About Karla

Karla is an experienced Yoga teacher who has taught throughout Auckland since 2000. Her offerings are founded in the study of natural movement patterns and somatics. Karla is inspired to share the practice of Yoga to enhance awareness of breath, movement and conscious rest in everyday life. Karla is dedicated to refining the art of teaching through mindful inquiry based language, subtle yet effective touch, and integrated embodiment through self-renewing, effortless effort.

Karla has practiced Yoga since 1994. She completed a three-year teacher training apprenticeship at the Auckland Yoga Academy in 2002, teaching extensively here from 2000-2008. Karla began study with Donna Farhi in 2002, completing her advanced teacher training in 2005. Since then, she has assisted Donna on intensives and Teacher Training’s in New Zealand, Australia and Spain. As well as teaching weekly classes and private lessons, Karla is one of the primary tutors of an internationally accredited and comprehensive Yoga teacher training programme based in Auckland. In 2015 Karla co-founded of the Contemporary Yoga Centre, a school in Remuera, Auckland dedicated to excellence in mind-body approaches to Yoga.

Over numerous years as a passionate ‘rester’, Karla in collaboration with her dedicated students has innovated and evolved a unique approach to the practice of Restorative Yoga. Together with Neal Ghoshal Karla offers Restorative Yoga Teacher Training and annual retreats at Mana Retreat Centre in the Coromandel.

View Karla’s Blog for images and words from the past and present.

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Karla’s Approach

T O D A Y  Yoga practice for me is about surrender, presence and an ‘everything is as it is’ approach. Surrendering any idea that we have to go somewhere, achieve something or reach any point of perfection in our practice can be very liberating. The ‘practice of surrender’ in Yoga may then support living life with a renewed sense of ease and flow. Life is happening now and the invitation to arrive in the present moment is there for us to receive in every breath. Practice could be about a returning home to what is already there. What is underneath the complexities and tides of life is us, our wholeness, body, breath, thoughts, feelings and intuition. An exhale in celebration of life ‘as it is’, moment to moment. Cultivating a playful curiosity, responsiveness, sensitivity, a listening awareness can support a deep unravelling of what is held fixed or tired. This is my daily practice, for which I am always fascinated, refreshed and grateful for.

Y E S T E R D A Y  For some years I practiced what I call ‘achievement Yoga’. I practiced for many hours a day, pushing to attain complicated postures, wanting to be ‘good at Yoga’. I indulged in high sensation and as a result was constantly in some form of pain or tiredness. I had started studying Ayurveda during this time and my Ayurvedic doctor suggested I reduce my practice to one hour a day and not practice so strenuously. I had also started studying with Donna Farhi who attuned me into practice that is nourishing, embodied and steeped in kindness, kindness to myself, to all of my body systems, to all of my cells. Steadily my practice quietened, slowed and I felt I started truly ‘tuning in’, turning down the volume of muscles and bones, of ‘doing Yoga’, of wilful striving. Somewhere through the process I felt like I retired, surrendered, and in that surrender time and space then opened out to begin again, or grow up, or is it putting roots down…I have become more like a tree in any case.

T U E S D A Y  I have the complete joy of welcoming a new group of Yoga beginners every 5 weeks or so. What to say to the tentative faces that come through the door? This Tuesday: “Welcome, thank you for being here. We begin with the practice of arriving, surrendering effort and easeful breathing. We may explore movement beyond that, but for now arrive in this moment…Moments woven together with the thread of your breath…Your breath ‘is as it is…’

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