Cassie Lee has trained with some of the most respected and world renowned teachers, primarily John Friend, Founder of Anusara Yoga and Canadian teacher Patrick Creelman based in Hong Kong. She has been teaching all levels of yoga internationally for over 12 years and has been leading Teacher Trainings at Power Living Yoga Australia for the last 4 years. A fiercely passionate and soulful teacher, Cassie teaches a fun mash-up of alignment based vinyasa, as well as the quieter, nourishing practices of yin yoga and meditation. She is known for her passion and precision, and her ability to keep it fluid and fun while getting the work done. After many years living and teaching in Hong Kong, Cassie has returned to her home country Australia and set up home in Byron Bay.
What do you do best?
What I do best is being myself. I was brought up in a strict religious environment that kept me isolated from the world around me throughout childhood and my teens. At 17 I decided to walk out and leave the only community of family and friends I knew and start over. This early lesson taught me to never go along with the crowd around you, even if the crowd is made up of people you admire and trust, but instead listen within to the truth of your own heart and spirit. It begins there but doesn’t end there. Making the hard choices to leave comfort and security behind and step continually into the unknown with nothing but the trust you have in your integrity, your ethic and your intention takes real courage and determination. I guess this is why I am so grateful to the discipline and compassion that comes from a steady yoga practice.
What makes you the best verison of yourself?
I have lived and learned an old fashioned lesson: hard work and practice. It began with my body - I never believed I could do the things I would see around me in the yoga room: standing just on my hands or head, holding crazy bound positions and putting body parts where they don’t normally go - my restricted background had trained me that a lot of things were “not for me” but were the playground of others. But I slowly broke down those barriers. It began with my body but inspired my attitude. I learned that if you decided you wanted something, and you worked for it while surrounding yourself with a tribe of good hearted supporters, you could accomplish anything. Grit and will and a bit of sweaty fun in the mix.
What are your aspirations?
It will always be to live and teach from my heart, every time every day, and to inspire that in others. Which means helping people to see beyond the smallness of conditioning so they can breathe life into their dreams. Then, to enable people with the tools and capacity to live into these dreams by helping them recondition themselves through yoga and meditation.
For me success means living freely with the ability to choose my next step. Being self sufficient, self employed and having the ability, creativity and intelligence to construct the picture how I want it. I traveled the world solo for a year a few years ago and getting comfortable with the unrelenting sense of free fall was an awakening for me. It has given me the nerve to make choices that inspire me, rather than out of fear and the chase for security. Living this way now is my biggest success.
Most Challenging Moment?
This was when my marriage of 11 years ended. Going through the pain of the breakup but being able to evolve the relationship to a sincere and supportive friendship that stands to this day. It was the hardest thing ever, and I am so proud of us both.
Favorite People/Role Models?
My dear friend Claudia Whitney for her passion, sensitivity and “pink skies” life view. She holds my hand through everything and constantly reminds me to go for it. I love Sam Harris podcasts, they pickle my brain and inspire my learning. Also Krista Tippet at OnBeing, for her curiosity, grace and intelligence. I am also constantly inspired by some of the amazing yoga I see on Instagram - for instance the self taught, like a boss @yogoskenz, and the amazing discipline and ethic of @cyogalab, and the original of all that for me was @meghancurrieyoga, she will always hold my heart for her epic creativity and depth.
There was this place, on the Red Sea peninsular of Egypt near Mt Sinnai, that was just a few huts in the sand with mattresses for a few dollars a day and all the hummus and salad you could eat. It was pretty special.
When I travel I always have my notebook, my Bose headphones and some yummy candle to anchor my space. I’m also a bit nuts for Evian water.
Apart from yoga… My partner is teaching me how to cook, something I’ve never felt confident about, so that is fun and I don’t suck which is great. We’ve also just recently moved to Byron Bay from Melbourne so I am getting back to my sandy roots by jumping in the water as much as I can.