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.
Ann-Marie is a natural teacher guiding students with compassion and understanding for the past 4 years. Ann-Marie is inspired to support others on their individual paths of wellness through her studies of Yoga, Pilates and Nutrition.
Yoga came to Ann-Marie when she was 30, she found herself in a demanding and unsupportive working environment. Wound with anxiety and insecurity; court up in expectations of self and others. Yoga became her retrieve, a place to just be with breath and body. The practice was a place of mental clarity, opening and a return home to self.
Well studied in the science, art and philosophy of yoga she has completed a total over 1,000 hours of yoga trainings, in the United States, India, Indonesia and New Zealand. Her passion for integrated wellness is clearly evident and her classes deeply supportive and authentic.
After falling in love with yoga 12 years ago Melissa has found herself practicing ever since. As an experienced primary teacher, Melissa has always enjoyed teaching and supporting others. It felt like a natural evolution for Melissa to undertake teacher training when her yoga mentor in Sydney suggested she displayed the energy and qualities of a yoga teacher. Recently graduating from 250hrs of Yoga Alliance certified teacher training, she has a genuine desire to share the practice that has brought so many benefits to her own life, with others.
In 2018 Melissa completed her 250hr training with Nikki Ralston, in alignment and anatomy based Hatha and Vinyasa yoga. With Melissa’s naturally caring nature, you are in good hands, she teaches a grounded, well balanced class that will awaken not only your body but also your heart.
RYT500 & E-RYT200
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
Laura has been dedicated to the practice of yoga for the past 13 years and has recently embarked on the journey of becoming a teacher.
As a dancer, Laura was initially drawn to the physical side of yoga to improve her strength and flexibility but what has kept her on the mat is the balance and presence that it brings to the fast pace of her life,
Laura has completed 250 hours of yoga teacher training with Nikki Ralston in 2018. She adds this to her degree in sports nutrition, experience as a personal trainer and years of instructing mind-body exercise, deepening her understanding and knowledge of holistic health and the individual.
Laura creates a playful and intelligent class that will connect you with your body, your breath and the present moment.
Stephanie fortuitously discovered yoga at a young age and finds herself 12 years later as a deeply committed student of the practice. Inspired by the outdoors, travel, sports and art, Stephanie's independent nature lead her to travel across the world to recently complete her second teacher training in New Zealand. Stephanie has a strong curiosity to understand the inner workings of the body-mind connection, continuously pursuing further education.
Stephanie graduated from her first teacher training in 2013 which opened up her awareness to the depths of yoga. While living in Whistler BC, Stephanie witnessed and experienced injuries in athletes bodies and minds and in 2017 she was drawn to the course LoveYourBrain designed to assist people who have suffered from concussions and brain injuries. In 2018 she moved to New Zealand to study under senior teacher Nikki Ralston and The Ralston Method which gave her personal and teaching experience in the practice, science and art of yoga. Learning functional anatomy, the science of subtle energies and philosophy of yoga. She has also completed trainings with Ashley Galvin, Dylan Werner and Kayla Pearce.
From her own witness and experience Stephanie fully believes in the healing capacity of yoga. Stephanie's calm, compassionate nature instantly brings students into their own ease. Her classes are thoughtfully sequenced with intelligent alignment, creating a space for students to feel safe and allow curiosity in experiencing their body, mind and breath while navigating through their own ebbs and flows of life.