Kara Mandel

Student level

What began as a therapeutic asana practice 14 years ago has evolved into an intimate platform of self-inquiry and devotion to conscious expression, on and off the mat. Through a curious exploration of movement and meditative practices, I find union between the inner and outer landscapes of my world.

My practice encourages students to examine their current states and find their own sweet spot by balancing strength and flexibility, in both the body and mind. I invite a practice of continuous self-inquiry and embodiment, creating a space for my students to examine the relationship between their internal and external environments.

My teachings place an emphasis on exploring boundaries, sharing my experiences as a student and teacher, as well as building endurance and compassion throughout the whole body.

Teaching & Certification

  • 200 hour YTT at PachaMama Eco-village in Costa Rica. During this transformative experience, I trained in a unique fusion of Hatha Yoga and Shaolin energetic arts with her teachers Velan and Adya. It is with immense gratitude that I continue to share these teachings across Melbourne.
  • I also studied meditation and Yogic Philosophy with Dr. Keshava Murthy at Sarvaguna Yoga Dhaama in Dharamsala, India. (100 hour MTT)

Teaching Style

  • Adjustments/Assists: Happy to assist if requested, otherwise adjustments are verbal.

On & Off the Mat With: Kara Mandel

As a yoga teacher, what inspires and motivates your teaching?

Yoga is a way to start a conversation with our own bodies, to fully see ourselves. As a personal practice, it helps me cultivate compassion for myself and others, and to appreciate the full expressions of my emotional, physical, and spiritual bodies. Yoga helps me see the ways in which each individual’s personal and collective experience shapes their perceptions of the world, creating the lens through which they define themselves. The many ways it has brought me home to myself inspires my teaching, with the hope that it can encourage exploration, curiosity, and creativity in others.

How has your own yoga practice evolved since becoming a teacher?

My practice has come to incorporate more experimental movement and expression, as well as coming back to elements of my dance practice.

Do you have any yoga teachers that you admire and/or look up to? Who are they?

The two yoga teachers whom I admire are Velan and Adya, the couple I trained with. They fully embody their values, and have deep compassion for people and our planet. Their beliefs feed their actions and lifestyles.

For those of us that haven't practiced with you before, what can we expect from your classes?

The intention of my classes is constant - the best practice for each of us is one that brings us closer to home in our bodies and closer to our true self. You can expect to have the space and freedom to discover what movement (or lack there of) will best suit you in each changing moment.

I invite a practice of continuous self-inquiry and embodiment, creating a space for my students to examine the relationship between their internal and external environments.

What type of class could you teach all day, everyday and why?

A combination of slow flow and yin. I love the undulation between conscious movement and stillness. It gives us space to understands our bodies in the context of each shape. It also allows freedom for so much creativity within the practice.

Do you practice any other form of movement or fitness besides yoga? If so, what kind?

Intuitive movement. Dance. Hiking, kayaking and really anything else outdoors.

What's your go-to spot in Melbourne to get inspired?

The NGV. I get lost in there for hours and always come out feeling fulfilled and expansive. There's nothing that inspires me like great art.

Which 3 icons or figures would you want to sit next to at a dinner party and why?

Grayson Perry, the Huxley brothers (I'll include the pair as one) and Tracy Emin. They are great artistic influences of mine, and goodness knows it would be an incredible party, full of depth, attitude, sequins, and just the right amount of debauchery!

Finish this sentence. "I feel the most like myself when..."

I am out in nature, exploring or kayaking.

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