Creator, Owner, Yoga Teacher
What is yoga to me?
Yoga is action (‘Karma’ in Sanskrit terms)… the action we take as humans to arrive in the present moment involving our mind, body or soul or all of the above. We have the opportunity to connect and immerse ourselves into a state that is often hard to access in our busy lives. Through the power of yoga anyone can achieve that ‘feel good factor’ and I encourage people to explore and discover their potential while being mindful of their individual needs. It’s an ongoing learning process… learning to breathe, move, become present and still, be mindful or meditative… yoga is not just about practising postures (‘asanas’ in Sanskrit terms)… it is a journey for all your senses that is sure to affect your mental and physical well-being in a positive light.
As a passionate teacher, my goal is to guide you through your own journey, giving you freedom to practice yoga that suits your needs and goals. Combining traditional and contemporary Yoga which incorporates a variety of styles with an emphasis on awareness of anatomical alignment and ease of movement. Classes themes, content and style vary every 2 weeks giving you the opportunity to explore different postures, and movement sequences, and breath awareness. Guided mindfulness and meditation are also incorporated into each class giving your body the opportunity to relax and calm the ‘monkey mind’. In a holistic sense, I aim to offer students a little bit of respite from our everyday lives… even if it’s only for an hour, but with consistent practice you will reap many more benefits (e.g. increase of strength, mobility, flexibility, de-stressing, and the list goes on). At the end of the day, I always encourage people “this is your yoga”!
I have been doing ‘stretching’ and ‘strengthening’ pretty much my entire life in a multitude of elite level competitive sports: gymnastics, pole sport, cheerleading and acrobatics. After pushing my body to extremes for 30+ years, enduring multiple injuries, surgeries, and continued battles with ankylosing spondylitis my body told me it had had enough. So, I found solace in Yoga and have been practising for a few years. It has given me the opportunity to remain mobile, manage my ailments, and create a purpose for myself again. It has also opened up the possibility to practise mindfulness and relaxation… ultimately calming my often busy ‘monkey mind’. It has created a new sense of positive well-being that now resonates throughout my life.
I also knew in my heart my career path needed to take a new course, but just didn’t know what or how. In 2018, I had a ‘light bulb moment’ and thought that I could combine my 18 years of teaching experience along with my enthusiasm for nurturing the mind and body and share this with the wider community. So, I decided to quit my ‘day job’, qualify as yoga teacher (200RYT), and create a purpose built yoga studio… a truly serene space where the community can experience an aesthetically peaceful environment to practise a variety of yoga in.
Karma is my real name, so naturally I have called it Yoga by Karma. However, it is not only a name to me or my studio, but a belief in what goes around comes around… being good to your mind, body and soul could only resonate positive well-being through the rest of your life and others.
- 200RYT at Contemporary Yoga, Auckland, New Zealand
- Registered with Yoga Alliance & REPs
- Comprehensive First Aide
- Bachelor of Arts in English, Theatre and Film
- Bachelor of Speech and Language Pathology with Honors
- Certificate in English Language teaching to adults.
- On-going life-long learning
- 20hrs of training in Trauma-Sensitive Yoga with the Center for Trauma and Embodiment at JRI Yoga Program, 2019
- Rehabilitation coach
- Gymnastics coach & choreographer
- Youth respite care worker
- Private speech & language therapist & tutor
- Academic lecturer & programme coordinator
- English language teacher
- And all the rest 🙂
“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
– My dearest parents, Gina & Paul Rae
Styles of Yoga: Vinyasa Flow, Hatha Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Pre-postnatal yoga
What is Yoga to Me?
I started practising Yoga 18 years ago, and while it started out as a way to help me manage my stress levels and balance the effects of a demanding career, it soon became apparent that Yoga made life better on every level and I became very dedicated to my practice.
In consistently applying the tools of Yoga to my own needs and goals, I’ve found that I not only gain many physical and mental benefits that keep me healthy and happy, I also have the opportunity to find presence – an authentic way of being that is free of judgement and offers a sanctuary from the incessant ‘doing’ of modern life.
As a passionate teacher, I seek to empower students by inviting curiosity and exploration of postures and sequences while listening to their own needs and sensations. I encourage students to maintain body autonomy, taking what they need from my offerings on the day and not being afraid to take a stronger or less challenging option, rest or move differently if that’s going to serve them better.
I’ve always been interested in human health and wellbeing starting my career as a registered nurse and later working in the pharmaceutical industry for many years. While I recognise the many benefits modern medicine has given us, I’ve always had this gnawing sense that people with chronic health conditions, often caused or worsened by modifiable lifestyle factors such as stress, could do better with a more holistic approach.
My big turning point came after I became a mother in 2015. When I returned to work the following year, I realised corporate life wasn’t where I wanted to place my energy anymore. At the end of that first year back, I followed my heart and enrolled in a teacher training course at The Yoga Institute in Sydney, Australia, where I trained under Dr. Michael Di Manicor – one of Australia’s most experienced Yoga teachers, educators and researchers.
Having now moved back to my hometown of Christchurch with my family, I’m excited to share Yoga with my community so others can directly experience the benefits of regular Yoga practice.
- 500 hour YTT, The Yoga Institute, Sydney, Australia
- Pre and post-natal Yoga Post-graduate certificate, The Yoga Institute, Sydney, Australia
- Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra certificate, Wisdom Yoga Institute, Perth, Australia
- Current Student – Yoga Therapy Programme, Wisdom Yoga Institute, Perth, Australia
- Level 2 registered teacher with Yoga New Zealand
- Registered with REPs
- Comprehensive First Aide
- Bachelor of Nursing Studies
- Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration, Major in Marketing
- Registered nurse – worked in Acute Orthopaedics, General Medicine & Emergency, New Zealand, The United Kingdom
- Head of Marketing in Neuroscience for 2 pharmaceutical companies
“Prevention is better than cure” – Desiderius Erasmus
Styles of Yoga: Hatha, slow flow, vinyasa, yin, yoga for women’s health (including pre and post natal), yoga therapy, breath work and meditation
What is Yoga to Me?
Yoga is a lifestyle and way of experiencing the world that has given me a “self-care” tool-box that I use in some way every single day. It is a space that allows me to centre into my truest self and give myself whatever I need in the moment, through movement, breath work and/or meditation. It’s a space where I can have a dialogue within my own body about how I’m feeling and what I need to feel good and be my best self. There is sacredness about yoga that has always drawn me in, and I can definitely say that for me it is the most holistic form of movement.
Sharing yoga for me is one of the most beautiful ways to connect with others, and it is a two way street – I feel like I learn as much, and sometimes more from my students as what I share with them. I love that I can share the tools I’ve learnt on my teaching mat, and aim to empower others to get a dialogue going within their own bodies so they can use the tools of yoga to feel good within themselves. Yoga is a life long practice, and I feel like every time I come to my mat I learn something new.
Yoga and wellness has always been around me in some shape or form from a young age. I was definitely influenced by seeing my father diligently practice his stretching early in the morning as a child, and my mother’s work in the holistic wellness industry. Being an active person who loves to move, I have enjoyed a variety of things over the years, including running, hiking, walking, dancing, kickboxing, kite surfing, surfing, and more recently, aerial silks. Yoga complements all these things and has come to be the best way for me to integrate movement with a holistic and peaceful sense of being.
As a university student I used to get bouts of insomnia and had very high overall stress levels, which led me to start going to yoga classes. This was initially just a couple of classes here and there and in my early years of working as a Speech Language Therapist it was something I did a few times a week to just move and breathe and let go of the day.
The tools I learnt on my yoga teacher trainings made so much sense as a way to manage all the stressors of daily life that affect us all. I completed my teacher trainings over two years in Auckland, where I began my yoga teaching journey in 2017. By 2019 I was offered a full time teaching role at a surf and yoga retreat in Nicaragua, and now in Christchurch, I’m thrilled to be teaching yoga alongside my work as a Speech Therapist.
- 200hr YTT, Jayayoga NZ
- RYT 500 with Yoga Alliance
- 300hr YTT, Jayayoga NZ
- Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Spanish, Auckland University
- Masters in Speech Language Therapy Practice, Auckland University
- Comprehensive First Aid – Red Cross
- Yoga Alliance Registered
- REPs registered
“In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you” – Buddha
Yoga Teacher- Styles: Vinyasa, Dynamic Heated Yoga, Hatha
What is yoga to me?
I started practising Yoga with my mum as a teenager, it was a great way to spend time with her and I really enjoyed the stretching / poses. I continued to return to Yoga inconsistently throughout my 20’s. It wasn’t till I began to grow tired of the high energy gym workouts and felt like my life lacked balance that I turned to Yoga as a consistent practice. This was where I fell in love with Flow Yoga. As someone who is constantly busy – mind and body – it was a great way for me to connect the two. It helped me slow down and be in the moment. I am also a competitive horse rider and Yoga was a great balance for the physical demands of horse riding – plus it made me a better rider! I wanted to share my experiences with as many people as possible and so completed my teacher training in Sydney.
I have always had teaching in my blood: Coming from a family with 2 parents as teachers, I became a high school teacher myself. Later in life I segued into the corporate world and began looking at how people learn and the best way to keep people learning whilst at work. I am regularly looking for ways to help people be the best they can be and introducing Yoga to as many people as possible. After a brief stint in London, my amazing partner convinced me to live in his hometown of Christchurch, so I can continue my horse riding, yoga teaching and corporate work. It keeps me busy and the yoga keeps me grounded 🙂
- Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT200)
- Comprehensive First Aid – Red Cross
- Yoga Alliance International Registered
- REP’s Registered
- Bachelor of Education
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Ghandi