Meet the Teachers & the Yoga – Tauranga’s Backyard Yoga Festival – 1 April 2017

On Saturday 1 April 2017 (or Sunday 2 April if it’s raining) Tauranga’s Matua with a Backyard Yoga Festival gets filled with the sound of Sacred Song,  Djembe Drumming, Laughter Yoga and a general hub-bub mixed with silence from kids and not-kids-anymore practicing yoga, painting rocks, eating, drinking and being Autumnal.

Click here for information on how to BOOK.

Meet the Teachers and the Yoga styles offered in our boutique friendly, and family-inclusive festival…

17353638_10154498734412799_3655632457717752738_n10.30am – 12.00pm Kundalini Yoga.
Mari Hall kicks the festival off with Kundalini Yoga. I know it’s not all about me (Emily) but Kundalini Yoga is my new favourite thing as Julie Andrews would sing. Mari Hall hails originally from Sweden. She fell in love with a Kiwi, made some kids, lived in Stockholm and now they call Aotearoa their home. She is well-missed by her Swedish students of Kundalini Yoga, Mediyoga and Yin Yoga, so still offers International classes to them via zoom (sort of like skype for multiple people).Mari is a grounded, caring, uplifting, skilled, prepared teacher who values the power and majesty of nature so much that her regular classes are held outside beneath and sky and trees, at Banks Reserve Mt Maunganui. She always has a twinkle in her eye and finds a way to connect with and nourish the students that sit before her. I highly recommend her teaching style and this ‘art and healing form’ that is Kundalini Yoga. You can continue to practice with her with Mount/Tauranga Kundalini Yoga Community. Contact:

What’s Kundalini Yoga?
From relationships and work to self-care and beauty, Kundalini Yoga thoroughly works both the mind; from mood elevation and stress reduction to renewed mental clarity—and the body; from anti-aging and increased metabolism to amped-up energy. This is a must-have class for anyone who wants simple, effective tools for a supercharged life.

12002751_1651617098389967_1302873885078538327_n12.45pm – 1.30pm Laughter Yoga.
Erika Von Oirschot who also teaches Bikram Yoga at Mount Yoga Studio, is giving us reason to giggle with Laughter Yoga. This is a contagious class to do with kidlets. I find it very therapeutic (as do all the other regular laughers among us), and a profound activity or state to share with my children. We are the model as Joseph Chilton Pearse reminds us in parenting articles. How often do my children see and hear me belly-laugh? How often do they see me with my serious or worried or pressured or haven’t-managed-to-do-that-yet-today face on?

What’s Laughter Yoga?
Having done this class with Erika I can wholeheartedly say it’s one of the most warming workshops I’ve ever done. Imagine this… We stand in a circle. The ‘teacher’ suggests an easy, quick (almost drama-school like) game to play. Everyone plays it at once (nobody is being watched). The game lasts for 2-3 minutes. Within each of the 13 odd games introduced, we are encouraged to laugh (all sorts of different laughs). We may manage an inaudible unenthusiastic ‘ha’, or we may not? Perhaps we will fake it till we make it, until the contagion of other people’s laughter will induce ours. Dr Madan Kataria (a medical doctor) from India started Laughter Yoga and there are now laughter clubs giggling all around the world. Erika Von Oirschot discovered laughter yoga 7 years ago and loved it – especially the after effects. She went through laughter yoga leader training with Jamie Chick a year later. Erika also teaches Bikram Yoga, offers Hawaiian Bodywork and has a strong meditation practice. You can find Erika again by emailing her:

14257713_1408473685837157_2434597203402857818_o1.30pm – 3.00pm Sacred Song / Kirtan
is led by Premratna (Sarah Spence) with guitar & harmonium and Fiona McClure (from Tauranga Fire & Drums) on percussion. We hosted a family-friendly Kirtan / Sacred Song pre-Christmas and attracted a dozen families, Dads and kids, new-to-Tauranga single people, some curious neighbours…The kids came and went from the music. Some lay in their Mother’s laps calm, contented and somehow ethereal to the rhythms and harmonies. Premratna is a kirtan artist, singer/songwriter and yoga teacher. A classically trained singer, her musical inspirations have included living and spending time at ashrams (residential yoga centres) in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and India. Fiona is a belly dancer and drummer extraordinaire ( a perfect 10012703_929748030381072_803975089879021189_o.jpgcombination for embellishing this climactic art form that is Kirtan). If you’d like to contact Sarah/Premratna again:

What’s Kirtan?
Kirtan (joyful chanting) is the practice of singing your heart open; it is the music aspect of yoga. The accompanying instruments support as the chant increases in intensity before pulling back to a silence perfect for meditation. Experience how the singing aspect of yoga can bring you out of your head and into your heart. Expect simple repetitive songs in Sanskrit, Te Reo Maori and English.

3.30pm – 5.00pm Vinyasa Yoga from Yang to Yin with Stella Wright from Yoga Matua. Stella is a Matua mascot! A local favourite on our friendly Peninsula. She teaches regular Vinyasa, Yin and Restorative Yoga from Ferguson Park, Levers Rd Hall and her home-studio in the treetops, nearby. Stella’s smile and warm embrace light up anyone’s heart and day. She is a passionate yogini and event-maker, she brought Glow Yoga to the Bay of Plenty in 2016. You can continue to practice yoga with Stella through Yoga Matua.

14523241_575452389306085_364059663724968662_nWhat’s Vinyasa Yoga from Yang to Yin?
A strong and sweaty dynamic flow in a Yang style of yoga to build strength and stamina and to wring out the day, movement is continual and fluid, set to a mindful and steady pace that progresses in intensity.
This is followed by a delicious Yin yoga sequence with held restorative poses that allow the body to open and encourage the body to release and open without tension.
Poses are often held for several minutes with relaxed musculature to encourage fascia, connective tissue that is found everywhere in the body, surrounding bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons, to ease and open. This results in deep releases into tight spots and areas of holding, a deeper connection with the breath as the diaphragm and intercostal muscles become less constricted along with a calm awareness of the mind.
This Vinyasa Yoga class cumulates with a soothing Yoga Nidra (a deep guided meditation also known as yoga sleep) to leave you feeling wonderfully relaxed and rested. This is the perfect way to rebalance and restore you, understanding the need to move and sweat but also to rest and release deeply.

Gratitude to these teachers and all great teachers for feeding us, and bringing us together.

Kid friendly activities and kawa around the classes?
There will be alternative stations of play (rock painting, chalk mural wall, child-painted-face-painting, general outdoor exploring) for children who wish to ‘sub-out’ from the Yoga, Singing, Laughing classes. The classes are pitched for adults rather than being designed for the children, they can simply come and go from the ‘class’. If your children are having difficulty doing this calmly and with minimal disruption we’d all appreciate Mums or Dads or Caregivers temporarily leaving the class to re-settle their children in an alternative activity. Parents / Caregivers are welcome to come mindfully back into the class once their children are happy.

What to bring?
Our classes will be held within nature, beneath the trees and (fingers crossed) blue and/or calm skies. Please bring your yoga mat, water bottle, sunhat and block for hot weather and warm comfortable clothes (which may include a woolly hat and scarf) should it get a little breezy or during relaxation (savasana). You may like to bring cash cos if we’re motivated there may be some food, drink and product stalls.

Wet Weather Plan?
If it is raining the festival will be postponed to Sunday. If Sunday wants to rain wild & grace will refund any pre-bought tickets by Wednesday 5 April 2017 via internet banking.

Past related events?
wild & grace have hosted two backyard events over summer.
Click here to see photos from Kid-friendly Kirtan and here to see Rock (painting) Parties.
We are also responsible for The Delightful Festival of Body & Sound April 2016 and little YOGA festival Spring 2015.
September 2017 promises to bring little YOGA festival Mt Maunganui to life again.

How to book and further information?
Click here for where to come, prices, early bird deals and ticketing.

Message Emily via wild & grace facebook here.

Here’s to homemade whanau-festivals which foster learning, growing, happiness – TOGETHER.


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