Swami Shantimurti Saraswati
There are few people around who have lived the life of a traditional yogi – living in Himalayan caves with advanced yogis and traveling with sadhus. Many of us have read stories about Himalayan masters or seen glimpses during visits to India, but most have never experienced it. It is a hard life and only serious yogis are accepted into this inner circle. Shantimurti has lived that life. He has spent extended periods with highly accomplished yogis and seen many wonders.
In yoga, experience is everything and Shantimurti has a lot of it. He has managed a number of ashrams over the last 40 years and seen many of the unusual situations that sometimes come with advanced yoga practice. He has trained many yoga teachers and students.
Shantimurti loves to share his wisdom whether it is about the finer aspects of chakras, asanas, pranayama, or stories about the people he has met; famous teachers like the Dalai Lama, B.K.S. Iyengar, Swami Muktananda or the many unknown but exceptional yogis that he has met along the way. He also has many interesting stories about his time with his guru who initiated him into sannyasa in 1976.
Shantimurti is a leader among yogis and is passionate about sharing yoga with the world. He lives at Ohui Retreat in the Coromandel. He is registered with Yoga Alliance as an experienced yoga teacher (E-RYT 500).
(Swami Atmalokananda Saraswati)
Atma is a director of Ashram Yoga and a natural-born yoga teacher. She began practising yoga at a young age and has been teaching yoga classes since she was a teenager. Her love of yoga and people makes her popular with students who recognise her as a gifted, caring and highly capable teacher. She has a deep respect for yoga and its ability to positively transform lives.
Atma currently runs Ashram Yoga’s Ohui Retreat in the Coromandel where she lives with her young family. She conducts retreats, workshops, kirtans, festivals and is a senior instructor for the yoga teacher training courses.
Atma is a Yoga Alliance 500-hour experienced registered teacher.
Devananda (Dee Gleitman)
Dee is a senior teacher at Ashram Yoga, passionate about Yoga and energy work.
She teaches popular weekly classes, co-facilitates on training courses, runs workshops and leads kirtan as a source of constant inspiration and to share her love of Yoga.
In 2006 she developed PLAY (Physically, Learning, Active, Yoga) classes to instill the FUNdamental skills of yoga at an early age, in an adventurous and creative way. Ashram Yoga now offers this as a teacher training module.
Dee is a qualified Shiatsu & Thai Yoga Massage practitioner, Yoga therapist and Yoga Alliance 500-hour registered teacher who enjoys exploring the many avenues one can work with their energy to create positive life change.
We are delighted to welcome Alexa Rau (Alokajyoti) to the Ashram Yoga team in Ohui! Alexa is our multi-talented Social Worker/ Retreat Manager/ yoga enthusiast who has come on-board after leaving her hometown in Germany a year ago with just a backpack in tow. Originally from Berlin, Alexa worked for the government as a social worker counselling women and families. While travelling through Sri Lanka she discovered yoga and developed a passion for the practice. Alexa wants to continue her exploration of yoga and hopes to do teacher training. We are excited to have her as part of the Ashramily!
Dana was introduced to Yoga in England in 1992 during a period in her life of great unfolding. She had always been one to question life and push boundaries and during her search for enlightenment and a deeper understanding of life she came across a beautiful and amazing yogi who had trained under his father in the ancient traditions of yoga and Ayurveda.
Journeys to the pyramids, a trip alone to India, learning Spanish in Costa Rica without stepping inside a school, two children and her yoga journey continues as strong as ever today.
Dana gives focus in her classes to physical strength that can be gained from a powerful practice. Strong body, strong mind. Understanding samskaras which arise during our journey so that one can continue with determination and courage when wanting to attempt more advanced postures.
She warmly encourages everyone into her classes no matter where one is in the journey of physical asana. www.DanaLouiseStewart.com
Gemma Mullins (Sitadevi)
Born in the UK, Sitadevi began her journey with yoga in 1997. Since then she has attended many yoga classes of varying styles. In 2007 Sitadevi travelled to South America as a volunteer. Here she got her first taste of spontaneously teaching yoga. Arriving in NZ a few months later, she continued her yogic path, completing Ashram Yoga’s Teacher Training Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 and Ashram Yoga’s Natal Yoga Training.
Despite having previously worked in the physical arena of Les Mills Gym, Sitadevi is very holistically focused, and is also a qualified Body Talk practitioner, Accunect practitioner and holds a degree in Arts Therapies. Her personal passion is exploring the subtle energetic aspects of yoga, this is apparent in her teaching style.
Sitadevi is a warm and enthusiastic teacher. She loves to learn and to share yoga and truly believes it can be for everyone. Her intention is to create balanced classes that give both the opportunity for challenge and the permission for restoration. Sitadevi teaches in a variety of environments within the wider community, and is available for private tuition, from her home studio in Coatesville. www.YogaWithGemma.com
Sylvie started to explore Hatha Yoga in 1992 in Italy, she continues her journey in Mexico, Canada, France, Spain, Australia and New Zealand, playing with other styles of yoga like Indra Devi, GFU, Kundalini, Anusara, Ashtanga, Shivananda and Yin Yoga. Added to her deep personal exploration, she completed her first teacher training with GFU in 2000 and started her teaching career this same year in Mexico, then in Canada and Spain. Sylvie started to practise different meditation techniques since 1999, until she dedicated her exploration to the Bright Path meditation techniques in 2002. She immersed herself twice into 6 month meditation retreats in 2004 and 2007 and was acknowledged to teach those techniques since 2005. She opened a Bright Path Meditation center in Xalapa Mexico in 2005.
Sylvie is now teaching Yin Yoga in Auckland New Zealand, after finishing a Yin Yoga teacher training with Jo Phee in Australia and another with Markus and Karin (Yin Therapy) in Auckland in 2015. What Sylvie loves about Yin Yoga is the gentleness, creativity, efficiency and depth of it. It is a perfect tool for her to develop a new awareness and relationship with the body-mind-emotion, especially going out of the comfort zone. She loves sharing her discoveries about switching from a protection mode to an open curiosity, which allow her to flow, learn and adapt to new circumstances. Sylvie is inviting you to join her endless adventure of stretching body, mind and awareness.
Joshua Hyland (Dharmadevananda)
Joshua first came to Ashram Yoga in 2002 to learn about Pranayama as a means of deepening his meditation practice. In the ensuing years he has actively participated in the wide variety of workshops and retreats offered by Ashram Yoga and completed the Level 2 teacher training in 2009.
Joshua is interested in yoga practice as a means of harmonising the mental with the physical and is especially drawn to practices that utilise energy awareness to progressively expand and refine one’s own awareness, vitality and peace of mind.
Joshua has led Silent Meditation Retreats at Ohui Retreat and regular guided meditation classes at the Parnell studio. He can also occasionally be found in the kitchens of both Ashram Yoga spaces preparing tasty vegetarian food for events and retreats!
Hollie Sweetman (Sundaridevi)
Hollie's yoga journey began very sporadically as a teenager, joining a friend at a community education class. As soon as the teacher mentioned astral travel, she just had to know more about this ‘yoga’!
Exploring different types on and off through university, it wasn’t until she found Ashram Yoga in 2009, that she gave yoga her full attention and developed a consistent practice. She was drawn to their holistic approach, options to explore the esoteric aspects of yoga, and the beautiful yoga community. Yoga remained the only constant while she explored the world travelling from 2011-2014, eagerly returning to Ashram Yoga in 2015 to complete her teacher training.
The thirst to discover different realities and learning to use the body as an instrument to experience life, is why she has kept coming back to yoga over the years. Yoga isn’t just stretching, yoga is opening.
"It gives me the confidence to surrender to the flow of life and honour my own groove within it. I love the ever expanding awareness it brings and sharing the pure joy it breathes into people".
It is the surreal magic of yoga that has lead her full circle, to the front of the room. She looks forward to exploring yoga with you, teaching and learning in such a precious space.
Wendy Vermeulen (Vineeta)
Vineeta has over 25 years experience in health, fitness, wellness and mindfullness training. She loves anatomy, teaches it on our yoga teacher training courses, and is well known for inspiring her students to love anatomy too. She is a qualified personal trainer, Pilates and Ashram Yoga trained 500-hour yoga teacher and brings a whole new level of information and quality to her classes.
Jo Eng (Taradevi)
Jo was first introduced to yoga in her early twenties and has continued to be a student of yoga ever since, having completed her 500hr Hatha Yoga, Yoga Therapy, Yoga Nidra, Natal Yoga, Kids Yoga and Yin Yoga certifications.
Jo teaches with the belief that ‘yoga is medicine’ – that the powerful combination of yoga, meditation and energy work can be used as a therapeutic healing modality, to release and relieve the yoga practitioner of many of the injuries, illnesses and dysfunctions associated with our modern way of living.
Jo’s classes are always delivered with a big smile, warm enthusiasm and a genuine desire to assist others in achieving optimal health for a vibrant life.