Donna Wikio (Co-owner)
I opened Hot Yoga Dunedin in 2009 and am now thrilled to be bringing hot yoga to the town of Invercargill.
I started practicing yoga with my mother when I was 12. I don't remember much about the first class other than feeling calm and still afterwards. I continued to seek these feelings as I continued through high school and university. In my 20s I worked as a model, in hospitality and travelled a lot. It was a tumultuous time and I would always try find a local yoga studio wherever I was to try and remain calm amongst the storm! I enjoyed Iyengar for it's precision and discovered Jivamukti in New York which was vigorous and sweaty - two things I had never before associated with yoga!
After the birth of my first son Kaia I was in a real rut, I was living in Wellington and bored with the gym stretch class. I found a flyer that said 'Hot body cool mind' and out of curiosity attended my first Bikram class. It was a real struggle and at the time I felt it was not for me. However as I walked home afterwards I felt light and free, both physically and mentally, and I was hooked!
In 2006 I completed an intensive 9 week training with Nikki Knoff in Iyengar and Ashtanga styles. We also studied philosophy, chanting, meditation and anatomy. Despite the rigors of this training I kept up my Bikram practice the whole time.
I started teaching yoga in 2006 and had my second son Zion in 2007. I moved to Queenstown and began teaching at Bikram Yoga Queenstown, a mixed yoga style studio. In 2008 I plucked up the courage to attend Bikram Teacher training in Mexico and I have never looked back. I have since trained in the Bikram advanced series, Yin yoga and with many senior teachers.
I love what yoga has done for my mind and body and am honoured to teach what I love. See you on the mat soon!