Meet the Team

Our experienced teachers are at the core of our community. They boast extremely diverse backgrounds, making each class at Little Mandarin a unique and enriching experience.

Together we will help you realise your potential and celebrate your progress.

Jowing Zhang (English/Chinese Mandarin)    @jowingyoga    Initially I began my yoga practice only to increase my flexibility and reduce my tension from the graphic design work. I found myself gravitating more towards the physical practice, but soon after, I became drawn to the deeper meditative and spiritual roots of yoga.    I am a dreamer. I dreamed of being a yoga teacher. Since I quit from my job and became a yoga teacher, I have been teaching for a decade. I dreamed of living in different cities. I am now living in this most liveable city - Melbourne. I dreamed of creating a space and community where people from all over the world can learn from each other, practise together, share experience and make friends. This is how Little Mandarin was founded.    Come be a part of our growing multicultural community, feel the Little Mandarin difference and find your potential!

Jowing Zhang (English/Chinese Mandarin)

@jowingyoga

Initially I began my yoga practice only to increase my flexibility and reduce my tension from the graphic design work. I found myself gravitating more towards the physical practice, but soon after, I became drawn to the deeper meditative and spiritual roots of yoga.

I am a dreamer. I dreamed of being a yoga teacher. Since I quit from my job and became a yoga teacher, I have been teaching for a decade. I dreamed of living in different cities. I am now living in this most liveable city - Melbourne. I dreamed of creating a space and community where people from all over the world can learn from each other, practise together, share experience and make friends. This is how Little Mandarin was founded.

Come be a part of our growing multicultural community, feel the Little Mandarin difference and find your potential!

Winnie Au (English/Chinese Mandarin&Cantonese)    @winnie.au    Mind-body practice has always been my passion. My own yoga practice is the source of my health, my energy and my inspiration.    What started out as a way to workout, soon became a way of my life. Coming from an architectural background, for years my life had been a juggle of deadlines. Until I discovered yoga in 2012, since then I have found myself faithfully on the mat every day, re-establishing alignment between mind and body; and experiencing the growing joy in my heart, a joy independent of the external. With nothing but blind faith, I left for Thailand in the summer of 2013 to study yoga, which turned out to be a month filled with powerful trust and love with beautiful people, together we spent out days chanting, meditating and practicing yoga and life. I realised that this is the path I want to lead - I have then embarked on the journey of sharing the bounty and blessings of yoga.

Winnie Au (English/Chinese Mandarin&Cantonese)

@winnie.au

Mind-body practice has always been my passion. My own yoga practice is the source of my health, my energy and my inspiration.

What started out as a way to workout, soon became a way of my life. Coming from an architectural background, for years my life had been a juggle of deadlines. Until I discovered yoga in 2012, since then I have found myself faithfully on the mat every day, re-establishing alignment between mind and body; and experiencing the growing joy in my heart, a joy independent of the external. With nothing but blind faith, I left for Thailand in the summer of 2013 to study yoga, which turned out to be a month filled with powerful trust and love with beautiful people, together we spent out days chanting, meditating and practicing yoga and life. I realised that this is the path I want to lead - I have then embarked on the journey of sharing the bounty and blessings of yoga.

Ian Cheney (English)    @freebreathingyoga    I was first introduced to Astanga Yoga in 2002 by a friend at university and have been hooked on the practice ever since. In 2012, I began a 2- year apprenticeship with Gingi Lee in London, before completing a Yoga Alliance recognised 200-hr qualification with my principle teacher – John Scott.    In 2014, I traveled for the first time to Mysore, India to study under the guidance of Sharath Jois at the K. Pattabhi Jois Astanga Yoga Institute. I returned each year and in 2017, Sharath gave me his blessing to teach Astanga Yoga as a KPJAYI authorised teacher.    I try to bring with my teaching the dedication and enthusiasm I find within my own practice. I believe that yoga is a deeply personal experience and encourage students to find their own space, in balance with the wisdom of the tradition. Fundamentally though, I think that while yoga can be challenging on many levels, first and foremost it should be a loving, warm and fun experience for all.

Ian Cheney (English)

@freebreathingyoga

I was first introduced to Astanga Yoga in 2002 by a friend at university and have been hooked on the practice ever since. In 2012, I began a 2- year apprenticeship with Gingi Lee in London, before completing a Yoga Alliance recognised 200-hr qualification with my principle teacher – John Scott.

In 2014, I traveled for the first time to Mysore, India to study under the guidance of Sharath Jois at the K. Pattabhi Jois Astanga Yoga Institute. I returned each year and in 2017, Sharath gave me his blessing to teach Astanga Yoga as a KPJAYI authorised teacher.

I try to bring with my teaching the dedication and enthusiasm I find within my own practice. I believe that yoga is a deeply personal experience and encourage students to find their own space, in balance with the wisdom of the tradition. Fundamentally though, I think that while yoga can be challenging on many levels, first and foremost it should be a loving, warm and fun experience for all.

 
Elinor Tierney-Heckenberg (English)    @ellie_and_willow    As a child, I was introduced to meditation and yoga through my alternative primary school. I remember looking forward to these sessions and the sense of balance they imparted. Then, like many teens, I moved away from my roots to explore different ways of living, but in 2009 found myself in a small yoga class in a poorly lit community centre. It felt like coming home.    Since this time I have practised with several teachers, and thank Mark Togni, Meghan Kirk, and Karyn Grenfell for their guidance. In 2015 I completed a Vinyasa Yoga teacher training with Diana and John Vitarelli in Philadelphia, USA, and have recently studied Ashtanga Yoga with renowned teacher Sharath Jois in Mysore, India.    I love movement and health in all forms: I hold a degree in Exercise Science and am currently studying Medicine at the University of Melbourne.    Over time the dedicated practice of yoga creates steadiness and an attitude of contentment, both of which I aim to bring into my classes. I offer challenging and fun lessons, grounded in the lineage of Classical Vinyasa Yoga.

Elinor Tierney-Heckenberg (English)

@ellie_and_willow

As a child, I was introduced to meditation and yoga through my alternative primary school. I remember looking forward to these sessions and the sense of balance they imparted. Then, like many teens, I moved away from my roots to explore different ways of living, but in 2009 found myself in a small yoga class in a poorly lit community centre. It felt like coming home.

Since this time I have practised with several teachers, and thank Mark Togni, Meghan Kirk, and Karyn Grenfell for their guidance. In 2015 I completed a Vinyasa Yoga teacher training with Diana and John Vitarelli in Philadelphia, USA, and have recently studied Ashtanga Yoga with renowned teacher Sharath Jois in Mysore, India.

I love movement and health in all forms: I hold a degree in Exercise Science and am currently studying Medicine at the University of Melbourne.

Over time the dedicated practice of yoga creates steadiness and an attitude of contentment, both of which I aim to bring into my classes. I offer challenging and fun lessons, grounded in the lineage of Classical Vinyasa Yoga.

Alessia Frisina (English/Italian/Chinese Mandarin/French/Spanish)    @aleyogabjj    Combining my experience and passion for Yoga, Dancing and Martial Arts, I aim to provide students with challenging yet accessible Yoga classes with a focus on movement principles and breath awareness.    My Yoga journey started in 2006. As a University student of Asian studies (Chinese and Hindi) I first travelled to India where I was introduced to Hatha Yoga. I remember experiencing an incredible feeling of peace during class and my heart just melted away when I first heard my teacher chanting OM. I have been practicing Yoga since while also cultivating other interests such as dancing ( I am a Caribbean Dances Instructor) and martial arts (I am a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Blue Belt). Finally, in 2016, while living in London working a corporate job, I realised my life had gotten too hectic and that I was often irritable. I decided to start practising Yoga regularly again and 6 months later I was on a flight back to India for my Yoga Teacher Training. This time I was introduced to Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and absolutely fell in love with the practice. Since then I have been teaching and practising all around the world.

Alessia Frisina (English/Italian/Chinese Mandarin/French/Spanish)

@aleyogabjj

Combining my experience and passion for Yoga, Dancing and Martial Arts, I aim to provide students with challenging yet accessible Yoga classes with a focus on movement principles and breath awareness.

My Yoga journey started in 2006. As a University student of Asian studies (Chinese and Hindi) I first travelled to India where I was introduced to Hatha Yoga. I remember experiencing an incredible feeling of peace during class and my heart just melted away when I first heard my teacher chanting OM. I have been practicing Yoga since while also cultivating other interests such as dancing ( I am a Caribbean Dances Instructor) and martial arts (I am a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Blue Belt). Finally, in 2016, while living in London working a corporate job, I realised my life had gotten too hectic and that I was often irritable. I decided to start practising Yoga regularly again and 6 months later I was on a flight back to India for my Yoga Teacher Training. This time I was introduced to Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and absolutely fell in love with the practice. Since then I have been teaching and practising all around the world.

Lei Pei (English/Chinese Mandarin)    @Pei_Lei_    Coming from a high intensity career background – Architect then a Fashion Designer, frequent travel and forever meeting deadlines, yoga was my relief, was my escape, was my safe haven. Becoming a yoga teacher wasn't my dream and wasn't even part of my plan. Until, one day, my physical body just decided to give up on me, after many sleepless nights and suffering from multiple health issues, then only I realised how deeply exhausted I was. That's when things start changing for me.    My concentration is mainly to build and evolve around Vinyasa and Aerial yoga combining mindfulness stress reduction. I see each practice as ocean waves, it takes but it gives more. The fluidity comes with balance between strength and flexibility, it holds space to align your mind, breath and movement. It understands how unique we all are as an individual, thus, it allows us to form or reshape into that most comfortable one.

Lei Pei (English/Chinese Mandarin)

@Pei_Lei_

Coming from a high intensity career background – Architect then a Fashion Designer, frequent travel and forever meeting deadlines, yoga was my relief, was my escape, was my safe haven. Becoming a yoga teacher wasn't my dream and wasn't even part of my plan. Until, one day, my physical body just decided to give up on me, after many sleepless nights and suffering from multiple health issues, then only I realised how deeply exhausted I was. That's when things start changing for me.

My concentration is mainly to build and evolve around Vinyasa and Aerial yoga combining mindfulness stress reduction. I see each practice as ocean waves, it takes but it gives more. The fluidity comes with balance between strength and flexibility, it holds space to align your mind, breath and movement. It understands how unique we all are as an individual, thus, it allows us to form or reshape into that most comfortable one.

 
Jade Hakim (English/Spanish)    @the.natural.yogini   Since beginning my yoga journey five years ago, I have continued to dive deeper into the yogic lifestyle. Yoga for me has become my retreat, a place where I go to experience calm, presence and a deeper connection with myself.  Working in the construction industry, I found that my career was not fulfilling my desire to help people and make the world a better place; so at the end of last year I decided to quit my job in the industry and embark on a new adventure to pursue my dreams of teaching yoga.  I began my adventure in India where I completed my 200-hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh. Since then I have been traveling the world teaching as I go.  Returning home at the beginning of July, I am excited to continue sharing my passion for yoga and to help guide students on their own journeys towards enlightenment.

Jade Hakim (English/Spanish)

@the.natural.yogini

Since beginning my yoga journey five years ago, I have continued to dive deeper into the yogic lifestyle. Yoga for me has become my retreat, a place where I go to experience calm, presence and a deeper connection with myself.

Working in the construction industry, I found that my career was not fulfilling my desire to help people and make the world a better place; so at the end of last year I decided to quit my job in the industry and embark on a new adventure to pursue my dreams of teaching yoga.

I began my adventure in India where I completed my 200-hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh. Since then I have been traveling the world teaching as I go.

Returning home at the beginning of July, I am excited to continue sharing my passion for yoga and to help guide students on their own journeys towards enlightenment.

Rachel Honner     @potatoesandpilates    Having started into my health and fitness journey with a focus that was aesthetic driven only-there was little passion involved.  Years later, I was forced into a Pilates class by a friend and immediately fell in love with the complexity of such simple modality -everything in my life got better. My balance, my coordination, my body composition, my strength/mobility and most importantly, my confidence. There’s something so magical about mindful movement and being led by the breath, closing off your mind to external thoughts and being kept in the present moment.  As a teacher, I want to help as many people experience the life changing effects of Pilates as I can. Come join me!

Rachel Honner

@potatoesandpilates

Having started into my health and fitness journey with a focus that was aesthetic driven only-there was little passion involved.

Years later, I was forced into a Pilates class by a friend and immediately fell in love with the complexity of such simple modality -everything in my life got better. My balance, my coordination, my body composition, my strength/mobility and most importantly, my confidence. There’s something so magical about mindful movement and being led by the breath, closing off your mind to external thoughts and being kept in the present moment.

As a teacher, I want to help as many people experience the life changing effects of Pilates as I can. Come join me!

Tammy Phanachet (English/Thai)   Ever since I began my practice in 2012, yoga has been my refuge throughout the twists and turns of life. After years of wrestling with conventional ideas of success, I packed my bags in 2017 and embarked on a life changing journey where I completed my 200 hour Teacher Training in Bali and taught yoga while living a nomadic lifestyle for nearly 2 years.  I view yoga as a perfect balance of mindfulness and movement and I believe everyone can benefit from its transformational powers. I teach a blend of Hatha and Vinyasa, focusing on body awareness and supporting students to find their optimal alignment in each asana. I am a yogi, a Thai Massage therapist, a weightlifter, and a psychology student - I bring all of those aspects with me when I teach and I encourage you to bring every aspect of you onto the mat.

Tammy Phanachet (English/Thai)

Ever since I began my practice in 2012, yoga has been my refuge throughout the twists and turns of life. After years of wrestling with conventional ideas of success, I packed my bags in 2017 and embarked on a life changing journey where I completed my 200 hour Teacher Training in Bali and taught yoga while living a nomadic lifestyle for nearly 2 years.

I view yoga as a perfect balance of mindfulness and movement and I believe everyone can benefit from its transformational powers. I teach a blend of Hatha and Vinyasa, focusing on body awareness and supporting students to find their optimal alignment in each asana. I am a yogi, a Thai Massage therapist, a weightlifter, and a psychology student - I bring all of those aspects with me when I teach and I encourage you to bring every aspect of you onto the mat.

 
Hailey Fernandez-Luong    @ hailey fitlife   I completed my Pilates Training through Breathe Education from 2018, included pre and post-natal qualify, and with a background of Remedial Therapist from 2012, I have a passion for human anatomy, fitness and teaching Pilates. I was introduced to Pilates after struggling with birth-related injuries to my pelvic floor and lower back pain. Pilates continues to be the resources that I draw upon in daily life and coming back into fitness training. I am committed to teaching the Pilates method to any client that wishes to work towards a greater sense of wellbeing, body-mind connection, strength and mobility.  My class consists of a series of postural and stretching exercises. Using assistance from props participants experience a sense of muscle relaxation while mobilising, increasing range of motion and developing coordination.  Otherwise, I am a Sales Account Manager and a mother of a 5-year-old son. I love to spend time with family on the beach, practise Pilates and meditation with my son.

Hailey Fernandez-Luong

@haileyfitlife

I completed my Pilates Training through Breathe Education from 2018, included pre and post-natal qualify, and with a background of Remedial Therapist from 2012, I have a passion for human anatomy, fitness and teaching Pilates. I was introduced to Pilates after struggling with birth-related injuries to my pelvic floor and lower back pain. Pilates continues to be the resources that I draw upon in daily life and coming back into fitness training. I am committed to teaching the Pilates method to any client that wishes to work towards a greater sense of wellbeing, body-mind connection, strength and mobility.

My class consists of a series of postural and stretching exercises. Using assistance from props participants experience a sense of muscle relaxation while mobilising, increasing range of motion and developing coordination.

Otherwise, I am a Sales Account Manager and a mother of a 5-year-old son. I love to spend time with family on the beach, practise Pilates and meditation with my son.

Sharon Liu    @sharonliu__   I am an avid lover of movement. I naturally found Pilates through my extensive training in dance. After practicing Pilates for years, I completed my Reformer Pilates Qualification through Elixir School of Pilates and am currently furthering my knowledge with Polestar Education.  I believe in a down-to-earth approach in assisting people to move and understand their bodies. I am constantly creating and love to help people find freedom and confidence in their skin by fostering a bodily intelligence in an open, energetic environment. You will always be given the autonomy to learn and challenge yourself in my classes at your own pace.

Sharon Liu

@sharonliu__

I am an avid lover of movement. I naturally found Pilates through my extensive training in dance. After practicing Pilates for years, I completed my Reformer Pilates Qualification through Elixir School of Pilates and am currently furthering my knowledge with Polestar Education.

I believe in a down-to-earth approach in assisting people to move and understand their bodies. I am constantly creating and love to help people find freedom and confidence in their skin by fostering a bodily intelligence in an open, energetic environment. You will always be given the autonomy to learn and challenge yourself in my classes at your own pace.

Chloe Ng    @chloengxl   I come from a performing arts background and have performed for over 15 years, working in theatre, film and tv. After completing a degree in Psychology, I became a Certified Pilates instructor. I believe all three fields are intertwined, each helping each other and working together towards the same goal of connecting our mind, body and spirit – one of the core pilates principles you will find I focus on in all my classes.   I am passionate about breathing and mindfulness, and my goal is for you to have fun in my classes, leaving feeling calm and with more joy than when you entered, from the inside out. And a smile! I am currently completing her clinical pilates studies and love to integrate everything I am learning into my classes.

Chloe Ng

@chloengxl

I come from a performing arts background and have performed for over 15 years, working in theatre, film and tv. After completing a degree in Psychology, I became a Certified Pilates instructor. I believe all three fields are intertwined, each helping each other and working together towards the same goal of connecting our mind, body and spirit – one of the core pilates principles you will find I focus on in all my classes.


I am passionate about breathing and mindfulness, and my goal is for you to have fun in my classes, leaving feeling calm and with more joy than when you entered, from the inside out. And a smile! I am currently completing her clinical pilates studies and love to integrate everything I am learning into my classes.

Together We Grow

Please submit your cover letter and CV to hello@littlemandarin.melbourne if you’d like to join our growing team