Tikanga Māori infused with Yoga

By Taroi Black

Auckland hosts the first ‘NZ Yoga Day’ for more than a thousand yogi followers but the only difference with this initiative is the incorporation of tikanga Māori.

Organiser Franko Heke says the initiative is all about mental health awareness and applying better outcomes for people. Both he and his partner Nikki Rhodes introduced Māori philosophy to this unique NZ spin on an ancient art form which began in India almost 5000 years ago.

Nikki Rhodes says, “The feedback has been phenomenal.”

Yogi followers took part in a four hour session and were also given a Māori styled yoga experience by Taane Mete who used Māori mythology with the aim of helping individuals connect with their spirituality.   

“The theme of today’s class is called Turangawaewae being able to step forward and stand in a place that is nurturing and powerful to one person, to all in this awesome community”, Mr Mete said.

“It's a beautiful way to bring Māori into Yoga because in aspects they are the same. They are both ancient practices, Te Reo Māori the language and the physical practise of yoga. They come together beautifully.”