Alan Muller took refuge in 1997 with Akong Rinpoche. In 2003, he completed a one-year closed retreat under the guidance of Lama Yeshe Rinpoche at Samye Ling Monastery in Scotland. During this period, he took novice monks vows. Alan remained a novice monk for six years and now presents courses and retreats as a layperson. He has formed Ngondro groups since 2004 around Southern Africa.
Alistair Thomspon has been practicing yoga for over six years, and has been teaching for two years.
Alistair’s intention through his classes is to provide a fun and safe space for people of all walks of life to find their centre on their mat. To deepen their inner journey while moving through yoga asanas to increase body awareness, strength and flexibility.
Bruce van Dongen founded the Waterfall Retreat & Environmental Centre in 2003. He has always felt strongly that our indigenous natural heritage is our most precious asset and that it is critical for us to try our best to be in union with nature and that we have an obligation to be guardians for our planet.
He is an Engineer by profession and has spent a large part of his working career on many continents. He returned to his home of KwaZulu Natal in 2003 with the motivation to acquire a special piece of land worthy of conservation to create a sanctuary for people, animals and the environment. He has been deeply grateful for the teachings of yoga and meditation and the impact that they have had on his life.He uses his love of nature and on- going projects at Waterfall Retreat to balance the pressures of the corporate world.
Buhle Mabanga is an accredited yoga and mindfulness teacher and founder of Nomvula Well-Being Movement. She began practising mindfulness, yoga and meditation four years ago with teachers Nandiva from Ishta Yoga and Mark Joseph from Mindful Revolution. In addition to her mindfulness and yoga work, Buhle is an artist, a children’s book author, a spoken word writer and a fashion designer.
Carey Abercrombie has been practicing Yoga since 2006 and gained her 200 hour RYT certificate as a Vinyasa and Hatha instructor in 2008 under the guidance of Cherryl Duncan from Living Yoga in Johannesburg. Her aim is to share Yoga by teaching her truth honorably and with respect for all things. She hopes to help students find their own truth, happiness and joy in their practice. Carey has completed a 4 year mindfulness training programme through Mindfulness Africa and is a qualified Mindfulness Africa Facilitator.
Choden(Sean Mc Govern)Formally a monk within the Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, Choden (aka Sean Mc Govern) completed a three year, three month retreat in 1997 and has been a practicing Buddhist since 1985. He is originally from South Africa where he trained as a lawyer and learned meditation under the guidance of Rob Nairn, an internationally renowned Buddhist teacher. He is now involved in developing secular mindfulness and compassion programmes drawing upon the wisdom and methods of the Buddhist tradition, as well as contemporary insights from psychology and neuroscience. He is an honorary fellow of the University of Aberdeen and teaches on their Postgraduate Study Programme in Mindfulness (MSc) that is the first of its kind to include compassion in its curriculum. He co-wrote a book with Paul Gilbert in 2012, entitled 'Mindful Compassion' that explores the interface between Buddhist and Evolutionary approaches to compassion training. In 2016 he completed a one year retreat focused on the foundation practices of Tibetan Buddhism
Chrissi Preuss A traveler of both the wide world and the inner world, Chrissi’s global travels and her cum laude honours psychology degree from Rhodes University (with specialisations in trauma and neuropsychology) help her in her career of coaching and guiding people to positions and occupations that suit their character and aspirations. After completing a Mindfulness Association 8 week course through The Waterfall Retreat & Environmental Centre she set her heart to teaching yoga. Chrissi is currently in the process of deepening her practice and knowledge through an intensive 2-year yoga teacher training program and aims to bring her philosophy of yoga being fully accessible and inclusive to her teaching.
Chrissi approaches every class she teaches, like she does life itself, with kindness and thoughtfulness. In so doing she creates space for all students of every stripe and ability to feel safe and at home with themselves – both on and off the mat.
Ken Holmes is based at Samye Ling, Scotland, where he is Director of Buddhist Studies and has been assisting late renowned Tibetan Lama Akong Rinpoche for 37 “amazing and incredibly fortunate years”, translating Tibetan texts and interpreting for visiting Tibetan lamas. He is much respected internationally for his inexhaustible knowledge of Buddhism which he presents with wisdom and clarity, humility and an infectious sense of humour.
Kerri is the manager of The Waterfall Retreat and Environmental Centre. She is a student of the late Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche and has trained within the Karma Kagyu Lineage and participated in several meditation retreats over the past 19 years, including a 6 month closed retreat at the Tara Rokpa Centre Retreat Valley in Groot Marico. In 2009 she was invited to join the Mindfulness Africa Organisation. She is the Mindfulness Africa Coordinator for KwaZulu Natal and has certification in Hatha yoga and Qigong disciplines. Her special interests are how the combined practices of gentle movement, mindfulness and compassion can potentially help to restore our balance.
Mags van Staden is a 500hr trained yoga teacher, practicing yoga since 2010 and teaching since 2014. She completed her last training with Christine Withiel from Jivananda Centre for Wellbeing in 2020. Mags is trained in styles of Vinyasa, Hatha, Satyananda (Bihar) and Yin yoga.
In a class with Mags you’ll experience a full-rounded, traditionally taught yoga practice that incorporates yogic philosophy and lifestyle practices along with pranayama, mantra, movement, meditation and Yoga Nidra.
Nicky van der Hulst is a Chiropractor, Homeopath and Yoga teacher. She has a keen interest in the therapeutic benefits of movement and gentle preventative care on health and wellbeing. Nicky brings together her love of teaching, therapeutic movement and holistic therapies in the practice and facilitation of her work.
Nickys practice of yoga exceeds 20 years and 10 years experience teaching Hatha, Vinyasa and Astanga. Her teaching has a strong anatomical and physiological approach grounded in a deep understanding of the philosophy of yoga.
Pippa Cope has been involved with the Tara Rokpa Therapy Process, “Healing Relaxation, a creative fusion of Tibetan and Western Wisdom” since 1997, and was authorised as a senior helper in SA. Having worked in the caring, therapeutic and development fields in the UK, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka, she is currently the resident manager of the Tara Rokpa Centre, Groot Marico.
Thanissara From a London Anglo-Irish family in London, started Buddhist practice in the Burmese school in 1975. She was inspired to ordain after meeting Ajahn Chah and spent 12 years as a Buddhist nun where she was a founding member of Chithurst and Amaravati Buddhist Monasteries. She was also co-initiator of events for children and families at Amaravati. Thanissara has facilitated meditation retreats internationally the last 25 years and has an MA in Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy Practice from Middlesex University & the Karuna Institute in the UK. She is co-facilitator of the Community Dharma Leader Program at Spirit Rock Meditation Centre CA, USA. Thanissara is co-founder of Dharmagiri South Africa and teaches and lives between S.Africa and the US. Visit www.dharmagiri.org for more information.