Yoga Aotearoa Convention 2019


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Neal Ghoshal - Keynote presenter -

Neal Ghoshal, Sacred Moves, IYTA Conference keynote presenter

Neal sees yoga as a guide to restoring our place and understanding of who we are and how we can live peacefully, happily and completely fulfilled. Neal’s teaching focuses on exploring and refining natural movement and alignment principles – embodying these to take our spiritual practice into our everyday lives.

"Ultimately, the practice of yoga leads us to a place where we may respond to life’s challenges with ease in our breath and body, with wise choices, and with kindness and an open heart.”

He has taught on teacher training programs in Australia and New Zealand, has been senior faculty on Donna Farhi’s Advanced Teacher Training Program, and is a founder member of the Contemporary Yoga Teacher Training program. Neal is also an experienced Holistic and Thai massage therapist, an accomplished musician and kirtan chant leader, and absolutely loves to dance!

“My aim in teaching is to create a safe and inviting space in which to learn and discover Yoga as a balance between effort and effortlessness, structural alignment and organic fluidity, mindfulness and spontaneity."

Barbara Whitehouse

Barbara Whitehouse, IYTA Conference presenter

A chance meeting with an inspiring yogi in 1968 set Barbara on a prolonged search through the then, few available yoga books. She gradually came to find teachers and the emerging schools of yoga. In 1984 she passed the British School of Yoga Teaching Diploma.


She has had many teachers from different paths of yoga and has taught for the UK Education Authority, health centres, prisons, special needs schools and people with physical or mental disabilities. Loving sharing yoga, she offered days, weekends, and holidays with yoga in eight different countries.



She joined her son in New Zealand in 2000 and enjoyed the hospitality of yoga teachers the length and breadth of both islands while continuing to learn and teach.

"My interest has always been to help people help themselves joyfully through yoga at any age."

John Guthrie

John Guthrie, IYTA Conference presenter

John Guthrie's yoga journey began in 1977, when through a need to heal his body, he found himself at ‘The Institute of Yogic Culture' in South India. The founder and teacher of the Institute, Padmanabha Pillai, was a Siddha medicine practitioner and a Hatha Yoga master. John was taught in a traditional one to one manner. Travelling through India, Ladakh and Sri Lanka, John stayed in hermitages, learning Vipassana meditation.

In 1979, he returned to the Yoga Institute in Kerala then travelled to Europe and met his wife Dominique. Upon returning to New Zealand the couple established a biodynamic property in the Waimate district and brought up two children while running a Demeter certified market garden business for twenty years.

In 1992/3 John completed the IYTA (NZ) Diploma Teaching Course and in 1997 the post graduate short course, ‘The Release of Tension through Yoga’. John tutored on two courses from 1994 to 1997 and again on the 2005/6 and 2008/9 courses. He was coordinator of the Teacher Diploma Course from 2012 to 2016.


John teaches Yoga and Tai Chi while having a love for Chi Kung.

"I am enthusiastic about the place of Yoga in society, and have a love of the natural world. My sadhana and teaching evolves and changes to meet the needs of myself and those whom I teach. What I was in 1977 is not who I am now
but it is part of who I am."

John Massey

John Massey, IYTA Conference presenter

John Massey has been practicing and teaching yoga for many years. For him, yoga is daily exploration into mind, body and soul awareness. It is a font from which he drinks deeply and which is so vast that he will never go thirsty.

John's service to the IYTA has been through five terms as a tutor for the Teacher Diploma Course and as a tutor on the last Post Graduate Course.

After many years of yoga sadhana; as a tutor for IYTA Teacher Diploma Courses, of teaching classes in Golden Bay, (where he lives) he continues his daily practice and exploration of yoga.

"Yoga offers a doorway, a portal through which one can explore and experience life. While there is breath and life and mind, there will never be an end to new explorations and experiences. Yoga is a gift to the seeker."

Kate Watkinson -

Kate Watkinson, Thrive Yoga, IYTA Conference presenter

Kate Watkinson practices and teaches heart centred and community-focused yoga. Truly grateful for the gifts that yoga has brought in to her life, Kate is honoured to share this with others.

From her early experience of yoga, Kate had a sense of homecoming, of deep love and connection. This motivated her to undertake the IYTA Introduction to Yoga Course in 2006. The next phase of her life was where the eight limbs of yoga were really brought to the fore - in mothering three young children.

In 2015/16 she undertook the IYTA Teaching Diploma Course and established Thrive Yoga with the intention of inspiring herself and others to live conscious lives; moving from surviving to thriving.

Kate has continued her exploration of consciousness with Qoya, a feminine movement practice that embodies the essence that we are wise, wild and free.

"Through yoga we learn to become grateful, compassionate and conscious in order to truly thrive."