move. smile. release. Uma Spender (previously Jessie Neave) - name in transition - new website coming soon!

Uma Spender (previously Jessie Neave) - name in transition - new website coming soon!

Pavitra Gurumurthi - Goddess Retreat March 2017

"Uma (Jessie) embodies a beautiful refined energy which is evident through her innate wisdom, her love for all living beings, her passion for the yoga practice and her natural ability to access and impart ancient teachings.
One of her many gifts is being able to hold the sacred space as long as you need in order to get in touch with your core essence. This is pure magic because it is done with so much love and light that you feel nothing but safe to go deeper into unknown parts of yourself - I believe there is no greater gift than this. 
Since the retreat, my little heart has been bursting open with so much love and a willingness to break free from all earthly limitations with grace. Thank you so much for providing such a divine space - I am no longer afraid of the unknown because I now understand that there is no darkness, there is only light and that light comes from within. Blessings" 

Alana Burns - March 2017 Goddess Retreat

"The whole experience was beyond what I could ever imagined possible in 7 days. I feel a deep inner happiness, more connected to my self and an overwhelming sense that everything is going to be ok. Actually beyond ok, it's going to be amazing.
Jessie (Uma) creates a space that allows for deep self reflection which at the same time is fun, full of laughs, love and light.
Her knowledge and the way she interwove it with the goddess mythology throughout the retreat was truly beautiful and powerful.
Thank you Jessie, I will never forget my time in Ubud and the thirteen beautiful goddess I was lucky enough to share this experience with. You have ruined me, I will never find another teacher like you! Please move to Brisbane." 

Laura Potter - March 2017 Goddess Retreat

'Attending the Goddess retreat with Jessie (Uma) has been one of the most empowering experiences of my life. I felt completely safe and taken care of physically and emotionally throughout the entire 7days. Learning about the goddess's was so interesting and sharing this whole experience with 13 other amazing women was a beautiful experience. I haven't laughed that much in years and am so grateful to have met so many powerful and loving people. I cannot wait until the next one. Couldn't recommend this retreat any higher. Thank you Jessie.'' 

Naomi Field - March 2017 Goddess Retreat

"Jessie (Uma) is a super special human. She is incredibly spiritual but also down to earth, kind, approachable and most of all passionate. Her ability to translate her knowledge and passion into healing and transformation for others (whilst in a safe environment) is reason alone to go (to the Goddess Retreat). If you want to become centred and more in touch with your body surrounded by beauty and inspiring women this is it!" 

Pavitra Gurumurthi - March 2017 Goddess Retreat

"Uma (Jessie) embodies a beautiful refined energy which is evident through her innate wisdom, her love for all living beings, her passion for the yoga practice and her natural ability to access and impart ancient teachings.
One of her many gifts is being able to hold the sacred space as long as you need in order to get in touch with your core essence. This is pure magic because it is done with so much love and light that you feel nothing but safe to go deeper into unknown parts of yourself - I believe there is no greater gift than this. 
Since the retreat, my little heart has been bursting open with so much love and a willingness to break free from all earthly limitations with grace. Thank you so much for providing such a divine space - I am no longer afraid of the unknown because I now understand that there is no darkness, there is only light and that light comes from within. Blessings" <3 Divine Pavitra Gurumurthi, thank you!

Alana Burns - March 2017 Goddess Retreat

"The whole experience was beyond what I could ever imagined possible in 7 days. I feel a deep inner happiness, more connected to my self and an overwhelming sense that everything is going to be ok. Actually beyond ok, it's going to be amazing.
Jessie (Uma) creates a space that allows for deep self reflection which at the same time is fun, full of laughs, love and light.
Her knowledge and the way she interwove it with the goddess mythology throughout the retreat was truly beautiful and powerful.
Thank you Jessie, I will never forget my time in Ubud and the thirteen beautiful goddess I was lucky enough to share this experience with. You have ruined me, I will never find another teacher like you! Please move to Brisbane. X" 

Angelica Cooke


Jessie and Shoshannah are the perfect yoga duo, complementing each other both in teaching style and energy, on and off the mat. They thoughtfully facilitated a balance of flow and yin classes as well as creating a loving atmosphere fostering deep friendships and trust. I could not have had a better experience, thank you ladies! 

Emma Carden

Jess and Shoshannah are an incredible team who will take you on a beautiful journey.  Their retreat was fun, challenging and restorative. They create a supportive space which allows you to challenge yourself both physically and personally. I wouldn't hesitate in recommending a retreat with them to anyone. I am so grateful for the experience they brought me.

Matt Scott

 I had the pleasure of attending a 7 day retreat with Jess at the Sanctuary in Thailand; a blissful experience.  Jess, and her teaching partner Shoshannah, form a perfect complement, are deeply knowledgeable and hold a wonderful space; to be highly recommended.  As well as the yoga, the sessions facilitated by Jess around ‘Dharma’ were also fascinating, and refreshing - book now to avoid disappointment!

John Gomo

Firstly let me say how delighted I was with the programme and the way it was implemented by Jessie and Shoshannah - professional and extremely insightful. Both Jessie and Shoshannah integrated beautifully to provide an enjoyable informative and professional retreat allowing for the individual discovery of self and insights into realms of being.

I cannot recommend enough to anyone interested as to what a complete experience was presented.

Keoni Kidner

"The Sanctuary is paradise, I never got sick of the view. I woke up every morning with a true appreciation of where I was, taking in all of the beauty and serenity of the place. The food was AMAZING!!  All of the tasty raw ingredients was truly impressive for such a remote location. I would definitely go back. For one small bay, The Sanctuary has a lot to offer. The wellness and detox centre, the healing centre (Tea Temple) and the spa. there is a lot to keep you well and busy while you are there, I struggled to find time to just stop and read a book on the beach!  The setting of all of the accommodation and yoga halls at the sanctuary are purely bliss. nestled in the middle of the jungle, whats not to love!? Has to be one of the best retreats I've been on. Jess, you seem to understand people and yoga so well."

Anna Reeves

 

Having travelled a yoga journey for over 20 years, I have met a lot of teachers along the way. Jessie is a stand out to me because, instead of just spouting yoga philosophy, she has an incredible gift of translating the more spiritual aspects of yoga into a practical, grounded and joyful language that allows even the most complex of theories to be accessible to everyone. Her classes are intuitive, interesting and adapted effortlessly to all participants. I have attended two of Jessie's retreats, one in Bali and one in Red Hill and I hope to attend many, many, more. 

Ricci-Jane Adams

During last weekend’s Women’s retreat in Red Hill, through a combination of yoga classes (both active and for deep healing), and sessions rich in knowledge about the female body, I began to experience a state of grace. I don’t know how else to describe it. I can feel inside of me, supported no doubt by the energy of all the women around me, what self-nurture actually means. I can feel what it means to be gentle with myself when the time calls for it. I can feel what it means to be strong from a place of stillness. I know what it feels like for anger to melt like butter in the sun simply by moving into my heart.

All this knowing culminated for me on the final morning. After just 2 and 1/2 days Jessie had allowed the space for my revelation and release. Thank you!

Melonie Creek

Thank you Jessie ...this was one of the most beautiful ways I have ever given to myself. The weekend in Red Hill was just so beautiful and gentle whilst also ever so gently allowing realisations and inner connections. I left feeling clear, centred, regenerated and connected again with my spirit and body..I felt I grew roots into the earth again and leaves up into the sky and connected greatly into the universal connection..of all there is...I have learnt some wonderful ways to connect again and again with my body...and to unravel the sore spots...huge thanks...you are such a gifted and wonderful teacher..your style is gentle and beautiful whilst wise and so very strong in connection. I hope you do them more often. I cannot wait to come again.

 

Defah Dattner

This is my 2nd Yoga retreat with Jessie and I have been going to her classes for about 7 years. Over the years I’ve tried to find another teacher who made me feel as comfortable and confident as I do when I’m in her class. I’ve met many other excellent teachers but it’s true that I will follow Jessie to Bali, Thailand, Red Hill and wherever she takes me next. Her retreats are curated so that each person has a unique experience which is both designed to cater to your level of yoga experience, and fulfil your personal expectations of what it would like to go on a yoga retreat. 

Jessie allows the individual to fully immerse themselves in their own journey whilst also creating the opportunity for deep connections amongst the group. If you go on one of her retreats you will not only have a beautiful time and find or renew your passion for yoga but you most likely will also make lifelong friends and have a profoundly transformative experience.

Kylie Long

I've studied yoga with Jesse for many years. I've always been touched by Jessie's ability to hold space for transformation, and this is the container which she held for us on retreat. Six blissful days of the best company one could hope for. Laughter and tears, strong movement, clean and delicious food and a beautiful environment. Jessie attended to every detail of our stay with deep intuition, responding to our needs as they arose. A 'goddess' of service and compassion. 

 

The word that best encapsulates my experience is the Ancient Greek Kairos. It means 'a moment of indeterminate time in which everything happens'. Jessie's retreat was indeed timeless. All of us experienced a profound reconnection with our inner voice and our authentic power as women, not one of us was left unmoved. I walked into the retreat holding tight to challenging questions about the direction of my life. I left feeling renewed, clear that 'following my bliss' was my true path in life. 

Zoe Dattner

Jess is a remarkable yoga teacher. She has an extraordinary natural talent for guiding people into the mental and physical space necessary to get the most out of yoga. The way in which she uses her extensive knowledge of the historical and mythological foundations of yoga to subtly weave storytelling throughout the classes, greatly enhanced my practice and informed each and every move. After completing an intensive week-long retreat in Ubud with her, I left feeling as though I had been given an immense gift by someone boundlessly generous. 

Lang Stuvier

Jess’ Yoga Retreat in Bali was possibly the most perfect holiday I’ve ever had!  A fabulous balance of relaxation, physical workout, rejuvenation and meditation.  A wonderful opportunity to put the everyday on hold for a while and have some quality time in a nourishing location.  Jess’ thoughtful and down to earth nature added to a delightful shared social experience, with many lovely social meals and outings with fellow yogis.  Flying solo was straightforward with airport pickup looked after etc I got to relax straight away. I felt instantly welcomed, and would recommend it for solo travellers and friends or couples alike.  I came home feeling fit, flexible, relaxed, healthy, nourished and uplifted. As for the yoga, Jess is her usual encouraging, nurturing and considerate self, with a good balance between the spiritual and the physical – pushing us to reach a little further and explore.

Until the next one, I’m looking forward to my body’s “sweet ache” that reminds me I am more than mind.

Shannon Kosub

I first took a yoga class with Jess back in 2008 and I was immediately hooked. For me, Jess' classes have the perfect balance of exercise, meditation and yogic philosophy that seamlessly accommodates for all levels of ability. Jess takes a genuine interest in the well being of all her students so it's no wonder that she has so many devoted regulars. Jess' yoga 'intensives' are challenging yet entirely gratifying and a great way to start the day. Similarly, Jess' Bali Yoga Retreat enabled me to take my yoga practice to another level and was an all round amazing and worthwhile experience.

Kelsey Wilson

To decide to go on a yoga retreat with Jess is to make a decision for your life to be a little bit different.  I have come back with a sense of centredness and I feel stronger and much more present. I feel that even my conversations are different and I am much more committed to my own practice than I have managed before...finally! Jess teaches yoga but also spirituality and living, and she does this with kindness, generosity, a great sense of humour, and, with her genuine belief that you are important and can do anything you decide to do.