Dominique and Anthony Salerno - Everybody has Something to Offer
Anthony and Dominique Salerno are the individuals behind iconic Melbourne Yoga studio Australian Yoga Academy. We were very excited to catch up with them at their beautiful new studio in Prahran because Australian Yoga Academy is where Rane did his yoga teacher training, and he has many fond memories of taking classes with both of them.
Past guests of the podcast Karina Smith, Mark Pheely and Jo Buick all cite Anthony and Dominique as some of their key teachers and we estimate that AYA has trained hundreds of yoga teachers since they established their teacher training program in 2005, so they have been a huge influence on the Melbourne (and Australian) Yoga landscape.
We knew some of their story before speaking with them, but they really opened up and shared some fascinating aspects of their personal and professional history.
In this episode, they share some great advice about finding your voice as a Yoga teacher, the power of vulnerability and the importance of being an eternal student.
Australian Yoga Academy: https://australianyogaacademy.com/
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Click on a timecode to play from that time in the recording.2:30 How Anthony found his path of spirituality and personal development
4:45 How Dominique found her path of yoga - Growing up in Johannesburg
6:00 How Dominique and Anthony got to know each other, and formed their relationship and came to realise that they didn’t want to work in law or public relations
7:31 Selling their house and putting every cent into Blue Angel Centre for Wellbeing
8:26 “We had to have a yoga teacher”
8:58 How Dominique started teaching yoga
10:39 What did Dominique really love about teaching those early classes?
12:20 Allowing yourself to be vulnerable as a teacher
13:20 Where Dominique did her yoga teacher training
14:32 Training in Ashtanga Yoga
14:59 After running their first teacher training - “I was broken”
16:16 “I was done, I was dusted” - Dominique leaves for Thailand, Anthony in Melbourne
17:40 “Whatever is going on is there to teach us something”. Anthony’s perspective
20:14 “That’s what these practices are for”
21:08 Dominique returns to Melbourne.
21:59 Opening the St Edmonds Road Studio
23:11 Did Dominique’s year overseas cause a shift in the AYA style?
23:35 “I picked up very quickly that people wanted to work hard”
25:41 Any advice for teachers who may have impostor syndrome?
28:30 When did Anthony and Dominique decide that teacher trainings were to be a big part of their offerings?
31:52 Do you think that aspiring yoga teachers often have a realistic view of what it takes to be a yoga teacher?
33:52 The different stages of life people are in during their yoga teacher trainings
35:24 Former guests of the podcast, Mark Pheely, Karina Smith and Jo Buick all cite Anthony and Dominique as key teachers, how does that make them feel?
38:36 Any advice for teachers trying to find their voice?
40:07 “You can’t figure yourself out just sitting on the couch”
43:50 On Anthony writing his book
44:48 How have Anthony and Dominique seen the yoga landscape evolve since they started teaching, and how do they see it move into the future?
46:52 Do you have tips for teachers in regards to long term sustainability?
47:20 The mistake that many yoga teachers make.
50:20 Integration and reflection - spiritual materialism
56:40 “The yoga dirty bombs”
57:38 Getting your own house in order - focus on changing yourself
61:02 The core of Anthony and Dominiques’ teachings