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Home » About » Meet the Team » Gregory Barnes

Gregory Barnes Yoga Teacher

DRU Yoga Teacher - Gregory Barnes


Gregory Barnes’s perspective in life and interests

Outside of work hours, when I’m not in my garden, I enjoy time with my cats and aquariums, photographing nature, hosting singing and musical events, and riding my bike when it’s warm and dry!

I also enrol in Improvisational Theatre classes on a regular basis, and take up the odd opportunity to act on stage. I find this helps with my creativity, communication skills, spontaneity and problem solving abilities. All of which come in handy when teaching in the dynamic environment of yoga classes.

I can cook if I’m pressed. But I generally only go to trouble in the kitchen when I have guests, such as Kirtans and dinners with friends. I like making Indian-style food.

Training and major influences

I trained as Hatha Yoga Teacher with I.Y.T.A. in Sydney during 2002 & 2003. Also trained as a Tantra Yoga Teacher with Heart of Shiva Tantra Yoga in Melbourne during 2012 (Lineage – Sri Nityananda).

My first taste of Yoga was a year of Iyengar classes in Perth in 1994. Richard and Anne used to run a small studio in Northbridge. Richard healed himself using Yoga after stepping on a landmine during the Vietnam War.

When I arrived in Canberra 1995, I started attending regular Satyananda-style classes (Satyananda Yoga or SY) with Vedantananda, Karunamurti, Archana and Avinashi Saraswati at the ACT Yoga and Meditation Centre in O’Connor and various other locations around Canberra.

After a few years studying with Satyananda Yoga teachers, I found Bill Giles. Who teaches a non-guru based style of Yoga, which he has called Samyama Yoga. It’s a blend of Anatomy and Physiology, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Hatha Yoga and Japanese bone setting. Bill took Yoga Adjustments to the next level: he used to sometimes ‘adjust’ his students’ joints during classes! It was like having a Yoga Teacher who was also my Osteopath! Bill helped me develop my love of Chinese Medicine and Yoga, and showed me ways to link the two together to strengthen my practice. He continues to amaze me to this day with his breadth of knowledge and depth of understanding of the whole human system: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and energetic. Bill’s recently led some informative workshops on diet & food choices and yoga, and using vision boards with Yoga.

I attended Bill’s classes for many years before starting my Yoga Teacher Training with IYTA in 2001. Whilst I was concurrently completing the Diploma in Easter Massage at CIT Bruce.

Oki-do Yoga was a style I fell in love with during the late 1990’s. It was popular in both Sydney and Melbourne at the time, but never really took off in Canberra. I learned it during my trips to Confest held in Central NSW.

As it wasn’t possible to train in Oki-do Yoga in Canberra I decided to learn both Hatha Yoga and Traditional Chinese Medicine, and marry the two together into my own approximation of what Oki-do was about. This is how I arrived at what I have named my style: Fusion Yoga: A fusion of many styles but with an emphasis on Hatha Yoga and Traditional Chinese Medicine methodologies.

Whilst teaching my own classes, I have continued to attend yoga classes with numerous teachers from a wide variety of disciplines including: Dru, Oki-do, Ashtanga, Jivamukti, and Tantra Yoga.

In 2012, I completed my Tantric Yoga Teacher Training with Heart of Shiva TY School in Melbourne, which involved 13 flights from Canberra to Victoria and back, for the face-to-face component of the training.

More recently I started Sanskrit tuition with Gavin Shri Amneon who lives in Melbourne, and hence, have been enjoying the addition of mantra chanting to my morning sadhana. A local SY teacher named Sagarmurti Saraswati has also been helping me with correct pronunciation of the Sanskrit.

Style of teaching

Fusion Yoga – Oki-do Yoga is a Japanese fusion of Shiatsu bodywork, iso-tonic resistance training, Western anatomy and physiology and Indian-style Hatha Yoga. It wasn’t possible to train in Oki-do Yoga in Canberra, so after completing my Remedial Massage studies, I decided to train in both Hatha Yoga and Traditional Chinese Medicine/ Shiatsu, and later, marry the two together into my own approximation of what Oki-do was about.

I work my students hard and expect focus and dedication, but we have a lot of fun too! My classes are both serious and light-hearted. It’s the perfect blend!

Most recent inspiring experience

I recently took a group of male yoga students up to see the snow in the Brindabella mountains to the West of Canberra. Over the course of the walk and over lunch, one of my students shared how attending my class has enabled him to form new male friendships, which had enriched his personal life and his relationship with his wife and their two sons. He also commented on the common situation which faces many men, whereby they can find it difficult to make friends with other men. 

Our patriarchal culture, whilst putting men in positions of power, also tends to isolate many of us in the process and can rob us of the ability to connect with other men in non-competitive ways. 

Another conversation which unfolded after lunch dwelt on suicide, where a couple of students spoke of men they knew, high up in the medical profession and others who occupy important managerial positions, who’ve felt so utterly isolated and lost to themselves, that they’ve decided to tie up all loose ends, make sure their families are provided for financially, and thereafter found a way to end their lives, with the least fuss to anyone else concerned.

These are very real and serious problems that face men today.
I have been teaching yoga to men for more than eleven years, and continue to follow this passion as it helps so many to find new ways to enjoy growth and development in our lives, and serves as a potent way to bring people together in supportive environments.

The reason I contacted CYS, with a desire to teach in the space, is because I want to share what I can with the men of the college’s student base, and to attract more of our brothers from the wider community to start practicing Yoga with us. My goal is to create supportive and accepting experiences where men can enjoy learning about and practicing Yoga, whilst connecting with each other in real, authentic ways.

Learn More about Greg’s yoga journey at his personal website Wholistic Solutions

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What people are saying about Canberra Yoga Space…

"I just want to pass on what a fantastic teacher Elena has been and I believe it is through her class that I have made the greatest gains in terms of understanding about muscular relationships. Her focus on rehab is niche and very important. My own practice has never been easier nor has it ever made such a difference in terms of overall flexibility. My thanks to Elena for a truly great Yoga Therapy class." - Alice, May 2019