Hi, I’m Stefan.
Hey! My name is Stefan, and I do a lot of yoga. I’ve delved so deep into the different aspects of the practice that I’ve managed to find the limits of my body and, at times, ended up with injuries. That has taught me a lot.
I started my journey with very fashionable vinyasa yoga in Melbourne. After studying my first teacher training at The Australian Yoga Academy, I was convinced about the ‘power of the breath’ and how important it was to have killer playlists. To be fair, the training was a comprehensive introduction, but I needed more.
My first real revolution came through meeting the completely mad and truly incredible Sadie Nardini, who transformed the way that I moved and practised almost overnight. I was lucky enough to study and assist with her for about a year, giving an in-depth insight into a fascinating way of approaching modern yoga.
My second revolution happened when I traveled to India for the first time in 2014. I spent three months practising more traditional yoga with some great teachers who challenged my already surprisingly entrenched belief system. I would go on to travel to India another six times, every year since, to study more with amazing teachers like Pakej, Ashish Sharma, and the world-famous Usha Devi. In this time I got hooked on the discipline, in-depth alignment, and structure offered by Iyengar yoga.
My most recent revolution came through the persistent injuries I attained from working too hard and rigidly in my alignment practice. I tried and failed to solve these issues with more of the same, which didn’t work. At this time, I had a lucky encounter with yoga teacher and Yoga Synergy founder Simon Borg Olivier. I first came into contact with his content online before practising with him for a weekend in Perth when we both happened to be there. Simon’s practices helped me immensely, and within one weekend, he revolutionized my thinking on yoga and more.
Since then, I’ve been studying as much as I can with Simon. I recently completed his teacher training in Goa, as well as completing all of the Yoga Synergy online courses and am now a level two Yoga Synergy teacher.
So, this is where I am with my practice, my understanding, and my teaching now. I’ve been informed by what we could call pop-vinyasa yoga, Sadie Nardini’s fascinating approach, a massive detour into Iyengar and alignment, and now Simon’s radical approach and practices. I haven’t forgotten my roots, or the crucial lessons learned between my first yoga class and now. I will always share with you the most up to date ideas and best solutions available to me even when these new ideas contradict what I may have taught before.
My essential beliefs
I believe that yoga practice should always:
- Be healing to the body and mind
- Be in general a relaxing practice
- Be enjoyable and fun
- Take into consideration all the latest available knowledge
- Be respectful to the philosophy and history of yoga
- Be built around individual needs
I believe yoga should never:
- Injure or compromise its student’s health or wellbeing
- Leave people more stressed than when they arrived
- Be uninformed and out of date
- Be stuck in ridged lineage
- Be guru focused
- Be based on dogma
My beliefs significantly informed my approach to teaching and learning, and therefore all classes and courses I teach.
the yoga i teach
alignment synergy vinyasa
Alignment synergy yoga is my best attempt at creating a, safe, enjoyable and beneficial practice that is applicable to modern Vinyasa Yoga. It’s not about crazy sequences and outlandish poses. The movements are specific rather than ambiguous, while all actions are easy to remember and are designed to give maximum benefit and avoid injury.
In short, Alignment Synergy Vinyasa is my best attempt to take the foundations of modern yoga, and sneak in the best lessons from both Iyengar Yoga and Yoga Synergy.
Iyengar Yoga is all about structure and alignment, something modern yoga practitioners often misunderstand or brush past. Iyengar Yoga is slow, strict, precise and at times unfashionable. The philosophy and intentions of discipline and persistent work are brilliant, but it is often associated with an out of date and rigid attitude that can be unsuitable for modern minds and bodies.
Yoga Synergy is a system developed by one of my teachers, Simon Borg-Olivier. Simon has studied extensively with modern masters like BKS Iyengar, Desikachar, and Pattabhi Jois, and is an exercise-based physiotherapist. In his more than 40 years of practice and teaching, Simon has developed incredible systems that need to be explored. Although at times different from the 2020 yoga mainstream, I believe Simon teaches the most effective yoga available today.
The challenge for all of us is to create a yoga that is a) relatable to modern yoga, b) beneficial anatomically, physiologically, mentally and spiritually, and; c) really enjoyable to do. I believe that a combination of Yoga Synergy, Iyengar Yoga, packaged in a relatable way everyone loves could be the solution we are all looking for.
So, with a strong understanding of anatomy and physiology, with knowledge of smart movement and alignment, as well as a focus on relative relaxation, this is what I have to share. I hope this practice can give maximum benefit, with minimal risk to more and more people on their yoga journey. This is a yoga built around scientific realities without forgetting where it came from.
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