Chris Lalor, yoga instructor

Chris’s yoga instructor journey began in Melbourne over 30 years ago. It began by going along to an Iyengar yoga class. Read on for her story, or see details of  yoga instructor training options at Flametree.

After leaving her first class, Chris recalls having a strong feeling that her life was about to change. Even then, she thought that Iyengar yoga would be the driving force behind the changes.

Since that first class Chris has been passionately involved with the practice of yoga.

In 1997 Chris started to teach yoga in Darwin and in 2002 opened Flametree Yoga studio.

Chris has over 12,000 hours of teacher training

Chris gets an immense satisfaction from seeing yoga students use their yoga practice to unlock their full potential.

She trained for many years under another Senior Iyengar Yoga teacher, Alan Goode. She also still travels to India to study with the Iyengar family.

Chris is an accredited Senior Iyengar yoga teacher, with over 12,000 hours of teacher training.

As in Senior Iyengar Yoga Teacher, Chris is also accredited to teach pranayama breath meditation, or mindfulness meditation (depending on how you prefer to describe it.).

Chris is also a certified Yoga Therapist. She uses such training in all her teaching and private classes.

Yoga therapy is obviously especially useful in classes where she is making a greater than average number of modifications and adjustments for particular conditions, such as in the Special Focus classes in Gentle Yoga, and Back, Neck, & Shoulder Yoga.

In addition, for the last few years, Chris has been an Assessor, on the teacher trainee assessment panels of about 30 of the more senior Iyengar teachers. These panels assess and certify the new teachers who wish to get their initial Iyengar yoga qualification in Australia.

At Flametree, Chris teaches Beginners, Transition , Intermediate, and Experienced level students.

In addition, Chris conducts Yoga Intensives, teaches Pranayama (breath meditation), and runs the Flametree Teaching Training Programme.

Bumble bee breathing

Chris Lalor, demonstrating Bumble Bee breathing. It’s one of the many powerful meditative techniques she uses, and teaches, to deliver the many powerful benefits of breathwork (aka pranayama).

Among other things, Chris also has a particular interest in Women Only yoga. Chris introduced the first workshops in Darwin that specialise in this area… at both Beginner and non-Beginner level.

In Flametree’s beginner program, in addition to designing the program, and supervising all teachers, Chris herself teaches the class on Back, Neck & Shoulder Yoga, Easy Restorative Yoga, and some Gentle Yoga classes. (See more under the TIMETABLES menu tab).

There’s more about Chris Lalor’s story in this video.

At the Flametree TikTok or YouTube pages, you’ll also see tiny vertical videos where Chris is demonstrating a wide range of yoga poses, from Beginner level, to Advanced level.

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Gertrude Knight (Gertie), yoga instructor

Gertrude teaches yoga part time at Flametree.

Gertrude, better known as Gerty, or Gertie, first trained in flow yoga styles, where she became a 200 hour certified yoga teacher.

She has now been in Chris Lalor’s Iyengar Yoga Teacher Training program for several years, and has completed over 300 hours of Iyengar Yoga Teacher Training.

So, she’s now in the final stages of preparing for her official certification as an Iyengar Yoga Teacher.

Gerty has also taught at Flametree at earlier times, before COVID re-arranged the life of all of us.

She’s also a co-founder of a popular Darwin restaurant. So, as well as her excellent yoga, you’ll notice the same charming personality that is loved by all those who know the local restaurant.

You’ll find all her classes on the Flametree timetable.

Renae Moore, yoga instructor

Renae is a certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher. She holds Introductory Level 2 with the BKS Iyengar Association of Australia.

Renae first began to practice yoga in the 1990s in Melbourne, when attending a small yoga school in her local neighbourhood.

She recalls how different she felt in both mind and body following these classes. As a results, she was eager to continue attending no matter what the weather!

Renae sought out yoga classes upon moving to Darwin in 1995. Now, she continues to be amazed at what she discovers about herself ‘on the mat.

Through both attending classes and through her own home practice, she has found a sense of peace and clarity.

Among other things, Renae’s yoga practice helped her recover from a major accident she had a few years ago.

In addition, yoga continues to extend through all aspects of her life. Renae works fulltime, but teaches yoga classes when other yoga instructors are not available.

Yoga Instructor Margi Landrigan

Margi Landrigan is a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher, with 17 years of yoga teaching experience.

She’s taught yoga and pranayama meditation at a range of yoga studios, including for Flametree Yoga Darwin.

Margi is also very proficient at being a yoga instructor online.

In the process she follows all the tiny but important ways to make this way of online instructing work very well.

These days, Margi is a yoga teacher based in Hobart, Australia, where she teaches both beginner and non-beginner Iyengar yoga.

However, because Margi lived and taught for many years in Darwin NT, she also keeps in touch with a range of friends in her Northern Territory yoga network.

In her spare time, Margi enjoys bush walking in the beautiful Tasmanian wilderness.

Yoga Instructor Salome Harris

At Flametree, Salome is a certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher. She first started doing yoga in 2001.

She says: “I was immediately attracted to it because it gave me relief of aches and pains, and a feeling of calm”.

In addition, she also felt that she was achieving. She could see she could make the shapes, and get benefits from doing so.

Over time, she has learned that yoga is so much more than ‘achieving’ the postures. She says:

“It teaches me to meet myself in the present moment, and to accept and work with what’s there. Yoga is so much more than making the shapes!”

As she practises, she continues to be astonished at how much mind and body are one. In her view, we can approach our physical ailments through the mind, and work with our mental states physically. She loves this element of yoga.

Salome started yoga teacher training, in 2017, at Flametree Yoga. Among other things, she wants to share what she has learned, and help other people experience the benefits too.

In 2023, she was officially certified as an Iyengar Teacher.

Salome is teaches one of Flametree’s Palmerston yoga classes, at 6pm on Wednesdays, at Gray Hall, in Gray, Palmerston. 

She also teaches at the Woolner yoga studio. You’ll find her other classes on our timetables.

Kim Faehse, yoga instructor

I’m from the Northern Territory of Australia, so I’m a so-called “Territorian” by birth. I was born in Alice Springs, and raised in Darwin, Australia, before heading south for university.

As a young girl, I was heavily involved in gymnastics. It gave me strength and flexibility, but often led to injury.

I was first introduced to Iyengar Yoga (which is the yoga style at Flametree) when I was 16. My mother got me started, as she had been attending Iyengar classes for many years. However, it would be over 20 years later before I realised that my mum was onto something remarkable. In turn, this led me to commit to my own yoga journey.

The benefits of yoga for me

In contrast to my early years in gymnastics, yoga gave me equal strength and flexibility, but also with connection between mind and body.

I find that yoga practice looks after all the different parts of me. I’m more in tune with my body and no longer have neck and shoulder pain.

Yoga was also instrumental in recovery from Ross River virus 2 years ago.

Yoga is teaching me to stay more grounded, present and calm within the usual crazy, busy world.

At Flametree Yoga, I currently teach beginner and non-beginner classes, both in Palmerston, and Woolner (3 km from Darwin CBD).

My classes are also available LIVE online at the local Darwin time scheduled for the classes.

Some of my classes are also available in our Beginner streaming video playback which is available on demand. All beginner playback classes are at this link.

In the standing picture below, in my hand, I’m holding the timer that we use to make sure poses are held for just the right amount of time.

In the picture with my pink tights, I’m demonstrating a twist, using a chair, bolster and strap as props.

Currently, I have completed well over 300 hours of yoga instructor training at Flametree.

Apart from teaching yoga part-time, I work in the health industry. Yoga gives me an whole new insight into mind and body, and complements the other health work I do with individual clients.

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Romina Sesto, Flametree relief teacher

I was initially drawn to Yoga in the early 90’s, predominantly for its stress-relieving benefits. It proved to be a valuable antidote to the demands of a busy corporate lifestyle.

In early 2007, I did a 6-month Intensive Yoga Teacher Training program in India under the guidance of Bharath Shetty. He was heavily influenced by Mr BKS Iyengar (the founder of Iyengar Yoga).

Later that year, I became more involved in the teachings of Iyengar Yoga, and the beneficial effects it has on injuries, misalignments, and posture.  It was at this stage that I was able to also appreciate the therapeutic aspects of Iyengar Yoga.

Yoga Instructor training from 2008

On returning to Australia, I moved to Sydney to manage a yoga studio.

Shortly after, I commenced Teacher Training with a Senior Iyengar teacher who’s based on the Gold Coast, and in Melbourne (2008-2012).

As a result, I gained Iyengar Yoga Teacher Certification in 2010.

Then, I was also subsequently certified in what was then the next level of Teacher Training, in 2012.

In September 2012 I became the owner of the inner Sydney studio that I had been managing. I continued my professional development with another Senior Iyengar teacher who was then based in Sydney (2012 – 2015).

In 2015, I commenced further training with another Senior Iyengar Teacher from Sydney.

Intermediate level certification

Then, I received what was then called JL1 certification in 2018. This level of certification was one of 3 intermediate level Iyengar certifications, in between the initial certification, the Senior level of certification.

I now continue my professional development both locally and internationally with the Iyengar Family and Senior Iyengar Yoga teachers.

I’ve also been fortunate enough to study at the Institute in Pune, India, under the guidance of Geeta Iyengar, and Prashant Iyengar (two of the children of the late Mr BKS Iyengar).

My teaching journey has been one that has seen me working with a wide cross section of the community from beginners to advanced students, within the Studio environment, online and onsite, including research programs, local councils, and corporate groups.  I’ve also taught numerous workshops and retreats.

Stuart McGill, Flametree teacher

As a teenager, I was raised on Tipperary cattle station in the Northern Territory.

In my early 20s, I first learnt meditation when I was at University, in Canberra. I was looking for some other alternative to the drug culture that was already prolific on campus.

I learnt and tried 3 different meditation styles, and continued with one of them.

Then, I used this sound based meditation technique daily, and found it delivered energy, creativity, calmness, and much more. So, I’ve told Flametree the story in this blog post on meditation.

It was also during this period, when I attending weekend workshops on meditative techniques, that I first learnt about the studies that show how meditation generates very useful changes in your brain wave patterns.

For, instance, the Alpha and Theta waves, shown in the diagram below, are expanded.

Meditation teacher near me

Meditation expands the Alpha and Theta brain waves, thereby giving you more of the benefits shown in the next 2 diagrams.

Finding pranayama breath meditation

Later, at an Iyengar studio in Melbourne, I also started to learn Iyengar pranayama meditation techniques.

Now, I do pranayama daily in the morning, and sometimes supplement it with other sound based meditation in the afternoon.

I find pranayama meditation techniques, including Ujjayi, Viloma, Bhramari, and Nadi Shodhana, to be the best of the various meditation techniques I’ve used.

One reason is that the pranayama sound and breath techniques make it easier to maintain focus, and thereby access the higher level brain waves, and other benefits outlined by Flametree.

In addition to the pranayama benefits I’ve mentioned, I find they’re especially powerful at delivering energy, as well as Sattvic benefits like more compassion, relatedness, and less upsets.

Plus, I’ve also found the meditative benefits in the diagrams below, like creativity, focus, better sleep, and peacefulness, to be extremely useful for the very conventional life I’ve had in both government and business roles.

 

meditation benefits

Breath or sound meditation, or both, make you more creative, in whatever field you’re in. Plus, you get more focus.

Starting Iyengar Yoga

In my late 20’s, while a lawyer at the Department of Justice in Papua New Guinea, I learnt Iyengar yoga from an American lawyer who taught regular classes to a group of us after work.

He was one of the first Iyengar yoga teachers trained in Australia. We was a lecturer at the University of Papua New Guinea, who became a lifelong friend.

Among other things, he gave me my first copy of Mr BKS Iyengar’s Light On Yoga.

As a middle distance runner, I was fit, active, and strong. But, I was surprised at the areas of inflexibility that showed up, like forward bends.

Then, when in New York studying for my PhD in economics, I continued yoga with an Indian teacher in New York. In those days, he was as close to an Iyengar Yoga teacher that I could find.

 

Pranayama benefits

Theta waves, such as you get more of with pranayama meditation, give you better sleep, inner peace, and a range of other benefits.

Rediscovering Iyengar Yoga benefits

On returning to Australia, I then began almost daily lap swimming for fitness.

I was already convinced of the benefits of fitness. But, it was only after my father’s death from heart disease, that I also started looking at the many additional benefits of yoga.

By luck, I found myself living near a well-known Sydney Iyengar Yoga studio. So, eventually, I again started Iyengar Yoga.

However, I was once more surprised at how inflexible and moderately overweight I’d become, even though I was doing very regular lap swimming.

So, I also started evolving my eating habits.

I continued with Iyengar Yoga at other Melbourne and Sydney studios. I also did some initial yoga teacher training.

It opened my eyes to a whole range of additional yoga benefits, such as living more in the present moment, better sleep, and getting over upsets quickly.

Flametree Iyengar Yoga, Darwin

I then returned to Darwin, and started Iyengar Yoga with Chris Lalor, at Flametree Yoga Studio.

I enjoyed the more compassionate style of teaching, including the varied levels, and many alternative poses.

So, I commenced Iyengar teaching training at Flametree, and expanded the pranayama I was doing.

Now, I’ve completed over 200 hours of teacher training, and the registration that enables me to teach yoga, and have started teaching classes.

I like teaching yoga, and I find that it builds on some of the teaching skills and experience I have from teaching economics or digital marketing at various Australian universities.

I’m currently doing relief teaching at Flametree, assisting in some classes, and doing some administration, digital marketing, and communications.

Among other things, I enjoy how the communications work allows me to delve further into yogic benefits and philosophy.

Learning more about teaching yoga is of course an ongoing major project.

But again, I like the focus on high quality Iyengar yoga teaching, and the emphasis on the importance of good teaching, that I get at Flametree Yoga.

I enjoy doing Flametree Yoga talks

Because I’ve spent many years working in the corporate world, I’m also an experienced public speaker.

So, nowadays, I enjoy the opportunity to make presentations to groups about yoga, or breath meditation, or both.

For instance, see this blog post and slides from my presentation for the Rotary Club Darwin, Australia.

When, I do these presentations, I also get plenty of interested questions.

I find people are keen on improving their health via appropriate movement, or want to get calmer, or just have more of the other benefits I outlined in the Rotary Darwin slides.

But, they often don’t know where or how to start.

Sadly, with yoga, people also don’t realise that it’s very possible to get started with simple, easy poses that anyone can do.

(Again, the slides I mentioned show examples of the easy yoga asanas (poses) I’m talking about.)

For instance, I mean the type of yoga taught in Flametree’s Gentle Yoga, or Yoga For Backs, as in the Flametree Beginner Timetable.

So, if you know of an organisation, of any type, that would also be interested in having us give them a presentation, I’d be grateful if you’d encourage them to contact us.

By the way, these presentations can be either LIVE online, or at your venue in the greater Darwin NT region.