Yoga teacher, writer, mama, globe trotter, imperfectionist.
I’m a playful, down to earth kiwi gal who loves to laugh, write, explore the corners of the earth, meditate, drink Pinot Noir and of course, practice, study and teach yoga. The style of yoga I teach is influenced by those I’ve practiced, particularly Vinyasa Flow, Yin and Satyananda’s holistic system of yoga. I aim to create classes that are uplifting, inspiring and informative, placing supreme importance on the breath, authentic alignment for the individual body/mind and the flow of energy (chi, or prana).
I’m a mama to a beautiful boy Bodhi, which is a Sanskrit name meaning enlightened, or awakened.
Becoming a mama has been life changing to say the least. I’ve found new levels of acceptance and patience and it’s true what everyone says, you really don’t have very much time to yourself!
Bodhi is my little spiritual guru dude who teaches me so much and he totally anchors me in the present moment.
Eternally grateful he chose me and Mike as his parents :)
I enjoy exploring new places, learning about different cultures and travelling is one of my greatest passions. When I’m not jumping on a plane somewhere or practicing/studying/teaching yoga, I can be found hiking, chilling with my boys, eating delicious food, hanging out with friends or perched somewhere in nature and writing (check out my blog and my column with doyouyoga.com).
I believe in balance, so while I love healthy living and delicious wholesome food, I know my way around a glass of NZ Pinot Noir and j’adore potato chips, chocolate, date scones… the list goes on.
Feel free to follow my imperfect world below…
What is yoga?
For me, yoga is two things. Firstly, it’s a state of being. It’s an experience of deep connection, pure awareness and complete peace. Some people call that enlightenment, others call it bliss, I call it yoga. Secondly, it’s a series of practices to help lead us to that experience: asana (postures), pranayama (breathing techniques), meditation, yoga nidra (deep relaxation and my all time favourite practice) and mantra/chanting.
So, how do we get to experience yoga?
You practice yoga. Seriously. As the late Pattabhi Jois so wisely said, Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory.
And you’ve also got to learn how to quiet and still the mind… because it’s really really hard to experience any kind of elevated or enlightened state when you’re worrying about whether you’ve eaten too many Tim Tams or what your boss is going to say when you ask for a week off. Meditation is absolutely essential when it comes to learning to relax and still the mind. It takes some effort and work because like any new skill you need to practice. Not necessarily every day, but it needs to be regular and consistent. Ah but when you do, you can begin to tune in to some of your more subtle layers and that’s where the really good stuff happens.
My Yoga Story
Yoga and I go way back. 20 years in fact… I tried my first yoga class when I was 15 and fell in love right away. I knew in my heart that I would explore yoga more deeply at a later point…
That point came almost 12 years later when I was travelling through California after what I can only describe as a particularly challenging chapter. Let’s call this point a culmination of years of emotionally charged conditioning and negative mental habit patterns that manifested as eating disorders, severe anxiety, depression, OCD, chronic stress (I’m talking, can’t leave the house kind of stress) and insomnia (hardly surprising).
So, shortly after arriving in California I attended a very gentle early morning Hatha class that literally changed my life. It was my first glimpse of a very unfamiliar feeling that I’d later recognise as peace. Somehow, I’d managed to still my thoroughly exhausted mind long enough to glimpse the contents of my heart and soul. The moment I opened my eyes after relaxation, I knew I would teach yoga.
That was almost 10 years ago and since then, my love affair with yoga has grown exponentially. I jumped right into a regular practice that went through many different cycles and eventually, in 2010 I completed my first teacher training back in my homeland NZ. My second teacher training came in 2012 and I left that intensive with a completely new perspective on life, my place within the cosmos and an even greater passion for sharing my knowledge, experience and love with others.
I have completed various other workshops and courses with many recognised teachers including Janet Stone, Donna Farhi, Noah Maze, Ana Forrest, Tiffany Cruikshank, Martin Kirk, Seane Corn, Jo Phee and Sebastian Purcell and honestly, this continuous education feels more like a blessing that a job.
I have been fortunate enough to teach in several locations around the world, from NZ and Australia to Hong Kong and Bali. I have been inspired by the diversity of these locations and as always I am inherently grateful to all of my teachers for sharing their gifts as well as the people I have taught that allow me to share in their experience of yoga.