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Hi, I'm Kara - proud owner and team leader at Yoga Ground!
I moved back to NZ from London in 2013 after 17 amazing years working in sports marketing and travelling the world but decided it was time to come back home; to be nearer to family and friends, and to pursue a more wholesome life closer to nature.
I was employed as an Account Director, working in PR, events and marketing for nearly three years, but after my mum passed away I re-evaluated my priorities and realised it was time for change and to do some of the things I always wanted to do. "Operation Wholesome Life" needed a boost!
A passionate yogi for over 15 years, I enrolled in the Power Living 200 hr teacher training course. This proved to be a life-changing experience! 6 months later I had quit my job and had a beautiful yoga studio of my own.
I received the keys to Yoga Ground from Vincent Bolletta and Susan Allen (owners for the previous 8 years) in January 2016 and what an exciting time it has been since then!
With a degree in Psychology and a career background in mass participation sports I had spent a great deal of time strategising on how to make sports and physical exercise accessible, habitual and fun for people. This passion for helping people to overcome barriers to healthy lifestyles is part of what drives me to create a great experience for our students at Yoga Ground.
For me, the key elements are accessibility, authenticity, and community, and having an amazing team of experienced and inspiring teachers!
Yoga can be so uplifting and transformational and we all experience our own individual journeys, but it is also about the amazing connections we make and the group energy that is experienced in a class community/environment. There is something so powerful and nurturing in being part of something bigger and sharing a love of yoga with each other.
I am currently studying towards my 500 hr YTT certificate with Ashram Yoga and have trained in Yin Yoga and Traditional Chinese Meridian theory as well as Qi Gong and Reiki. The power of energy flow is something of a personal interest which I love to bring into my teaching!
As a child Kyleigh shared an equal love of both stillness and movement. Just as happy to sit peacefully reading, simply daydreaming the day away, as adventuring in the native bush that was our backyard.
With a natural affinity for acrobatics, dance, trampolining and any kind of twisting, twirling actions that pushed boundaries and explored limits. Kyleigh competed and coached trampolining into her late teens until a knee injury slowed her down. It was then that she found yoga.
Kyleigh describes her first class as an ingrained recognition of coming home. A balance of her two loves - Stillness and Movement - existing simultaneously as one. "I had found my place".
For the last twenty years Kyleigh has delved into many different styles of yoga with incredibly knowledgeable instructors beginning her yoga journey in 1996 with Karel Hulshoff at Yoga Praktika and more recently practicing and studying with Vincent Bolletta.
"I am extremely lucky to have found a master of his craft with whom I can follow in the ancient traditions of the past. Information passed in a direct lineage of Teacher to Student.
I will continue to share my love of the art of movement with those who follow the same path. Encouraging my students to take their lessons from the mat out into the world. Creating a sustainable intelligent practice, allowing us all to live a life of balance and grace."
Clare is passionate about health and wellbeing. Clare is an Occupational Therapist, she has a Post Graduate Certificate in Health Science (endorsed in musculoskeletal management).
She also has a background in the fitness industry (FIT certified). She has been practicing yoga for a number of years and began teaching following her initial teacher training with Donna Farhi in 2012. She has also completed a 200hr teacher training with Kawai Purapura Yoga Centre.
Clare is currently studying toward a Graduate Certificate in Yoga Therapy.Clare is committed to ongoing study, self-practice and developing her teaching skills. She has completed a children’s speciality teacher training with Amanda Reid of Samadhi Yoga.
Kimberly has a strong passion for teaching, with a background in dance, gymnastics and teaching English to children and adults. Her journey in yoga started while she was living in Tokyo, where she connected to the challenging physicality of yoga and enjoyed learning alongside her Japanese classmates. The quiet moments in those classes were a wonderful relief from the continuous movement and external stimulus of the busy city. Since then she has travelled the world, studying various styles of yoga for 10 years in several countries.
In 2012 Kimberly completed her first teacher training in Qatar with Valerie Jeremijenko in Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga. In 2015 she completed the Jivani Yoga 300 hour Advanced Teacher Training with Emma Warmington with a focus on therapeutic yoga, personal transformation and Mark Whitwell’s Yoga of Heart. Kimberly is currently studying yoga under the mentoring of Vincent Bolletta and is also trained in Pregnancy Yoga.
Kimberly’s classes are balanced with an emphasis on breathing, mindfulness, building strength and self-confidence and cultivating a calm and focused mind. She believes in the potential of yoga to heal and transform the body and mind. Kimberly encourages students from all walks of life to find their true inner nature through the practice of yoga.
Liana was first introduced to Yoga while studying Dance and Choreography at the Performing Arts School back in 95- 96.
Her first yoga teacher was Sharon LightFoot who taught at her dance school and was Iyengar-based. She ignited Liana's passion and interest for yoga and it grew from there. Liana still studies with Sharon on a casual basis as an apprentice.
For several years Liana worked using the Alexandra technique with Debra McCulloch which involved a lot of hands-on work with the body. She also spent time in New York studying Klein Technique - bone dance body technique which is about efficiency and integration. Both of these have influenced her approach to yoga and her knowledge of the body.
In addition, Liana has also been freelancing for 18 years as a contemporary dancer and believes that yoga has played an integral part in her dance training.
Liana likes her teaching to be playful and to remind her students that yoga can be fun. That we can laugh and just be our true selves....Her classes often include the use of the studio walls; she likes to use the wall as a reference to really help give us a sense of space.
Liana is continuing her training with Vincent Bolletta as well as learning from her fellow peers and Tima; her two-year old son who has a shining personality ... just like his mum. :)
Eridani's Godparents are Yoga Teachers, they had a studio and she spent a lot of time there growing up. They had lived and studied in South India with Swami Gitananda Giri.
Eventually, she followed in their footsteps, completing 1600-hour training at the ICYER (international centre for yoga research) in Pondicherry India. As part of the 6-month residential programme she learned to teach teens and children. She lived at the Ashram just outside of Pondicherry for a year, getting up every day at 4:30am and going to bed at 10:30pm, she studied and learnt all day, every day.
Eridani later went on to complete the 300-hour Jivamukti Yoga teacher training. Jivamukti is a vinyasa practice and she studied with the methods founders in Upstate New York. The Jivamukti training is an intense residential month long program with exams and practical assessments that you are required to pass in order to get your certificate.
As well as yoga, Eridani has a degree in psychology and a diploma in permaculture, She is a relaxation massage therapist and is continuing her massage study in therapeutic/sports massage therapy.
Buster is a young, driven teacher with a big heart and an infectious infatuation with life itself. He completed his 200hr traditional tantric Hatha training and 50hr Yin at The Practice in Bali.
After years of being immersed in an abundance of conscious community, growing up on Waiheke Island and regularly attending Prana festival from a young age, Buster's own yoga journey began in 2013 whilst on holiday with close friends in Bali. His own practice really developed in the following years during stints of living in both Wellington and Melbourne.
It was during a lengthy Yin class that he decided he would return to Bali to complete his first YTT, and it is unsurprisingly Yin that he is most passionate about teaching.
Having moved through depression, anxiety and other personal challenges, he believes strongly in the healing power of sharing the practice.
Also a well rounded gigging musician, Buster performs live music for yin yoga, Kirtan and other sound journeys and thoroughly enjoys collaborating with fellow teachers in this way.
Buster has worked in the organic whole foods industry for years and is a spirited environmentalist. He is a seeker of adventure - a budding flow artist (fire spinner), and a well seasoned backpacker.
"Having spent much of my adult life travelling, it's often hard for me to pinpoint a specific geographical location and call it home. To be blessed with the ability to come home no matter where I am in the world is absolutely invaluable, and that's what yoga is to me. The ability to come home to my self."
Nina is from London and has now settled in Auckland. She found her yoga practice after moving to NZ. Since completing her 200hr teacher training with Jaya Yoga in Auckland Nina has been teaching Hatha and Restorative yoga for the last 3 years and has completed further modules towards her 500hrs.
She has a diploma in Nutrition, is a Reiki healer and is the Founder of The Soul Laundry NZ, an initiative aimed at providing you with the tools to unlock your optimal well-being in mind, body and spirit.
“By looking after yourself and putting your own oxygen mask on first, you are equipped to help others and fulfill life’s obligations. There is a cognitive behavioural pattern goes like this: The less you do, the worse you feel, the worse you feel, the less you do! Yoga and meditation tap into our central nervous system bringing us into a state of wellbeing”
Joti Savitri Kaur (aka Suzi Jowsey)
Joti has been practicing Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan for 24 years and gained her KRI Level 1 teacher training certificate with her original UK teacher Guru Dharam Singh and his partner Siri Sat Kaur, both long time students of Yogi Bhajan.
From her first experience of Kundalini Yoga back in the 90s, Joti knew this was a practice that could be integrated into her life for greater success and personal happiness. Today she attributes much of her accomplishments as a documentary filmmaker and ghostwriter for international film directors to the practice of daily sadhana and teaching of Kundalini Yoga.
Her classes offer a warm, safe, lighthearted experience that result in a tangible sense of elevated awareness and deeper connection to the mind, body and soul.
Laura Dueker is a German-born Kiwi. As well as teaching yoga she works as graphic designer. She started practicing yoga in 2005, and after over 10 years of dedicated practice she became an instructor in 2015.
She is a RYT-500 registered yoga teacher, trained in Vinyasa Flow, Hatha, Yin, Restorative and Prenatal yoga and teaches a variety of classes and workshops around Auckland. She continues to study and educate herself to feed her own curiosity about yoga and relating topics that delve deeper into the fascinating world of the human body and human condition.
Laura believes that there's no right or wrong approach to yoga. Some people come for the relaxation. Some people come for the physicality of the workout. And some people want to dig deep into yogic philosophy and physiology. There’s no wrong approach, which is why I teach my classes intuitively to make each class work for who I have in the room with me. Ultimately, her goal is to teach in a way that encourages her students to listen to the inherent wisdom of their own bodies and to plant a seed of self-awareness and acceptance so they can start pursuing a more fulfilling life.
You can find out more about Laura at her website - www.lauradueker.co.nz/
Justina Frost (Baldev Kaur)
Justina is an internationally-trained instructor of Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan
She trained in the UK, level 1 and 2 (KRI 500 hours, international yoga alliance) with Guru Dharam Singh and Shiv Charan Singh, former students of Yogi Bhajan.
Justina has been passionate about the areas of mental health and women's well-being for many years. She formed Corporate Karma in 2006 in London, which offered yoga and meditation classes, team-building retreats and stress management workshops to large UK organisations.
With a background in healthcare and corporate well-being for over fifteen years, Justina also works with companies to create wellbeing and coaching programmes for their employees.
Her classes are fun, informal and uplifting. Expect to be challenged, laugh at yourself and reconnect with your inner joy.
Justina also teaches pregnancy yoga and Yin yoga.
Gabi is our Hungarian import who has made New Zealand her home. She has been practicing yoga for 6 years and completed her 200hr teacher training with Jennifer Allen and Jaya Yoga in 2016 and has been facilitating yoga full time ever since.
Gabi is known for her authentic, non-judgmental teaching style. She weaves mindfulness meditation practices throughout her classes, applying ancient wisdom to our 2017 western world in a useful and understandable way. She has a gentle and calming way and her classes will leave you feeling both balanced and blissful.
Gabi is continuing her training with Vincent Bolletta learning about Hansa YogaTherapy.
Therese found yoga in her early 20’s after experiencing pain and discomfort from scoliosis (a curvature of the spine which can develop as a teen), and found yoga brought calm and balance to her body.
Many years of practice later she completed her first vinyasa training with Adele Kingan, first to deepen her practice and then to learn how to share the practice with others. This training was based on the embodied flow method of teaching. Currently Therese is studying yin and yoga for back care.
Therese has taught in various yoga studios and gyms and has been a volunteer with The Kindness Institute over the past year; facilitating the kids yoga and mindfulness classes and seeing first hand how yoga can have a huge impact on children and youth.
Caroline has worked in the Wellness industry for over twenty years and started her health and wellness career as a fitness instructor and personal trainer. It was only when she suffered an injury that she discovered the benefits of Yoga.
Both her Mother and brother teach Yoga so she didn't need to look far for inspiration and, with their guidance, chose to study Iyengar Yoga.
Caroline has run her own Yoga studio on Waiheke Island and taught in community centres, corporate environments and most recently at Configure Express.
Her style has evolved over the years with her foundation in Hatha. She also has experience in Restorative, Yin and Pregnancy Yoga.
Faye first came to yoga around the time she turned 40 at a difficult and stressful time in her life. From the very first class, she was instantly hooked and has been practicing, studying and learning about yoga ever since. She took an extended sabbatical in 2011 when she spent the year in India, studying yoga, meditation and the human mind. The time away was transformational for Faye, and her approach to yoga reflects her gratitude and love for the practice.
Faye is particularly drawn to the yoga practices that trigger the relaxation response and is passionate about sharing those with her students. Some of her favorites are yin yoga, yoga nidra, iRest® and the wonderful world of breathwork.
Faye is an international educator with a love for learning and sharing. She has traveled the world, lived in several exotic places, and recently made Auckland her home when she married the man of her dreams. Faye is a Clinical Hypnotherapist, a Wellness Advocate for doTERRA oils, an entrepreneur and a real advocate for the transformational practices of yoga.
Leighia gained her Yoga certification in 2007 through Kirpalu Foundation of Meditation in Motion, Inner Force Yoga. With a background in dance she was naturally drawn to Vinyasa flow. She lived in the States for 12 years teaching in New York, South Florida and various tropical islands.
She has experience across Inner Force Yoga, Vinyasa Flow, Power Yoga, Anusara, Jivamukti, Restorative Yin and Ashtanga, studying - practising with a variety teachers; including Rodney Yee, Shiva Rea, Seane Corn, Kino Mc Gregor and Elena Brower - reflecting the principles and alignment methods of different interdisciplinary schools of yoga and the sister sciences of Ayurveda.
Originally from Argentina, Brian is directly in touch with the ways of thinking and relating to life of the new paradigm. From an early age he was introduced to different teachings and traditions that opened up endless possibilities.
After learning multiple healing techniques, Brian immersed himself in studies of Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan Yoga and Meditation practice for a few years at Ratna Ling Retreat Center in California.
This direct experience of living in a different way which encourages community, self-responsibility, respect and compassion in action has inspired Brian to be a leader for new ways of being through connecting to Self and other.
Brian aims to help people find ways to connect with their inner resources, grow, develop, change and lead a more balanced and meaningful life.