Teachers

Amelia Disspain

Director and senior yoga teacher at Yoga Bellingen

Co founder of Balanced Practice Yoga Teacher Training and Retreats Yoga Australia Senior Member, Yoga Alliance International Expert registered teacher 1500+

Amelia brings with her a genuine love of yoga in all forms and a desire to share this passion with others. She believes a regular Yoga practice not only improves your physical wellbeing, it enables you to harness emotional vitality, intellectual wisdom, mental clarity and spiritual bliss.

Amelia teaches the ancient art of Yoga in a safe, fun and intelligent way, based on a deep understanding of anatomy and physiology, modern medical science and traditional Hatha Yoga .
Amelia was first introduced to yoga while studying Fine Arts at the National Art School in Sydney in 1999. Inspired by the joy and serenity it brought her, Amelia began a regular practice before going on to complete her teacher training with Katie Manitsis (now Katie Rose)at Samadhi Bliss Yoga, Sydney in 2002.

Amelia taught Yoga full time at Samadhi Bliss until she was selected to undertake a one-on-one apprenticeship in 2006 with Simon Borg Olivier and Bianca Machliss of Yoga Synergy Sydney, one of the few schools left in Australia still instructing teachers in this traditional way.Both Bianca and Simon are members of the Australian Physiotherapists Association, and as such Amelias teaching integrates modern medical knowledge with the traditional forms and practices of Yoga
Amelia taught as a senior level teacher at Yoga Synergy Sydney, instructing group classes from brand new beginners to advanced practitioners as well as private lessons, working with students with injuries and also training yoga instructors, until 2013 when she relocated to Bellingen There she opened her own studio, Yoga Bellingen.

Amelia’s classes are informed by her many years of yoga practice, teaching and study, her classes are inclusive and always incorporate the deeper teachings of Yoga. Amelia has continued to study Yoga philosophy, particularly concentrating on how we can integrate the tools of meditation and inner focus to recognize the patterns of our individual mind, and in so doing experience the joy hidden in everyday life. Amelia is currently enrolled in the Traditional Yoga Studies 800hr History and Philosophy of Yoga course written by Georg Fuerstein.

In 2015 Amelia co-founded Balanced Practice Yoga and co-teaches Yoga Teacher Training Courses and international retreats with her sister in Yoga, Liz Bennett a physiotherapist and yoga therapist and director of YogaEssentia in Warriewood.

Eva Joan

My introduction to the intricate realm of the body-mind complex started when I took my first yoga class at age 15 – deeply touched by the calming and opening effects of the practice on my body & mind, I have been practicing ever since.

Throughout the years, I’ve explored different styles of yoga and had the privilege to learn from wonderful teachers such as Kristen Boddington, Glenn Ceresoli, Simon Borg-Olivier and Bianca Machliss of Yoga Synergy, Sarah Powers and Tina Nance. I became certified with the School Of Sacred Arts in 2013 (RYT 200) and have been teaching since.

In addition to yoga, I was also interested in the healing arts and so at 19, with a lust for travel, I moved from my native France to Australia, where I studied Herbal Medicine and a range of tactile therapies for 4 years.

After completing my studies, I travelled through South-East Asia to West Africa, Europe, North America and Mexico, broadening my view of the world. Upon returning to Australia, I decided to take my interest in the mysteries of pregnancy and birth and become a Doula (and a Mum!) A journey that has brought me to tears many times – tears of joy for being given the opportunity to share the most precious and intimate moment in a woman’s life.

My approach to life and healing stems from my belief that we are all made up of many layers: physical, emotional, mental and energetic – which all need to be communicating to each other harmoniously, so we can live conscious & healthy lives.

As a yoga teacher, herbalist & body worker, I am passionate about the connection between body & mind & how they affect each other. I am constantly amazed by the infinite intelligence of the body & its innate capacity for balance & healing. I have been practicing Yoga for the last 25 years and I never tire of how profound an effect it can have on people’s lives, by allowing & fostering a better connection between body & mind.

It is with deep gratitude & commitment that I wish to share the gifts of yoga & living a life of balance.

Marcia Bell

Marcia is a secondary school teacher, actor and practicing yogi for over 20 years. She is passionate about her students’ safety, alignment, and growth. Her yoga practice has made her a more patient, calm, focused and brave person and she is energised by seeing yoga’s impact on her students’ lives.

Marcia loves connecting with people of all sorts, especially young people. She trained as an actor in Canada and has written and acted in many pieces of theatre for young audiences. She soon found that she wanted to spend more time working with kids in depth so she returned to university to train as a primary teacher. She loves kids’ passion, directness and sense of humour.

Marcia took her first Iyengar class during her theatre training in Canada (2000). At first, she loved the sense of accomplishment that she felt as her body was able to fall into many poses with relative ease. Over time, she became more interested in yoga as a tool to develop her inner and outer strength. She has experimented with all sorts of styles of yoga over the years—ashtanga, hot yoga, vinyasa, Iyengar, yoga synergy and traditional hatha.

Marcia studied Purna yoga (a traditional hatha style focused on asana, pranayama, meditation and philosophy) at Byron Yoga Centre in 2016 and had the privilege to learn from John Ogilvie, Kara Goodsell, Michael Sharp, and Maria Kirsten (RYT 200). She then taught Purna yoga in Armidale until her move to the Coffs coast in 2017.

In December of 2016, Marcia studied with Angela Tonkin and Rainbow Kids Yoga to become a children’s yoga teacher. She taught yoga for ages 3-18 whilst in Armidale. Finding kids yoga felt like coming home. Kids’ yoga has all the best bits of drama and yoga classes—connection, challenge, stillness and play. She is humbled to be able to provide a safe and fun space for her younger students to explore their physical, emotional and spiritual selves.

Marcia’s yoga practice has been a joy and a refuge to her and she is excited to share it with you.

Donovan Craig

Donovan has been practicing yoga for over ten years and increasingly, yoga has become an important part of his life. Over the last four years he has intensified his practice and has felt the urge to share his passion for yoga with others.

Donovan completed his initial 200 hour traditional Hatha teacher training at Arogya in Rishikesh, India. Officially, he was qualified to teach and had strengthened his personal practice, but he did not yet feel ready to take on open classes in a modern setting.

He then completed the year long, 350 hour Balanced Practice teacher training with Amelia Disspain and Liz Bennett in Australia and Bali, focusing on modern, effective sequencing, physiology and the intricacies of teaching accessible classes to people of all fitness levels. After this, along with ongoing mentoring with Amelia, Donovan felt ready to start teaching.

Donovan loves to travel and learn along the way, attending many workshops and courses, including spending time, online and in person with his spiritual teacher, Master Ketut Arsana.

With a passion for all the limbs of yoga, Donovan recently went back to India to deepen his knowledge in the less physical aspects of traditional Hatha yoga and completed his 500 hour training with Dr. Amaravathi Eraballi at Rishikesh Yog Sansthan.

Donovan loves to explore many different yoga styles and practices including traditional Hatha, Ashtanga, Yoga Synergy and Kundalini Tantra. He brings these, along with his friendly, relaxed manner to his classes.

Jo Cunningham

I have been practicing Yoga for more than twenty years. Yoga is the vehicle I use to find, develop and maintain strength and harmony in all aspects of my life. I have travelled extensively, studying and teaching Yoga classes, workshops and retreats around the world.
I am a devotee of the Divine Mother. She has nurtured and expanded my Yoga practice, given me clarity and insight into myself and the world around me. Fostering my love of Nature and appreciation for the gift of this life.  For the last twelve years I have been blessed to receive the generous teachings and guidance of Master Yogi Clive Sheridan. I continue to be inspired by and live deeply the philosophies and practices of Tantra and Advaita.

I endeavour to bring a shift in consciousness to each Yoga class, challenging students to stay alert and present with the body and breath through each posture (and the spaces in between). With attention Truth is revealed and with Grace illusion dissolves and drops away, both on and off the mat.

Carla Muhling

Carla is a certified Yoga and Meditation teacher, Zenthai Shiatsu Therapist, Doula and Birth Mentor as well as a Mama to 2 young children. Her knowledge and experience in these fields is woven into the Prenatal Yoga classes at Yoga Bellingen. Carla started practicing yoga as a stressed out uni student and was drawn to the spiritual and emotional support it offered. Yoga became a consistent practice in her life for 10 years, when she then trained formally to teach with Being Yoga. This is a Vinyasa Yoga school but also has a specialty advanced training in Mindfulness Meditation which Carla enthusiastically completed. Over her years of study, Carla now counts her mentors and teachers as Vanessa Ridge, Michael Daley, Gwyn Williams, Elena Brower, Ana Davis and of course the lovely Amelia Disspain who she currently practices under in Bellingen.


When pregnant with her first child Carla got to experience yoga in a new way. Prenatal Yoga not only enhanced her wellbeing in pregnancy but prepared her body, mind and spirit for birth. The breathing and relaxation methods also supported her through the beautiful but intense phase of early motherhood.


Birth and Motherhood have had a profound impact on Carla so in 2019 she chose to train as a Birth and Postpartum doula and Birth Mentor through the international school Birthing From Within. She has since supported many mothers through her doula work and by facilitating the local birth group. Carla is excited to now be sharing the profound benefits of Prenatal Yoga classes in Bellingen.

Jemima Wright

Jemima is a dedicated household practitioner of Yoga. Her commitment and dedication shine through her dynamic teachings and deep understanding of the physical body and movement, encouraging students to explore, question, challenge and develop a personal relationship with themselves that goes much beyond the outer physical sense of self and steps into the more subtle layers of our being.

First being introduced to yoga through the Jivamukti yoga Method, completing the Jivamukti yoga teacher training in New York in 2014 under the guidance of the Jivamukti yoga founders David Life and Sharon Gannon. She then completed the 800hr Jivamukti yoga apprenticeship with mentor Sandy King at Jivamukti yoga Sydney, and in 2017 was blessed to receive Advanced certification.

Curiosity drew Jemima towards Ashtanga yoga, with many years of committed practice she has learned both primary and intermediate series (forever grateful to the many teachers that have guided her on this path) Jemima is also currently enrolled in Yogic studies, furthering her knowledge on ancient yogic texts, yogic history, and Sanskrit.

For Jemima, A yogic practice is ever-changing, just like life. We need to be able to be fluid, to be able to adapt and build resilience. For most of us our introduction to yoga is through a physical body, over time, with commitment, it becomes a journey much further inward. Jemima is humbled to be able to teach and share with students her knowledge to support their journey, to help build their courage and to inspire their curiosity.

Nadine O’Mara

A practitioner of yoga for almost 30 years and a senior teacher under Yoga Australia and Yoga Alliance E-RYT 200 RYPT YACEP, Nadine has channelled her passion for yoga toward nurturing pregnant and post natal women and their babies.

While studying and teaching varying styles of yoga on both sides of the world for many years, Nadine gave birth to two girls. The pregnancy yoga she practiced through out both pregnancies taught her how to breath properly for the first time in her life, helped alleviate uncomfortable symptoms of pregnancy and made her feel more in touch with her baby in utero. Both girls were born calmly at home in water and their beautiful births she greatly credits to her yoga practice before and during pregnancy.

“Practicing yoga through out pregnancy gives you a chance to tune in to your baby and your body. It provides you with skills in breathing, movement and relaxation that so become a part of you that when you go into labour you don’t even have to think of what you should be doing for a positive birth, you know it”.

She attended Mother and Baby Yoga classes with her girls religiously and found that not only did they strengthen the bond with her daughters but also created long lasting friendships with other mothers. She believes the classes encouraged the positive relationships her daughters have with their bodies today.

Since moving permanently back to Australia in 2011, Nadine looked to help other women have an experience similar to her own hence she studied under the Birthlight Foundation, She Births® and certified as a doula under DONA. Nadine is Director and Lead Teacher at Bliss Baby Yoga, specialising in Pre and Postnatal Yoga Teacher Training and has had the delight of taking further trainings and workshops with Debra Pascali Bonero (Orgasmic Birth), Robyn Lim (Bumi Sehat Birth Clinic, Bali), Anna Watts (Celebration of Birth), Jane Hardwicke Collings (Ten Moons and Shamanic Women’s Craft) and Rainbow Kids Yoga to name a few. She is a women’s circle facilitator under Woman Within International.

Nadine is passionate about “mothering the mother” and feels so blessed to be a part of family’s lives at this very special time. She believes the practice of yoga during pregnancy is essential for preparing not only the body but the mind for birth, giving the best possible chance for a normal delivery and a positive birth experience for both mother and baby.