Ashram Yoga


Yoga Made Easy

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Getting started in yoga is easy. All it takes is some time and some basic instruction. At Ashram Yoga, we teach beginners a sequence of postures is called pawanmuktasana, as demonstrated by Devananda in this video. It comprises simple movements that anyone can do and its effect on health and well-being are profound and far reaching.

On our Level 1 yoga teacher training course we encourage our students to practise pawanmuktasana everyday. The feedback is always the same – they are surprised at how beneficial it is – even for seasoned yogis.

Ashram Yoga’s senior director Swami Shantimurti Saraswati raves about pawanmuktasana. He says it benefits everyone, including those who are recovering from serious accidents or disease. He also points out that foundational practices help advanced yogis become more advanced.

In our opinion, pawanmuktasana should be taught in schools and hospitals. Everyone should know how to do it. It relieves stress, loosen the joints, increases the flow of energy in the mind and body and just makes you feel good without much effort. The best way to learn pawanmuktasana is by attending our Yoga for Beginners Course or joining the Level 1 yoga teacher training course.


Yoga Teacher Training 

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Congratulations to this year’s participants of the part-time Level 1 yoga teacher training course. You all did a wonderful job with your commitment and persistence to learning. Go well with your learning and sharing of Yoga!


Level 1 Yoga Teacher Training

Become a confident, competent and qualified yoga teacher with our Level 1 yoga teacher training course starting in March next year. This course comprises a number of weekend workshops over seven months. It is a lot of fun and often has a big impact in the lives of course participants (see Interviews) and the people they teach.

Teaching yoga is a lot easier than it seems, especially when you have been well trained. Our task is to make you a good teacher and after teaching this course for many years we have worked out the best way to do that.


Level 3 Intensive

This residential course comprises advanced yoga and meditation as well as Yoga Therapy and many more topics. It is a time to dive deeply into the knowledge and practice of yoga in an ashram environment. A few spaces remain on this eleven-day course (13-23 November).


Graduate Support Programme

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 new 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 no extra charge. Read more


Summer at Ohui Retreat

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Summer Holidays

Join us this summer at our idyllic beachside setting at Ohui Retreat. Not only will you be staying at one of the Coromandel Peninsula’s prime beach locations, you will also have access to a taste of a relaxed yogic lifestyle with plenty of experienced teachers on hand to share yoga knowledge and wisdom with you. Read more


Prana New Year Festival

Join Ashram Yoga at the Prana New Year Festival from 30 December to 3 January. This festival is located on the property next door to our Ohui Retreat. We will be providing yoga classes and workshops. If you don’t want to camp at the festival, then you are welcome to stay with us – either camping on our property or in one of our rooms. We provide yummy food, showers and time out from the festival.

The Prana Festival is always a lot of fun and we certainly look forward to it every year. We hope you can join us. Read more about the festival at or staying at Ashram Yoga during the festival.


Yoga Nidra Teacher Training – Level 2


Yoga Nidra is an ancient and powerful practice for self-transformation. On Level 2 learn to:

  • Deepen the practice to address your own inner transformation
  • Develop and apply the concept of sankalpa or right intent
  • Learn to design the practice to suit specific needs, persons or groups
  • Understand how Yoga Nidra is effective and beneficial for all ages, infant, adolescent and adult
  • Read more about this course on 6-7 December


Studio News

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We welcome Liza Cornelius to our teaching crew. Liza has practiced yoga since she was introduced to it in England in her teens. It was a gift that found a greater place in her life after she moved to New Zealand. Before studying yoga and teacher training with Ashram Yoga she spent most of her career in the corporate world. Through her own experiences Liza understands the demands of work, a busy life and the difficulty of making time to fit in everything. She believes that yoga is a great balance to these challenges. Read more


Concession Card Competition

Congratulations to Vince Carmine who is the winner of Lululemon yoga mat in the October draw. If you want to enter the next draw for a free concession card, just put your completed 8-class yoga concession card or one-month pass in the box at the front desk.


Ohui Retreat: Volunteers Wanted

We are looking for volunteers who wish to experience the yogic lifestyle at our beautiful Ohui Retreat in exchange for work on the property. We would love to hear from you. Any skills in building, painting, chainsawing are a plus! One month minimum stay required. Start ASAP. Please email us or call us on +64 (0)7 865 8451.



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 and Intuitive Painting Retreat

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Join Jeannette McCallum and Hollie O’Neill (pictured) for a weekend of yoga and intuitive painting at the Waihi Academy. Jeannette is a highly trained yoga teacher and Hollie is an experienced creativity coach and artist. During the weekend you will learn to tap into your innate artistic ability with gentle yoga, breathing practices, meditation and guided visualisations.

You will also express your creative potential with art. In Hollie’s classes, you will be guided and stimulated by colour to create your own intuitive painting on a 40 x 20 “ stretched canvas, using studio acrylics and professional creative techniques. By the end you will be relaxed and have produced a stunning original artwork to take home. Read more or watch the video about this retreat.


Upcoming at the Parnell Studio

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Yoga for Beginners Course  3 November

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


Satsang with Shantimurti

Join Swami Shantimurti for a discussion on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Thursday 4 December will be a fun night of yogic wisdom. Read more


Yoga Class with Shantimurti

Swami Shantimurti will be teaching another early morning class for experienced yoga practitioners on Friday 5 December. Read more


Origins of a Yoga Teacher


Stacia (aka Lalitamurti) is a senior instructor with Ashram Yoga. We asked her to write about her spiritual journey.

This whole spirituality thing started for me when I was reasonably young. A curiosity with the occult, a few odd encounters and a fantasy involving shaving my head and running away to a Buddhist monastery. I eventually found my way to the “spirituality” section of my local city block sized bookstore. I remember peering around the corner with what I imagine are similar to the mixed emotions of a pre-teen having internet access. Broaching a world I wasn’t sure I should have access to. The concepts of spirituality, yoga and meditation were not as mainstream or as familiar as they are now. “The Secret” had not yet been published and Wayne Dyer was certainly new to me.

Still my eyes flitted across the purple and pink hued spines, both to my horror and delight, to read titles like, “How to Open Your Third Eye” and “Finding Your Sacred Animal Totem” or “Souls Journey” This all seemed a little suspect and I wasn’t even sure I should be in this section, but I couldn’t help myself and kept coming back for more. I was drawn in with an unquenchable curiosity all the while wondering if these people were crazy and if I would join their ranks. More than anything I wanted access to this version of the world. I wasn’t drawn to the hippy beads and fairies, although perfectly nice, my logical and analytical mind demanded the experience of something more concrete and palpable. If we really had a third eye and it could open I wanted specifics on how to open it, and mine to open. I wanted to experience the truth of the matter. Read more


Upcoming at Ohui Retreat 

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Pictured: Guests on Opoutere Beach


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

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.


Video: Fierce Grace

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Fierce Grace is a feature-length documentary about the famous American guru Ram Dass. Ram Dass (Richard Alpert) began his career as a professor at Harvard University where his exploration into human consciousness with LSD and other psychedelics got him fired. In 1967, he traveled to India and met his guru Neem Karoli Baba who gave him the name Ram Dass, which means “Servant of God.” From that point on, his exploration of consciousness transformed and grew with a spiritual practice of yoga and meditation. This documentary is very moving and highly recommended to anyone interested in the spiritual aspects of yoga and meditation. Watch the full documentary.


Recipe: Chai-Spiced Pumpkin Bars

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If I had realized how simple it was to create delicious no-bake pumpkin bars, I wouldn’t have waited so long to make them, let alone share the recipe. Fortunately, they are so easy that you and I can make them for any and all occasions, including an afternoon snack (that’s an occasion, right?). What’s more, the tender, nutty crust and fluffy pumpkin and chai spice filling are completely free of gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts, and refined sugar!

For the crust:
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (certified gluten-free if necessary)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup pitted dates, chopped — plus a few more if needed

For the filling:
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1/3 cup maple syrup or coconut nectar (or to taste)
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon cardamom
3/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons coconut flour
Read more


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.