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Our Teachers

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KIM MUNRO

Kim Munro, co-owner of Empower Studio, has always had a love for working with people. Kim’s career has taken her on a journey from hairdressing and social work, to being a business owner and motivational yoga instructor. Kim dedicates her time as the lead teacher at Empower to deliver three fundamental elements: mindful movement, mindful meditation, and mindful nutrition.

Kim adopted yoga as part of her daily life to overcome some serious health issues. At age 10, she fractured her lumbar vertebrae doing gymnastics. She had to quit as a result, and the fracture wasn’t discovered until adulthood. In 2002, Kim fell 15 foot down an external fire escape stairwell, resulting in a fractured face and significant spinal injuries (she was very lucky to not break her neck!). Due to these life changing events, Kim realised her passion for yoga, but also discovered that there were some traditional yoga alignments that did not work well within her body. This has inspired and informed Kim to develop the way she teaches yoga today. Kim recognises that no two bodies are the same and it is vital to modify yoga for the individual.

Kim’s expansive knowledge and experience has shaped a form of yoga, unique to the Wellington market, which incorporates a strong emphasis on anatomy and alignment. Kim works with her clients to achieve a balance of muscular strength, a healthy degree of flexibility, and passes on her passion for improving and encouraging long-term health, well-being and happiness.

Résumé

200 hour YTT Power Living

300 hour  Noah Mazé

50 hour Yin Teacher Training

Currently studying for YogaMazé Certification

 

The body we have today you have consistently and persistently created.

It is only with the same level of persistence and consistence and most importantly compassion towards yourself that you can affect change.

Kim Munro

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ANDY MUNRO

Andy thrives on a sense of ageless freedom in mind and body; with the goal to share this experience with his clients. Andy’s health and fitness career has taken him on a journey from a Sports and Exercise Science degree, to becoming a certified Yoga Instructor and qualified Mindfulness Meditation teacher. Andy now co-owns Empower Studio in Wellington’s CBD, where he dedicates his time, as a personal vitality coach, to deliver his three major passions: mindfulness meditation, functional movement, and nutritional bio-individuality.

Having been an all-round sportsman from a young age, Andy began practicing yoga in 2005. He quickly discovered the benefits yoga offered to his running, in particular how it stripped away long held muscular tensions and encouraged greater recovery after training sessions. This quickly led to a regular yoga practice, eradicating his injuries and complimenting his vigorous training and busy work lifestyle. Over the last decade, Andy redesigned himself from a stressed and stiff endurance-based weekend athlete, to a youthful 40-year-old with bounce and elasticity to spare.

Andy wants to empower his clients to feel the same sense of vitality, with a mindful and stress-less approach to life. Along with a BSc (Hons), Andy is a dedicated body weight practitioner, utilising yoga, TRX and Animal Flow/functional movement as his main exercise modalities. Andy believes strongly in learning how to move and eat within the parameters of your body and biodynamic individuality. He teaches from this perspective, always advancing his clients’ knowledge of their own bodies with a strong emphasis on anatomical and muscular understanding. Andy is a passionate advocate of restorative exercise, such as yin yoga, myofascial release, and mindful mobility. He knows that when your body and mind is calm and spacious, so to is the rest of your life’s objectives and responsibilities.

Résumé

BSc (Hons) – Sports and Exercise Science

Integrative Nutrition Health Coach

Qualified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher

Qualified Personal Trainer & Clinical Exercise prescription

200 hour Yoga Teacher

TRX Suspension

Animal Flow Trainer

 

“If you think you can do a thing or you think you can’t, you’re right”

Henry Ford

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MADDY COOPER

After working in Public Relations and the Screen Production Industry for seven years, and surviving a battle with breast cancer at age 27, Maddy decided it was time for change and to refocus. She took the opportunity to explore one of her passions and booked in to do a one-month intensive yoga teacher training program. “Yoga, mindfulness and meditation have not only been hugely beneficial in maintaining a healthy work-life balance but they have also given me the gift of being able to teach life changing techniques to improve the lives of others.”

Since embarking on this journey Maddy has lived by a quote “The purpose of life is to find your gift, the meaning of life is to give it away.” Empowering the individual is a gift and one that Maddy is committed to passionately. Maddy is trained in Hatha, Vinyasa and Restorative Yin including Pranayama breathing techniques and guided meditation. 

Résumé

Ashram Yoga – 200hr Teacher Training Certification (RYS200 Yoga Alliance)

BCSHons – Communication Studies (First Class)

NZBCF Advocate – breast cancer survivor creating positive change and supporting health and wellbeing!

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SHIRLEY MCLEOD

Shirley is a wife, mother, corporate career woman, yoga teacher and aspiring wellness warrior. After a crazy 2013 where she had her second child, led a once-in-50-year change to criminal prosecution processes, and was runner-up in New Zealand Project Manger of the Year, the universe intervened. While on holiday, Shirley stumbled across an outdoor yoga class – starting a journey that would ultimately help her to better manage her busy work and family commitments. Using yoga to de-stress, unwind, and relax, Shirley has become more focused, productive, confident and effective.

Shirley founded Yoga With Me in 2015 to keep herself accountable in the lead up to completing yoga teacher training, but also to encourage and inspire others to give yoga a go – whether that’s for fitness, flexibility, stress management, relaxation, mindfulness or just because you want a reason to wear comfy yoga pants all day. Yoga With Me is now New Zealand’s largest online community for yoga inspiration, advice and encouragement. Shirley also spreads her message in person, speaking to corporate and wellness events across New Zealand about the importance of creating calm and finding balance in our busy lives.

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CAT BLAND

Cat started dancing at the age of 10, soon developing a passion for Jazz, Tap and Ballet. After completing a Diploma in Commercial Dance, she went on to dance professionally around the world including Cyprus and Morocco.

Relocating to Melbourne in 2011, Cat worked as a dance teacher for various styles and ages. Her love of fitness, yoga and health brought her to train as a barre instructor at Barre Body in 2013. Barre Body is a unique style of barre class that incorporates pilates, dance and yoga. Cat’s love for Barre then inspired her to complete her Level 1 teacher training qualification with Byron Yoga Centre in 2014.

In 2016, Cat decided to move back to Wellington and is currently studying Education at Victoria University. Since returning she has also been teaching barre and yoga classes, as well as reformer pilates.

Cat is so excited to introduce this style of Barre class to Wellington and Empower Studio. Her classes are fast and dynamic, and every class is different. She teaches a challenging class but has a strong focus on alignment as well as listening to what your own body needs.

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MEGAN HAMILTON

After several years in a corporate desk job, Megan was unhealthy, stressed out and hurting physically, mentally, and emotionally. She enrolled in a weekends-only yoga training and began to imagine a life where she moved for a living and supported others in their journey to health. Her love of the human body has inspired Megan to train in other movement disciplines including pilates, myofascial release, and a neurology-based movement programme. The strong body-mind connection she feels during yoga keeps Megan rooted in a ‘yoga like’ practice with elements of core, hip mobility, and myofascial release techniques. Come join Megan on the mat to experience the fluid interchange between strength and mobility, hard work and ease, and discipline and freedom.

Résumé

200 hour RYT Tranquil Space (USA)

Myofascial Release hands-on training with Tom Myers (USA)

R-Phase, Z Health Neuroscience Training (USA)

300 hour RYT ShivaTree Yoga (USA)

Pilates Mat + Reformer Certification (current)

Bachelor of Arts, English (USA)

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LEANNE FREEMAN

Leanne first discovered yoga in 2010. Her initial attraction was purely of a physical nature, however, having a high stress corporate career she soon began to see the other benefits a regular yoga practise can bring.

At the beginning of 2014 Leanne resigned from her job and went overseas to travel for a year. She spent four and a half months in India and during this time completed a 200 hour Ashtanga and Vinyasa Flow Yoga Teacher qualification with Sampoora Yoga in Dharamshala. After completing her training, Leanne was offered a position in the school’s newly opened yoga village in Goa to assist in the teacher trainings and co-ordinate and teach the drop in classes.

Leanne returned to Perth at the start of 2015 and began to teach yoga as her full time calling. Since her initial training, Leanne has also completed 50 hours Yin Yoga training with Jo Phee, 75 hours Lotus Flow training with Laughing Lotus New York and she is a registered member of Yoga Alliance.

In 2017, after being based in Australia for nine years, Leanne has returned to her home town Wellington to continue her yoga journey. Leanne loves to flow from one pose to the next and will encourage you to move like yourself while providing a safe environment to do so.

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CLAUDIO ESCUTIA

“I found through the practice of attention , conscious movement and breath, sound and vibrations the path to inner silence and peace.”

Claudio Escutia has been a yoga teacher and active musician for over 10 years. He began his spiritual journey in Mexico with the practice of Tai Chi. After finishing his classical guitar studies at the School of Fine Arts he decided to move to Montreal Canada to study jazz music, where he experienced for the first time the power of the sacred Yogic practices, becoming aware of his breathing, body, mind and soul.

When he settled in Canada, he expanded his knowledge by practicing Hatha and Kundalini Yoga, with great masters, he learned to play Kirtan (sacred chants circles) with local musicians and started playing live music for yoga classes.

After 2 years of practice, he heads to the mountains of Quebec and begins his training as a resident yoga and meditation teacher at the Yoga Sivananda Vedanta Ashram, with the renowned professor Praladh, a direct student of Swami Vishnudevananda, one of the first teachers of India in introduce yoga in the West. Claudio receives his certification of 300 hours of Yoga by Yoga Alliance recognized throughout the world. After finishing his training and after living 6 months of intense Sadhana (spiritual practice) he began to teach Hatha Yoga in several studies in Montreal.

In 2012 he moved to Europe, where he studied Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga in Jivamukti Berlin and Yin Yoga taking workshops and retreats.

In 2013 he traveled to Nepal to study Sound Healing with Tibetan Bowls ,Gongs, Bells and Mantras taking certification and courses at the Kundalini Sound and Herbal Healing School in Kathmandu with the renowned teacher and healer Chaitanyashree. After Nepal, he travels to India to study classical music of India on Sitar, Esraj and Bansuri and voice technique in Calcutta and Varanasi.

He returned home to live in Riviera Maya Mexico to teach for 3 years and practice with several teachers getting experience on teaching to big groups of students and teaching workshops on Nada Yoga, Mantra Yoga and playing Sound Healing concerts.

During his classes, he uses ancient and traditional techniques to harmonize physical, mental and emotional levels with the sound of Tibetan bowls, Mantras, Mudras and other Yoga techniques that take you on a journey to the heart, inner peace and silence.