Ashram Yoga


New Timetable – New Teachers

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Pictured: Javier Ugas will be teaching at Ashram Yoga


On 24 August we are starting a new timetable with new classes, new times and a number of new and outstanding teachers. These changes will give you more options and a wider variety of yoga styles to try. We welcome the following two teachers and look forward to them being part of the crew.


J 150Javier Ugas

Javier joins Ashram Yoga this month teaching Power Vinyasa. He hails from Chile and introduces himself in this video. Power Vinyasa is a form of yoga that uses the breath to move continuously from one posture to the next. This flowing movement creates energy, strength and harmony in the mind and body.

Ashram Yoga’s senior director Swami Shantimurti Saraswati says about Power Vinyasa, “There are many approaches to yoga and each brings a unique flavour and emphasises a particular aspect. Vinyasa is whole tradition in itself and I encourage all yogis to experiment with it.”


Ramdas 150Ramdas (aka Murray Dow)

Ramdas is an Ashram Yoga trained senior teacher and he will be teaching Intuitive Yoga on Thursday nights. Ramdas has been practicing and teaching yoga for over forty years and opened the Brahma Yoga studio in the USA. His dynamic energy-focused classes are designed to take you to new depths of personal discovery leaving you feeling restored, balanced, and vital. See this video of Ramdas talking about Intuitive Yoga and his new class.



New Timetable at Parnell Studio

On 24 August we will be switching to a new timetable. Part of the new timetable is listed below. In the meantime see the current timetable on our website for current class details.


5:30pm – 6:45pm………Open class with Gemma (24 Aug)
6:00pm – 7:00pm……….Meditation with Devananda
7:00pm – 8:15pm………Beginners Class with Gemma (24 Aug)

6:00am – 7:00am………Sunrise Yoga with Vineeta
7:15am – 8:15am………Power Vinyasa with Ria
12:30pm – 1:20pm…….Lunchtime class with Tara
5:30pm – 6:45pm………Power Vinyasa with Javier (25 Aug)
7:00pm – 8:15pm….……Yin Yoga with Javier (25 Aug)

7:15pm – 8:45pm………..Yoga for Beginners Course with Gemma (23 Sep)

12:30pm – 1:20pm……..Lunchtime class with Tara
5:30pm – 6:45pm……….Open class with Devananda (27 Aug)
7:00pm – 8:15pm……….Intuitive Yoga with Ramdas (27 Aug)


Concession Card Competition *NEW*

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Pictured: Parnell studio manager Tara outside the TARDIS.

Thank you for being part of the Ashram Yoga family! We appreciate your patronage and want to offer you a special draw for August and September. Buy any kind of concession card between 1 August and 30 September and go into win a weekend at Ohui Retreat. If you buy four concession cards then you go into the draw four times. The concession card winner for July is Marcus Rinaldi. For more information contact Tara at the Parnell studio.

Recent Events

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Guru Poornima

On Friday night we celebrated Guru Poornima – an annual event to recognise your teachers and guides and rededicate yourself to your chosen path. The event was a great success with a full house of new and old students. See the album here or read more about Guru Poornima in this article.



Surya Namaskara

This month started with the 108 Club performing 108 rounds of Salute to the Sun to live mantras. It was a lot of fun and we left invigorated and proud of participating in this event. See the album.

Prizes for the event have been awarded. First prize goes to Emily Armitage and she wins is an Ashram Yoga bolster. Second prize goes to Michelle Gelber who wins a yoga book and yoga block. Congratulations to them – more prizes will be given at subsequent events.


Ashram Yoga and the Guru Principle

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Ashadevi (aka Rebecca Mayer) travels the world researching yoga and writes about her experience.

Shantimurti says, “when people get involved with yoga, their lives take on a certain flavor of amazing.”

That has certainly been true for me! I did my Level I, II and III and Yoga Nidra trainings at Ashram Yoga Coromandel, and these became a springboard for my own deeper investigations into the mystical.

After Level II and III, I was inspired to visit India. I learned Ashtanga Yoga in Goa and Ayurveda in Kerala, and studied the Bhagavad Gita in an ashram near Rishikesh. I taught near the Ankgor Wat temples in Cambodia, and attended numerous yoga festivals in the US to learn techniques from many modern well-known instructors. Read more


Healing Depression and Anxiety


A one day introductory course on the Six Key Understandings for healing depression and anxiety. Helping facilitate permanent change and improvement, this one day course is suitable for people involved with or suffering from anxiety and depression or for practitioners wishing to deepen their practice and understanding of this area. Read more.


Winter at Ohui Retreat

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Join Brianna (pictured) and the rest of the Ashram Yoga team at Ohui Retreat this winter in our regular yoga classes, kirtan, satsang, or just sit by the fire and relax. Winter is a great time to experience New Zealand’s raw natural beauty – though be sure to bring a warm coat as the average temperature in Ohui over winter is between 12-14 degrees (55F). While that may sound a little chilly, it never snows and we have plenty of hot tea, warm blankets and cosy fires.


Parking at Parnell Studio


Since the closure of the railway parking we have found some reliable places to park – highlighted on the map above. Thank you for adjusting to the new parking situation – we appreciate your flexibility! Read more


Upcoming Classes and Workshops

Parnell Studio


Ohui Retreat


Zenthai Workshops


Gwyn Williams is the founder of Zenthai and will be running four workshops at Ashram Yoga from 8-9 August. He answers some questions about it:


What exactly is Zenthai? This is a movement based therapy drawing from Chinese medicine, Thai Massage, Shiatsu and osteopathic techniques. It is a calling to come back to our free, undivided and natural harmonious states of being. This is an invitation to increase our awareness and develop an understanding of the depth and healing within when we embody our interconnectedness in all aspects of our lives. Read more


Level 2&3 Yoga Teacher Training

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Level 2&3 yoga teacher training is a fun and life-changing exploration into the deeper aspects of yoga. This course is run over the month of November at our retreat in the Coromandel and comprises intensive training, plenty of yoga, meditation, kirtan and spending a lot of quality time with like-minded yogis. At the end you will have new skills, new friends, be qualified for RYT-500 and if you’re like most of graduates you will be on fire with enthusiasm. Read more


Parnell Studio News

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We now have bolsters for sale at the Parnell studio for only $55. This is really good value and we have lots in stock – some with the Ashram Yoga logo on the end and plenty without. If you need bolsters for your home or studio, then come in a check them out. We also have blocks, cushions, neti pots, books, incense and more.


Poster Design

If you like the look of the posters around Ashram Yoga and would some made for your venture, then contact Amrit. She is our talented designer who lives at Ohui Retreat. Contact her if you are interested. See samples of her work here.


Graduate Support

If you have graduated from one of our teacher training courses and would like to revisit the material then you can do so with out Graduate Support Programme. Spaces are limited to three graduates per weekend and registration opens a month in advance. Book here for courses in August: Level 1 Weekend 6. For more details join our yoga teacher training graduates’ page on Facebook.


Conscious Eating: Environment

TeaJane Parvarti Lawrence (pictured) will be running another Yoga and Nutrition Retreat in September and she writes here about the importance of your environment on well-being.

From a naturopathic point of view, focusing on that which is closest to you is a good place to begin. Your immediate environment provides your oasis for you to simply be, and your foundation from which to build upon. Your environment has a direct effect on your well-being, so set it up to be beneficial for you over the long term. Read more



Astrology with Hamish Saunders

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For the last thirty years Ashram Yoga’s senior director Swami Shantimurti Saraswati has referred people to Hamish Saunders for astrological consultations. Hamish became a full-time professional astrologer in 1981. He lectures on astrology within New Zealand and internationally and has appeared on radio and television many times. 


The Stars Align for Meditation

Mercury is the god of learning, talking and thinking. From 4-7 August, he comes into conjunction with Venus and Jupiter at the same time that Saturn forms a square aspect to them. I cannot think of a better time to participate in a Silent Meditation Retreat. The mind can be stilled, the impulse to chatter is lessened and the ability to feel at ease in solitude is heightened. This is also an excellent time for tackling difficult creative projects and being disciplined in art. Read more about this month’s astrological situation or the Silent Meditation Retreat.


Video: Iyengar Demonstrates Yoga

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BKS Iyengar was a major influence in modern yoga and even had an influence on Ashram Yoga’s teachings. In this short video from 1977 he demonstrates some amazing moves that will make you look twice.




Like Our Facebook Page

Our Facebook page has been steadily growing, but we would like to put some gas on it and get many more people on board. Facebook is a great way for us to let you know what is going on. Please like us.




Recipe: Bliss Balls

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Pictured: Bliss Balls at Ohui Retreat

Bliss Balls are a delicious and nutritious snack that are easy to make and easy to get children to eat. This recipe makes about 12.

1/4 cup of dark chocolate, sliced
1 cup chopped dried apricots
2 cups copped dates/sultanas/raisins
1/2 cup whole almonds
1/4 cup linseeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
Juice and rind of one orange
Decimated coconut to coat balls

Pulse almonds and seeds in food processor until they are in small bits. Add in dried apricots, dates, raisins/ sultanas, and chocolate. Pulse until a paste like consistency. The mixture should be sticky and mouldable. Scoop out a hefty spoonful of the mixture and use your hands to roll into a ball. Roll the ball in coconut until covered. Store the balls in the fridge until ready to serve. Nice alternatives for the nuts and seeds are cashews, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds.


New Book by Swami Shantimurti Saraswati

SM 6 250We are very pleased to announce the publication of a new book by our senior director Swami Shantimurti Saraswati (pictured). It is called Lectures from Yoga Teacher Training and it comprises a series of lectures presented to students on our Level 1 yoga teacher training course in Auckland earlier this year.

The book dives deeply in the esoteric aspects of yoga including energy (prana), energy centres (chakras), breathing techniques (pranayama), mantra, energy channels (nadi), kriya yoga, tantra yoga, yogic philosophy and a whole lot more. If you are keen to know what lies beneath the surface of yoga, then this book is for you. It includes insights and stories that you won’t find anywhere else.

Shantimurti has been practising and teaching yoga since 1976 when he was initiated into sannyasa. He is highly experienced with the inner and outer aspects of yoga and has a gift for sharing his wisdom in an amiable way. Read more about the book.


Ashram Yoga eBook

Download Ashram Yoga’s free Introduction to Yoga ebook. Simply subscribe to our newsletter. This ebook introduces a very simple yoga series. These practices include ankle, wrist and hip rotations which are essential for both beginner and advanced yogis. These exercises are so simple that they are easy to overlook, yet their effect is profound.

Shantimurti has many remarkable stories of people who have healed themselves from serious afflictions with these basic exercises.

Introduction to Yoga is the first chapter of a larger, more comprehensive ebook. The larger ebook with additional exercises including breathing techniques (pranayama) and meditation may be purchased here.