Dominique Santana Salerno
Dominique Santana Salerno, principal of the Australian Yoga Academy, is an inspired Yoga Practitioner, Teacher and Ayurvedic Healer.
She has studied extensively in a wide range of fields including a Bachelor of Communication, Postgraduate Diploma of Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma of Holistic Counselling, Diploma of Classical, (Raja) Yoga, Yoga – Alliance 500+ hour Ashtanga Yoga and Advanced Pranayama Certification as well as a Certificate of Ayurvedic Medicine and Reiki level 3.
Dominique co-founded the Australian Yoga Academy and Blue Angel Centre For Wellbeing. She went on to develop the Australian Yoga Academy’s renowned Advanced Diploma of Yoga Teaching Program accredited by the Yoga Teachers Association of Australia. She is passionate about providing the highest quality professional training for Yoga Teachers at a foundation level as well as in specialist subject areas.
In addition to her many years teaching and studying in Australia, Dominique spent over 12 months in India, Thailand and Taiwan studying Ashtanga Yoga, Pranayama, Sanskrit, Yogic Philosophy and Ayurvedic Medicine. She was fortunate to have the opportunity to work and mentor with some of the worlds’ greatest teachers.
Her teachers and influences include: Robert Byrne, John Demartini, Simon Borg – Olivier, Robert E. Svoboda, Sri. O.P. Tiwari, Richard Freeman, Paul Dallaghan, Neil Barker, Jeff and Harmony Lichty, Dr. Shantala Priyardrshini, Dr. Remitha K.K. and Professor Nagaraja Rao.
Dominique is a rare individual who has the unique ability to communicate the internal benefits of practice and timeless spiritual concepts in a practical and down to earth manner. Her open heart and relaxed approach enables her to truly connect with her students, inspiring those she works with to empower all areas of their lives.
Melanie Mackintosh is a co-owner of the Australian Yoga Academy and Director of Education, where she manages AYA’s highly regarded Advanced Diploma of Yoga Teacher training program.
Melanie came to yoga after working for a number of years in the fields of Human Resources and Change Management. Her corporate work in industries such as banking, health and engineering has taken her all across Australia, Singapore and to London.
Just like many of her current day students, Melanie was first attracted to yoga as a way of managing the pressure of her corporate role as well as dealing with persistent back issues. She soon found that yoga was more than just a form of physical exercise, but a way of life. For over ten years, Melanie integrated yoga into her life, finding that the holistic practices of yoga including asana and pranayama had profound effects on her mental and physical well being. It was during this time that Melanie also began her studies in Naturopathy and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Realising that she must fulfill her life purpose and work exclusively in the fields of yoga and natural medicine, Melanie completed her Advanced Diploma of Yoga Teaching with AYA in 2006. She commenced working with AYA as a yoga teacher immediately following graduation and joined the Education faculty, teaching the Advanced Diploma of Yoga Teaching in 2008. Then in 2010, Melanie left her corporate role as her first child was born, and shortly after, commenced working full time with AYA.
Melanie is abundantly grateful for the ongoing opportunity to work as a yoga teacher, helping to inspire hundreds of students, not just in asana, but in the deeper, healing dimensions of this ancient science. She considers it her greatest privilege to lecture around 70 teacher trainees each year, primarily in the fields of teaching practices and principles, anatomy and physiology, pre natal yoga and the language of Sanskrit.
Melanie is a wise and especially enthusiastic lecturer and is committed to running the most professional yoga teacher training program in Australia. Melanie is passionate about preparing AYA’s teacher training students to be the best yoga teachers in the world. Accordingly, she has tailored the AYA teacher training program to demand tertiary level quality of work and has included a structured practice teaching component to prepare students for teaching. She also regularly encourages trainees to join her in general classes for hands on assisting and adjusting experience.
Ongoing professional development is of paramount importance to Melanie, and she continues to study under senior teachers such as Donna Farhi, Simon Borg-Olivier, Nicky Knoff, Michael de Manincor and Dr Rama Prasad. The writings of Mal Robbins, Leslie Kaminoff, Deepak Chopra, Dr. Singh Khalsa, Jost Sauer, Bernie Clark, Prof. Tim Noakes and Prof. Lun Wong also inspire her teaching. Melanie acknowledges the renowned B.K.S Iyengar as the person who primarily inspired her to commence her yoga journey. Locally, Melanie acknowledges Anthony Salerno, Dominique Salerno, Jenni Morrison-Jack and Tony Rothberg as key teachers in her life.
Melanie also acknowledges all of her past and present students who have allowed her to help guide them in their yoga practice. Melanie considers the opportunity to be involved with so many students in both a general capacity and in teacher training as one of the greatest gifts in her life.
Anthony Salerno is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Australian Yoga Academy.
Since 1993 Anthony has been dedicated to uncovering the universal laws of life and understanding human behaviour. His studies have spanned a wide range of fields including philosophy, world spiritual traditions, yoga, psychology, counselling, life and business coaching and natural healing methods.
Anthony has been sharing what he has discovered with others since starting Australian Yoga Academy in 2000.
Anthony is the author of The Heart of Healing, which is a guide to changing the way we see the world and healing our mind and body.
Anthony teaches the philosophy modules in AYA’s Yoga Teacher Training Program. He is an inspired teacher and loves sharing his wisdom and understanding about life to assist people to open their hearts and minds and awaken the magnificent potential within.
Karina is a lover of movement and dance, and is the eternal student.
Karina began her dance journey at the tender age of 4 years old, further exploring her craft as a dancer at Deakin University, where she completed a Bachelor of Contemporary Arts and Theatre making. After graduation she continued her performance investigations with Circus, burlesque, and theatre production. Since then she has been on a continual search for knowledge, with a seemingly unquenchable thirst.
Karina completed her Yoga Teacher training with AYA in 2011, and has since completed their Master Certificates in Pranayama, Ayurveda, and Meditation Teaching.
After her training at AYA Karina travelled to India where she completed a further 350 hour Yoga Teaching course, as well as extensive studies in Ayurveda and Panchakarma.
Upon return to Australia Karina undertook her Masters in Podiatric Practice at Latrobe University, where she gained in depth Anatomy and Physiology knowledge. She has since transferred into a Bachelor of Traditional Chinese Medicine studies at Southern School of Natural Therapies. She is currently studying to become a qualified herbalist and acupuncturist.
Karina brings a wealth of knowledge to her teaching and her lectures, and thoroughly enjoys sharing it openly.
Her yogic influences include Robert Byrne, Simon Park, Maty Ezraty, Paul Grilley, Bernie Clark, Eknath Easwaran, Rumi Gurudev Nityananda, as well as her extended AYA family.
Dr Andrew (Andy) Levick – Osteopath
Originally from Auckland in New Zealand, travel and people have shaped Andy’s career and path in Osteopathy. A structural based approach to Osteopathy has led him to work in many weird and wonderful places around the world. Andy is the Co-founder of Albert Park Sports & Spinal and also enjoys the practices of Yoga and Pilates. He specialises in the treatment of sports injuries, spinal conditions, as well as musculoskeletal problems that have been resistant to former treatment. Andy loves the challenge that the teaching of anatomy in the yoga space brings and cherishes the shared experience of learning with our teacher trainers at AYA.
Jo teaches yoga because she believes in the power of movement, breath, and spiritual connectedness to bring us back home into our bodies.
In her experience, it’s not so much the ‘level’ of asana or meditation that we can achieve in our practice, but rather the journey towards compassionate thinking and living that can be transformative.
Jo loves working with students of all levels of experience and aims to teach in a way that is inclusive and welcoming for beginners through to experienced yogis.
A former high school teacher and community worker, Jo specialises in the delivery of trauma-sensitive yoga and mindfulness programming in both mainstream and community settings.
Yoga first appeared in Ari’s life nearly 20 years ago, nourishing her soul and helping her create a full and centred life.
Since discovering the transformative power of the practice of yoga, Ari has committed to living her yoga on and off the mat, always striving to learn more about the philosophy and tradition of yoga as well as asana, meditation and pranayama.
Ari previously worked in human rights law and conflict resolution with over a decade of experience as a workplace trainer and organisational consultant. She is deeply committed to
Ari brings a joy, an open spirit and wisdom to her all teaching and her lectures. Her classes draw on the philosophy behind the practice to assist students to access the subtle energetics within whilst incorporating a strong, fun flow. She is committed to helping students to shift energy and expand awareness. Join her on the mat to practice, breathe and move together.
Jaymala teaches the History of Yoga and Sanskrit at the Australian Yoga Academy.
Born in the historical land of Rajasthan, India; Jaymala grew up
Jaymala strongly believes that she will continue learning throughout life; having completed her Masters Yoga Teacher program in India and multiple other courses in Yin Yoga, Meditation, Vinyasa Yoga and Kids Yoga. Since migrating to Australia in 2015, she completed the prestigious AYA Advanced Teachers Training Program in 2017. She also
To teach at AYA is such a great opportunity that came with the AYA mentors (Dominique & Melanie) recognising my love for yoga and the unique ability to blend spiritual and yogic principles into my everyday living and classes.
Anne is a dedicated mindfulness meditation practitioner who continues to practice, study and attend regular retreats. She has been practicing yoga since 1998 and did her first meditation retreat in 2001. She completed her Yoga Teacher Training over 15 years ago. Her deep commitment to her meditation practice was consolidated while living in the USA for 6 years where she studied meditation initially to deepen her own practice and she then trained with Mindful Schools as a way to share the practice with youth and adults.
Anne is a certified Mindful Schools Teacher. She has taught mindfulness to teachers, parents and students in schools and universities in both the USA and Australia and continues to work in education, corporates and with the public teaching and sharing the benefits of mindfulness.
Anne also spent over 15 years in senior consulting roles in the area of Human Resource Development. She has a Masters of Education and Bachelor Human Resource Management. Anne has 2 young children.
Curious and inquisitive, Andrew is fascinated by how things work and why things happen. For Andrew, the magic of yoga is in the understanding of the body and the mind, and the integration of this understanding with life off the mat. He holds a calm and considered space for each person to connect with breath, to expand their mobility, to realise their potential. With a strong influence from calisthenics and functional range conditioning, Andrew’s classes are an uplifting blend of dynamic vinyasa flows and deeper hatha shapes. His teaching offers a grounded, accessible practice while still being challenging and fun.
Andrew completed a 350hr Advanced Yoga Teacher Training with the Australian Yoga Academy, and a 50hr Yin Teacher Training with Karina Smith. He holds a Bachelors in Classical History and Philosophy, and a Licentiate Diploma of Music Performance.
Having worked as a health and fitness athlete, coach and professional for more than 10 years, I have had the joy of later witnessing my own body, mind and life literally transform through my practices at the Australian Yoga Academy under the inspiring guidance of AYA Principal Dominique Santana Salerno, WSY Principal Mark Pheely and my current Teacher Duncan Ewing.
After completing my Advanced Diploma of Yoga Teacher Training with AYA in 2014, I conducted specialist private and semi-private yoga therapy sessions in addition to hosting major Lifestyle and Wellness Retreats for select groups.
In 2016 I completed my Post Graduate Advanced Teacher Training degree (500hours) under the auspices of Jenni Morrison-Jack at Melbourne’s Ihana Yoga.
I finished that year with a month intensive practice in India with Pankaj Shama.
In 2017 I had the privilege of completing my Yin teacher training with Bernie Clarke and Diana Bates.
I have also attended an abundance of immersion’s and workshops with many other teachers Nicky Knoff, James Bryan, Simon Borg Olivier, Donna Farhi, Leslie Kaminoff, Usha Devi, Tiffany Cruickshank, Mysan Etc
I am in constant awe of our planet and all adore all beings (especially dogs, humans and nature).
I am ever-fascinated by the human “being” the breath, mind-body connection. Therefore am constantly focusing and refocusing on uncovering useful ways of nourishing and nurturing body, mind, spirit and soul. To get back to the essence of being.
I express this through practicing what I preach and sharing as I teach on this amazing journey we call life.
Emma Louise Costabile
Em was introduced to meditation in 2012 through her own personal studies and practice, through years of learning, Em grew a deeper connection and understanding to herself, others and nature itself. After completing Level 1 50HR Mindfulness Teacher Training course in 2016 under Phoebe Kiddo at Australian Yoga Academy, she continued on to complete the 200HR MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) Teacher Training. A 10-day Silent Vipassana course in September 2017 helped Em strengthen and understand her practice. Having completed her levels One, Two and Three in Experiential Focusing Therapy under Biliana Dearly and all levels in Reiki under Martine Salerno, Em recently completed a 200HR trauma-informed community based yoga Teacher Training with Yoga for Humankind. Em is currently studying a post graduate Psychotherapy and Counselling degree and facilitating weekly workshops and public classes around Melbourne.
“Mindfulness meditation is a skill that allows me to dive into the depth of presence. To understand and appreciate the power of simplicity. To feel fully alive, here, in the now, is a peaceful expansive way of being. I think letting go is one of the hardest things us humans have to face in our lives; letting go of pain, of judgments, of experiences- pleasant or unpleasant. We live in a world now where anxiety, depression and isolation are becoming so common in many of us. Finding meaning in this busy life using our breath, our bodies and our communities is fundamental for relieving these stressors. Meditation is a tool that helps us understand reality, connect with our true essence and be with each breath, moment by moment.” – Emma Louise Costabile