As President of the YTAA, he oversees the development of Yoga as a teaching and healing profession in Australia. Michael is also Cofounder of the Breath Foundation, a not-for-profit health promotion foundation, taking Yoga to disadvantaged people in need. Michael is also a registered, specialist, counselling psychologist.
He is an accredited Yoga Teacher Trainer with the Krishnamacharya Healing and Yoga Foundation (KHYF), a member of the Australian Association of Yoga Therapists (AAYT) and the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT).
Michael was first exposed to some of the practices of yoga as a teenager. He took to yoga “like a duck to water.” Later, when Michael was studying psychology, he learned about the effect of one’s state of mind on the immune system and health. “I started thinking – this is what yoga is all about!” and since then he’s had a parallel interest in yoga and the Western approach to mind-body health.
Michael desire to study yoga led him to a teacher in WA, where he was an apprentice for six years. During this time he went to the USA to study yoga therapy. It was there that he first came across the teachings of TKV Desikachar and read the Heart of Yoga. This inspired him to travel to India where he studied extensively at the KYM with Desikachar and his son, Kausthub.
When Michael returned to Sydney, he started his own yoga centre, which is now known as the Yoga Institute. This reflects the Institute’s focus on teacher training and professional development of yoga teachers.
Michael was invited to become involved with the YTAA by past President, Stephen Penman. In his current role as President, Michael will oversee this highly significant stage in the development of yoga, as the YTAA transitions to Yoga Australia. Yoga Australia will continue to represent the interests of yoga teachers and act as a professional network. In addition, it will take on the role as the peak-industry body. In this capacity, it will develop professional standards and focus on making yoga teachers and therapists identifiable as a recognised profession.
His involvement with the Breath Foundation came from a long held desire to bring yoga to people in disadvantaged sectors of the community and to people who may not have the opportunity to access the benefits of yoga. The Foundation is focused on developing yoga-based health promotion programs for these groups. These groups will include carers of those with disabilities amongst others.
Michael is a highly respected teacher and teacher trainer in the yoga community. He has a long held passion for yoga and is dedicated to sharing the benefits of yoga with others. He is well placed to lead Yoga Australia into a new and exciting phase!