When Bay Buzz’s editor, Tom Belford, posed the question about the current torchbearers in the Hawke’s Bay’s yoga scene following the departure of long-standing yoga luminaries Doris and Urs Blum to Wanaka, it sparked an enquiry. With a whopping 112 yoga teachers within the Hawke’s Bay Yoga Teachers Facebook group and numerous others off the social radar, our region boasts an abundance of choices. I’ve curated a selection of some of the great yoga venues where you can connect with some of the finest instructors in the Bay. Spaces where you can foster your regular practice, find balance, and embrace both strength and serenity.

Alma Studio – 1st floor 17 Joll Rd , Havelock North 

Alma Studio injected a new rhythm into Havelock North upon its launch in July 2022. This multifaceted movement sanctuary not only offers an array of yoga classes but also Pilates and one off events. Founded by Alma’s resident guru, Danielle Harper, originally from Los Angeles, the studio swiftly evolved into a focal point for joy and community connection. With its stunning interior design, a serene “chill zone” with various teas, and space for relaxation, Alma Studio boasts an extensive line up of diverse classes led by a cadre of great teachers. 

Ashtanga Yoga Hawke’s Bay 45A Hastings St, Napier South 

Ashtanga Yoga Hawke’s Bay, established by the globally acclaimed yoga guru Peter Sanson, embodies an authentic lineage of traditional yoga, steeped in its regal essence. Located in a spacious setting above the iconic Chantal Organics shop in downtown Napier, this studio serves as a cherished haven for a dedicated community, fostering a sense of belonging and evolution. Ashtanga yoga aficionados journey from the corners of the globe to practice under Peter’s guidance. Alongside him, a devoted team of truly exceptional instructors, Amna Kamal, Madi Knight, Fiona Links & Sarah Beale lead classes, imparting the same dedication and expertise that define Peter’s teachings in this lineage. 

Buddhist Centre 10 Herschell St, Napier South

The unassuming yet vibrantly charged space atop the Buddhist centre has emerged as a focal point for a collective of passionate and highly skilled yoga teachers. Among them, Lissy Roberts from Yoga for The People, who regularly journeys to India, drawing wisdom from her Guru. Also Carly Phillips, from Wholeness Aotearoa, who brings her expertise as both a counsellor and yoga instructor, guiding transformative Yin sessions within this space. Janet Chambers gathers a devoted following for her Dru Yoga classes, while Leamārie Sciascia Steffert of Maha Medicine frequently graces the venue, sharing her unique magic and profound expertise. There is a board outside the centre with available classes listed. 

One Yoga Pilates 106 Market St South, Hastings 

Anne Michelle, the founder of One Yoga Pilates in Hastings, embodies the essence of a quiet achiever, holding an extensive reservoir of knowledge, energy and expertise. Within her light filled, wooden-floored sanctuary, she curates and guides a comprehensive timetable featuring a choice Vinyasa yoga, Yin Yoga, Pilates Mat Classes, Pilates Reformer sessions, and myofascial release. Michelle epitomises a lifelong learner, driven by an unwavering passion to uplift the community through her dedicated practice and commitment.

Scandi Studio Loft 5 Donnelly St, Havelock North 

Sometimes, greatness resides in modest spaces. Nestled above Revolution bikes in Havelock North, this gem was brought to our attention by the beloved dynamo, Susan Grieve from Rejuvenate Yoga. Susan curates a weekly schedule of 7 classes in this intimate space, spanning from serene Yin Yoga to Gentle Hatha Yoga. Beyond yoga, she extends her offerings to myofascial release massage and acupuncture, creating a holistic haven for wellness seekers.

River Studio 1448 Tukituki Rd, Havelock North 

Wendy Dawson, a seasoned and esteemed Iyengar yoga instructor, conducts 8 weekly classes in her next level purpose-built studio, located along the serene Tukituki river just 10 minutes outside Havelock North. Crafted with unwavering love by Wendy’s late husband, the skilled artisan Mark Dawson, this studio stands as a testament to Wendy’s dedication and passion for yoga. Extensively equipped and meticulously designed, it stands as an idyllic sanctuary for enthusiasts of alignment based Iyengar yoga.

The Yoga Space Hastings 208 Heretaunga St East, Hastings

Tucked away above Aspyre Fitness, this soulful enclave was initially crafted by the gentle yet radiant spirit, Silke Whittaker from heartspace.nz, who continues to illuminate this space with some of her sessions. It now thrives under the vibrant leadership of the inspiring guide, Radha Iveta from Heart Awakening. Radha orchestrates an array of offerings here, from transformative yoga classes to soul-stirring kirtan chanting and invigorating cacao events. This haven also hosts an ensemble of exceptional wandering teachers, including one of the Bay’s long time massage maestros, the multi-talented Jenny Allen.

Yippie Yopi Yoga Studio 5/46 Holden St, Onekawa, Napier

Established in 2010 as a Bikram Yoga Studio and previously known as Modern Yoga, this hot yoga haven has fostered a devoted, resilient community. Through the evolution of name changes, schedule enhancements, and shifts in ownership, its loyal following has persevered, sweating and thriving along the journey. Currently led by the dynamic and ever-smiling Meghann Rowling, the studio extends a repertoire that includes Hot Bikram Yoga, Hot HIT (High-Intensity Training) and a weekly Yin Yoga class.

Zelkova Yoga Studio 58 Miller Rd, Parkvale, Hastings 

This recent addition to the yoga scene is a welcome addition. Architecturally designed and purpose built with alignment based Iyengar yoga at heart, this studio is set in a picturesque garden and farmlands setting. The principal teacher at the studio is Matt Wilkey, whose deep wisdom transcends his years. An old soul with an encyclopaedic knowledge of yoga, his gentle yet assertive Iyengar teaching style has quickly made him a popular teacher in the area with consistently well attended classes. The studio is extending to other styles of yoga so if you like a bit more fluidity you can’t go past my young faves Bridget Schaeffers and Wednesday Darling for a large dose of feel good flow, or try the Yin Yoga classes with the effervescent Cle Bicknell. 

The A – Z of Random Places 

It would be remiss not to acknowledge the nomadic yogis, wandering into small halls, converted garages and diverse spaces to weave their yoga passion into the community fabric. Here are a few that I know of and hear about often. Divine angel, Sarah Beale from Wellness Sanctuary, is a phenomenal talent with a wide range of expertise; she can be found all over including the Theosophy HB in Taradale. Laura Jeffares from @Gypsy.Yoga.108, a radiant and profoundly inspiring soul, enchants her devoted following with four morning classes at the Pacific Surf Club in Napier. In Wairoa, the lovely Amanda Hogg from Watea Yoga Studio, using her home studio as post-cyclone refuge, now brings her teachings to the local community centre. Briar Hickson of B YOGA spreads delight among Central Hawke’s Bay yogis with her term-time classes traveling through Waipawa, Elsthorpe, and Otane. The ethereal Megan Dyer hosts a divine weekly session at the King George Hall in Bayview. A newly opened studio called Hello Sunshine in Ahuriri is hosting classes with many instructors including long term Bay favourite Tracey Coyle and the Goddess Amanda Sowersby. We are all waiting with bated breath for Helen Johnson from Soulflow Beauty and Yoga to return to the teaching mat and announce her next move. And last but not least, my main man Cam McLeay brings laughter and yoga shapes with two Men’s Yoga classes weekly, tucked away at the great room behind Focus Health Physio in Havelock North. 

We sure are lucky in the Bay to have so much on offer. Look out on your local notice boards. Search the net. Ask around. Go try some classes on for size and stick with what fits. Take a friend with you. Tell everyone you know about your best yoga finds. Yoga helps. With everything. 

Kate McLeay is a mindfulness mentor, yoga teacher and retreat host based out at the iconic Hawke’s Bay Cape South Country Estate and Wellness Retreat. She teaches weekly yoga classes at Focus Health in Havelock North and run events and retreats around New Zealand and overseas. 



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