breathe with you on the mat real soon. Let's party x

KEEGAN SEARS - Yoga Teacher

I first discovered yoga through self practicing the basics five years ago. This was during a time where I was going through a darker period and was facing the reality of my choices. Realising that I had gotten myself to this place, I could just as well get myself out and to a better one. Yoga was instrumental in helping me come to terms with this truth and it was after the first session where I felt a totally new sensation wash over the body and mind. This feeling was in stark contrast to my overall well being previously and an extreme relief on my system.

This encouraged me to continue practicing with dedication as I started to notice more shifts in both my external and internal landscape. Concepts such as strength and mindfulness were completely redefined to me through practicing and I eventually found Nin Yoga where I learned the value of having a community to share in the beautiful practice that is yoga. From very early on in my yoga journey I knew I wanted to share it with others after experiencing first hand the changes it brought to my life.

Yoga gave me the power to take charge of my life, take responsibility for my own circumstances and planted the realisation that I had a synergistic relation to the world around me and could co-create my reality with mindful intention. It is my wish to share this profound truth with others and to hold space so that they may find their own way on the path. It’s an honour to share this simple yet complex practice to help restore any imbalances and create harmony between body, mind and soul.

KAREN GRUBER - Yoga & Pilates Teacher

Throughout my life I have sought ways to support and encourage others to find autonomy and strength within themselves. From my time teaching Buddhist based meditation, to my training as a counsellor and onto recent years where I have been working as a freelance artist and designer, I have built and nurtured skills in holding space and serving the community.

For me, the practice of Yoga is a means to connect with physical manifestation of deeper experiences and sensations. Through mindful movement of the body and breath, I am able to gain insight into my emotional and mental state on a day-to-day basis, as well as observe and gently approach larger concepts in life as they ebb and flow.

I believe we are each the experts in our own lives and know what will serve us. In my classes, I aim to provide a space where others can flow, observe, and create awareness of their body, using this foundation to explore their inner world so they can nurture themselves from a place of strength and compassion.

 I look forward to sharing this practice with you.

Pilates: I first came across Pilates when I was performing Vintage Dance. It was usually added into classes and workshops to support strength and range of motion, but it was such a small component that I didn’t really understand exactly what it was. When I began teaching dance, I decided to gain a qualification in Pilates so that I could better support my students- what I did not expect was to discover how much it complimented so many elements of my life!

And for me, that is exactly what Pilates is, a way to compliment all my other activities and movements. It builds strength, targets specific muscle groups and creates awareness and control within the body. I was so surprised by how regular practice lead to improvements in my dance and yoga practice as well as small day to day things like carrying groceries. Pilates has become a way to care for my body so I can continue to do all the things I love for as long as I want to!

In my teaching, I work to support others to meet themselves exactly where they are on that day and work from there so they can build on their own foundations. Small, targeted movements lead to meaningful, long-term growth both on and off the mat, which is what I aim to foster in my classes.

KATIE HATHAWAY - Yoga Teacher

Hi I'm Katie.  

Like many people, I came to yoga to help manage the anxiety and stress of everyday life. I started out with restorative yoga, and gradually developed a more physically active practice. My own practice is slow and mindful; I love the meditative aspects of yin yoga, the soothing rhythms of lunar flows, and the deep vibrations of sound baths.

My classes have a strong focus on the connection between movement and breath. While we may sometimes focus on some of the technical aspects of asana (poses), I really just hope that you to leave the mat feeling a little calmer, and a little more connected to your breath and your body.

I genuinely believe that yoga has something to offer anyone who is open to it. You don't need to be flexible, fit, young, strong, or anything else. All you need to do is show up on your mat, be present, and be accepting of whatever comes up.

I hope to see you on the mat sometime :)

Mihaela Zotta - Yoga Teacher

I believe in the serendipitous moments that reveal themselves when we least expect appropriately at the right time.

Yoga came into my life when I needed something extraordinary to happen, and ironically, something incredibly human.
To me yoga is like coming home. Arriving into a place of warmth, nurture, and safety.  

I embarked on my YYT with the intention of self-inquiry and reflection. I discovered a path of healing and forgiveness, an instant bond with its feeling of peace and contentment.

My struggle with high anxiety is long standing and the techniques I’ve learned through my practice (and continue to learn as a forever student) have not only reminded me how to breathe, to move, to think... (you know, the basics) but above all, allowed me to flourish.

Flourish into the me that is not too shy, scared, awkward to step into my own power.

Becoming more me.

I love teaching a warm and nourishing flow (body and mind) and wish to create the same experience on the mat where you too… can become more of you.

AMANDA PATTERSON - Yoga Teacher

Bachelor of Health Science, Diploma of Remedial Yoga, 200 Hr Vinyasa Yoga Certificate, Diploma of Remedial Massage, Certificate in Thai Massage

I love teaching, I love yoga of course, dance, music, the occasional roller skating session and being at the beach with my beautiful family. I have a life long love of human movement and have been practicing yoga for over 20 years. Seeing the deep and lasting impact yoga can make in all aspects of life is what inspires me to keep coming back to the mat to teach. It gives me so much joy to share the  mental and physical benefits of yoga with my students. 

Meridian yoga was developed in Japan combining a strong foundation of Hatha yoga with Japanese Shiatsu and Chinese 5 element practices. It's a deeply healing and therapeutic style of yoga - imagine feeling as though you’ve had a shiatsu massage or acupuncture session. Each move is designed to access one or more meridian or energy line in the body and each class focuses on a pair of meridians, one yin and one yang. Classes are specific to the time of day, weather and season. Think morning classes to give you a burst of energy to start the day, midday classes that leave you feeling balanced and content and evening classes for the best sleep ever! The practice focuses on bringing energy to your Hara (core) strengthening the body and calming the mind. Depending on the class I use a combination of standing and floor based asanas and rest assured that you’ll have plenty of time to lay on the back, focus inwards and maybe even close the eyes

Katrina Villamor - Yoga Teacher

Yoga creates an internal space within me to expand, be open, explore and maybe find something I didn’t know I already had.

Teaching is awesome because it allows me to share what I know and love. It is something that I somehow always fall back on in times or stress, illness, and fatigue.

I am grateful to be able to practice and share this practice with others.

LAURA KERNAHAN - Aerial & Yoga Teacher

Laura has always had a passion for any form of movement that allows her to get lost in the present moment because she believes this is where life truly lies. You will usually find her somewhere out in nature or hanging upside down, sometimes both at once. 

Laura believes that working out shouldn't be another chore that needs to be completed bringing a love for FUN(ctional) movement or anything that makes you feel like a giant kid inside. This has led her to many hobbies including Yoga, Aerial Yoga, Lyra, Climbing and Pole dancing leaving her with a blend of passion, knowledge and experience that allows her to approach each person with an understanding that everybody is different. Laura loves to push the edges of her students' comfort zones, taking time step by step to help them move past any fears and smash their goals. Her classes have a focus on keeping your body safe, having fun and building strength needed to carry us through day to day life.

ETHAN MCKAY - Weightlifting & Mobility Teacher

Hi guys, my name is Ethan!! I've been a personal trainer since 2008, and I am super passionate about health, fitness and movement. I've trained in CrossFit for 8 years, and coached for 4 of those years. It was during this time that I was able to understand and appreciate the importance of moving well and why we should all strive to move with purpose with whatever we do.

I am currently studying a degree in Sport and Exercise Science at WSU, so I hope to pass on my new and existing knowledge to everyone at Maya Movement!

RAELENE MATTHEWS - Pilates & Aerial Hammock Teacher

Hi, I’m Raelene, I have been involved in the Fitness Industry for many years now, I am trained in many disciplines as well as being a Personal Trainer.

I have always enjoyed teaching Yoga and Pilates with all the benefits not just for the body but the mind as well. I discovered Antigravity Aerial Yoga some years ago now and I am hooked, it truly is for everyone allowing you to achieve Yoga Poses with the aid of the Hammock. Combing Practice of Yoga and Pilates in one.

The hammock allows anyone the freedom of movement with no impact as well as being a lot of fun.

JOEL GRUBER - Bujinkan Teacher

Hi all! I'm Joel and I teach the Japanese martial art class at Maya Movement - I have been training in Bujinkan for 20 years and has been teaching for 10 years, and travelled and trained in Japan almost yearly to bring the teaching of the Japanese masters to Western Sydney!

My key focus  in training is on efficient body movement - to learn how to affect your opponent with minimum effort and using effective movements for self defence. As Bujinkan is a school of ninjutsu, at its core is being sneaky 🥷 and using deception rather than brute force. 

I'm also passionate in showing how the Japanese martial arts principles and movement can assist your everyday life. I aim to not just show how to punch or kick or throw or use a weapon (although all of those are cool!) but how you can be a good human and find balance through a physical practice that is based within the deep stream of Japanese philosophy and Budo (the way of the warrior). 

I love teaching how the martial arts movement can make you more connected to your body as well as your surroundings (through the very real connection of someone attempting to hit or throw you 😀). I've seen the real benefit in myself and students of how this connection can assist in other movement goals and more broadly in their life.

I'm honoured to be a part of Maya Movement and excited to meet you at training!

Ninpo Ikkan! (Trans: the way of perseverance is within every moment)

CHARLOTTE VALENTINE - Yoga Teacher

Hello Nin Yoga community!

My name is Charlotte and I'm pleased to be back teaching at St Mary's. 

My classes are spirited yet deeply relaxing, with an emphasis on finding what feels good for your body. 

Yoga has been such an Integral part of my life over the last decade, sparking a deep passion for healing and personal development. 

This passion has lead me to study Hypnosis, Neuro Linguistic Programming and Holotropic Breathwork. 

My business Ethereal Breath was born out of a love for guiding people through trauma release and into deep states of tranquility.

There is nothing more rewarding to me then blending Yoga with Breathwork and witnessing the positive psychological effects it has on my clients. 

I'm constantly amazed at the power of these practices and i look forward to welcoming you to some workshops soon. 

See you on the mat! 

SARKA PECHOVA - Yoga & Aerial Teacher

Currently on Maternity leave <3

Hi, I am Sarka a 500 hrs RYT Yoga teacher

It is my great pleasure to teach in this amazing studio and be part of your journey!

After my 200hrs Yoga teacher training in Sydney I got the opportunity to teach in a 5* Hotel in Zanzibar (which was amazing). Then I went to explore more Yoga in Rishikesh, in India for my 300hrs training. I was also teaching workshops in Czech Republic, where I come from originally. And I hope to bring some inspiration from my travels also to Sydney.

To me Yoga means finding peace of mind, but also great benefits for my body. Not only that my back pain from gymnastics is gone, I fell in love with my body for what it can do (and yes, touching my toes with no pain was one of my victories). My mat is my little home outside of home.

In my classes I focus on connecting breath and our movements and finding what our bodies can actually do and where our mind can take us.

KRYSTAL GUYMER - Yoga & Kids Teacher

I began leaning yoga from videos online and going to a few classes at the local gym & I quickly developed a passion for yoga.

Not long after I began I became bored with my practice and I was desperate challenge myself; that's when I found Japanese yoga.
I noticed the benefits of practicing this style very soon after beginning and regularly attended classes to improve my strength, flexibility and overall balance in state of mind, body and spirit.

I enjoy sharing this incredible strengthening and healing yoga with other people and I am grateful that I have the chance to to do this every time I teach a class.

My goal is to empower people to take control of their lives and inspire them to create a healthy, balanced, joyful life

SAMANTHA MANOU - Aerialist

Sam (a.k.a The Metal Aerialist) has been doing aerials for 8 years now specializing in trapeze and lyra.

She has competed in the NSW heats of Miss Lyra Australia since its inception in 2017 and nationally since 2018. She has also competed in Rising All Stars in 2019 on trapeze.

Sam is a huge nerd and metal-head, the inspiration for many of her performances.

AARON ATTARD

Maintenance, Builder of everything

Aaron probably doesn’t know it, but if it wasn’t for the support this beautiful man has given Annika all these years, she probably would have never discovered yoga in the first place.

Thank you for all the late nights, early mornings, hours, sweat and patience you put into all 5 spaces.

MARY BACKHOUSE - Yoga Teacher

Hello I’m Mary

A local all my life I’ve dabbled in yoga over the years. First at evening college, then at a gym and finally discovered and stepped through the door of Nin Yoga in 2021. 

That’s where the transformation began. I completed YTT and haven’t looked back. I’m so pleased to have challenged myself. What a rewarding experience. 

It’s the time I can be with me, the inclusivity and friendship of yoga that I enjoy.  Also, the change I see in myself and others after a class. 

I distinctly remember driving home after a few weeks of classes and thinking “wow I feel good”. 

Come along and join me on the mat, where I hope you too can find that “feel good” moment. 



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