Keith Kempis, director BIJA YOGA

Keith was born in the year of the rabbit. Though introduced to the devotional practices of yoga early in life, he began practicing yoga asana as a way to deal with adolescence.

Throughout his career as a musician (including a long time gig as house pianist and musical director at legendary jazz venue, side-on cafe; and playing the Rhapsody in Blue for six pianos at the Gershwin Centenary) and dancer (favourite roles include Prince Rama in the Ramayana and The King in The Firebird) he felt creatively satisfied yet somehow spiritually hungry. It was Casey Gramaglia who first introduced Keith to Jivamukti Yoga (in a girlie bar) whilst Keith was travelling around Thailand. Keith extended his stay to study with Casey.

In 2005 Keith completed Samadhi Yoga Teacher Training led by Katie Manitsas. In 2007 he realized his divine dream of becoming a Jivamukti Yoga teacher, gaining certification from founders Sharon Gannon and David Life. Keith regularly studies with Sharon and David and has assisted them in New York, Hong Kong, Bali, Byron Bay, Sydney and India. Keith is very proud to be Jessica Stickler’s first apprentice, completing the Jivamukti Yoga Apprenticeship Program under her guidance at the Jivamukti Yoga Center NYC 2011. In 2012 Keith was awarded Advanced Certification.

Keith is also inspired by the teachings of Harish Johari, the celebrated artist, storyteller, master of Ayurveda, numerology, the chakras and gemstones.

Keith’s open classes are uplifting and the soundtracks are always as creative as the sequencing. His Basics classes are precise and thorough. Kirtan is a feature of the yoga workshops Keith teaches in and around Sydney. He teaches workshops and runs yoga retreats and pilgrimages throughout SE Asia with a focus on Thailand, the Philippines and India. Keith also teaches music, religion and yoga (sometimes all at once) to future yogis at Xavier College, Penrith.

Keith was a foundation teacher at Lila Yoga Studio (now BIJA YOGA) when Carmen Ceniza first opened its doors ten years ago, and is both proud and honoured to continue the legacy of Penrith’s very first purpose-built yoga studio.