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! 

<h2>Tash Domonkos</h2>

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

<h2>Maria Kerensiana</h2>

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

<h2>Caroline Mastreani</h2>

Caroline Mastreani

To me, yoga is about self-discovery. In my classes I strive to create a space where participants feel safe to go inside and explore – a space where they can discover exactly what they need both on and off the yoga mat. It is my intention when leading a yoga class to encourage participants to listen to their own innate knowledge, and let that become their guide. It gives me great joy to look up at a room full of people, each doing their own version of the practice. 
 
My own yoga practice began over 20 years ago and has been my anchor while life’s ups, downs and changes have fluctuated around me. 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, daughter, sister and friend. 
 
I am Yoga Alliance registered (E-RYT) and have been teaching both here in NZ and overseas for over 10 years. In 2016 I founded my Wellington-based yoga business, Flow Yoga, which sees me take yoga classes and workshops into community centres, classrooms, workplaces, yoga studios, private homes and mental health care facilities. After working in mental health with refugees in 2015-16, my yoga teaching took on a more intentional trauma-informed perspective. It was this work with refugee survivors of trauma and torture that inspired me to do further training in using yoga as a tool to address trauma. At that time I began a trial yoga project with refugee-background women which continues to this day. More recently I co-founded the group Trauma-informed Yoga and Mediation NZ with fellow yoga professional Una Hubbard to support those in the community wanting to learn more about trauma and yoga/meditation tools for recovery. Together we facilitate trauma-informed yoga and meditation workshops throughout New Zealand. 
 
I look forward to connecting with you on the mat.
<h2>Tanya Carr-Smith</h2>

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.

<h2>Rachel Bockett</h2>

Rachel Bockett

Yoga has been a part of my life for the past 10 years. I first came to yoga through mediation and shortly after discovered asana and the ability to be immensely grounded in the present moment through movement and breath. Yoga truly has been the back bone in my whole life, enabling greater self-awareness and in turn more grounding, meaningful relationships, embracing calm equanimity as I move through life natural cycles. Tuning into my inner landscapes has only made my external word more satisfying.

I teach Hatha, Yin and Ashtanga whilst intertwining mindfulness practices to encourage students to sink into the present moment, finding their seat and bodies, in the ever-changing moments of life.

Being a Massage Therapist (True Calm Massage and Yoga) I have a firm interest in the functionality of movement, anatomy and physiology. Truly believing that yoga is a fantastic tool that can create balance not only in our minds but our bodies – our muscles and fascia that stabilize, stretch and move our joints helping us move through life gracefully.

<h2>Ali Kirkpatrick</h2>

Ali Kirkpatrick

Although I have been practicing yoga for over a decade, my “yoga journey” didn’t really start until after the birth of my first child. I was fairly unprepared for Motherhood and found that yoga was the only thing that really allowed me the space to breathe and connect with myself again while surviving the chaos of life. Yoga is my reset button, my place of calm and constantly flows over into my daily life enabling me to have deeper connections with my whanau and friends. 
 
While my classes are mostly vinyasa flow based, I also teach Wellington’s only Aerial Yoga classes through Aya Yoga. With the use of a soft hammock Aerial Yoga enhances your daily yoga practice and allows you to truly experience the joy of inversions.
 
I care deeply for Mother Earth and in my “other life” I run Waste-ed a waste education social enterprise that runs information sessions, workshops and events focused on encouraging people to challenge today’s throw away mentality, while advocating government and businesses to take more responsibility for New Zealand’s waste. 
 
I look forward to guiding you through this amazing life changing practice that is yoga. See you on the mat!
<h2>Josie O'Rourke</h2>

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.