Taleta (Shanti) McDonald

Queenstown --
New Zealand

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I was introduced to yoga at the age of four. My parents were disciples of an enlightened guru from India, and from a young age I joined in on meditations, I listened to discourses and I was brought up within the Indian yogic philosophies of meditation and mindfulness.

I took my first asana class in my 20’s and I fell in love with the free flowing movements of vinyasa awhile after.

I continued to delve deeper into yoga and in 2013 I began my own self- practice, which was the catalyst for change in my life.

In late 2014 I attended a Naam Yoga Master Class with Dr Joseph Michael Levry, which had profound healing effects and I soon realised that I wanted to share yoga with others.

Knowing first-hand the transformational effects of yoga, my passion and desire to share it with others led me to India, the birthplace of yoga, where I completed my 200-hour Ashtanga and Vinyasa Flow Yoga Teaching Certification.

After a pilgrimage around India, I then moved to Nepal where I immersed myself into a Hindu culture while living with a Nepalese family and it was here that I received weekly one on one teachings from Premananda, Nepal’s first certified yoga master from the Satyananda lineage. Up until then I thought I had been practicing yoga, however my experience in Nepal was a pivotal turning point in my own practice. With a whole lot of new insights, I became determined to share my new found knowledge with others, and teach authentic yoga, from a place of heart and authenticity.

In 2016, I was invited to return to India, where I received a further 100 hours Yoga Alliance Certified training. I worked in two yoga teacher training schools, as assistant teacher and demonstrator in anatomy, alignment and technical workshops and I taught alignment and adjustments to the 200 hr teacher trainees. I also gave adjustments in the Mysore classes, conducted a talk on yoga lifestyle and I taught daily vinyasa flow classes to visitors and students of the yoga village. It was here that I fine tuned my skills and experience and discovered the type of yoga teacher that I wanted to be.

The following year, I was invited to teach yoga in Bali where I became the resident yoga teacher at a luxury resort in Tembok. I taught Hatha yoga to guests from all around the world as well as private meditation classes and Reiki healing sessions.

I have learnt invaluable lessons from all of my teachers in India and Nepal, I’ve been deeply influenced by the teachings of Krishnamacharya and the yoga sutras of Patanjali, however, my biggest teacher has been life itself.

After years of soul searching and seeking a guru, I found that what I was looking for resided within. This awakening formed the foundation of my yoga practice.


While I understand that most people come to a yoga class for the physical benefits, and I respect each individual’s journey, I use asana (yoga postures) as a tool for self-discovery and self-realization (Samadhi).

My classes are aimed at removing the blockages in the flow of prana (life force energy) and increasing prana through my unique 6 stages of practice.

I don’t teach or focus on one style of yoga, as I believe that all modern styles come from the same roots, so in order to transmit the true teachings of authentic yoga, my classes are focused around Patanjali’s 8 limbs of yoga.

Besides from the obvious physical benefits of gaining strength and flexibility, you will learn how to breathe properly, and how to integrate your breath with movement so that your body dances with your breath. You will learn about bandhas and mudras and how to safely enter into asana, all while listening to your unique body.

Each class includes; creating space for mindfulness and centering, warm ups from the Pawanmuktasana series (Satyananda yoga) asanas (yoga postures), pranayama (breathing techniques), shavasana (final relaxation) and mantras.

Fusing what I have learnt over the years from all the people I have met along my yoga journey, my intention is to impart on my students the essence of yoga, which originates from India and is much more than a physical workout.

My classes are a unique fusion of different yoga styles and I prefer to teach in smaller class sizes (up to 4 students in one class) so that I can adjust the style and pace to fit the needs of the group and give more individualised attention to every student.

My Guriji taught me that everything is always AUM, therefore my classes have a strong spiritual focus that are designed to bring you to the core of your being.


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