Ashram Yoga

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 by his guru Swami Satyananda Saraswati. 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.


Vegetarian Cooking Retreat

26-28 September


Join us by the beach for an adventure in the kitchen with spices, flavours and taste. Learn how Prasad creates delicious, healthy vegetarian food and leave with skills and recipes to share with family and friends. Most dishes are gluten and dairy free.

“Since the retreat, our kitchen has seen a lot more action and I thought of you all today as my colleagues tucked into the dry potato curry I’d made for a shared lunch. One of them described it as ‘heavenly’, which is most definitely a culinary first for me!! Way to go Prasad!” – Caroline



Previous recipes on the Cooking Retreat have included:

  • Lemon Ginger Dhal
  • Spicy Coconut Dhal
  • Chapatis
  • Fresh filled breads and flatbreads – made easy!
  • Gluten free parsley cornbread
  • Tofu and vegetable curries
  • Classic dry potato curry
  • Quinoa tabbouleh
  • Moroccan and Indian Spiced Rice Pilafs
  • Salads and dressings
  • Chilli chutney (see this recipe below)


Whether you are highly experienced in the kitchen or a beginner looking for somewhere to start, Prasad’s classes will inspire you. He is natural born foodie with a love for flavour and a talent for delighting diners with his delicious meals. He says, “The art of cooking is simplicity.” And, “It’s all about love.” There will also be yoga and walks on the beach to stay balanced and prepare the digestive system! Read more


Spring Cleanse  

19-21 September

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According to Ayurveda – the natural medical system of India – detoxification is best performed during spring. As your body begins to wake up after winter, it is the ideal time to move toxins out. Even though it is still a bit cool outside, nature is sprouting, spring lambs have arrived and undoubtedly your body is changing with the season too.

Yoga is Ayurveda’s complementary sister science and it contains many detoxing protocols including the ancient shatkarmas. These are yogic practices that clean out your body. The magic of them is that they don’t just clean out the bowels – they also clear energetic and emotional blockages. They help you let go of things that have outlived their purpose. The shatkarmas are powerful, effective practices and we highly recommend them to keep your body, emotions and life flowing harmoniously. Read more


Yoga Teacher Training 500-hour

25 October – 23 November


The Level 2 & 3 Intensive is designed for those looking to immerse themselves into a truly yogic experience at our beautiful Ohui Retreat in the Coromandel. Our highly experienced senior teachers guide you through learning advanced yoga asanas, as well as revisiting familiar postures from the perspective of build up, options, and depth.

On this course we study the chakras deeply as well as the anatomy of the energy body, traditional yogic texts, mudras and bandhas. You also learn how to teach Yoga Nidra. Each day is structured to support your full immersion in ashram living to get the full yogic experience. This includes thoughtful and delicious vegetarian meals, a balance of physical and mental activities, and the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of coastal New Zealand. Read more


*NEW* Graduate Support Programme

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Yoga teacher training doesn’t just finish at the end of the course – it is an ongoing process – and we want to help you succeed as a yogi and a yoga teacher. This programme enables you to continue learning and growing through yoga.

Graduate Support gives you the opportunity to repeat courses that you have already taken at Ashram Yoga for FREE. This allows you to increase your knowledge and experience and go deeper into the course material. Sometimes when everything is new it can be a bit overwhelming, but Graduate Support is your chance to revisit, re-exeperience and re-learn. Read more


Studio News

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New Teacher

Caroline Fergus has joined the Parnell studio and is teaching the Sunday morning class. She fell in love with yoga in Byron Bay in 2001 and has been practicing ever since. Originally from the UK, Caroline moved to Auckland in 2008 and has since gone on to train with Ashram yoga, including Pregnancy Yoga. Read more

A special thanks to Catherine Opie who has been teaching the Sunday morning class. We are very grateful for her effort. Join her this month for her workshop Healing with Light and Colour described below.


Concession Card Competition

Congratulations to Pai Wan Lai who is the winner of the August draw. If you want to enter the next draw, just put your completed 8-class yoga concession card or one-month pass in the box at the front desk.



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.




Yoga Teacher Training

Become a confident, competent and qualified yoga teacher with our yoga teacher training courses. Teaching yoga is a lot easier than it seems, especially when you have been well trained.



Yoga Nidra Teacher Training - Level 1   4-5 October

Yoga Nidra is the art and science of transformation through guided relaxation. We use it extensively at Ashram Yoga incorporating it in the majority of our classes. The results range from pleasant to astonishing. Insomniacs fall asleep, nervous people become calm, confusion turn to clarity, sickness gives way to health; we have seen it all over the last 30 years.

Yoga Nidra is simple to practice – like driving a car – but the mechanics require deeper knowledge. On our Yoga Nidra teacher training course we explore the higher states of consciousness which underpin the practice. Knowing how it works will revolutionise your experience of Yoga Nidra and make you a competent guide. Read more


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PLAY Yoga Teacher Training  18-19 October

This course will provide a platform for you to learn how to teach yoga to children 5-11 years old, in a creative, open & imaginative manner. We will look at ways to design a Yoga ‘adventure’ class as well as areas of development & understanding. Read more


Upcoming at Ohui Retreat 



Yoga Revival Retreat  18-19 October

Join us in Ohui for a weekend of yoga to rest, recharge and rejuvenate. The weekend will include:

  • Yoga classes
  • Guided relaxation (Yoga Nidra)
  • Yoga philosophy
  • Yoga of sound (Nada Yoga)
  • Chanting and singing (Kirtan)
  • Meditation
  • Plenty of free time
  • Read more


Silent Meditation Retreat   2-5 October  * Fully Booked *

Spend three days in silence and meditation. This retreat is suitable for beginners through to seasoned practitioners and includes full instruction and support. Be quick – spaces fill up very fast. Read more.


Private Birthday Retreats

Spending time with your friends is a whole lot of fun and can create lasting memories. Getting everyone together is a great way to catch up and hang out together – especially when it is an annual event. Read more


Group Stays

From time to time we have groups come and stay with us. We regularly host groups here at Ohui Retreat including groups from nearby towns and others from faraway countries. The variety is wonderful and keeps life here very interesting. Whether you want a full yogic experience or simply beachside accommodation, we are open to all options. Read more

Upcoming at the Parnell Studio


Yoga for Beginners Course  1 September

Starting simply and progressively building upon what you have learned in previous weeks, by the completion of the 8 weeks you will have a holistic experience and understanding of yoga. Easy for you to take away and use at home as well. Read more


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Movie Night   4 September
Join us for a range of entertaining movies and interesting documentaries. To be held on the first Thursday of the month. Last month was a lot of fun. Guaranteed to be good this month too. Read more


Kirtan  25 September

Kirtan is a call-and-response style of chanting that is great fun and accessible for everyone. We are now having kirtan on Thursday nights once a month. Read more


Mind, Body and Spirit  11 October

A one day introduction to Vibrational Medicine. Do you want to understand how the mind affects health and wellbeing? This informative, interactive and fun one day course brings together modern and ancient understandings about the human body, mind and energy to demonstrate how the mind and emotions directly affect the physical health. Learn how to use Vibrational Medicine as a tool for attaining balance and well-being. Read more


Natal Yoga Course 15 October

Join Roselle for this 8-week course specifically for pregnant women. This course focuses on asanas, pranayama and meditation to make your journey through pregnancy smoother physically and emotionally. The course includes postures beneficial for the physical changes experienced by every pregnant woman. All postures included in this specialised prenatal yoga course are suitable for women from conception to birth. Read more


Mums and Bubs Yoga 17 October

Join Nikki Fitzgerald for a six-week course of yoga specifically for mums and babies. Strengthen your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles, relax, revitalise and join others who are sharing the same experiences. Read more


Healing with Light and Colour  

13 September


A one day introduction to Light and Colour Therapy on 13 September. Without the nourishing warmth of sunlight there would be no life on planet Earth, no plants, no animals and no humans. Light combined with water is essential for life since our bodies and our planet are approximately 75 per cent water bathed with sunlight.

This one day workshop unlocks the mystery of light, its effect on the cellular structure of the body, the mind and the energy field and the healing aspects of the different colours of the light spectrum. Read more


RIP: BKS Iyengar

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On 20 August, the founder of the Iyengar style of yoga died at age 95. BKS Iyengar is one of the great teachers who brought yoga to the West. His teachings gave health and well-being to innumerable people around the world.

Iyengar wrote many books on yoga practice and philosophy including Light on Yoga, Light on Pranayama, and Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Iyengar yoga classes are offered throughout the world.

Our senior instructor Swami Shantimurti met him and says that he was a great man with a lot of wisdom to share about yoga. Read more about BKS Iyengar or read some of his many excellent quotes.

Recipe: Chilli Chutney

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This is one of Prasad’s recipes from the Cooking Retreat written by Caroline Novak in her article, The Meanest Vegetarian

Heat some rice bran oil and add coriander seeds, cumin seeds and mustard seeds (a good pinch of each). Cook lightly until you can smell the seeds.

Add 1 red onion, finely chopped, and a handful of fresh curry leaves. Cook until it’s really pungent. Then add a heaped tbsp of tumeric, another of curry powder, a big tbsp of salt and a huge tbsp of brown sugar. Throw in your chillis (a mix of around 20 red and green, roughly chopped with seeds).

Add 2 tins of crushed tomatoes, bring to the boil then add a handful of roughly chopped coriander, the juice of 6 large lemons and a small cup of apple cider vinegar. Simmer for hours, stirring every hour. To keep extra – bottle up at night in sterilised jars after cooling for at least 2 hours. Prasad says: She’ll last for years. So Easy!


Ashram Yoga eBook

Download Ashram Yoga’s free Introduction to Yoga ebook. Simply subscribe to our newsletter. This ebook introduces the very simple Pawanmuktasana Part 1 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.