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BLACK LOTUS STUDIOS IS AN ACCREDITED IYENGAR YOGA SCHOOL.

We offer in-studio and live stream classes, courses, intensives, workshops, retreats, private sessions and open studio practice times ranging from beginners to advanced and teacher training.

Black Lotus Studios was created by Sue-ellen Kohler in 2007 as the new home for the teachers and yogis from The Sydney Yoga Space when Peter Thomson closed his school in East Sydney.
For ten years Black Lotus Studios was in Enmore until the building was scheduled for demolition.  Sue-ellen and her partner Melissa Coote took a leap and built a studio in their back garden.
The teachers work closely with Sue-ellen and are certified or in training through the B.K.S Iyengar Yoga Association of Australia under the auspices of Senior Iyengar teacher Peter Thomson.

Black Lotus Yoga Studio is located right in the heart of Marrickville, Sydney, Australia.

Close to buses and Marrickville train station. On street parking is available close by.

The studio entrance is through the wooden gate down Stinson Lane and right next to the house at 61 Warren road.  Walk down the side street and you’ll see the gate with our logo. The gate will be unlocked half an hour before class begins.  Press the button on the handle to open the gate and come in.


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Meet the Teachers

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Sue-ellen Kohler

Sue-ellen Kohler (she/her) is the principal teacher and owner of Black Lotus Studios. She has been practicing and teaching Iyengar yoga for more than 30 years.

Sue-ellen moved to Sydney in 1985 as a young professional dancer from Melbourne to join Russell Dumas’s company ‘Dance Exchange’ and then later with performance group ‘The Sydney Front’. She was performing at Expo ’88, when a fall from stilts crushed a vertebra in her spine. This accident became an important catalyst for her yoga development, helping her to understand yoga’s capacity to heal on a holistic level. She undertook teacher training with Martyn Jackson at the Australian School of Yoga in Bondi Junction and started teaching there from 1989. Sue-ellen became a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher in 1995 while undertaking her apprenticeship with senior Iyengar Yoga teacher Peter Thomson.

Sue-ellen was one of the first teachers in Sydney to introduce ‘stretch’ classes to gyms as a form of extending yoga practice beyond the boundaries of yoga-specific school sites. She was also well known and loved for her stretch classes at Sydney Dance Company in the early 90’s. As a student of Peter Thomson, she began teaching at the Glebe Yoga School in 1993 and continued when he moved the school to East Sydney as the Sydney Yoga Space. When Peter Thomson closed his school in 2007, she created Black Lotus Studios and opened her yoga and natural therapies centre in Enmore bringing most of the SYS teachers with her.

Since then she, and her partner Melissa Coote, have built a gorgeous, purpose built studio in their garden in Marrickville. You’ll find her most days either practicing or teaching or cleaning in the leafy garden studio.

Sue-ellen Kohler

Sue-ellen Kohler

Sue-ellen Kohler (she/her) is the principal teacher and owner of Black Lotus Studios. She has been practicing and teaching Iyengar yoga for more than 30 years.

Sue-ellen moved to Sydney in 1985 as a young professional dancer from Melbourne to join Russell Dumas’s company ‘Dance Exchange’ and then later with performance group ‘The Sydney Front’. She was performing at Expo ’88, when a fall from stilts crushed a vertebra in her spine. This accident became an important catalyst for her yoga development, helping her to understand yoga’s capacity to heal on a holistic level. She undertook teacher training with Martyn Jackson at the Australian School of Yoga in Bondi Junction and started teaching there from 1989. Sue-ellen became a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher in 1995 while undertaking her apprenticeship with senior Iyengar Yoga teacher Peter Thomson.

Sue-ellen was one of the first teachers in Sydney to introduce ‘stretch’ classes to gyms as a form of extending yoga practice beyond the boundaries of yoga-specific school sites. She was also well known and loved for her stretch classes at Sydney Dance Company in the early 90’s. As a student of Peter Thomson, she began teaching at the Glebe Yoga School in 1993 and continued when he moved the school to East Sydney as the Sydney Yoga Space. When Peter Thomson closed his school in 2007, she created Black Lotus Studios and opened her yoga and natural therapies centre in Enmore bringing most of the SYS teachers with her.

Since then she, and her partner Melissa Coote, have built a gorgeous, purpose built studio in their garden in Marrickville. You’ll find her most days either practicing or teaching or cleaning in the leafy garden studio.

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Margaret Lum

Margaret has been a practitioner of Iyengar yoga for 25 years.

For the past 10 years she has studied under Peter Thomson and Sue-ellen Kohler, teaching at Sydney Yoga Space and Black Lotus Studios. This training has given her a foundation for understanding how yoga is integral to life. For a few years Margaret made a sea change with her family to the beautiful South coast of NSW where she ran classes for locals. Consistent practice and dedicated teachers have supported her well-being and self-awareness, practical life skills for teaching yoga and meeting the challenges that come with juggling work and family.















Margaret Lum

Margaret Lum

Margaret has been a practitioner of Iyengar yoga for 25 years.

For the past 10 years she has studied under Peter Thomson and Sue-ellen Kohler, teaching at Sydney Yoga Space and Black Lotus Studios. This training has given her a foundation for understanding how yoga is integral to life. For a few years Margaret made a sea change with her family to the beautiful South coast of NSW where she ran classes for locals. Consistent practice and dedicated teachers have supported her well-being and self-awareness, practical life skills for teaching yoga and meeting the challenges that come with juggling work and family.















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Sebastian Cilento

After finishing University in Melbourne in 1988 Sebastian left to live on his aunt Diane Cilento’s property ‘Karnak’ in the Daintree Rainforest, Far North Queensland.

Diane ran 9 month courses in esoteric studies with all the students living and working together as a self-sustaining community. He stayed for four years. It was an experiment and preparation for the needs of the future and a question about the sense and significance of life on Earth. This was the beginning of a Spiritual search that has led in many directions and has found many teachers. Sebastian began practicing Iyengar Yoga in 1992 at the Hatha Yoga Shala in Bondi Junction with Shandor Remete, an intense and inspiring teacher who lit the fire of practice and discipline, the persistent work through yoga to burn off the dross, to work through the outer shell and reveal the deeper Reality of life. In 1995 he went to live in Santa Fe, New Mexico where he spent the next seven years doing a jewellery apprenticeship and continued his study and practice of yoga with Stephen Norvell. 

Read More
The pursuit of intelligence and the uncompromising work that BKS Iyengar has given us were again transmitted through Stephen whose classes were all three hours long and were restricted to a core group of people. Any new person to the class was given a harrowing three hours of standing poses. Not many returned. In 1999 Sebastian started teaching classes at Santa Fe Community College. In 2002 Sebastian returned to Australia and began teacher training with Glenn Ceresoli. In 2004 he reconnected with old friend James Hasemer and began teaching at Central Yoga school where he developed his teaching and practice and became a Certified Iyengar teacher. He began studying under Pixie Lillas and then in 2007 Sebastian went to the Iyengar Institute in Pune, India. He now currently holds an Introductory Level 2 Certification. In 2009 Sebastian started working with Peter Thomson at Black Lotus Studios. A teacher is the rope of knowledge that one must hold fast to, that pulls us back in the right direction as we are swept off inevitably in the rip-tides of worldly life and the conjuring of the mind. Knowledge has its source and its lineage of transmission, but it is only given a living reality within you through work and effort, the commitment to practice and the willingness to learn. Sebastian is very excited to be part of the Black Lotus team.





















Sebastian Cilento

Sebastian Cilento

After finishing University in Melbourne in 1988 Sebastian left to live on his aunt Diane Cilento’s property ‘Karnak’ in the Daintree Rainforest, Far North Queensland.

Diane ran 9 month courses in esoteric studies with all the students living and working together as a self-sustaining community. He stayed for four years. It was an experiment and preparation for the needs of the future and a question about the sense and significance of life on Earth. This was the beginning of a Spiritual search that has led in many directions and has found many teachers. Sebastian began practicing Iyengar Yoga in 1992 at the Hatha Yoga Shala in Bondi Junction with Shandor Remete, an intense and inspiring teacher who lit the fire of practice and discipline, the persistent work through yoga to burn off the dross, to work through the outer shell and reveal the deeper Reality of life. In 1995 he went to live in Santa Fe, New Mexico where he spent the next seven years doing a jewellery apprenticeship and continued his study and practice of yoga with Stephen Norvell. 

Read More
The pursuit of intelligence and the uncompromising work that BKS Iyengar has given us were again transmitted through Stephen whose classes were all three hours long and were restricted to a core group of people. Any new person to the class was given a harrowing three hours of standing poses. Not many returned. In 1999 Sebastian started teaching classes at Santa Fe Community College. In 2002 Sebastian returned to Australia and began teacher training with Glenn Ceresoli. In 2004 he reconnected with old friend James Hasemer and began teaching at Central Yoga school where he developed his teaching and practice and became a Certified Iyengar teacher. He began studying under Pixie Lillas and then in 2007 Sebastian went to the Iyengar Institute in Pune, India. He now currently holds an Introductory Level 2 Certification. In 2009 Sebastian started working with Peter Thomson at Black Lotus Studios. A teacher is the rope of knowledge that one must hold fast to, that pulls us back in the right direction as we are swept off inevitably in the rip-tides of worldly life and the conjuring of the mind. Knowledge has its source and its lineage of transmission, but it is only given a living reality within you through work and effort, the commitment to practice and the willingness to learn. Sebastian is very excited to be part of the Black Lotus team.






















SEE ALL TEACHERS

What We offer

Why Choose Us

In a yoga class or course

Our classes will introduce you to a method of yoga practice where we align our bodies with the beautiful and harmonious hatha yoga asanas or postures.  Each asana is unique to itself and its shape.  There are roughly sixty main asanas and literally thousands of variations on them.  We think of asanas in groups: for example, ‘forward bends’ ‘backbends’ ‘inversions’ ‘standing’ or ‘restorative’.  A class is usually made up of a skilfully created sequence taken from these groups.  Class sequences consider external influences (like weather, season, time of day) and individual circumstances (injuries, emotional state, age, fitness, menstruation etc.) and through experience and training your teacher will be able to adapt the details to work with your particular circumstances and will also challenge and extend you. 

lets get physical …

An asana is a shape we strive to achieve with our bodies but to get there we must, as they say, give it our all!  To practice hatha yoga is to connect fully and wholeheartedly with our every action: physically, emotionally, mentally and even spiritually.  When we are in an asana we mirror the physical qualities of each asana in the less tangible parts of ourselves as well.  With practice we can see what is in our way, what is limiting us on a deeper level.  We understand how inextricably linked our bodies are to our minds and by working directly with our bodies we can understand our selves better.  How we think is clearly expressed in our bodies and changing our body also changes our thinking. 

transformation

Each individual asana expresses an almost archetypal or primal shape.  For the time that we are in an asana, we become that shape.  The process is creative, and over time, and with through daily practice we will experience all the possibilities of our unique and individual selves.  For example, a backbend opens the chest, cracks open our hard upper back shell and softens our heart.  A forward bend asks us to look deep within and dissolve resistance, denial and demand.  A headstand will turn things literally upside down, asking you to visualise your body differently, question long-held beliefs, and discover compassion along the way.  Standing poses give us legs to stand on and the courage to move forward with confidence.  While this practice aspires to bring us into our full potential, along the way we are brought into contact with what we are feeling and where we really are.  We may not always like what we feel and see, but this discomfort, in turn, helps us understand ourselves better.  This amazing and potent practice offers a pathway for transforming negative or destructive mind states into a more balanced and harmonious expression of our creative selves.   

Not just muscles!

Western science has classified the organisation of our bodies into 11 main ‘systems’:  Skeletal, Muscular, Respiratory, Circulatory, Nervous, Digestive, Immune, Reproductive, Endocrine, Exocrine and Renal.  When we practice yoga asana we stimulate and energise all these systems, and this helps them to function, naturally, in harmony and in good health.  So while the strengthening of muscles is important, when we practice yoga we develop a deeper comprehension and respect for how the body functions as a whole, a kind of ‘community’ where each part is interdependent on every other part.  Further to this while yoga is undeniably physical, our pathway in to feeling and understanding is through awareness, our consciousness if you like.

TESTIMONIALS

What Our Clients Say About Us

Black Lotus has been a calm oasis in a wild world.
Over the years, and throughout the Covid crisis, Sue-ellen at Black Lotus has steered the students, the classes with a light touch. Her teaching is deep and disciplined. Her understanding about the body in general, and my body in particular has allowed me to experiment with movement, action, strength and flexibility in a way that has advanced my yoga practice.

Doreen Finkelstein
Doreen Finkelstein
Black Lotus Studios is an excellent yoga school.
I am a long-time student with the studio and throughout the years I have experienced a consistently high quality of yoga teaching; the teachers are skilled and intuitive, they teach the whole class and yet are able to give students individual attention. My own yoga practice needs have varied greatly over the years and I have had unwavering support from all of the teachers and also the necessary instruction to develop more insight and understanding of Iyengar yoga. The studio space is beautiful and well equipped, allowing for a calm and rewarding yoga practice.

Dr Jacqueline Widin
Dr Jacqueline WidinEducation and Evaluation Specialist
Black Lotus is an outstanding yoga studio.
I have attended many over the years and this is by far the best. It is a beautiful studio in a serene and friendly space next to a peaceful garden setting and is well equipped with props for extra support. The teachers are highly experienced and trained with have a deep and precise knowledge of their practice. They teach with care, warmth and humour, and always adjust to the varying needs and abilities of their students. There is even the occasional visit by Sue Ellen’s darling cat and dog which adds to the fun. I always feel more aligned, stronger and uplifted after my sessions. I cannot recommend this place enough.

Rani Sen
Rani Sen
I have been doing yoga with Sue-ellen for a long time.
As yoga is a practice, it is difficult for me to put into words – it is a practice that contains everything. What I can say, is that I couldn’t imagine my life without it. .

Nell
Nell
I have been practising yoga with Sue-ellen for over 20 years.
She has kept me fit and healthy and will continue to do so well into my 80s which will be next year. Sue-ellen has the ability to essentially care for each individual, being aware of any personal difficulties or injuries and ensuring that we all manage to enjoy and improve our strength in mind and body. I couldn’t imagine ever stopping yoga practise. Her zooming classes have been invaluable for all of us. She has created a supportive atmosphere and her purposely built studio is a pleasure.

Margaret Kirkwood
Margaret Kirkwood
The studios are an oasis of peace and tranquility in my often crowded and busy life.
They provide a necessary time-out to appreciate the unity of body and mind through the focus on detail, precision and alignment that the Iyengar discipline provides.

Tom Zubryki
Tom Zubryki
I’ve been going to Iyengar yoga classes at Black Lotus for around 10 years.
It’s a special place: a beautiful, peaceful, purpose-built studio in the inner West under the guidance of the superlative teacher Sue-ellen Koehler. All the members of the team are highly-skilled practitioners who’re caring and encouraging and always make the time to consider any injuries and current difficulties and provide alternatives or support. There’s a real sense of community and a shared vision for growth in practice and in self.

Helen Loughlin
Helen Loughlin
I have been attending both the studio and zoom classes over the past two years.
Sue-ellen came highly recommended by another Iyengar yoga teacher, who had to leave Sydney.
Sue-ellen definitely lives up to the recommendation. I find her classes beneficial to my yoga development and enjoyment. She gives excellent descriptions of asanas and corrective feedback.
I highly recommend Sue-ellen and Black Lotus to any yogi, whether a beginner or experienced.

Tony Spinks
Tony Spinks
I’ve been attending Black Lotus for about 15 years and still find every class offers a new perspective on practice.
Sue Ellen is particularly good at helping students adapt their practice to suit particular conditions and issues, while still teaching in a way that extends and challenges.

Sally Hillier
Sally Hillier
I started taking yoga classes with Sue-ellen in my early sixties.
My main reason was to slow the loss of flexibility that comes with old age. It worked! I am now 82 and continue to benefit from the wisdom and teaching skills of Sue-Ellen in twice weekly classes. I only wish I had taken up yoga with her when I was younger.

Bob Boakes
Bob Boakes
The yoga I do with Black lotus yoga is soooo good for me .
I am very grateful
I am very appreciative
Thank you, one breath and one asana at a time

Patty Lee
Patty Lee

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JOIN OUR ONLINE CLASSES

Shove the furniture out of the way and make some space, inside and out. Prepare to breath deep and restore your world.

FIND A CLASS

Right now the face to face classes have been suspended due to COVID lockdown conditions.  

Classes are being offered via livestream.  Please enrol and we will send you a zoom link.