Teachers

Yoga Within Teachers

All our teachers are educated, qualified and committed to providing a safe and supportive environment in which your practice can unfold, deepen and develop.

We are here to support your journey, whether it be to increase fitness and flexibility, find inner calm and reduce stress, toward a general sense of wellness, rehabilitation of injury or your own personal goals.

monika circle

Monika Merriman

Monika embarked on her yoga journey seeking equilibrium and self-discovery...

yw teacher jess circle

Jessica Devi

Jessica is a trauma Informed movement and wellbeing practicitoner...

yw teachers crystal

CRYSTAL KONG

I started my yoga journey at the age of 18...

yw teachers laura

LAURA MCKENZIE

Finding yoga at a challenging point of her life, Yoga became...

emmastone circle

EMMA STONE

Emma comes from a background of theatre and dance and...

yw teacher anke circle

Anke Gordon

Born in South Africa and raised in Germany..

Julie

JULIE VAN RENEN

Julie first discovered Pilates while studying...

sarah king circle

Sarah King

Sarah first discovered yoga when it paired nicely with her...

nicola1

Nicola Simpson

Hi, I’m Nicola, I’m a passionate, people focused Yoga Teacher...

Rani circle web2

Rani Michelle

Rani is a devoted yogi, dancer and movement lover....

Monika Merriman

Monika embarked on her yoga journey seeking equilibrium and self-discovery. At 20, she felt drawn to yoga’s transformative prowess, realizing its impact extended far beyond the physical. As her practice deepened, she uncovered its ability to not only heal and align the body but also nurture the mind.

With devoted years to practice and training, Monika honed her expertise at the Byron Yoga Centre, becoming a Purna yoga instructor adept in two distinct styles: Yin and Vinyasa. In Yin yoga, she gently guides her students toward stillness, introspection, and enhanced flexibility. Vinyasa, on the other hand, empowers them to flow gracefully and in sync.

Monika’s classes provide a safe haven for individuals of all levels to explore the grace of breath, movement, and mindfulness.

However, Monika’s exploration didn’t cease with yoga; her dedication to holistic well-being propelled her into the realm of hypnotherapy. Rigorous training and qualifications equipped her to tap into the subconscious mind’s immense potential for healing and transformation. 

As a certified hypnotherapist, Monika fosters a nurturing environment for clients to delve into their minds. Through guided hypnotherapy sessions, she assists individuals in unraveling the roots of emotional and psychological challenges, such as stress, anxiety, and trauma. Her gentle yet powerful approach aids clients in releasing negative beliefs, confronting fears, and embracing a more positive and empowered life perspective.

Monika seamlessly merges the practices of yoga and hypnotherapy, understanding that true harmony stems from uniting the body and mind. Her holistic approach combines ancient yogic wisdom with modern hypnotherapy science, offering clients a comprehensive path toward inner peace and well-being.

As the owner of Yoga Within, Monika embodies these principles, offering a sanctuary where individuals can explore yoga, mindfulness, and hypnotherapy to achieve holistic wellness and inner harmony.

Yoga Within 012

Jessica Devi

Jessica is a Trauma Informed movement and wellbeing practitioner who has practiced and studied the physical, emotional and mental benefits of movement, therapeutic dance, restorative practices, trauma and yoga for over 20 years. She is passionate about facilitating a personalised approach for each person in a way that is unique to their body, mind, history and hopes.

Jessica is a sensitive, warm and knowledgeable teacher with a wealth of experience in physical and mental health, holistic fitness and well being. Through the integration of mindful movement, breath practices and awareness techniques Jessica will support you to find – not only the best version of yourself but also a life that is deeper and more connected.

Jessica is drawn to both traditional and modern yoga, dance and movement practices that are sustainable, authentic and therapeutic in nature. She draws from these to create both group and individual classes/sessions in which the emphasis is on listening to your inner wisdom, nourishing your body and mind and creating long term, life-sustaining, change, growth and development. She considers herself a life-long learner and is currently studying for her Masters in Dance Movement Therapy.

yw teacher jess

CRYSTAL KONG

Hi, I’m Crystal Huitian Kong.

I started my yoga journey at the age of 18. I still remember how impressive that yoga class was and how joyful I felt afterwards. I felt I had found a door to a beautiful world and had never known there was such a beautiful thing like yoga before then.

I started a constant yoga practice 8 years ago when my son was born. Everything changed once he came into my life! I needed to reconnect to myself and chose yoga. I enjoy conscious breathing and mindful movement and it continues to amaze me how settling the yoga postures (asana) can be.

I trained as a Trauma-informed yoga teacher (RYT200) and am passionate to share my own experience of yoga while supporting people in their own unique journey.

yw teachers crystal

LAURA MCKENZIE

Finding yoga at a challenging point of her life, Yoga became the tool Laura used to lean into and embrace uncertainty. Quickly recognising the shift yoga had on her outlook and understanding of life, she was drawn to teach.

Laura studied Hatha/Vinyasa under the Embodied Flow methodology with Adele Kinghan, and has continued to study, becoming passionate in Non- Dual Shaivism Tantra, Pre/post-natal Yoga and Embodied Flow Yin Yoga.

Laura is particularly drawn to working in Women’s Health and Somatics; which has also led her to study Somatic Stress Release with Dr Scott Lyons, Yoga for Women’s Health with Yoga Medicine, as well as Pelvic Floor Health.
Laura draws inspiration from her Embodied flow training, to curate classes that are invitational, invoking a sense of agency and flow, as well as promoting curiosity and exploration. With a particular interest in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Laura often draws on the elements and organs as a key touchstone in her classes. As a natural space holder, you can expect a safe, welcoming and nourishing class with Laura.

yw teachers laura

ANKE GORDON

Born in South Africa and raised in Germany, I moved back to SA in the late 90’s and worked for a while as a nursing sister in ICU before beginning my career in the fitness industry. I worked as an aerobics and personal trainer and was part of a hip hop dance group.

I was introduced to pilates due to an injury in 2001 and decided to study the art of pilates with Renee Watson who was a good friend and mentor. I completed my teacher training in 2003.

My husband Chad is a Chiropractor and former professional triathlete and our two children are 14 and 16. We moved to New Zealand to join family in April 2021.

I love the outdoors, animals and especially horses – competing in long distance riding. I am passionate about pilates because it is non-competitive and is about physical and mental health which directly affects our immunity. This is particularly important for the time we now live in.

I enjoy creating a relaxed and are happy environment so participants can enjoy the exercise they do.

yw teacher anke

JULIE VAN RENEN

Julie first discovered Pilates while studying her Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts (majoring in Contemporary dance) at Unitec in Auckland. She began using it to build core strength, rehabilitate injuries and enhance personal performance.

Julie loves the versatility of Pilates and its adaptability to every
individual body. She loves to see the positive effects Pilates has on
her clients, and enjoys assisting them on working towards their
goals.

She completed her Pilates teacher training in 2014.

When Julie is not teaching Pilates she works as a freelance Contemporary dancer and dance teacher. She is passionate about ‘Inclusive’ dance for all bodies and abilities and works as a dancer and dance teacher for
Touch Compass Dance Trust (Aotearoa’s foremost integrated
professional performance company).

Julie is also a mumma to her 3 year old daughter Atawhai.

Julie

SARAH KING

Sarah first discovered yoga when it paired nicely with her long life passion for running. Originally from London she moved to New Zealand four years ago, during this time she has said goodbye to the running shoes and fully dedicated her daily practice to yoga.

Yoga personally for Sarah has inspired her to live more presently, mindfully, and for her yoga is about the balance between strength and surrendering both physically and mentally. Her current passion within her own practise is pranayama and the exploration of the power of breath.

Sarah’s style of teaching is from a place that offers self exploration and variety for students. She gets an immense amount of joy in supporting others in achieving their ambitions within yoga be that through movement, self discovery or body awareness.

Sarah is a big animal and nature lover. Most days you can find her down the beach attempting to cuddle and sneak love from the local dogs or frolicking in the waves, having a surf.

Sarah has completed both her 200 & 300 hour teacher trainings within the style of Trauma Informed Vinyasa, she has also trained in the style of Yin & Aerial Yoga.

sarahking 600

EMMA STONE

Emma comes from a background of theatre and dance and has always experienced a strong connection to nature, travel and adventure. Training in music gave Emma an understanding of creativity and harmony, which she brings to her Yoga practice.

Emma has been practicing Yoga personally for fifteen years and felt a desire to pursue training after living in Bondi, Sydney, where she attended weekly workshops and built in a daily practice. Her love for teaching has led her to further her study, and she is now a qualified Trauma-Informed Yoga Teacher (RYT500).

Slow flow and yin-style practice is where Emma is most passionate, but she also enjoys teaching Vinyasa, Yogalates & whole-brain Yoga. Her warm presence and enthusiasm will help to gently guide you on your Yoga journey.

emmastone 600

Nicola Simpson

“Hi, I’m Nicola, I’m a passionate, people focused Yoga Teacher. I have been teaching yoga full time for the past 10 years. I began under Danial Arron taking the ‘300 Hours of Vinyasa Yoga teacher Training’ in Bali 2012. Inspired to learn more she continued with a one-month intensive course in Hawaii for Power Yoga with – Baron Baptiste 2013 followed by a week’s intensive training with Sharron Gannon and David Life learning Jivamukti style in New York.”

Nicola’s classes are for all skill levels they target muscle tightness and mobility issues. These are great sessions if you simply want to improve your balance, flexibility and strength.

nicolacrop

Rani Michelle

Rani is a devoted yogi, dancer and movement lover. She is also a feminine embodiment and empowerment coach, a women’s mentor and a writer.

Rani believes the body is a sacred well of wisdom and through movement and self-inquiry you access your inner sense of wisdom and magick enabling you to live your most aligned, connected and empowered life.

She facilitates from an authentic heart-centred place and encourages her students to cultivate a profound relationship with both their inner and outer environments. She supports you to show up to your mat exactly as you are and move in a way that supports your body at the moment.

Rani’s classes are based on the yoga sutra “sthira-sukham asanam” – finding steadiness and ease in your yoga poses. They are inspired by somatic movement and elegantly weave together breath, alignment, self-inquiry, strength, ease and sophisticated playful sequencing.

After discovering yoga and meditation over 20 years ago she completed her initial 200-hour teacher training in India in 2011, since then she has been teaching classes, workshops, retreats and 1:1 sessions. She continues to study yoga for her personal health and well-being and to keep growing as a teacher. She is a certified Hatha, vinyasa and pregnancy yoga teacher and is currently studying somatic education for women.

Off the mat, you’ll find Rani hanging with her 2-year-old daughter, enjoying nature, dancing, creating rituals, cooking and studying.

Connect on socials: @embodiedblissofficial

Rani e1708486175230

SIGN UP TO YOGA WITHIN TO RECIEVE OUR NEWSLETTER

Yoga Within