Follow my yoga quest at home and on the road…

The Yoga Tree, Taupo, New Zealand – wonderful workshops during 2015

I first visited The Yoga Tree in early 2014 – it is a beautiful space and Anandi is a lovely teacher.

imageI recently received an email from the The Yoga Tree in Taupo providing details of their upcoming workshops – they all sound wonderful – I wanted to share this information with folks who read this blog. Following is an extract from the email from Anandi…

Mini Workshop – ‘Inversions’ Saturday 9th May 9.30 – 12.30 pm with Anandi

Come and have some fun learning how to go upside down with us or deepening your already established inversion practice.

We will warm up, build strength and then look at simple, easy to remember steps on how to practice the Headstand (Sirsasana,) the Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana,) the Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana,) and the Forearm Balance (Pincha Mayurasana.)

This Mini Workshop is for everyone, you don’t need to have the best Headstand etc but an open heart and playful mind to give things a go. If you aren’t going up into the complete Asanas we will help you build strength using the yoga props – chairs, ropes, walls etc so that you may receive the benefits from these health enhancing postures in a supported way.

Mini Workshop – ‘Upper back and shoulders’Saturday 13th June 9.30 – 12.30 pm with Anandi
Upper back tightness and shoulder pain is increasing in times where we all use computers a lot more. Come and join us for a mini workshop centred around improving upper back posture, relieving back pain and increasing strength and flexibility in our shoulders.

Suzi’s Winter Workshop – 3 – 7th July 2015

Come and join us and the lovely Suzi Carson this winter for a weekend of Iyengar Yoga.
Save the dates! This will be the 4th year that Suzi joins us at the Studio and not to be missed!

Weekend with Martina Gotz – 31st July – 2nd August

Martina will teach the Chandra (Moon) Sequence on Friday night and 2 Mysore Style classes on Saturday and Sunday mornings where you can practice the Moon Sequence or Astanga Yoga under her guidance. Saturday afternoon will be a workshop on back bending.

Other dates for your diaries this year

Weekend workshop with Rosie Holland, September 25 – 27th 2015.

Weekend workshop with Suzi Carson, December 4 – 6th 2015.

Bookings are essential for all workshops. Check out the Yoga Tree website for further details.

Yoga Tree Taupoimage
Level 1, Starlight Arcade
18 Horomatangi Street
Taupo, TPO 3330
New Zealand

Thanks Anandi – if I was in NZ I would be booked on ALL of these workshops.

Leave a comment »

New Zealand yoga venues that look/sound interesting, that I would like to visit some day …

Following are several yoga venues I either discovered online, or noticed whilst on the road during my recent holiday in New Zealand. I was not able to visit them on this trip to NZ, however I will endeavour to do so on another occasion.

Mana Retreat Centre, Coromandel
T | +64 7 866 8972
E | be@manaretreat.com

“Mana offers inspiring inclusive spiritual retreats, as well as being the home for courses in many fields – voice and movement exploration, bodywork, meditation, yoga, wellness retreats, men’s and women’s courses and a wide variety of programmes in the creative and healing arts. Mana is also a training centre for Healing through Sound, the Cranio-Sacral Therapy, T’ai Chi and the Dances of Universal Peace.” Quote from Mana Retreat’s home page.

The Loft Yoga Lounge, 103 Beach Road, Auckland
T | +64 9 379 7301
E | theloft.akld@gmail.com


The Yoga Room, 113 Gladstone Road, Gisborne
T | +64 6-867 2973


If anyone would like to share their experience about these venues I would love to hear from you.

Om shanti

Leave a comment »

The Yoga Ground, Grey Lynn, Auckland, NZ

image3 March 2014 – I fly from Auckland, NZ to Melbourne, Australia tomorrow. I wanted to take one last yoga class before I said au revoir to NZ. To fulfil this want,I chose to go along to a general class at the Yoga Ground in Grey Lynn.General – Flowing vinyasa with breath awareness. Each class a little different. Suitable for those with a little to a lot of experience.”

The studio is lovely – spacious, and filled with light through large windows on two sides of the room.

Vincent lead the class – the focus of the class was the splits (Hanumanasana). We began with a gentle warm up and built up to a variety of postures that were sometimes held for (I guesstimate) 1-2 mins. The final asana before Savasana was Hanumanasana. As a novice to this particular asana I used a bolster and several cushions to ensure I had sufficient height and support.

Location: 56 Surrey Crescent, Grey Lynn, Auckland
Mats and props were available
Cost: casual class $20



Asana with Anandi at The Yoga Tree, Taupo, New Zealand

imageI first found the Yoga Tree in Taupo whilst searching online several months before arriving in New Zealand. Also, at the town I visited before arriving in Taupo, ie Havelock North, I took several Iyengar classes with Wendy Dawson, and Wendy kindly suggested I visit the Yoga Tree – and so I did 🙂

I was visiting Lake Taupo in Central North Island, New Zealand for three nights. This time frame allowed me time to attend two yoga sessions at the Yoga Tree.

My first asana experience at The Yoga Tree was the Hatha Yoga with Ropes class, led by Anandi.

“Hatha Yoga using the wall ropes is a wonderful and fun way to help with your alignment and to deepen your yoga experience. The ropes help to open the entire body and bring a dynamic energy into the Hatha Yoga classes. Such a simple and effective tool to help develop much more strength and flexibility.

The ropes also give us a support so that we can work correcly in the Asanas while we develop our strength.

We use the ropes to practice backbending, forward bending, stretch our shoulder and chest muscles, create spinal traction, tone our abdominal muscles and organs, enhance kidney circulation and stretch or strengthen pretty much most of our body! Come and hang out with us !”

I have previously used ropes as part of Iyengar classes, however I had not done an entire class using ropes. I initially felt a little apprehensive… My concerns were soon forgotten once the class began. Anandi said that this was to be a back bending class. Anandi both explained and demonstrated each asana before the class moved into the pose, she provided alternative postures as required, and also made adjustments. Detail and descriptions provided were along the lines of what would be found in an Iyengar class. Other props such as chairs, and bolsters were also used. The class culminated with a back drop using props. This was my first time at attempting this asana – using the props was wonderful.

Anandi is a lovely, nurturing, teacher with a beautiful smile.

My second attendance at the Yoga Tree was for an own practise session, during which I did a Mysore practice.

Yoga Tree is located in a light, airy, spacious studio at
18 Horomatangi St, Taupo
Telephone +64 7 377 1129

They provide props, and mats
Cost – casual class $20, own practice $8

Many thanks to Anandi and Yoga Tree

Anandi and her colleague Beth are leading a yoga retreat in Ubud, Bali 3-7 August 2014…

taupo 28feb14 moari carvingDSCF4538PPS
Taupo is a beautiful place to visit. You are spoilt for choice of things to do. I was primarily in Taupo to meet friends who were also visiting NZ (from the UK). We went on a sailing trip on the Lake on a boat called the Barbary which took us to Mine Bay to see the rock carvings – this was a very relaxing way to spend the morning.

We enjoyed dinner at both The Mole and Chicken, and Brantry, restaurants. Very good food, and great service.

The Iron Man New Zealand event was held on the day I was leaving Taupo – I felt fortunate to see both the swim, and the start of the cycling before I needed to leave for my next destination.

The large number of swimmers grouped together appeared to make the lake's surface "boil"

The large number of swimmers grouped together appeared to make the lake’s surface “boil”

Leave a comment »

Iyengar with Wendy in Havelock North, New Zealand

I was on a yoga high when I left the class which I carried with me for the rest of the day – you can’t ask for more than that 🙂

Monday 24 February

I’ve spent the past six days immersed in the Tremains Art Deco Weekend in Napier, New Zealand, which was a wonderful experience and one that I highly recommend to others. Napier is an interesting place to visit at any time of the year, and the Art Deco Weekend held in February each year is the feather in Napier’s cloche hat.

Today, I travelled the short distance (around 20 min drive) from Napier to Havelock North (HN), where I am staying for two nights.

Happily, I found accommodation and a yoga venue that are literally within a stones throw of one another – Harvest Lodge Motel and Breathe yoga studio.

Breathe offer yoga, breath work, Ayurvedic consultations, and more… Check out their website for further details.

I timed my arrival in HN so that I could attend the 11.30am Iyengar class which was lead by Wendy Dawson.

It has been about 7 months since I have had the opportunity to attend an Iyengar class. I really enjoyed the attention to detail, the amount of information, use of props, and adjustments, that Wendy provided.

Wendy told that class that this weeks focus was on twists – “wringing” was just what I needed. I was on a yoga high when I left the class which I carried with me for the rest of the day – you can’t ask for more than that 🙂

I also attended the 6.00pm Iyengar class on Tuesday 25 February.

The cost was $15 for a 90 min class
Mats and props are provided

imageWendy is gorgeous! Not only did she teach a marvellous asana class, but she also gave me tips on several places to visit in HN, and a recommendation for a yoga venue at my next stop in Taupo.

Wendy tells me she is building a yoga studio. I hope that I may receive further teaching from Wendy in the future, and check out her new studio.

Whilst in HN I :
Drove to the summit of Te Mata Peak – the views are seriously breathtaking.

Had lunch at The Peak restaurant. Great food, lovely staff, wonderful view.

Went on a hike to the Redwood Grove in Te Mata Park. It was a lovely experience to reach the grove and stand in amongst the gentle giants.

Visited The Figgery. The grower gives a short, interesting, talk on figs, and provides tastings of their produce which is made on site. And, of course, these products are for sale 🙂

Many thanks to Wendy, Breathe and Havelock North

23 Havelock Road
Havelock North
Tel: 06 874 60 39

1 Comment »

Yoga classes at Waihi Beach, Bay of Plenty, NZ

Over a five day period, I am driving from Auckland to Napier via Coromandel and the east coast. The en route ocean and island views are spectacular. As often found in NZ, some of the roads in this area are winding, and at times visibility is restricted. There are many beach houses, or bachs (pr batches) of various shapes and sizes along the way.

Yesterday, I particularly enjoyed time spent at Cathedral Cove, Hahei, and Hot Water Beach.

Coromandel Penninsula, - Cathedral Cove

Coromandel Penninsula – Cathedral Cove

Coromandel Penninsula - Cathedral Cove

Coromandel Penninsula – Cathedral Cove

Last night I stayed in a fabulous B&B called The Point Lodge, Katikati. The outlook is sensational and the accommodation is lovely. Highly recommend.

Whilst in Katikati I enjoyed walking the Haiku Pathway, and viewing the murals that are dotted throughout the township.

Katikati, NZ - one of the many murals that may be found throughout the township

Katikati, NZ – one of the many murals that may be found throughout the township

imageTonight I drove to Waihi Beach, which is a short drive from Katikati. I had originally hoped to go along to some yoga classes whilst in this area, however, this was not to be on this occasion. Following is information about yoga classes at Waihi Beach which I hope others may find of use. If you go along please let me know your thoughts 🙂


Beginners / Gentle Yoga
Tuesday 10am
Wednesday 5.30pm
General Yoga Tuesdays 5.30pm

Venue: St Peters Church Hall Marine Ave Waihi Beach

Cost: $10 per class and visitors are very welcome

Contact: Jeannette (07 863 4454)

Leave a comment »

Yin and Vinyasa at the Yoga Sanctuary, Parnell, Auckland, NZ

Amanda used several terms that were new to me eg Butterfly with zipper toes and windscreen wiper legs


The Yoga Sanctuary is located in Bath St, Parnell, Auckland.  

I found the studio online, and registered my details on their website.  When registering online the Yoga Sanctuary very generously give first time students a free class 🙂 which is valid for a three month period

10 February

Yin yoga with Amanda Morrall

Having arrived in Auckland at 1.00 am today, and there is a 5 hour time difference from where I had travelled from to NZ, I felt it would be a good choice to attend a Yin class. “A quiet, gentle and meditative practice with music, incorporating long held floor poses to nourish the joints and improve flexibility.”

Amanda used several terms that were new to me eg Butterfly with zipper toes (toes interlaced in baddha konasana), and windscreen wiper legs, (lay on back – feet flat on floor – move knees right, centre, left), which turned out to be familiar asana with names that were a little different to what I was accustomed. If you have not done so previously – give zippered toes a try – it’s cool 🙂

This yin class was just what the doctor ordered.

11 February

For my second day in NZ I chose a more vigorous class than day one… ie Vinyasa Level 2 with Denise Ferguson – “Invigorating and creative sequence of yoga poses designed to create internal heat. Breath led movement to music. Sun salutations and some inversions will be included. Yoga experience recommended but not necessary.” Again, this class worked well with “how I was feeling today”.

Following my first attendance at YS, I received an email from them asking about my experience at class, did I have feedback, etc. I like this pro-active approach 🙂

Cost: NZ$20-23
Class duration: 60-90 mins

Mats, bolsters, cushions, blankets, straps and blocks are provided.

There are shelves for students to store shoes, bags, etc.

Parking – I parked in a parking building in nearby Garfield St for NZ$7.50. Depending on the time of day there are other parking options available

Thanks to the Yoga Sanctuary, Amanda and Denise

Leave a comment »

22 days in beautiful New Zealand…

imageI am making a visit to the country of my birth – beautiful New Zealand.

I arrived in Auckland at around 1am this morning, that is after flying from Perth, WA to Melbourne, Vic, then Melbourne to Auckland. The primary purpose of my trip is to attend a five day art deco festival in Napier. I will, of course, endeavour to seek out, and attend, yoga classes as often as possible during my travels.

I intend travelling by road – my stops will include (but not exclusively): Auckland – City of Sails, Coromandel Peninsula, Hicks Bay on the rugged east cape, Napier – Art Deco Capital of the World, New Plymouth, adventure packed Lake Taupo – and, I complete the circuit back in Auckland.image

When planning a trip, my usual process is to decide on a route at my chosen destination, and then search for potential yoga venues en route. I make contact with the relevant yoga venues by email and request information about timetables, styles available, etc. I also register online where possible. However, the best laid plans sometimes go awry… Several days prior to departure I experienced a computer malfunction and “lost” the majority of my yoga research material, and other travel information. I was presented with a wonderful opportunity to practice patience and non attachment. In many respects, the experience was liberating 🙂

I look forward to sharing my New Zealand yoga experiences with you during the next 3 weeks. First stop – Yoga Sanctuary in Parnell, Auckland.


Leave a comment »