My story

On and off the yoga mat

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been involved with meditation, vegetarianism, rituals, and sought a connection to nature and spirituality.

Ashtanga yoga

I grew up seeing two different practices…

…of healing and wellbeing. My father is a Reiki master and Osho sanyasi and my mother is a nurse who followed her own daily rituals of praying. So my brother and I witnessed two different schools of thought, without explanations of why they followed certain approaches and practices. It felt confusing and often embarrassing!

In hindsight, it seemed to set the stage for what was to come later…

It all came together for me in one beautiful practice.

I discovered yoga while living in Brazil, over 15 years ago. This chance encounter completely changed my life and direction. Yoga has always felt like coming home. I knew it was something I was meant to explore so  I’ve made it core to how I live my life.

Yoga makes me feel like I belong.
I’m at peace both on and off the mat

My first contact with yoga and ayurveda was with a teacher called Sonia Dumpieres (in memoriam). She introduced me to mantras, rituals, essential oils, classical therapeutic asanas, marma (energy) points, and firm body adjustments. This led me to explore the mystical nuances of yoga, and everything made so much sense to me.

My life changes yet again…

Around the time I was exploring yoga, my parents divorced ending a 30-year marriage. My university studies and modelling career felt frivolous and dissatisfying, the outside world lacked colour or inspiration. I stopped focusing on my studies and felt lost…except when I sat down on my yoga mat to begin a practice.

I found my inner strength and focus through yoga

My teacher, Sonia became a mother, a mentor and a guide. Even today, I recall the fragrance of incense, the mantras playing in the background and Sonia’s Spanish accent instructing me to not rest between postures and to concentrate on my breathing. To hold onto this feeling, I began studying and teaching yoga under Sonia’s expert tutelage.

Catarina Sartor Ayurveda
Strong Yoga

Discovering my own practice in Australia

I came to Australia initially to learn how to surf (yep) and also wanted to continue my learning and practice.

But, I couldn’t find a single school which taught me what I was searching for at the time. So I began practising what I’d learnt under Sonia.

One day, out of the blue, some asked me, “What makes you really happy?”

Without hesitation, I answered, “yoga!” And in that moment, I chose to make yoga my life, or did yoga choose me?

My formal training begins in earnest…

In 2008, I moved to Byron Bay to enrol into a residential yoga teacher training program. I could surf and do yoga – two of my favourite things – I was in heaven! After completing the program, I moved back to Sydney, started teaching private classes and in yoga studios, and also worked in a health food store.

Around this time,  I met my Guru, Clive Sheridan, who introduced me to breath control/pranayama practices, classical Hatha Yoga, Advaita Vedanta and Tantra.

A random encounter helped me find an Ashtanga Yoga Vinyasa school where I stayed as an apprentice for 10 years, learning directly from one of the world’s most respected Ashtanga Yoga teachers Eileen Hall, at the biggest Yoga program in Australia.

Then came burnout…

As a new yoga teacher, I taught students for hours on end and eventually ended up burning out. That physical exhaustion taught me to include relaxation practices and energy work. I learnt yoga nidra, hypnosis and Reiki and eventually added it to my personal routine.

Finally came balance and Ayurveda

I learned Ayurveda  from Hindu teacher and expert, David Frawley and Ayurvedic Indian doctors, who I met on my annual trips to India.

Ayurveda helped me to understand the human body and mind, the uniqueness of our make-up and the adjustments necessary to create balance. I help others benefit from this approach to live healthier, balanced lives.

When I’m not immersed in yoga…

I like surfing or spending time with family and friends in nature. I also love travelling in India to learn more from my teachers or travelling with my husband to tropical places to surf.

I don’t take today and the opportunities it comes with for granted…

Having prematurely lost my dear brother and my first teacher, I don’t wait for tomorrow.

I surf whenever I can, for fun!

I’m proud of all that I’ve learnt and practiced so far, and love sharing it with others. I like to call it ‘a special cocktail’ to make you shine, feel healthier, stronger, and younger every day.

I’ve taught this unique combination of yoga to hundreds of students like you, to improve their lives and achieve essential balance.

Yoga Balanced

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