Kristina Nicklason (Karunamitra)
Founder of Meander Valley Yoga
B.A. Dip. Ed.
Yoga Teacher Training with Muktanand Meanjin, 1995
Diploma of Satyananda Yoga Teaching 2006
I came across yoga in the early 1980s when living on Tasman Peninsula, where I was fortunate to meet people who’d recently returned from spending time at an ashram (yoga centre) in northern India. Since a teenager I’d experienced back pain on and off. This was my initial motivation for practising yoga and has meant that I'm always diligent about back care when teaching.
Equally fortunate was the opportunity I soon had to attend a Yoga Centre being built in north east of Tasmania, near where I grew up. As a newly qualified high school teacher, with the accompanying stresses, I found that yoga practices and particularly spending time at this Centre enabled me to better deal with stress. I discovered the very holistic nature of the yogic tradition; appreciating the importance of relaxation and meditation along with regularly stepping out of one’s routines to spend time in Yoga Centres.
I continued as a Yoga student until I moved to Western Creek in the early 1990s. As there were no yoga classes on offer here at that time, I attended a one year yoga teacher training course in Hobart. I began teaching in Launceston and Deloraine in 1996 and upgraded my qualifications with the 2 year, government accredited Diploma of Satyananda Yoga Teaching Course, completing it in 2006.
I now have around 25 years teaching experience and have continued to feel the benefits of all aspects of Yoga in my daily life. As much a practitioner as a teacher of yoga, I’ve attended many CPD courses over these years and spent some time in ashrams in Australia and India.
In 2006 Laurie (my husband) and I, with lots of help, built a strawbale yoga studio here at Western Creek. This was the fulfillment of a dream for me; being able to offer people, not only regular Yoga classes in a beautiful peaceful environment, but also weekend and longer retreats with both local and guest teachers.
Pia Koepper (Sivapriya)
M.A. Literature, Psychology and Pedagogy
Vinyasa Krama Teaching Certificate
Diploma of Yogic Science (Satyananda Yoga Training)
I have been practicing and teaching yoga for 20 years and finished the Diploma of Yogic Science and Teacher Training in the Satyananda tradition in early 2019 (guess who was one of my mentors during yogic studies – Karunamitra!).
My journey into yoga started when I was looking for a cure for stress-related migraines at the age of 18. Over the years I have been able to establish a regular and deepening practice and a much closer relationship with my body and my being in the world. I haven’t had a migraine episode in the last six years and I have also been rewarded with other major benefits: A stronger, more flexible body, a calmer mind, and a deeper connection with my emotions and spiritual understanding. Yoga truly has changed and improved every aspect of my life and I feel very enthusiastic about sharing my experience and knowledge of yoga with the community.
What I love about the way we teach at Mander Valley Yoga is the deep connection to ancient yoga practices, and the very gentle, systematic approach, which makes it accessible and beneficial to beginners as well as experienced practitioners.
Nick Hight (Yogamitra)
Diploma of Yogic Science (Satyananda Yoga Training)
As an energetic yogi, I love to share my enthusiasm for all things yogic. I don't see myself so much as a teacher of yoga, rather a facilitator of yogic practice and experiences. The idea being, we can only plant seeds, it’s up to the individual to tend the soil and nurture the seeding.
My experience in yoga started in 2007; first teaching myself from books and then discovering my first class about a year later. Since then the passion hasn’t slowed. I've studied throughout NZ, NSW, Victoria and ashrams in India. Discovering Satyananda yoga (Bihar school of yoga) in 2012/13 helped to focus and consolidate knowledge and practice and since then I've been teaching, leading retreats and attending trainings within this living tradition.
There is one quote that can sum up my enthusiasm for yoga:
“There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that is your own self.”
PhD in Media and Communication
M.A. Public Relations in Social Sphere
Diploma of Integral Yoga Teacher Training
Diploma of Yogic Science (Satyananda Yoga Teacher Training)
I discovered yoga at the age of 12 and it has never left me since. First practicing and studying from books, then becoming a passionate student in group classes. It was so obvious to me from the very beginning what a great positive impact it had on my physical and mental health, the quality of connection to my inner world and the world around me.
After 10 years of personal practice I did my first 2-year teacher training in Integral Yoga. My first regular classes were a great test and experience - about 20 students between 17 and 82 years old. That is when making all of the practices and benefits of yoga I knew myself, accessible for every body and mind became my interest and a new norm. Following that was years of travelling in India, studying and living in Indian ashrams, doing 2 years of Yogic Studies in Satyananda Yoga, developing a great passion and experience in Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga and Yoga for children; over 12 years of teaching classes and retreats, and adopting a yogic lifestyle with all it has to offer. I feel very lucky to have come to know and learn from some of the greatest masters of Yoga throughout my life and I am dedicated to continue and share the authenticity and depth of yogic knowledge.
After almost 25 years of practicing and studying yoga myself, it still supports and inspires me daily. I’m certain that I’ll never stop being a student myself. And I teach every class with joy in my heart, sharing the jewels of yoga that students can take into their lives.
Some of my personal yogic interests are: Bhakti or mantra yoga, shatkarmas (cleansing), Kriya and Tantra, the art of being a mother of a toddler.