Jan Rivers, Wellington and Kapiti
Martin Wilson, Wellington, Karori and Petone
Martin is the principal of and a personal / leadership coach with Selfmade Coaching (selfmade.co.nz). He’s also an Associate for the Mental Health Foundation of NZ’s Working Well Programme.
Previously, Martin was a partner in a large commercial law firm and then established his own legal practice.
Juggling the challenges of being a busy lawyer, a parent and an over-thinking, over-achieving self, contributed to Martin’s first ‘foray’ into meditation 20 years ago. From there he developed a broader interest and participation in mindfulness work and related self-awareness growth practice, much of which he engages in as a coach.
His principal mindfulness / meditation experience comes from the Vipassana tradition and yet he is a keen explorer of other approaches.
Martin lives in Wellington, is married to Chris and has three younger adult children. Being in nature, travelling and growing self-awareness are his ‘things’.
Lucy Schwabe, Wellington and Porirua — MBSR Qualified Trainer
Lucy has a bachelor of health science, is a certified Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction teacher, qualified acupuncturist and traditional Chinese medicine practitioner.
She has been practising Taiji since 1987 and meditation since 1995, and is passionate about mind-body interventions as a holistic approach to health and well-being.
Lucy started Wholistic Health Works in 1997, enjoys working with people in the community and offering mindfulness-based interventions for individuals and groups. Lucy’s website is www.wholistichealthworks.co.nz.
She is inspired by being in nature, is often seen practising taiji in the Wellington Botanic Garden and loves exploring the path of open-hearted mindfulness with others.
Rachel Tobin, Porirua and Kapiti
Rachel has been practising meditation for over 30 years and is a qualified teacher in a variety of fields including the moving mindfulness practices of qi gong and Feldenkrais. She is the director of the art of mindfulness, and works individually with adults and children, teaches mindfulness in organisations and to the public, and offers one-day and residential mindfulness retreats at beautiful retreat centres in and sometimes outside NZ. She also facilitates her mindfulness programme for children, Here in this Moment.
Rachel lives in Paekakariki, on the lovely Kapiti Coast. Mākaro Press has just published Say it Naked, her first collection of poetry, accompanied by life drawings.
Glenda Irwin, Auckland
Glenda is a lead facilitator for Mindfulness Works and trains other facilitators in the Mindfulness Works Introduction to Mindfulness and Meditation course. She has authored numerous mindfulness courses and is the author of the official follow-on courses: Mindfulness 2.0 and Mindfulness and Relationships. She is also part of the Mindfulness Works for Organisations (MWFO) team of experts who deliver mindfulness as a professional competency within organisations.
Glenda came to teach secular mindfulness practices through her own parenting experiences and her commitment to a philosophy of mindful awareness. She studied with the USA teacher Amy Saltzman in 2010 and has continually pursued professional development throughout her teaching career. Trained in ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) and CFT (Compassion-Focussed Therapy), Glenda is also a student of Psychology at AUT University. Her level of coaching qualification is that of Trainer Master Coach whereby she supports ANZCAL coaches to use mindfulness in theirs, and their clients’ response to change.
During Glenda’s lengthy career in teaching and one-to-one support, she has trained literally thousands of individuals. She continues to see her work as a privilege and receives consistently excellent feedback.
Sheryl Dickerson, Orewa
Sheryl was first introduced to meditation through Transcendental Meditation over 30 years ago. She has since revisited this and other meditation practices throughout her life, often in response to stressful or busy life events. As a trained Life Coach and Health and Wellbeing Coach, Sheryl has personally used, and encourages her clients to use, many of the mindfulness techniques available to us all. Whether to overcome difficult issues, or to get in touch with aspects of ourselves that can help us to achieve our passions and life purpose, Sheryl has found mindfulness to be an ever-present tool that can be called on to assist.
Sheryl brings a positive energy and passion to her workshops, having facilitated a wide variety of topics in business, personal growth and wellbeing in Australia and New Zealand.
Sheryl is also a Nanna to seven adorable young grandchildren, lives on the beautiful Hibiscus Coast, north of Auckland and is a passionate bush and beach walker.
Andy Raba, New Lynn
Andy is a long-term student, teacher and author within the heart of yoga who has spent the last five years studying with world-renowned yoga master Mark Whitwell — a student of T.K.V. Desikachar and Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, also known as the ‘father of modern yoga.’
After completing his 500-hour qualification in 2020, he undertook a one year ashram residency in Fiji to deepen his practice and teaching. A published author, Andy has written extensively on the subject of yoga and meditation for many platforms, including Embodied Philosophy and Tarka Journal.
Andy specialises in working with students to develop their personal daily practice. He now lives in Auckland where he facilitates classes in a range of settings including community centres, studios, libraries, schools, spiritual retreats and online. He is currently involved in a one-on-one mentorship program for aspiring teachers.
Andy holds an MA in English literature. He is also an accomplished harpist and likes to bring his music to his teaching.
Wimal Wickramasuriya, Te Atatu, Albany and Orewa
Wimal (Wim) was born into an Eastern Buddhist culture in Sri Lanka and moved to New Zealand as a teenager to begin a life of Western culture at Gisborne Boys’ High School on the east coast of the North Island. The cultural difference made the blend of East meeting West a cognitive experience as he progressed through life working in the engineering field, selling real estate and owning a business.
Navigating mistakes along the way was the teacher of trading creative freedom for fear. If you knew an effective way to bring about change, would you do it; then guide others to do the same?
“Mindfulness Practice has helped me sharpen my awareness and transformed the way I conduct life now. Although there is so much goodness around us, admittedly some things can be better. Seeing how receptive individuals are as they begin to practise mindfulness and trust their own style of learning to develop how life unfolds for them, is an inspired injection that is intriguing and different. By learning to let go of desired outcomes, I see a world of endless possibilities unfolding within each individual attending the course; these are unique moments in the classroom.
I embrace the challenge of communication in each workshop where I’m privileged to witness individuals taking deliberate action; going to places often not seen, but felt.
Knowing this is another journey beginning, I’m excited to facilitate this enriching wisdom so others can cultivate their own experiences, see life through “new eyes” and have a better appreciation of life and living – a new life skill.”
Attending to life with more self-compassion and gentleness, Wimal is drawn into Mindfulness as a rich basis for living life fully and being more in tune with himself and others.
Wimal has three daughters and two granddaughters.
Chris Irwin, Auckland
Chris is a New Zealander. He ordained as a Buddhist monk for over 10 years, practising meditation with teachers in Thailand and Europe. On returning to New Zealand, he trained in Gestalt psychotherapy and post-graduate psychology. He has been in counselling, psychotherapy practice for the last 15 years seeing individuals and couples.
Chris blends an in-depth knowledge of mindfulness meditation practices and approaches of psychotherapy and psychology to help people manage and resolve personal issues — ultimately, to create wellness in people’s lives. It is from this experience that Chris has evolved his approach to mindfulness meditation that is both accessible and compassionate.
As well, he has worked extensively in the corporate world supporting culture and organisational change.
Chris has also run a number of businesses and in so doing, understands that we all face the task of balancing demands of work, family life and getting some ‘me’ time.
Liana Johnson, Taupo
Liana works as a shamanic and sound healer. She has facilitated holistic women’s networking for many years and is also a funeral celebrant. She has a particular passion for the emotional well-being of children and families and tells how the raising of her own children has been profoundly transformative in her own personal development.
Liana has practised meditation most of her adult life. Combined with her 15 years of holistic training and retreat experiences, Liana credits mindfulness practice as the element of self-acceptance and self-compassion that has transformed both her personal and working lives.
Jake Harvey, Palmerston North
Jake first encountered meditation and mindfulness as a teenager studying martial arts, before joining the Army at 19. He spent 15 years in the Army and while there, encountered psychology through his extramural study. This reignited his passion and interest in people and growth, and for the past six years he has been delivering rehabilitative programmes and teaching mindfulness to people attending programmes in the Department of Corrections.
Since reconnecting to his mindfulness journey, Jake has completed a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Māori studies and continued to actively pursue his study of te reo Māori/the Māori language and mātauranga Māori/Māori knowledge.
Jake currently lives in Palmerston North with his wife and enjoys exploring the local region, reading and spending time with his friends and family.
Dr. Heidi Douglass, Mindful Eating Basics Workshops
Dr. Heidi Douglass is an American-trained Clinical Psychologist with over thirty-five years of experience in the field of psychology. This Scientist-Practitioner is an expert in the treatment of obesity, emotional eating, binge eating and behaviour change. She is the lead trainer of the Mindfulness Works Mindful Eating program.
Dr. Douglass uses the power of scientifically-proven behavioural strategies, mindfulness skills and talk therapy techniques to help her clients regain control of their eating behaviour and to feel more at ease in their body and mind.
Clients who work with Dr. Douglass get their eating behaviour back under control, increase self-compassion, self-care and motivation to exercise, while decreasing their negative thinking. Her clients also learn how to manage their weight safely; without dieting, without counting calories and without food restriction. Dr. Douglass is able to break down complex behavioural change into easy to follow steps and she delivers her training materials with an emphasis on science, kindness, compassion and fun.
Dr. Douglass understands that the mind and body are intrinsically linked and that the health and wellbeing of one impacts the other. Inspired by the research literature on how yoga can help her clients keep weight off, decrease anxiety and improve body image, Dr. Douglass became a registered yoga teacher at the age of 50. She has now completed over 540 hours of Yoga Alliance approved yoga teacher training.
Over the years, Dr. Douglass has held clinical and research positions at some of the most prestigious American Institutions including: Harvard University, Columbia University, Boston University, Mt Sinai Hospital in NYC, Brown University and three Hospitals of the American Veterans Administration, and within New Zealand at the Otago Medical School. For two and a half years, she worked as an obesity expert for the public health system in New Zealand.
Dr. Douglass has a very thorough understanding of the scientific literature regarding the health benefits of a Whole Foods Plant Based Diet (WFPBD) and she is certified in plant-based nutrition through the T. Colin Campbell Institute at Cornell University in the USA.
Dr. Douglass is currently based in New Zealand and she works with clients in person and online. www.drheididouglass.co.nz firstname.lastname@example.org
Christine Balzer-Gibbs, Whakatane
Christine has been a yoga and meditation practitioner and teacher for over 28 years. She studied with teachers in India and has a great love for and connection to the spiritual culture there. In recent years, Christine has deepened her meditation at silent mindfulness retreats and continues to develop and enjoy this daily practice.
Christine is a naturopath and kinesiologist and runs her Lifesource Yoga and Naturopathic practice from Bay Osteopathy and Natural Health Centre in Whakatane. She is passionate about using her skills and experience in assisting people to reach their health and wellbeing goals and to find happiness and inner peace.
Christine recently moved with her husband to live at Ohope Beach in the sunny Bay of Plenty. She enjoys walking and swimming and is about to take up paddleboarding. Christine loves to travel and run yoga and meditation retreats at home, in India and in Bali.
John Fletcher – Tauranga
John has 15 years experience working with mindfulness in a variety of settings.
John first experienced the effectiveness of mindfulness when he attended a Breathworks mindfulness-based pain management programme in Manchester (UK) for his chronic back pain. He went on to become accredited as a trainer in the Breathworks mindfulness programme in 2006.
John lives in Tauranga and is an Educator for the Pause, Breathe, Smile Programme — teaching mindfulness in primary and intermediate schools. He also provides bespoke mindfulness training for groups and individuals with particular focus on health and wellbeing, chronic pain, children and families.
John is an experienced Clinical Supervisor and works with a variety of organisations around the Bay of Plenty region. His previous work experience includes senior roles in NGOs in the Disability Sector, Community Development and Children’s Services Development in the UK and NZ.
He enjoys being in the wilderness, reading science fiction and practising Taoist Tai Chi — a moving meditation. John is an Instructor for the Taoist Tai Chi Society of NZ.
Susan Manning – Napier
Susan is a passionate mindfulness facilitator and coach. She offers a stimulating approach to bring mindfulness to life and accessible to people ready for change.
Mindfulness has been central to Susan’s approach to life over the past four years — reconnecting with her interest in meditation and personal growth while navigating great change. Experiencing the impact of mindfulness first-hand Susan wanted to bring this forth for others, clearly seeing the powerful application for both personal and business growth.
Susan is the Founder of Mindful People, a company focussed on optimising individual and organisational effectiveness using mindfulness approaches. Her corporate, entrepreneurial and personal experience positions her well to inspire and support leaders, small business owners and business start-ups in navigating growth and change. She also works with individuals navigating or wanting change in their lives, offering a range of courses including the 8-week MBSR programme, the most globally recognised, evidence-based mindfulness programme.
Her extensive background spans 25+ years in roles including training, human resources, senior leadership, organisational development, teaching and business start-ups. She has a Human Resources degree and Teaching degree (UK) and is currently completing a Diploma in Psychology. Susan is a Professional Member of the Human Resources Institute of New Zealand (HRINZ) and is a Chartered Member of Personnel & Development (CIPD, UK).
Susan is a trained meditation and mindfulness teacher. She has completed Level 1 Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher training through Mindfulness Training Institute – Australia-New Zealand. Susan teaches from her own experience, gained through her own daily practice and regular attendance at seven-day silent retreats.
Susan moved to Napier eight years ago from Auckland. Originally from the UK, Susan now thrives on life in the sunny Hawkes Bay along with her husband and twins.
Pat Alexander, Havelock North
I came to New Zealand eight years ago and since then, I have consolidated a passion for mindfulness. This personal journey came about from different life events, but significantly from the disconnect I felt when I was dealing with the impact of a big change in my life.
This challenging time brought a lot of self-doubt and emotional vulnerability into my life. However, I have found that mindfulness practice has enabled me to engage and rejoice in the complete person that I am and connect with the very being of me.
This journey has been in both my personal and professional life. It has been enabled through attending training, retreats and teachings and through the development of my own practice which has been a personal commitment to my journey and that at times has brought feelings of fear and trepidation. It has enabled me to connect with like-minded people and to receive guidance and mindfulness supervision through my teachers to whom I am very thankful.
As a clinician in mental health, I can see the great potential mindfulness offers and use it in my work. I observe the benefits it provides people – developing awareness and gaining a better understanding of what limits their lives and living to their full potential and freedom of choice.
I completed the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teachers practicum in 2012 and provide mindfulness-based interventions in my private practice.
I enjoy being part of the Mindfulness Works team and providing the Intro and Mindful Eating courses in Napier. With the Mindful Eating courses, we explore our relationship with food with openness, kindness and curiosity and allow ourselves more insight, understanding and compassion.
For more information and contact details please go to mindfulnessmind.co.nz
Susannah Engel, Rotorua
Susannah has been a searcher and teacher for a better way to live since being introduced to yoga and nutrition by her grandmother at an early age. Her background includes running a therapy practice as a bodywork practitioner and Alchemical Hypnotherapist. She has led an eclectic life travelling, raising a family and extending her knowledge in matters of consciousness and creating a spiritually-based life living in the marketplace.
Susannah knows that the key to overcome change and loss while remaining centred is the key to our life and the infinite.
Susannah has worked with people in the corporate world co-running problem-solving workshops and has hands-on experience beginning and running small businesses.
Over the past ten years she has been involved in the education sector, graduating from Waikato University with a Professional Education degree. Currently working as a primary school teacher, she is embarking on further training to bring mindfulness into the classroom. Susannah is passionate about her yoga practice which in turns strengthens her mindfulness.
Outside the busy world of teaching Susannah loves her organic garden, her little house in the forest and observing nature. She is excited about working with the Mindfulness Programme to reach many people on the path to their own presence.
Meegan Care, New Plymouth
I have practised meditation for 30 years, and am a registered Craniosacral Therapist (BCST) and Psychosynthesis Counsellor.
I have worked with individuals in private practice for around 20 years and regularly facilitate retreats and workshops in New Plymouth. I love to teach my clients mindfulness-based approaches that support their health and wellbeing.
I live in central New Plymouth with my husband, and am parent to two amazing humans, one dog and one cat.
Here is the link to my website: meegancare.co.nz
Amy Luttrell, New Plymouth
I was introduced to mindfulness practice 15 years ago while experiencing anxiety and panic attacks and through consistent practice, as well as therapy I grew a relationship to my life that included regular stillness, calm and an acceptance of myself and the fluctuations of daily life. This practice has taught me how to be well which became a natural progression into becoming a meditation and yoga teacher.
I am a teacher of movement and mindfulness meditation and have been facilitating people in group and one-on-one settings for a little over a decade. I live in beautiful Taranaki with my husband and two young children and own a boutique creative studio working with business owners to grow purpose-driven projects. I have found that whatever I do, whether it be personal life or professional, Mindfulness sits as a foundation, a way of life.
Our bodies all have their own innate wisdom that supports healing. With patience, this practice can offer us simple tools to tap into these abilities and as a result, we can befriend ourselves, with loving acceptance.
Chani Grieve, Nelson
Chani has had a dedicated meditation practice since her mid-20s and has been teaching mindfulness classes, workshops and retreats in both New Zealand and Australia since 2012. She has participated in annual solo and group retreats ranging from a few days up to 3 months in length since 2009.
Chani moved from Australia to the Nelson region in 2017 to be in close proximity to her key meditation teacher and community, and receives daily inspiration from her community and ordinary people working to contribute to a healthier, happier, saner world. She also works as a Feldenkrais Practitioner and is passionate about helping people connect with their bodies and how they support a full and satisfying mindfulness practice.
Chani is an amateur painter and musician, loves the glorious outdoors, and is committed to promoting rest as deep practice to care for ourselves and the planet. She is delighted to share the powerful benefits of mindfulness in the community with Mindfulness Works.
David Wakeling, Nelson
David has practised and taught mindfulness for 29 years. He lived as a Theravadin Buddhist Monk for 18 years in Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand leaving the monastic order 11 years ago to pursue a secular approach.
David now teaches mindfulness for Mindfulness Works and The Cancer Society and privately runs regular practice groups and workshops. He also focuses on meditation, daily life practice, yoga, stress reduction, trauma recovery, interactive mindful enquiry and residential courses.
Jaime Howell, Nelson — MBSR Qualified Trainer
Jaime has a Masters in Education and has spent much of his adult life teaching and developing educational pathways that lead to wholeness. Jaime’s background involves teaching Health and Outdoor education. He has spent the last ten years developing mindfulness courses in community settings. In 2006 Jamie began facilitating rites of passage events for families and communities. This has resulted in a lot of work exploring functional relationships between fathers and sons.
Jaime began studying mindfulness through the Burmese Tradition of Insight practice. Later he studied in the Thai Forest Tradition. In 2007 he graduated from a three-year study into living dharma. He has spent many a month in solo retreat putting theory into practice; it has been challenging, beautiful and an extremely valuable experience.
Currently Jaime is the director of Opening minds (www.openingminds.co.nz) an organisation dedicated to developing mindfulness and education. Jaime has developed mindfulness programmes for primary school children, teachers and parents. He is currently contracted by the Mental Health Foundation to deliver the Mindfulness in Schools programme. He is a trained to deliver the MBSR programme.
Having said all this, Jaime explains that he has had his fair share of struggles; burning out in the workforce, ten years of RSI, amputation of a number of fingers, building a house, surviving a MEd Thesis, relationship highs and lows… the full catastrophe. Through it all, it is mindfulness that gives him a sense of belonging, a refuge, a pole star to navigate the beauties and challenges of living in a modern age.
Lin Ong, Christchurch — MBCT Qualified Trainer
MSc (Psych, Otago), MBCT Trainer & Supervisor (Oxford Mindfulness Centre, Oxford University, UK) and Teaching Partner, Life Coach (LCA)
Lin, like you, is a human being who encounters the ups and downs of life and the universal wish to be in contact with happiness and peace. She has experienced moments of this in mindfulness practice. She invites you to embrace this path of discovery in the ongoing journey. Her first encounter of mindfulness practice begun about 25 years ago. Her search for a way to understand suffering in the mental mind began with observation and then studies in psychology, social work and coaching, including working as a psychologist and even a wildlife guide.
This led her to various explorations and adventures that brought her eventually to Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). Through the Oxford Mindfulness Centre (OMC), UK, she is certified to deliver MBCT and related programs, through a supervised pathway. Lin is an OMC Associate, trainer and supervisor for MBCT and related mindfulness programs. She has deep respect and gratitude for Prof Mark Williams and her other mentors Prof Willem Kuyken, Marie Johansson, Christina Surawy and Antonia Sumbundu. Her training stems from members of the team at OMC; Melanie, Ann, Antonia, Mark, Chris, Ruth, and Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn. She facilitates mindfulness groups locally and internationally.
She has found that what we cannot escape from is that knowledge remains mere knowledge until we integrate the practice into our own lives. Lin has a strong interest in research-based approaches that bring together the strength of modern science and ancient wisdom to help empower people, be familiar with the mind-body and to access the natural spring of well-being in people.
Lin is deeply grateful to developers and teachers of MBCT, and her other precious teachers and friends from various walks of life. She is touched by those whose lives she has encountered.
Her motivation is to work alongside you in a way that enlivens and empowers, so that you can continue to benefit yourself and others around. She is open to working to make this possible through means that fits. www.naturenurturesparks.com
She is very happy to join Karl Baker and Mindfulness Works and to journey together with the community towards deeper awareness and joy.
Lea Godfrey, Richmond — BSc (psych), MBCT certified teacher (MTIA)
Lea is a mindfulness teacher, specialising in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy. Currently completing advanced supervision as a psychotherapist, she works in private practice specialising in Mindful Somatic Psychotherapy.
With a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Psychology from Waikato University, Lea has worked as a Lifeline counsellor, and also as a Bereavement Counsellor at Nurse Maude hospice. As a certified Buddhist Chaplain, she also assists the Spiritual Care Team, supporting the terminally ill and co-facilitating the Grief Support Group.
Lea has a long personal meditation practice, with seven years living in India and Nepal, she had the great fortune to meet meditation masters from the Tibetan tradition and to study and undertake retreats under their guidance. She also worked in the translation and publication of Buddhist texts.
Aware that meditation and mindfulness is a key to a healthy body and mind, she is passionate for others to experience the benefits of mindfulness practice and cognitive-behavioural skills training.
Kate Brandram-Adams, Rangiora — Registered Mindfulness Teacher and MBSR Teacher
Kate has a love for practising and teaching mindfulness. She has her home in rural North Canterbury. Her passion is to offer professionally led mindfulness workshops, retreats and courses to groups and workplaces in the area https://mindfulnessnorthcanterbury.wordpress.com/
Mindfulness is a fundamental part of Kate’s life. She has a daily meditation and yoga practice, attends regular meditation and mindful living retreats and has done personal development work with mindfulness therapists. It is a value of hers not to teach anything that she is not willing to experience herself, allowing her to teach with authenticity and compassion.
Kate is a Registered Mindfulness Teacher with MTIANZ and is trained to teach the worldwide evidence base course Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) that she offers as a follow up course in Rangiora. She is committed to ongoing training in mindfulness teaching and has recently completed her yoga teacher training too.
She is also a Registered Mental Health Nurse who specialises in addictions and holistic approaches (integrating body, mind and spirit for wellbeing) including training in naturopathy, nutrition and massage.
Kate has a passion for the integration of ancient wisdom with modern day neuroscience, thus uniting the art and science of supporting people to discover their own source of wisdom, wellbeing and healing; connecting with their own “inner teacher”.
Kate is grateful to the many mindfulness teachers in her life that include the animals and the nature around her.
Kovido Maddick, Dunedin
Kovido has over 35 years’ experience in mindfulness and meditation and spent 10 years training as a Buddhist monk in the Thai Forest tradition under Ajahn Sumedho.
Kovido has been teaching Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction programmes since 1996. He is co-facilitator of the Dunedin Men’s group and is a Hakomi Graduate. Although his training is primarily Buddhist he is very eclectic, drawing on the wisdom of many different traditions and contemporary teachers including Rumi, Osho, Ajahn Chah, Ram Dass, Jeff Foster and Thich Naht Hanh. Probably his greatest teachers have been his two foster children, Mason and Savannah, who can take him to love, joy, delight and rage and frustration and despair on a daily basis.
For many many years, Kovido tried to get enlightened, improve himself, get better at meditation but constantly failed. Gradually his focus has changed to more self-acceptance, trusting his own intuition and being with life as it is on this wonder-full and mysterious journey as a human being.
Bec Thomas-Squires, Invercargill
Let me introduce myself. I am the owner of Your Studio in Invercargill (a yoga and meditation studio) and a very proud Mumma to Belle and soon to be bubba #2.
I also happen to be the face you will see in all the yoga videos inside Your Studio Online, and the voice you will hear in the meditations.
Yoga and mindfulness for me are a way to stay connected with the moment and to get out of my head and although this sounds simple…. Once you have experienced being completely present, you will know why yoga and mindfulness seem to be everywhere!
My journey into yoga and mindfulness began when I was 18. The way I felt afterwards had me determined to learn more. Mindfulness is truly life changing which is why the style of yoga I teach is mindful movement, allowing you to spend an entire hour connected to yourself, rather than an hour trying to make yourself look like a pretzel.
I have studied mindfulness, meditation and yoga in New Zealand and in Australia, as well as remotely with teachers in Canada and America. I have personally completed several mindfulness courses; the first was an 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course, which really propelled me to learn more about mindfulness, as I gained so much from it. I have completed 10-day silent meditation retreats and taught meditation in Australia and New Zealand to children in weekend retreats, to adults in courses, one-off classes and in private sessions.
I absolutely love introducing people to the valuable skill of mindfulness. It is not about making the world a perfect place; it is about uncovering our reactions and patterns, while arming ourselves with the skills to have the flexibility, perseverance and awareness to know how to make it through the many challenges life will throw at us.
Antonia Fiteni, Whangarei – MBSR Qualified Trainer
MSc, Post Grad Ed., BA (Hons) Humanities, MBSR, Yoga Teacher 200 hrs, Life Coach.
Antonia is Founder of The Mindful Coach and has been teaching meditation for 18 years. She delivers the internationally recognised MBSR Mindfulness Meditation program and has been formally teaching mindfulness courses to groups of children and adults for the last four years.
Her passion for mindfulness meditation was borne from a personal journey from a high stress working environment, wanting to move towards health and inner freedom.
Antonia’s meditation practice started in 1997 and she has since attended many and various meditation retreats. She runs the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course and online training courses as well as a private mindful coaching business supporting clients with mindfulness, life coaching and positive psychology.
She places a strong emphasis on supporting participants in developing their own mindfulness practice and delivers this with an engaging and encouraging style, skilfully combining neuroscience, neuroplasticity and positive psychology, coupled with her nearly 20 years of experience into her delivery.
Antonia is also trained in Hatha Yoga (200 hrs), Yin Yoga Teacher Training and Yoga Nidra Teacher Training.
Andy Spence, Waiheke
Born in England in 53, I always loved life and the natural world. I went on to study zoology and teaching. I worked as a park ranger for 16 years and now run my own business as well as enjoying theatre and singing with my wife, Maya. We also have a very active border collie that likes swimming at the beach.
I’ve been interested in love and the heart from a very early age. Spiritual teachers were my childhood heroes. I dabbled in the Spiritualist church, divine light and alternative medicine before turning to the teaching of the Siddhartha Gautama Buddha. I could be called a non-religious Buddhist but prefer to acknowledge the lineage of teachers and the understandings that I have realised as a result of following their instructions, which are both utterly simple and profound.
Karl Baker – Founder
Karl is a founder and director of Mindfulness Works. He has been practising mindfulness and meditation for over 10 years. During that time, Karl has worked one-on-one with a key mindfulness and meditation teacher and has attended numerous multi-day silent insight meditation retreats. Karl was involved in assisting establishing the Wellington Insight Meditation group. His principle teachers have been Stephen (Nyanaviro) Archer, Shard Rogell and Jeremy Logan.
Karl has an honours degree from Victoria University and has helped found three successful businesses. He lives in Upper Hutt with partner Claro and two cats, Nico and Shanti. He has a sweet tooth, a sweet personality (yes, he did write this) and likes craft beer.
What people say about the trainers and the courses…
“I had never done meditation before and already had preconceived notions of what it would be like such as “religious and a bit airy fairy”. Surprisingly, this course was the opposite. I found Karl very relatable when he talked about our thoughts. Like a lot of people, I tend to overthink everything from past events to future, or simply beating myself up. Karl helped me to take a step back and recognise I’m not my negative thoughts and they do not define me. I now feel a sense of peace. The mediation itself is relaxing and helps you de-stress from the day’s events. I highly recommend this course to anyone who is looking to de-stress and gain inner peace.” – Summer
“I love working with Karl. His ability to guide and help me find my own answers and truths has been phenomenal. He is also very caring and not judgemental. I have grown as a person, businessman and practitioner, and the work we have done has been critical for my personal evolution over the last six months. I look forward to every session and always feel better after each one.” – Gareth Rapson
“I have been working with Karl for several months now and have found out so much about myself and making choices that are best for me. I have spent my life thinking I need to please the world and that has left me lost and confused, not knowing what I really want in life for myself and my family. Having Karl teach and support me has helped me be me and make some hard but great choices. I am genuinely happier within my day-to-day life and know how to cope with the hard times better.” – Bridget Adair