Bhavani Maki, Director and Founder

 Photo Credit:  Peter Hellberg

International Yoga teacher and scholar, Bhavani Silvia Maki, director and founder of Yoga Hanalei in 1999 and Ashtanga Yoga Kauai in 1995, is an Experienced Yoga Alliance teacher at the 500 hour level, a musician, and author of The Yogi’s Roadmap: The Patanjali Yoga Sutra as a Journey to Self Realization. Bhavani had one of her first spiritual awakenings in a Yoga class at age nine, began her exploration of the Ashtanga Yoga system in 1987, and started teaching in 1994 at the bequest of her teacher. A practitioner of Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga System for more than 30 years, she has been offering Yoga Alliance teacher training programs since 2003. Bhavani has made 7 trips to Mysore, South India to study with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, as well as having the rare experience of hosting him twice on her home island of Kaua'i. She received her teacher training and authorization from Astanga Yoga Masters Sri K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, South India, and Baba Hari Dass of Hardwar, North India, and the Mount Madonna Center. In Mysore, India, she studied Sanskrit with Professor Narayanacharya, and regards her mentor Rama Jyoti Vernon as integral in her understanding of the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali and the weaving of the metaphysical teachings with the practices of Yoga.

Dedicated to exploring Yoga in it’s complete expression, Bhavani’s classes are steeped in the traditions of Patanjali’s classical Eight Limbed Yoga, with an emphasis on integrity of alignment and the use of Yoga as therapy. Often described as a teacher’s teacher, Bhavani specializes in the Patanjali Yoga Sutra, Yoga Philosophy, Yoga Psychology and Yoga Therapy, and offers unique insights into discovering greater joy and freedom within one's self. She specializes in addressing the individual’s specific needs, and in facilitating the individual to develop a personal practice that is appropriate to their challenges, physical injuries, and desire for personal growth and transformation. Yoga can be described as compressed evolution. Bhavani believes that engaging in all the aspects of Yoga uplifts us, teaches us to connect with ourselves and surroundings, and most importantly, to the source of joy within the self. Bhavani offers Yoga classes in a supportive and encouraging environment at Yoga Hanalei on Kaua'i. Sharing her love of Yoga, she inspires students to explore their full potential in a light-hearted, exacting, and compassionate way.

Melissa Willoughby

Melissa, “Meli”, began exploring Yoga in 2000 and continues to deepen into her process as a Yoga student. She began teaching Yoga in 2007 after completing Levels 1 and 2 of the teacher training programs at Yoga Hanalei with Bhavani Maki. She completed Level 3 in 2010. Melissa is a licensed massage therapist and practices bodywork on the North Shore of Kauai’. She is also a graduate of the Ida Rolf method of structural integration and offers her unique insights in the Yoga Hanalei teacher training program in her classes on functional anatomy. Her studies have been inspired by her many injuries and experience of physical pain throughout her life. Her life experience has initiated a deep curiosity of anatomy along with the science of therapeutic Yoga to experience alignment and healing. While the invitation to Yoga was in her physical body, Melissa has recognized that Yoga is the integration of her whole being. She is also an artist, enjoys painting, and has studied dance for most of her life. Melissa focuses on alignment and awareness in her classes, along with lovingly challenging her students to grow in their own personal Yoga practice. She is honored to share her experience and love of Yoga. Melissa also enjoys teaching the anatomy portion of Yoga Hanalei's teacher training, with an emphasis on structural integration.


Jhoane Goodwin

After Jho’s first Yoga class at Yoga Hanalei 2003 at the age of 57, she was hooked! With her busy schedule of running two restaurants she needed Yoga. Jho developed her own practice with Tara and attending classes at Yoga Hanalei. Jho completed the 200 hour teacher training at Yoga Hanalei in 2011, and the “Believe In She” Mother-Daughter Yoga Teacher Training in San Diego, CA, in 2012. She is dedicated to building tweens (ages 9-12) self-confidence and self-esteem, and introducing the program to the local communities on Kauai. (Website: Jho can be found most mornings at Yoga Hanalei guiding or participating in the morning Satsang. Her greatest joy is to introduce students to the Science of Yoga and the Yoga Sutra of Pantajali, and seeing Yoga change people’s lives.


Adina Magnussen

Love brought Adina from Sweden to Kaua'i in 2009. The week she arrived to the island, Adina decided to join her good friend for a class at Yoga Hanalei. Ever since then, she has been a devoted Yoga student, deeply interested in exploring new layers of the teachings and the practice. After completing Bhavani Maki's Yoga Hanalei training in 2012, she returned to Sweden to pursue her education in occupational therapy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. The fundamental concept in occupational therapy is to find balance in one's daily living - a concept a daily Yoga routine embodies so well for her. While working through her studies, she continued to deepen her Yoga practice both in Sweden at an Iyengar studio, as well as several return visits to Hanalei.

Adina believes that Yoga is the perfect way to explore the patterns of one's mind and body and translate that knowledge and awareness in other daily activities.


Julie Duff

Julie has been practicing yoga for over thirty years and teaching for 27+ years, having always found conscious movement as a way to express creativity, intelligence and beauty. Having had an education in nursing, she is very thoughtful about anatomy and the ability of correct movement to aid in development as well as rehabilitation to what life experiences brings us. Having a large family while competitively distance running and furthering her studies in Yoga, she works hard to balance all aspects of life. Julie has had the great fortune to study with several senior Ashtanga and Iyengar teachers over many years and knows that Yoga is for all stages of life and only improves with time. Additionally she brings her experience as a Pilates teacher into the Yoga perspective. More importantly, her philosophy is that the student teacher relationship is a mutual learning experience.  After thirty years in the eastern Sierra, she is engaging in a new life here on the north shore. 


Kristin Venema


Kristin began exploring Yoga in 2004 after college and embarking on a cooperate career in San Francisco, CA. She was initially attracted to the practice as it lent itself to her natural inclination towards physicality and movement and acted as a release from the fast paced and high stress environment she had become accustomed to. As she delved deeper into her practice she began to notice subtle shifts in how she was able to tap into her deepest intuition through this newfound awareness and expand her capacity to feel and experience life.

In October 2015 Kristin moved to Kauai out of a deep desire to redirect her life to be more in alignment with her souls true calling. Upon arriving to the island she immediately enrolled in a 200 hour teacher training with Bhavani Maki at Yoga Hanalei. The training transformed her physical practice unlocked a passion for the philosophy and psychology of the Patanjali Yoga Sutra. Kristin continues to dedicate herself as a student of Yoga and Meditation and believes that these practices are an opportunity to use the physical body and breath to explore our deepest layers, ignite our spirit, and tap into our true nature. Her classes are supportive and grounding, focusing on alignment, breath, mindfulness and fluidity of movement. Kristin feels deeply honored to share her love of yoga as a teacher with the beautiful sanghat of Yoga Hanalei and the island of Kauai.


Diana Avina


Diana began exploring the art and science of yoga in 2007. What began as a casual relationship blossomed into a lifelong passion. With a degree in Biology from the University of California at Santa Cruz, she has always been deeply interested in anatomy and physiology, and her yoga practice became an organic expression of this interest. After moving to Kauai in 2014, she quickly discovered Yoga Hanalei and completed Bhavani Maki’s 200 hour teacher training in 2016. In this life changing experience she was able to delve deep into the layers of Self and discover the wisdom of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. In her classes, she strives to provide a compassionate space focused on breath, dynamic movement, and healing for her students where they are able to cultivate awareness and come in to balance both on and off the mat. She is very excited to share this invaluable knowledge and be of service to the residents and visitors on the island of Kauai.


Denise Walther

Denise began looking into Yoga in 2001 while living in the San Francisco bay area with a very full life as a Chiropractor and full time Mom. In 2006, She came face to face with a life-threatening illness which brought her life to a sudden halt. Having direct experience of how life can change in a blink of an eye. In 2010, Denise and her family moved to Kauai to continue her healing process in recognition that health and well-being is an ongoing process, requiring attention and participation. She began taking nutrition and Yoga classes to educate herself in how to holistically become healthy and whole again. Denise experienced incredible results, and in 2013, she enrolled in Yoga Hanalei's teacher training program under Bhavani Maki's tutelage. While continuing her daily practice, in 2017, she enrolled in 300-hour Yoga Hanalei's 300 hour teacher training to deepen her studies.  As she began devoting more and more time to her practice and study of yogik philosophy, Denise experienced the power of Yoga in her own physical, mental and spiritual well-being.

Denise believes healing is an inside job. Life will summon us to face challenges, to overcome obstacles in the ability to shift perspectives, and embrace what is before us along the path as a path to personal healing. Denise shares her direct experience and practical knowledge of Yoga with her students, in her conviction that Yoga sheds a light along the path to help us find our way into health and wholeness in developing a system of self-care.