Our Teachers

All of us yoga teachers at Beginner Yogi Yoga Studio are passionate about what we do, each with our own style and quirks! 

Tash Domonkos Beginner Yogi

Tash Domonkos

One day at a workshop the teacher leading it asked if I had enjoyed the class we had just done and I said “Yes!” and he asked “Why?”….I thought about it and I said “I just feel better”. So simple. That’s when I realised why I love practicing yoga and why I love teaching yoga, I want to feel better – I want You to feel better. It doesn’t have to be life changing, miracle healing stuff, just that content sigh after class, feeling better.

Those that have read my About page or know me will know that Yoga wasn’t love at first sight for me! I had to dabble a bit to figure out the right style for myself – and there were some pretty mortifying Power Vinyasa experiences along the way!

Luckily for me I kept trying because Yoga was the one thing that I believe truly helped me re-gain my health when I hit rock bottom some years ago. Every day that I practice I am surprised at the power of Yoga. I also have my practice to thank for overcoming fears and anxiety that I had resigned myself to living with, as we often say “it’s in the genes” or “that’s just how I’m built”. Not true in my experience.

For me, Yoga started working it’s magic when I realised how powerful the breath was. It made me feel better – during and long after my practice finished. And so this is my main focus when I’m teaching. Breath and helping you feel better. 

My mission is to get as many New Zealanders breathing, moving and feeling better as possible! If I am blessed to have you in one of my classes; whether in studio or online, I hope that you breathe a little easier, move in a way that feels good and feel a whole lot better.

Hope to see you on the mat,

Tash x

Maria Kerensiana Beginner Yogi Yoga Teacher

Maria Kerensiana

First comes awareness, then choice.

With yoga I am continuously learning new things about myself. I become aware of my physical body, my mind, my spiritual journey and my surroundings. I am then able to make conscious choices in my life. This is why I fell in love with yoga. For me it’s an inward journey – a chance to meet myself. To get to know my strength, my limitations, and other bits and pieces. These journeys could be challenging and confronting at times. Ultimately, it’s a path to freedom as freedom is to know my limitations and accepting them.

Every Sunday I guide you through a Restorative/ Yin class for 60 minutes at the Beginner Yogi Studio. I thoroughly enjoy teaching Restorative/ Yin class as I believe we all deserve a nourishing rest and to recharge. We are all leading a busy and modern life, most of the time with not enough rest.

My other passions are holistic health and creating a balanced life. I am a certified Life Coach. My declaration as a life coach is to empower people to reach their potential and to find their authentic-self. My Life Coach area of interest are creating a balanced life, building confidence, enhancing performance and goal settings, improving self-esteem, and reducing stress and anxiety. I am always open for you and I truly care for your wholeness.

Namaste, Maria

Annie 5

Annie Colebrook

I started practising yoga in 1994 whilst completing a  BA (Dance) Australia. After performing and living overseas for many years (and taking time out from yoga) I made the journey home and returned to a daily yoga practice and haven’t looked back since.

I’ve studied various forms of Hatha yoga including  Sivananda, Iyengar and Ashtanga. I have also studied pranayama and meditation. Recently I travelled to India to study yoga in Keralaand Mysore, completing my teacher training Ashtanga Vinyasa  RYT, Mysore. I intend to make many return visits  to continue what will be a life long journey of practise and discovery.

So why practise yoga? The beauty of yoga is in its simplicity, it works. It allows you to connect with the essence of who you are.

We all come to our mats with different life experiences and these manifest within the fabric of the body and mind. I see yoga (all 8 limbs) as a form of human therapy to address and alleviate modern day stresses and pressures that cause imbalance in our lives.

Yoga challenges you, it makes you humble.  It gives you permission to remove yourself from day to day distractions and pressures of life and be present, in the moment and reconnect with your body and your breath.  Sounds simple but how many of us actually take the time to do it?

I hope through teaching I can share with others the beauty of yoga and the positive effects it can have on your life.

Namaste
Annie

Caroline Mastreani yoga teacher at Beginner Yogi

Caroline Mastreani

I began practicing yoga in 1995 in a San Francisco living room. It was Ashtanga yoga and I knew from that first class that I had found something special. It was an incredibly demanding workout, but it left me with a sense of calm that I had never experienced before. My practice was sporadic for several years, but after I moved to Wellington in 2003 I developed a more regular commitment to yoga, attending mostly Ashtanga classes for several years. In 2006 my family and I moved to Vanuatu where I was happily surprised to find a local yoga studio with a dedicated community of practitioners. When a friend took over the running of the studio, she encouraged me to begin teaching. I realised after teaching my first class that I wanted this to be a part of my life. Shortly thereafter I completed my first yoga teacher training and have carried on teaching ever since, both within NZ and abroad.

To me, yoga is about finding balance. In my classes I strive to create a space where students can find that balance, grow strong and thrive and where they can discover exactly what they need both on and off the yoga mat. I am a Yoga Alliance registered yoga teacher as well as a certified children’s yoga instructor. I have been a student of yoga for over 20 years and I am continuously discovering the many wonders of this practice as I come to understand better the relationship between my own mind and body. The single most important thing that yoga has done for me is to help me to be more present in my life; meaning I am able to have more meaningful relationships, more joy, more happiness, more connection. It has become an essential tool for my own deepening self-awareness, for understanding others and for acting with empathy. Yoga spills over into all aspects of my life, making me a better parent, spouse and friend. I am grateful to the practice and I plan to continue learning from this fantastic teacher for many, many years to come.

Tanya Carr-Smith

Tanya has been practicing yoga for about 10 years after stumbling upon it through a friend. Over the years she has practiced many styles of yoga and still enjoys the variety of movement.

Tanya believes Yoga encourages you to challenge yourself without the need to compare yourself with others. It intrigues you and gives you a belief to be who you are and be okay with that, no judgement required. It empowers you to treat your body with respect and to be thankful for whatever movement, whatever flexibility level or body shape you are. Yoga gives you strength-both in mind and body.

She has an excellent knowledge of anatomy and physiology believing that as long as what your body is doing in an asana is safe, then it is okay for you to move and look different to everybody else in the class.

She believes in the importance of an individual practice. When you combine her anatomy and physiology knowledge with her love of running and the outdoors, you have a teacher who wants you to have the best possible practice in that moment for you.

In her other “life”, Tanya is a mum of three young children, a tertiary tutor, a (wannabe) surfer, beach lover and book nerd with a soft spot for good coffee and fine wine.

Josie O'Rourke Beginner Yogi

Josie O'Rourke

I’m a lively gal coming all the way from Montreal, Canada, where I have been teaching hatha, vinyasa, yin and SUP (paddle board) yoga since 2010. I am passionate about nature, travelling, and about all the practices leading to a better body and mind awareness & wellness. I have a certification in Thai Massage and am is on my way to be an official Yoga Tune UpⓇ  instructor, incorporating self-massage therapy balls into my teachings and personal practice. Through yoga I have witnessed every day, the small (and grand!) miracles this discipline can bring to people committed to leading active lives.

Josie runs regular SUP (paddle board) yoga classes on the Wellington waterfront in the Summer months! Check out her facebook page for more information.

Rachael Holderness

I found yoga when living in the awe-inspiring mountains of Queenstown. Working for yoga brand Lululemon, I was lucky enough to experience many different yoga classes, workshops and festivals with some of New Zealand’s most admired teachers.

I like to practice a variation of yin and yang styles, but my passion is to teach beginners. The world we live in is becoming busier every day. I believe that what we need the most from yoga is the stillness. I like to create a warm and supportive environment in my classes. I develop flows that intrinsically consider students safety so that they can focus on themselves.

The passion I have for philanthropy – and day job as Red Cross fundraising and events coordinator – compliments my passion for yoga; both create real positive change. Yoga is a tool that helps us still the chatters of the mind, strengthens our bodies (and minds) and most importantly makes us understand ourselves.

As a fairly tall school girl I used to shrink my shoulders down so that I didn’t stand out. Years of doing this during my developmental stages resulted in really bad posture, and a body that I didn’t feel comfortable in. I believe that each of us have some form of tension in the body that has been created by an emotional event or feeling.

From practicing yoga I have become taller, stronger and more confident. Who wouldn’t want that?

Anna Fenton Kundalini Yoga Teacher at Beginner Yogi

Anna Fenton

I was first introduced to hatha yoga when I was fourteen. Back then I remember filing it away as something I’d take up when I was ‘old’. Fortunately, ‘old’ to a young teenager isn’t in fact that old, so I soon picked up yoga again, and eventually settled into a regular yoga and meditation practice over 20 years ago. During that time, I’ve discovered and embraced most of the authentic hatha yoga practices – particularly Iyengar, Astanga, Vini, and Kundalini yoga – as well as a variety of meditation practices, including Vipassana, Tibetan, and Mindfulness meditation.

I’m grateful to have been introduced to all of these yoga and meditation practices because each, in their own (perfectly timed!) way, have supported and helped sustain me through the many and varied challenges and circumstances we face as part of our daily living and life cycles (physical, emotional and spiritual, personal and professional, and through times of both joy and sorrow).

I’m also grateful that I’ve been able to work deeply with a few of these yoga practices (Iyengar, Yin and Kundalini) – which led me in more recent years to embark on teacher training for Kundalini Yoga and Yin Yoga, and now Yoga Therapy.

As a full-time legal professional, I currently teach yoga part-time in a variety of situations. I’m especially delighted to have joined the Beginner Yogi teaching team and to be offering Kundalini Yoga and Yin Yoga workshops and classes in my own community.

Namaste, Anna

To see is Bliss
To understand what we see is Sublime
To see beyond understanding is Divine

Natalya Reznichenko

Practicing yoga for my health and spiritual benefits for more than 15 years, I began my yoga journey in Russia with traditional Hatha Yoga, which includes a full range of ancient practices (i.e., both still and moving yoga postures, breathing techniques, meditation, and guided relaxation), and I also enjoyed other yoga styles including Yin, Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Hot yoga.

After years of working in science, I gradually came to the decision to take a path as a yoga instructor to share my personal experience in yoga and how regular practice helps with finding a peace within oneself. In 2016 I completed a 200-hour Certified Teacher Training at Ashram Yoga Auckland with a great teacher, Swami Shantimurti Saraswati, I gained a life changing yoga experience on how to guide people to awaken their body and mind. I trained to develop classes for a variety of needs, including restorative and/or strengthening physique, deep relaxation classes, and work with energies.

I teach the Hatha classical yoga style with benefits for general fitness (such as muscles toning, increasing strength and flexibility), for specific therapeutic purposes (back pains, joints related problems, muscle work), including yogic breathing techniques (pranayama to improve body health and balancing the mind) and traditional Yoga Nidra guided relaxation.

My personal belief is that yoga should be a fun, safe and introspective journey for everyone. I hope to inspire others in the Wellington community with this life-changing practice!