Owner of Urban Ashram
Developer of The Ralston Method
ERYT 1500hrs, Teacher Trainer
Nikki is a natural teacher who has been working with the human body for over 15 years, her passion for yoga and wellbeing shines through and is infectious to others.
Nikki has devised her own 'Ralston Method' which blends together the best elements of hatha, vinyasa, precision alignment and mindfulness teachings. Her classes are strong yet grounded, guiding her students to gain a deeper understanding of themselves, giving skilled yet simple cues from her deep understanding of the human body and subtle energies, creates a transformative experience, empowering the student to become their own guru. Balanced by her delightful sense of humour that encourages students to reclaim the joy within their practice and life.
The owner of Urban Ashram in Auckland, featured presenter at Wanderlust festivals NZ/AUS ambassador for Eco Store and GreenLeaf Organics, Mother and wellness powerhouse. Off the mat you will usually find her flipping handstands at the beach with her delightful daughter or indulging in dark chocolate.
"I believe that we are all born to shine bright as children do, as we let go of our fears and step into our light, we inspire others to do the same"
Ella found yoga at a pivotal moment in her life. As many people do Ella came to the practice to seek clarity in an otherwise turbulent time in her life. The practice of yoga brought moments of peace and a feeling of well-being, a welcome relief to a somewhat distraught young lady. Over the next few years, yoga came and went with sporadic visits until finally, after the arrival of her son in 2012, Ella found herself drawn to the vibrant rhythm of a daily Astanga yoga practice. It didn't take her long to realise that yoga was more than an hour spent on a mat: it was a way of life.
Living life through yoga was like wearing beer goggles - she fell in love with everyone, including falling back in love with herself! Gradually, it brought kindness into her heart, for herself and others; it brought truth into her thoughts, words, and actions; and it shaped her in many, many other ways.
Grateful and awestruck, Ella made the decision to train to be a teacher in this wonderful art. She wanted to deepen her understanding of the practice, and she wanted to serve as a yoga-catalyst to other people - just as her own inspiring teachers had done for her. She spent 2015 completing her 500hr teacher training at the New Zealand School of Yoga, under the fierce guidance of Mike and Sharon Byron-Mackay. It was a vigourous training, steeped in the Iyengar tradition: plenty of props, long holds in postures and an acute attention to alignment.
The memory of the Astanga fire remained seared in her bones, and after graduating in 2016, Ella found herself drawn once more to the power and fluidity of a moving practice: enter Vinyasa. The creativity and freedom of Vinyasa allowed Ella to find a balance between her Iyengar and Astanga backgrounds. Today, she practises and teaches a style that fuses the meticulous spirit of Iyengar with the moving poetry of Vinyasa.
Ella's classes are challenging, but given in a gentle and playful manner. You will walk out of class feeling strong, stretched and radiant.
RYT500 & E-RYT200
Amber J is a lover; a curator of kindness, guided by her heart & server to her souls divinity.
Yoga has changed my life, as I have learnt that Yoga is life; a beautiful life. I was born in NZ, and since the age of 4 I have been lucky enough to have dancing in my life, and through the love of movement I found the asana practice to be pure magic to the mind, body and soul. From mindfully rotating the wrists to pressing my palms firmly into the earth, I felt (and still feel) elated and a true sense of peace when struck with the present moment.
After pursuing a professional dancing career in Sydney, Australia, I soon discovered that this path wasn't for me. I had put so much pressure on myself to succeed that I had lost the joy of Self. Anxiety and an eating disorder took hold of me over those few years that followed, and it wasn't until I started attending a number of Pilates and Yoga classes that I began to see the sun again. It eventually became clear to me how much the practice of Yoga was benefiting my health and well being.
In 2014 I went to Auckland, New Zealand, where I studied a Diploma in Yoga at Wellpark College. The person that came out of that course was totally different to the one that walked in. I went in for personal development reasons, and came out with a loving determination to help others on their own journeys. I can't express through words how grateful I am for all the beautiful wisdom that I received in that year. The tutors and students there are now my life long friends, and I will hold that experience in my heart forever.
Following my 200/500HR training in Yoga I returned to Napier, Hawke's Bay, where I taught at a number of studios and my own home studio. Nothing has made me more content than seeing the true growth in my students, on and off the mat. My soul is happiest when helping others, kindness is my religion, and I endeavor to embody this always.
Lasting words; I am just a vessel; Yoga is the wisdom. Namaste
Poppy moved to NZ in 2013 after completing her teacher training with Power Living Australia. She set up beachside yoga classes in Mt Maunganui which quickly grew in numbers over the summer and gave her the confidence to teach her classes in Auckland studios by 2014.
Poppy found a love for yoga when she came to a crossroads and felt her life lacked meaning, direction and service. Her classes are balanced, lighthearted and challenging.
She passionately believes that people don't need radical change in order to be the best version of themselves but through a deeper sense of awareness everybody can tap into the greater powers that remind us we are the creators of our own destiny.
Her words to live by are:
Be silly. Be honest. Be kind ~ Ralph Waldorf Emerson