Mindful Birth is the co creation of Jean Byrne and Michelle Papa who are passionate about Yoga in the Feminine. Mindful Birth Training programs are research based and empower yoga teachers and health professionals to apply the wisdom of yoga to women’s unique life rhythms and cycles. For the past decade Mindful Birth yoga trainings have been delivered throughout Australia, Asia and now the Middle East. The response has been phenomenal, with communities of women awakening to their shared sisterhood and encouraging women to celebrate their unique rhythms in life, and honour these rhythms through yoga. The access to evidence based pregnancy, birth and parenting information is empowering and educating women in the communities where Mindful Birth is delivered.
These trainings tap into our wisdom as women, and combine that with research to enable us to thrive and flourish throughout life with the help of yoga and mindfulness meditation. Mindful Birth has become a rite of passage for women worldwide to gain access to information about their body, birthing and mothering which has been lost in our modern, hurried industrialised society.
This is far more than a teacher training - Mindful Birth is a program which all women can benefit from attending.
Jean & Michelle are both long term yoga practitioners who see mindfulness as interwoven into the thread of family life. Jean & Michelle have created Mindful Birth to empower, educate & support women and their partners through the life changing rite of passage of becoming parents. They continue their research, publishing both academically and for journals and websites on all things related to birth, pregnancy & parenting, in addition to training Mindful Birth Yoga instructors throughout Australia & Asia. Based in Perth they spend their days in the beautiful balancing act that is yoga practice, teaching, training and time with their children, partner & friends. Work meetings are conducted with babies, kids and sometimes partners in tow!
Jean Byrne, Founder
Jean began practising yoga at the age of 19 while completing a Bachelor of Arts in World Religions and Philosophy. Her study of world religions led to an interest in yoga and meditation and she spent many years intensively studying yoga and meditation in India, Thailand, Malaysia and Australia. For many years she practiced Iyengar Yoga and was part of a dedicated Zen group. Her academic and personal journey into Eastern philosophy and practice led her to Mysore, India. Her teaching encompasses Restorative Yoga, Intuitive Flow and Vinyasa classes. Jean is dedicated to sharing the transformative power of Yoga and loves working with students and carefully and safely watching the way in which both mind, body and spirit open and unfold through practicing steadily.
Jean has lectured in Eastern philosophy at various Australian universities and has a PhD in Eastern Philosophy & Feminist Theory. She is a qualified primary school teacher, Childbirth Educator, a Yoga Alliance E-RYT500 and Registered Pre Natal Yoga Specialist Teacher, and a senior member of Yoga Australia (YA). Jean is also a certified Yoga Therapist. Jean is co-editor of the book, Yoga in the Modern World: Contemporary Perspectives (Routledge 2008). She writes for yoga magazines, yoga websites and academically her work is published in books and peer reviewed journals. She has undertaken the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Professional Training retreat with Dr Jon Kabat Zinn and conducts Mindfulness-Based research projects. She is mum to two beautiful boys, Jamie & Jesse, and is passionate about women’s spirituality and the benefits of yoga for pregnancy, birth and beyond. Parenting is for her the ultimate practice of taking her yoga off the mat.
Michelle Papa, Founder
Michelle started her yoga journey in 2004 as she was seeking to find balance in life. It was when she was living in Los Angeles when she discovered the wonderful practice of vinyasa yoga and meditation. Through yoga she was able to connect with a part of herself that she thought she had forgotten due to the busyness of her life. Her interest in a love for yoga has grown exponentially upon moving to Perth in 2007 as she found her 'yoga home' at The Yoga Space where she practised in the Mysore programme and completed her Hatha Vinyasa yoga teacher training. This led her to travel to Mysore, India where she practiced and learned chanting. Michelle's deep interest in supporting women in pregnancy, birth and post partum life has led her to pursue further studies . She is a qualified antenatal educator with a Diploma in Childbirth Education, studied with Dr. Sarah Buckley, and with Spinning Babies founder Gail Tully. She delivers pregnancy and post natal yoga classes, mother's circle, pre and post natal teacher's immersion, and childbirth preparation workshops in Australia. Beyond pre and post natal classes, Michelle regularly teaches vinyasa yoga , yin and restorative yoga.
Together with Dr. Jean Byrne, Michelle co-founded Mindful Birth, a Yoga Alliance and Yoga Australia accredited Pregnancy and Post-natal yoga teacher training course. She has delivered the Mindful Birth teacher training course in Australia and Asia for over a decade. Michelle is an ERYT and Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance, and a senior member with Yoga Australia. She has a deep interest in the diverse application of mindfulness practice in the various facets of life which led her to start Inspired Girls, a community centered program that aims to nurture teenage girls through mindfulness, leadership, and educational workshops. Michelle continues to study with leading mindfulness teachers and researchers - Yoga for Trauma with The Trauma Center of Justice Resource Institute (JRI) US, Search Inside Your Self Training, Meditation Training with Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield. She’s also pursuing studies in Psychology at Charles Sturt University. Michelle resides in Sydney, Australia, together with her husband James and vibrant young girl Cassy. She believes that information and education can bring about change, and hope to continue to empower young girls, and women through yoga and mindfulness practices.
Samantha Briatico, Lead Teacher Trainer
Samantha Briatico has dedicated her life to the journey of self awakening. She left her home in the USA wiht a spirit of adventure to travel the world and revel in new experiences. She settled in Perth Australia and deepened her yogic studies delving into asana, pranayama and meditation and now is registered at the 500 hour level. She has studied Ashtanga Yoga in India, and her practice now is a beautiful integration of movement practices, yoga asana and lived mindfulness. Sam is passionate about women finding ways to move, breathe and her own journey has led her to find depths of strength and resilience that inspires her students. She is the Founder of Zara and Co an online community to help families who have experienced loss and stillbirth and has recently began her doula journey.
Samantha teaches in Australia, Europe and Asia and is a proud mother to young Noah who has accompanied on her travels throughout the world. Motherhood has been her biggest teacher. Sam delivers Mindful Birth in Australia and Asia and continues to learn innovative approaches to support women throughout the cycles of life - including through ecstatic dance to help women connect with their inner knowing and wisdom.
Emma Cory, Lead Teacher Trainer
Emma Cory has been teaching yoga for over a decade and is the Mindful Birth development trainer for the Middle East. She lived and taught yoga in Saudi Arabia from 2012 – 2016 mentoring Saudi teachers and student on their yoga journey. Since returning to Australia she has enriched her offerings to share deeper levels of personal transformation, mindfulness and women’s empowerment through yoga.
Her own experiences in birth, as a mother of two beautiful girls and Doula in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia influence the richness of her teachings. She warmly shares this journey with her students. Navigating pregnancy, motherhood, friendships, partnerships and careers are all part of the rich tapestry of life she lives and shares on and off the yoga mat.
Lauren Garrett, Lead Teacher Trainer
Lauren found the practice of yoga as a sanctuary from the demands of the corporate profession and found that the practice supported and enabled her to navigate life, explore her truth and discover her inner potential.
Lauren teaches Pre and Post-natal yoga, yin and restorative practices, most recently at MAMA (Midwives and Mamas Australia) in Kensington. Over the past few years, due to family work commitments, Lauren has lived away from her family, recently in Shanghai where she gave birth to her daughter, and whilst Melbourne has been ‘home’, she currently resides in Ballarat.
Possessing a true passion for community, Lauren created a yoga and pregnancy support group for women birthing away from their home country in Shanghai. Her classes focus on building trust, connection and awareness within, and with baby, as both an anchor and inner strength that empowers, whilst nurtures, women in their transition of motherhood and change.
Having completed foundational training with Patrick Creelman, Pure Yoga Asia, Mindful Mindful Birth with Michelle Papa and Dr. Jean Byrne, Yin Yoga & Mindfulness with Sarah Owen and most recently she has commenced studies on the pathway to a Yoga Therapist.
A Wisdom Yoga Institute course convenor and mentor for Melbourne, Lauren has recently been working closely with yoga teacher trainees as they find and share their light in foundational yoga studies.
Whilst juggling yoga and a corporate career in HR, you will most likely find Lauren having an adventure with her toddler; sipping on lattes and baby chinos or escaping in her latest read.