About us

Yoga Melbourne

Lianne Metcalf

Director

Meet Lianne Metcalf Teacher Trainer. Lianne has over 25 years experience teaching and practicing yoga. She developed her first teacher training in 2004, the first SomaChi Yoga Teacher Training. By 2007, her school was accredited with the international body of Yoga Alliance. For the past 3 years her trainings have included 70 hours intensives in India.

Her unique style encompasses the influences of physical theatre, where she received sponsorship to study Grotowski and experiential theatre in Europe, and the influences derived from her travels in the east, including Nepal, to study Buddhism. Her classes are described by her students as refreshing and experiential. The Melbourne Age characterised her style as “fun classes that swoop into trikonasana (triangle pose) in dance like rolls from the waist, and cycles of sun salutations”.

Lianne’s vinyasa has been influenced by taoism, tai chi, Vajrayana Buddhism and over the years the yoga world of Cyndy Lee, Shiva Rae and Wade Imre Morrisette. She has an advanced diploma in Zapchen Somatics (Buddhist and Western body psychotherapy), where her principle teachers are Tony Richardson and Julie Henderson. For the past 15 years she has been studying Buddhism with Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. Lianne also enjoys and studies within the Shambhala tradition of contemplative meditative practices. She is currently entering her sixth year as a student of Dharma Gar, where she has committed to two hours of meditation practice a day for 10 years.

Lianne now teaches internationally including India and China. In 2018 she will be launching teacher trainings in China and pilgrim retreats to India with her husband Peter Watts who has extensive experience teaching Eastern philosophy. Here in Oz she organises in-depth traineeships for new teachers and is excited for her new venture in 200 vinyasa training and 300 hour (100) SomaChi with Om Yoga Australia.

Over the years Lianne has taught many styles of yoga, Improvisational and Somatic Movement. She has given yoga and Somatic instruction at Chunky Moves, Melba Conservatorium of Music, and was a teacher trainer for Somatic Pilates at The Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.  She is hugely experienced in sequencing classes that directly communicate to her students through sensory applications.

Other ventures have included been flown to outback Australia to run Yoga and Pilates Workshops. In 2011 she taught sensory applications of functional anatomy to medical students of Melbourne University. Many of her past students are teaching today around Melbourne in SomaChi and Vinyasa, and some have ventured into their own studios.

Her passion and motivation for yoga stems from traditional Eastern and Western contemporary influences. Paying utmost respect to her own teachers, Lianne continues to go beneath the structure of asana, asking the question of how you find spontaneity and energy to express these ancient postures, as it is here we can experience great joy.

Peter Watts

Co-Director

Peter is the Co-director of SomaChi, meditation instructor, YA certified SomaChi yoga instructor and philosophy teacher for the SomaChi teacher training with over 25 years of experience.

Peter began his study of yoga in 1991 with ISKCON, studying Sanskrit, Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam , Mantra and Bhakti Yoga. With this strong interest, he then began learning different styles of Hatha Yoga, including Classical Hatha, Iyengar and Vinyasa flow. This further led to the study of Patanjali’s 8 Limbs and the Yoga Sutra’s.

It was around 1994 that Peter completed his first mindful retreat, a combination of Vipassana and Zen sitting and walking meditation, that a strong interest in Buddhism emerged. After completing one of Goenka’s 10 day Vipassana meditation retreats. Peter then developed a daily practice of sitting meditation and began learning the foundations of Buddhist philosophy, including the 4 Noble Truths, the 8 Fold Path Satipatthana. In 1998, he traveled to India to dedicate 6 months to personal study and practice in Buddhism. There he completed 3 of Goenka’s 10 day Vipassana’s, a 1 week personal retreat in Bodhgaya, and a 1 week personal retreat in Dharamsala.

On returning to Australia, he continued with a daily practice and study of sitting meditation and has completed more than 20 Vipasana’s in both the Theravadin tradition and the Shamatha/Vipashyana Mahayana tradition. It was at this time that he was introduced to the teachings of Dzongsar Kheyntse Rinpoche by his wife Lianne. Inspired by Rinpoche’s book, ‘How not to be a Buddhist’ The four seals of Buddhism, he began studying with Rinpoche’s group Siddhartha’s Intent. Completing the studies of texts including ‘The Middle Way’, ‘Departing from the four attachments’, and the ‘Mahayana Ornament Sutra’ with Rinpoche

Peter also continued to study and practice Yoga and Tai Chi, completing the 200 hour SomaChi certificate in 2010, and undertaking further study in Patanjali’s 8 limbs. He also began teaching Meditation at the SomaChi studio and Meditation and Yoga philosophy on the SomaChi certificate training in 2009.

Peter has also completed the Shambhala warrior series of Meditation with the Melbourne Shambala group. Shambahla Warrior Series is 6 years into the Dharma Gar program, a 10 year study in Buddhism involving 2 hours of sitting meditation and Buddhist practices a day and Buddhist text study. He also continues a personal study with Rinpoche on both the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions, and is currently completing a Bachelor of Arts in Religious studies.

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