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 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: Motherdaughterhawaii.com) 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.

 

Nick Raymer

Nick Raymer has lived on the island of Kaua’i since 2010. He was inspired to move here after falling in love with the Na Pali coastline and all of its beauty. Nick soon discovered Yoga Hanalei and registered for Bhavani Maki's Yoga Teacher Training in 2012. The training cracked him open to deeper layers of consciousness, and he fell in love with the practices of pranayama, chanting, and meditation. Nick began the adventure of teaching at Yoga Hanalei the following winter.

Bringing a meditative approach to his classes, creating a safe atmosphere to explore the deeper layers of Self. He has a loyal following in both his Restorative and Hatha classes. Nick has a natural ability to drop you into the present moment and shine light into areas of yourself that might be hiding in the shadows. His enthusiasm, knowledge and love of the practice are unmistakable. Nick continues to study asana, the Patanjali Yoga Sutra and pranayama. He also enjoys kayaking and hiking, often retreating into Kalalau Valley to reconnect with self, Source, and the unique vibration of Kaua’i.

 

Amit Heri

Amit’s intention is to empower people to overcome negativity and to stay connected with the positive aspects of their being and existence. Using the spectrum of physical practices, his purpose is to challenge mental barriers and break through preconceptions that limit people from experiencing peace and joy as the center of human existence. His clear-cut and compassionate method empowers students to attain greater awareness, clarity and consciousness in their practice and in their lives. His teachings stem out of his own experience with Yoga as a transformational process – from shifting ignorance, ego, attachment, aversion and fear – based thinking to a more conscious, peaceful and trusting outlook.

Growing up in Bangalore, India, his interest in Yoga was kindled at the age of 14, and role modeled by his parents, teachers and others with their positive mental outlook, attitude and disposition, in spite of the many challenges they faced in their day to day lives. His Yoga studies in India have been in various systems of Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga and Iyengar included. His teachings are interdisciplinary and focus on devotion (bhakti) to the practice of stabilizing, balancing and opening the body as a means to liberate the mind and connect with heart and divine energy (Shakti).

 

Maxine Longoria

Maxine, or “Max”, began practicing Yoga at age 16. Inspired by the way she felt both physically and mentally, she took on courses and study. Maxine shares, “Like many, after my first Yoga teaching training I thought I knew everything. I was now a teacher. When I arrived at my new home here at Yoga Hanalei, I was humbled. Everything I thought I knew started to come undone and with the support and love of this Shala I felt as though I was practicing for the first time. My practice transformed. My mind transformed. My body transformed. We all come to the mat for different reasons and thru my personal practice I desire to share the gift of Yoga feeling honored to not only study but be supported as a teacher here at Yoga Hanalei.”

Max enjoys taking the time to learn about her students and their individual needs. She strives to provide a comfortable environment to reach personal goals. Focusing on the structural health of our bodies, her classes strengthen awareness and draw healing from within. Max’s classes focus on breath and alignment, with sensitivity to specific injuries and health needs.

 

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

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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 sangha of Yoga Hanalei and the island of Kauai.

 

Rachel Goldberg

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Rachel is a native New Yorker, born and raised in the beach hamlet of Montauk. Her love of island life brought her to Kauai in 2008. She had dabbled in yoga for about a decade before moving to the island. She felt a spark of interest but that calling in her had not yet been explained. Then began practicing at Yoga Hanalei and in 2012, enrolled in the 200 hour teacher training with Bhavani Maki. Upon completion of the training, Bhavani encouraged her to teach and thus began a new passion and career, albeit unexpected!

It was through this training that she was able to answer these questions in her own practice. She began her fluency in refinement of asana, yogic philosophies, pranayama, chanting, meditation and teaching effectively. A deep devotion was being born and Bhavani encouraged what she saw brewing in Rachel. Her approach to teaching is unique because it is an expression of her dedication to self study combined with her natural spirit. This spirit embodies a graceful, nourishing demeanor that makes students feel comfortable and engaged. Her use of demonstration, descriptiveness, and deliberate sequencing has a created a following of students that come back to experience her teaching. Her classes are focused on alignment, nourishment and enjoyment, often carried by beautifully eclectic playlists she curates. In her 5 years of teaching she has also added another 100 hours to her certification. She continues to explore asana, philosophy and psychology through the Yoga Hanalei and extended workshops and travel. There is an innate sense of wisdom to be felt from Rachel and this is made evident in her comprehensive teachings.

 

Adina Magnusson

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.