Mike Berghan (Director)
Mike found Astanga yoga in 1992 and it has become a major focus in his life. With 7 trips to India to study with Sri K Pattabhi Jois, as well as attending workshops in New Zealand and Australia, he is deeply immersed in this practice.
Mike brings a wealth of personal experience to his teaching, having worked through the Astanga primary series, intermediate series, and the majority of the third series of postures (asanas) under the guidance of Pattabhi Jois and Peter Sanson. This has given him an in-depth understanding of many issues that students face when they approach yoga and an enormous faith in the power of this process to alter our lives in a positive way.
Prior to establishing Te Aro Astanga Yoga with his wife Victoria, Mike taught in Gisborne and Sydney.
Yoga found Bonnie at 23, through friends and books. She experimented with many styles of yoga for the next six years, before migrating to New Zealand from Canada in 2005.
Bonnie initially trained as a yoga teacher in 2010 with Nicky Knoff. She taught hatha yoga (calmly incorporating postures with breathing) in the South Island and Wellington. In 2010 she discovered astanga yoga, and was quickly attracted by its flowing, peaceful movements. When she’s not at the studio, Bonnie has her hands full bringing up three beautiful daughters, and working in glaucoma research.
“Astanga yoga is my moving meditation. It helps me to find inner stillness and has carried me through the hardest moments in my life by giving me the strength and the clarity to keep going and not lose hope.”
Eva’s Astanga yoga journey started in 2008 in Ljubljana, Slovenia with Anja Nikolov and Luigi Moreno. Since then she has studied with many teachers. Most notably she travelled to Kovalam, India to study with Lino Miele on month-long trips (2011, 2013). She moved to New Zealand in February 2014 and currently practices with and assists Mike.
Students get to explore their possibilities guided by her clear, light and precise adjustments and directions. Her background in Thai massage and therapeutic massage, her fascination for tristana (Ujjayi, drishti, bandha), and healing through touch make her experience well-founded.
“What gets me on the mat every morning? Curiosity about what I might find there that day. Getting on the mat is like meeting up with me. It’s private time for me, with me. Through movement and breath I get to see a clearer picture of what is.”
Nick started practicing yoga with Mike in 2005. Exhausted from burn out, he’d been looking for a way get back on his feet. He experienced many benefits immediately—and they keep growing every day.
Nick is very experienced in working through challenges that bring many of us to yoga in the first place. He enjoys creating a supportive environment for students, and teaches with a strongly gentle touch. He often marvels at how transformative this practice can be when it’s approached with genuine patience and ever-growing awareness.
Nick’s love for astanga yoga led him to start apprenticing with Mike in 2010. He’s also made four trips to Mysore, India to practice with Sharath and Saraswhati Jois. Closer to home, he regularly practices with Mike in the mornings and often follows Peter Sanson around his New Zealand workshops.
Olivia experienced her first yoga class at a YMCA in Florida in 2010. She was looking for something to help her with the stress and tensions of work. A year later she applied for a marketing internship with a local astanga school. It was then that she realised what she’d been missing in her life—the practice of astanga yoga.
What she enjoys most about this practice is the way that it helps to release the ego. It gives people an opportunity to really ‘get inside of themselves’ through the breathe. And it has taught her to be comfortable with feeling uncomfortable, while ironing out the kinks of daily life.
Olivia has flowed far from that first yoga class in Florida. In 2012 she said goodbye to California and moved to Wellington with her husband Bryant. In 2014 she welcomed their son Dax to the world.
Guadalupe is a yogi from Santiago, Chile. She began practicing yoga in 2011 after developing an awareness with her body. This new relationship led her to travel to Goa, India in 2012 and complete a yoga teacher training.
In 2013 she traveled to Mysore, India to practice at the Shri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute (KPJAYI). This is where her practice deepened, she began to recognize physical and emotional changes within her body. She became more aware of her breath, energy and mind; began loving herself more and feeling compassion towards others.
Guadalupe’s positive experience with the practice has inspired her to teach yoga to others. For her, teaching is a gift. She enjoys teaching for the opportunity to lovingly guide people throughout their day. “When I adjust people I’m with them for a short period of 5 breaths, but I try to connect with them and wish them happiness and best for their day”.