Mark Breadner - Episode #6

Find out how a surfer kid diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome went on to become the Coach of Elite Athletes.

Mark Breadner, Sydney based teacher and Director of Yoga Coach,  his teaching career spans more than 20 years. Mark was born into yoga – his mother and uncle were both yoga teachers back in the 60′s.

His deep and extensive experience and knowledge of both the technical and spiritual aspects of yoga has placed him, in high demand as the yoga coach of elite sportspeople, training bodies and minds in preparation for the highest level of competition. Mark Breadner and his team offer level 1 & level 2 Yoga Teacher training courses held in Sydney & Bali.

Show Notes

If you would rather download the show notes to read them on paper later, click on the link to download. MarkBreadnerShow Notes

Otherwise please enjoy the show notes below.

Bettina: Mark tell us when you first starting practicing yoga and how that came about?

Mark:  I first started practicing yoga when I was about 6 or 7. My Mum (Joan Breadner) used to teach yoga in our home in the rumpus room.  Mum passed away a couple of years ago but she was teaching yoga for 50 years plus. She started in the 60’s. I remember the classes were always full, always women, who wore shiny leotards and leg warmers. It was largely word of mouth to draw in about 20 – 30 in every class. When I look back Mum gave me the love of yoga. And in a lot of ways its was more authentic than it is today with it being so commercialized as it is today, there was always pranayama and Pratyahara – withdrawal of the senses, looking at candles and then looking at cloth and seeing the colors on the sheet afterwards. There was always some meditation. So that was always in the back of my mind that that was always part of yoga.

B: What about in your teenage years did you continue to practice yoga? Or did you do what most young adults do, and rebel and trash their bodies?

M:  Well framed in that way I guess I did trash my body a lot. I was on both sides of it. I was competing in Iron Man events and training really hard 5 hours a day and partying hard too, big sessions drinking, In my early 20’s I got burnt out. I got Chronic Fatigue and all the symptoms of that and it put me out of action for 2 years. It turned my life upside down 1000% It made me look at what is balance, exercise and how to use the body in the right way and that got me back into yoga. From that point it’s become my life long passion. I grew up in a surf culture and I was having a good time but a piece of the puzzle was missing.

B: I really enjoyed reading the articles on your website. The Wellness Warrior (Australian Yoga Life 2011) and “My Guiding Lights” , a tribute to your teachers, Who were they?

M: My mother, Joan Breadner was my first teacher.

I went into Somatic Psychotherapy I had a private practice for 5 years, now everything I do folds into yoga now. The teacher that stuck out then was Julie Henderson she had a PHD in Somatics and she was a strong Buddhist practitioner the core message that I got from her was that wellbeing is my inherent state and the every thing I did and learnt from her was in the direction of wellbeing. I’d say really that’s amazing! So if I was having a bad day or was in one of my stories, it would be, ok great, that’s nice to know, now what are you going to do to move back into wellbeing. Great turning point for me. Yoga writes about that and the practices are always supporting for me that place where I’m at my best.

B: Can you elaborate on what Somatic Psychology is?

M: If you look at Psychology or Psychiatry or any of those modalities that are cognitive in nature. They look at your beliefs and attitudes from a causal plane and look into the belief systems that are driving you.  When you get awareness, you start to have choices. Somatics means body, it begins to look at how those beliefs and attitudes are embodied and how you can release them and let them go by working with the body and the mind.

B: Who are the other teachers that have guided you?


  • Aenpo Rinpoche- 11th incarnation of that mind stream.
  • Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati (SWAMI J)
  • T.K.V. Desikachar 15years ago with Mark Whitwell (Heart of Yoga.

B: Has your practice changed over time? Tell me about your practice at the moment.

M: I try to practice 3 times a day, primarily pranayama and meditation. A bit of asana. I do 1.5 – 3 hours per day. I keep inspired because it keeps me balanced. I feel like I have more potency out in the world, I feel more loving and a greater sense of clarity and on purpose. It doesn’t have a lot of relevance if you only practice adhoc.

B: Your business “Yoga Coach” when did you establish it?

M: Its been going just 2 years now we have just finished our 2nd lot of teacher training. (2009)

How does it work  Is it a studio?

What YC is doing it creating a career path for yoga teachers. Based on the yoga sutra it’s about Yoga education

We don’t have a studio running classes. We hire Mantra Yoga on the north side of Sydney in Crows Nest and we teach in Bali as well.

B: How do you describe a “yoga coach”?

M: Its set up in a systematic approach. Level one is about teaching effectively and safely in a group environment. Level 2 is designed to work 1 – on – 1 with students and develop systems and use assessment tools to design programs, we also bring in Ayurveda principles. The last part is to fold the system into your “niche” area. We get students to look at the areas they are passionate about, the areas they really love. The thing about niche area not only is it the thing you love to do but you become the expert in, in your field so that you can make a career out of it.

B: That’s a great and different business model. Is there any other business training in the course?

M: Yep, there is business training. I hear a lot of students say they can’t make enough just by teaching in studios. So one of the things we teach is to focus on your niche and developing business skills. We use Brook from Yoga Reach to focus on developing your strategic selling point, social media marketing skills, getting the right name and promoting your story, so you are able to market yourself and have a strategy.

B: Elaborate on Niche areas-

M: I work in Disability and Elite sport, with pro Swimmers Pro surf teams. (Don’t Dis my ability)

B:Listen to Mark’s explanation on how to market to and work with the different markets needs.

  • Pregnancy
  • Corporate
  • Kids and teenagers

Yoga Coach teaches how to guide people to work through the obstacles in the body. And how the relationship is really important. And how you need to come from your own experience.

B: Other than yoga what do you love to do that makes your heart sing?

M: My other great passion is surfing, travel and teaching yoga. That’s why I try to tee up my passions into one. That’s why I like to do our training in Bali.

B: Which of the Yama and Niyama’s resonate with you at the moment?

You must listen in to hear Mark’s answer, his wisdom and understanding of the Yama and Niyamas.

B: Do you like to read books or poems? What books do you like to recommend to yoga students?

M: I’ve been a chronic self-development reader…the stuff I really like reading is that off the website it’s a great system of teaching. It’s real, practical and down to earth. Its an awesome website of resources it gets about 5,000 hits a day.

B: What music do you enjoy do you like to have music playing during your classes or when you practice?

M: No, I’m not a fan of playing music while practicing. It needs to be quiet in the background if I do play music in class.

B: What are you working on at the moment or what is coming up that you are offering to your students?

  • Level 1 & 2 Teacher training 2012 check the website
  • Retreats in Bali
  • Swami J – training programs 200 hour to 10,000 hours.
  • Retreats with  Tripurashakti Brahmacharini from Holland
  • Byron Spirit Festival Mullimbimbee –. February 17th 2012
  • Bodhi Festival Newcastle. 24th-26th February 2012
  • Yoga Therapy Conference in Melbourne in August 2012 – www.Enlightened

B: Do you have a charity that you support?

M: Bodhicitta Chitta Sister Yeshi

B: Finally – Who would you like to hear interviewed on YTP

M: Ani Pema Chodron (nee Karen Schaeffer)

Check out Mark Breadner’s Teacher Training Courses

Thank you for listening.

Please comment  below or on Facebook page.



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