Mataji began practising Yoga when she was 16, starting by following the illustrations in a handout in the Women's Weekly, and thereafter finding a yoga class wherever she found herself living.
After 17 years of Yoga as merely asana practice, she was astonished to find that Yoga aspires to much more. In the first place it is about living well awareness, and it is really much more about meditation and inner experience, culminating in self-realisation or enlightenment, than it is about asana. Perhaps that early experience established a possibility… but it didn’t teach her much about lrelating well, or handiling the ups and downs of life, or consciousness, nor did it bring enduring contentment.
She accepted her guru, Swami Shankarananda,in 1982, and plunged into the spirituality of meditation and the investigation of one’s Self. Yogic spirituality starts from the premise that there is but one Self, and so you and I are experiences of that same Self..
She trained to teach Asana and Pranayama with Joy Spencer, and took meditation leader’s training with Ian Gawler. She became the founding Secretary of the Gawler Foundation.
Academically, she has a swag of philosophy in her background, with a major, sub-major and work towards an MA in philosophy at Melbourne University. Later, she went back to university to get training in psychology, with a graduate diploma in Social Studies, and a postgraduate diploma in Health Psychology, the latter at La Trobe university There was a graduate marketing diploma along the way, too, at CIT, which became a campus of Monash university.
For many years she ran life skills programs for an adult education facility in Warragul. Since 1988 she has been teaching meditation, and training teachers of meditation and of Yoga.
She has been practising the full discipline of Yoga, including daily meditation, for tsince 1982. She writes extensively on the Yoga Sutras, helping students to get the radical shift of experience pointed to by the Sutras, along with exercises to aid comprehension.
In 2009, Mataji took Sanyas and became a Swami, and continues to deepen her understanding of Yoga through study, practice, and still mind meditation.
Many of the programs run by Mataji, or the school, can be found at The Australian College of Classical Yoga
Mataji also has a personal website including musings, articles and discussions. Visit Swami Shantananda: Reflections