Meet the Teachers
We introduce our wonderful teachers to you…
The ISHTA Studio of Yoga & Health is proud of the unique and collective energies of the teachers of the studio and the differing teaching styles. They not only bring a wealth of knowledge and wisdom each within them, but all resonate with the shared love of yoga and the eternal spirit from which it was born.
We welcome you to try all of their classes!
Wendy Wood (Nandiva)
Wendy is an initiate of Kavi Yogiraj Mani Finger and has been practising yoga for over thirty years. Wendy believes that by linking the mind and body with the breath we create a centred, harmonious feeling.
After Mani left to live in the USA in the later part of his life, Wendy, inspired by the teachings of her guru, mentor and wonderful friend, continued the tradition of ISHTA by creating the ISHTA School of Yoga & Health.
Nandiva – a spiritual name given to Wendy by her guru – is a name derived from the Bilaspur goddess Naina Devi who, being the goddess of eyes, saw things that most others could not see.
Contact: To contact Nandiva, call (011) 880 3601/ 082 338 8153 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Theoni teaches Pregnancy yoga at the ISHTA School of Yoga & Health and is also a qualified Doula, certified HypnoBirthing practitioner and aromatherapist.
Theoni is passionate about creating the right environment for a child to enter the world and believes in the capacity and courage of women to face life’s journey and all its challenges. With a sensitive and practical approach to your wellness during pregnancy, Theoni guides students on a yoga journey that they will be enriched through, learn from, delight in and ultimately, treasure.
Contact: To contact Theoni, call 083 229 3253, email email@example.com or visit www.consciousbirth.co.za for more information.
Karin Ritchie (Geldenhuys)
Karin’s yoga journey started as a search for an alternative form of exercise after a wear and tear injury while long distance running. Her searches lead her to yoga and what she calls “a reunion with her soul”. Karin began practicing yoga at the ISHTA School of Yoga & Health and says it is now here where she is privileged to share her love of yoga.
Qualifying as a Kundalini yoga teacher in India in 2003, Karin opened the Shakti Khaya Yoga centre on Linksfield Ridge. A two-year trip to India and an unfortunate armed robbery later, this journey lead Karin to qualify as a Trauma Healing therapist, and she now offers trauma counseling from her centre in Linksfield.
As a teacher, Karin reflects the divine teacher that lives in and through all of us. As she says, “Yoga lives through and within me. I pursue the sweet spot where courage and compassion meet.”
Contact: To contact Karin, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (011) 616 3789 or 083 226 9834
John has practiced various styles of yoga – having started with Kundalini Yoga in 2005, Ashtanga and Hatha styles soon followed and for the next three years John developed a solid yoga practice and foundation from where to teach and spread his love and gentle wisdom of the yoga teachings.
John teaches Ashtanga yoga at ISHTA as well as a new style he developed that combines and incorporates these much-loved yoga influences into a style he describes as Hatha Fusion. John’s energetic yet flowing Ashtanga yoga classes will help you move into richer, deeper physical and mental states and his structured Hatha Fusion classes, incorporating a blend of Ashtanga, Hatha and Kundalini energies are taught from a his unique spiritual perspective and offers wide benefits to many a yoga practitioner.
Contact: To contact John, email email@example.com
Leanne has a UNISA Honours degree in Psychology. She is a certified children’s yoga instructor and has completed her 500 hour International Yoga Teacher’s Training at the ISHTA School of Yoga & Health. However, she believes it is the lessons learned from the “University of Life” and the grace of the Divine Light within that has led her to walk the path of yoga with the most precious beings on earth… children.
“It is my intention to spread the light of yoga to all beings…especially to our children. I strive to create a safe space for children to grow, play and simply BE. I feel truly blessed to share the knowledge of yoga with these little people whom more often than not, are my greatest teachers”
Viktor van der Kleij
Viktor van der Kleij is an internationally acclaimed Yoga teacher. He has been teaching for 20 years and is deeply passionate about the subject. He is classically trained and has a broad understanding of the traditional Hatha Yoga systems like Iyengar, Ashtanga and Sivananda. His teachings are non sectarian and have expanded to include other traditions and awareness techniques, such as Zen Buddhism, Tantra and Permaculture.
His teachings are characterised as serious and authentic yet he is able to convey these in an explorative and playful way. His classes are built around Asana, Pranayama, Meditation, Philosophy, Satsang, Chanting and Mantras.
Justine is a passionate and energetic Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga teacher. She believes Ashtanga to be beneficial in building strength and flexibility in the physical body as well as increasing clarity of the mind and improved concentration. Her classes based on the Ashtanga Vinyasa primary series will leave students feeling energized and light. Justine’s background in Pilates and yoga as well as her degree in Psychology give her an all rounded approach to teaching and assisting students in improving their practice.
Contact: To contact Justine, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Metella (Ella) Patti-Dessington
Ella’s mindful and grounded teaching style creates a safe, fun space for all types of yogis to deepen their practice. Her classes are light yet spiritual, allowing all a freedom of movement, space and expression. She believes in the power of breath to centre the soul and balance the body, so classes are much more than asana-only driven and cater to all levels. Ella taps into her background in marital arts and psychology to move energy and create awareness whilst supporting and activating transformations. Her passion for learning and experience is life long and she is currently RYT500, Aerial Yoga certified and a Kundalini teacher trainee with international Kundalini Research Institute.
Contact: To contact Ella, email email@example.com or call 082 446 8356.
Karen’s background includes Sivananda and Iyengar forms of yoga, as well as Ashtanga Vinyasa practice. This has shaped her faith and belief in the rewards and beneficial effects of Hatha yoga physically, mentally and spiritually. Her years of teaching both art and classical guitar, have given Karen a love of sharing knowledge, and the desire to encourage and inspire students in their yoga practice.
Contact: To contact Karen email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (011) 803 0420 or 073 170 0073
Angela is the marketing and workshop coordinator at the ISHTA School of Yoga & Health. Angela completed her Yoga Teacher Training through ISHTA in 2009 and has continued to teach there ad hoc over the years, initially running the children’s yoga programme. With a background in publishing, after leaving her career as a magazine editor, she took over publishing and editing Complete Yoga magazine from 2009 to 2012. She is also a freelance writer/editor, mom of two and simply relishes her daily yoga and meditation practice and the endless opportunities for personal growth it allows her. Teaching from the heart, Angela’s classes bring spiritual upliftment while focusing on classical hatha, pranayama and meditation.
Contact: To contact Angela, email email@example.com or call 082 789 4847
Marianne Felix is a medical doctor who specialised in Occupational Health. Her focus has always been preventive medicine.
Kundalini yoga helped Marianne resolve personal trauma so she knew it was a good technique for dealing with the emotions. Marianne became a yoga teacher and formed Yoga4Alex – an NGO that offers yoga classes to Grade 11 and 12 learners in Alexandra.
To date, five yoga4Alex youngsters have become yoga teachers and currently 1500 learners in Alex participate in weekly yoga classes at five high schools in Alex. Marianne gives the Wednesday evening Kundalini yoga class at ISHTA.
Contact: To contact Marianne, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Siri Shakti Kaur (Mariette Strauss)
Siri Shakti Kaur is a Kundalini yoga teacher, a healer, fire walking instructor, Tantric numerologist as well as a “lifelong student”.
Her spiritual journey began 20 years ago and has afforded her travels to many countries and to study a diversity of healing modalities. Besides ISHTA, Siri Shakti Kaur teaches Kundalini at the Boksburg Correctional Service, the juvenile’s maximum imprisonment, a “humbling experience” with the long-term goal of empowering the youth there to become teachers themselves. Siri Shakti Kaur is also currently an intern at the Kundalini Research Institute, teaching to become a lead teacher trainer.
“I strive to help and guide individuals to be the best they can be in this life and reach for their highest potential. The most important tool is to understand compassion for self. Through my own journey I have learned that through continuous practice and self-discipline to live out my purpose and to do it courageously and to keep sharing,” she says.
Contact: To contact Siri Shakt Kaur, email email@example.com or call 083 653 7145