Why Yoga practice is On and Off the Mat

As a yoga teacher, my hope is that you never feel guilty about not getting to yoga. Yoga has been defined in many ways, by many people over so many years. To me, the heart of yoga is that it helps people to feel better. Maybe it helps the mind, the body, the soul… eventually we see there is no separation, just the feeling of better. Sometimes “better” means elation, sometimes “better” means tears, a revelation, a sense of connection, of peace, of harmony, perhaps anger, clarity, release…. Whatever comes up for us on the mat, eventually leads us to better. To feeling more like ourselves, more connected to who we are, our truth and our path. Lighter in mind and body, unburdened for a moment from the stresses of life.

To me yoga is the most beautiful, nourishing and complete form of self care. Would you feel guilty for not taking a bubble bath? Would you feel guilty for not getting a massage? Please don’t feel guilty or bad for not getting to yoga.

Instead, for a moment, pause, breathe, say something kind to yourself. Maybe there is time to get to a class, maybe in that small pause you find a little more space for you. And maybe not. Maybe at this moment in time your children need you, a loved one needs you, you’ve started a new job…. the reasons are diverse and many.

In that case, keep taking little pauses to breathe deeply and fully. For now, perhaps your yoga practice is to lie down on the floor with your legs up the wall, eyes closed, breathing, resting. When it’s right, when it’s time, with love, acceptance and compassion for yourself, you will make it back.

Yoga is on and off the mat.

Liz Hoare, teacher at Golden Yogi




Originally from Canada, I planted roots in New Zealand 16 years ago. When I’m not teaching yoga, chances are I’m running after my 3 beautiful, messy, crazy, amazing boys!

Teaching yoga was a long time dream that became a reality a few years ago. I am a qualified RYT500HR yoga teacher and I enjoy continuing my education and fuelling my yoga passion through ongoing training and workshops.

Yoga helps to bring balance into my life, it nurtures my mind body and spirit. Practicing yoga gives me ease and lightness in my body. Yoga helps me to clear and calm my mind, and find gratitude and perspective in this busy life.

Yoga has also opened up a spiritual journey for me that truly resonates with my beliefs and values. Yoga has also helped me through some of the most difficult times of my life, by giving me permission to simply be with myself and to find space to heal.

My hope is to create a sacred space of allowing, self-acceptance and inquiry. I will offer options and permission to practice yoga that feels right for your body, mind, and energy on the night. Encourage you to meet yourself just as you are, as we practice shapes, find flow, meditate and practice pranayama.

My goal is that you will feel better body, mind and soul after your yoga practice. My hope is that the practices we share on the mat will help you feel happier, more at ease and present in your life off the mat.

July New Moon and Solar Eclipse in Cancer

Cancer New Moon

Cancer New Moon

We’re now approaching the new moon solar eclipse in Cancer. This potential big shake-up on the home front may already be felt as we draw closer…and start of eclipse season, a window of 3 eclipses over three consecutive new and full moon creating a prolonged window of accelerated growth if we embrace the lessons. 

During a solar eclipse the moon moves in front of the sun obscuring the light of the sun. What does that mean? Unexpressed emotions will be felt and expressed catalysing shifts based on the truth of our deepest feelings. And Kali Ma, the Dark Mother will surface calling out unconscious patterns of behaviour…coming ready or not!

This first eclipse in the sign of Cancer is likely to highlight situations that are not honouring of our emotional body. i.e. relationships where we feel emotionally unloved, unsupported or unwelcome since Cancer highlights our core need to belong.

This eclipse may evoke mother issues that are impacting your ability to form emotional attachments and risk emotional intimacy and resentments if you feel like you’re not receiving the same level of nurturance and support you give to others.

And for those of you with planets near 10.37 (round it up to 11) degrees Cancer get ready for big life changes, particularly to do with home, family and community! 
So whilst new moon in Cancer may see us wanting to snuggle on the couch with movies & comfort food in response to this intensity, it’s helpful to remember ‘in-tense’ encounters are an opportunity to accelerate our transformation.

So long as we stay in the present tense & feel what’s surfacing. The more present we are, the more available we are to take responsibility & process anything that’s being triggered.

Excerpt from The Moon Woman

Ginger and Goji Granola

Ginger and Goji Granola

Ginger and Goji Granola

Recipe from LOVE, By Olivia


2 cups (330g/11.8oz) buckwheat, soaked (see page 11)
4 Tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp ground ginger
1 cup (140g/4.9oz) pumpkin seeds
1 cup (140g/4.9oz) sunflower seeds
1/2 cup (120g/4.2oz) goji berries
1 Tbsp white sesame seeds
1 Tbsp black sesame seeds

2 Tbsp yoghurt of your choice

1 cup (250ml) Almond Mylk


Strain the soaked buckwheat and rinse under clean, running water (until water runs clear). Place in a bowl, and mix with maple syrup, ground ginger, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, goji berries, and white and black sesame seeds.

When the muesli is mixed thoroughly together, place on dehydrator trays that have been lined with baking paper and dehydrate for 12 hours, or until it has reached your preferred crunchiness. Store in a large airtight jar or container.

To serve, place 2⁄3 cup of muesli in each bowl and serve with yoghurt and Almond Mylk.

Makes 6 serves

The down low on Kundalini

KUNDALINI YOGA ~ The Yoga of Awareness


How does Kundalini differ to other more known/popular forms of yoga?

Kundalini Yoga is an ancient style of yoga but is relatively new to the Western culture.  Kundalini Yoga is known as "the yoga of awareness," to opens your heart, builds strength and releases the energy located at the base of your spine. Kundalini is without a doubt one of the more spiritual styles of yoga. Kundalini Yoga focuses on breath and movement and challenges it students both physically and mentally.

Vinyasa is still undeniably the king of western yoga, but Kundalini tends to appeal to people who want to delve into a deep meditative practice to raise consciousness.  In Kundalini Yoga, you won’t flow through sun salutations. Instead, it combines movement, breathing exercises, chanting (yes, actual singing), meditation, and physical sequences called kriyas. Teachers sit at the front of the room throughout, wearing white to expand their auras, and with their heads covered to protect the crown chakra at the head to harness the Kundalini energy.

Kundalini yoga is a quick and powerful system to cause changes you want in your life to happen much quicker than other styles of yoga. In Kundalini Yoga, there is no need to take oneself away from the distractions of the world – it is designed for the active householder with family, school and work responsibilities.  It is a safe way to stimulate the body’s natural resources and energy to bring the body, mind and spirit into alignment.  It is a proven path to connect with the Self and the Soul to experience your highest destiny.

Where did Kundalini Yoga originate from? 

Kundalini is one of the oldest forms of yoga – it has been practiced by the Upanishads in India since 500 B.C. Mastering the practice at sixteen, Yogi Bhajan brought Kundalini to the West in 1969.  Initially, Kundalini Yoga was carefully handed down from master to disciple for centuries and was kept very secret. It was never taught publicly until Yogi Bhajan challenged its secrecy and taught Kundalini openly to the public in 1969. Through his knowledge, wisdom and service he left us a timeless legacy of teachings to live healthy and happily, and consequently established the 3HO, which stands for "Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization."

What is Kundalini?

Kundalini is the creative energy within all of us, the energy of consciousness in each person and beyond.  The Kundalini energy is “coiled” at the bottom of the spine, and practicing Kundalini yoga, is said to bring that energy to life in the body.

What to expect in a Kundalini Yoga class?

Kundalini yoga varies from practice to practice. All classes will begin with an opening chant “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo” to connect with your inner self, a yoga kriya (set), and expect to finish with deep meditation, and a closing chant. During the class you can expect to focus on your breath (specifically "breath of fire", a rapid rhythmical breath through the nose) and to move your body. Within a class or practice, you will find asana (body postures), pranayama (breathing techniques), mudra (hand positions), bandha (body locks), drishti (eye focus) and mantra (sound currents).  They are combined together in sequences called kriya (complete actions).  Kundalini Yoga has the power to unleash your true potential, and unlock barriers within ourselves.

What are the benefits of Kundalini? 

KUNDALINI YOGA is a sacred science. The comprehensive technology is thousands of years old and ideally suited to people who lead active lives in today's world.  The focus is on balancing the glandular system, strengthening the 72,000 nerves of the body, and bringing the body, mind and soul into balance.

  • Balance nervous, glandular, and immune systems

  • Develop the neutral mind to cope with stress and change

  • Self-awareness to enhance peace of mind, concentration, and self-confidence

  • Rejuvenation and healing

  • Improve flexibility, stamina, and strength

  • Experience your highest consciousness

  • Remain calm, centered, and clear through life’s challenges

  • Energising your magnetic field

Kundalini Yoga is highly transformative and releases deeply held issues whether body or mind.  It cannot really be practiced as a purely physical exercise, although it is physically challenging in quite a different way focusing on mental endurance and stamina.

Erin O’Hara


Carrot, Cumin & Coriander Soup

Recipe from The Raw Kitchen Cookbook

Recipe from The Raw Kitchen Cookbook


8 carrots, chopped
3 cups (750ml) coconut milk
3 tomatoes
1/4 Tbsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp coriander seeds
3 Tbsp miso paste
1 tsp salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 2 Tbsp yoghurt, to serve
3⁄4 cup (21g/0.9oz) coriander leaves, plus extra to garnish


Peel carrots and trim off the tops and bottoms. Chop into 2cm pieces and place in the high-speed blender. Add the rest of the ingredients to the blender. Blend on medium for 1–2 minutes or until preferred consistency is reached. Warm on stove top until slowly bubbling, stirring so that bottom doesn’t catch. Serve in bowls with a dollop of yoghurt and a sprig of coriander on top.

Serves 4

Recipe from Love By Olivia