Justine Wheelans

Simply put – family, marriage and the lifestyle that follows – were for me, and still are, physically, emotionally and mentally both challenging and rewarding!

A tight body from years of weight training and tension in the neck and shoulders from stress were my initial motivators for practicing yoga. However, along with the release of the physical body, Yoga provided me with the perfect sanctuary for time out to reconnect with myself. I came away from a class feeling grounded and balanced. I felt happy to go back out into the world and face life’s challenges. I was back in touch with the feeling process and I could respond rather than react to a given situation. My whole body appreciated my efforts! I wanted more of that so I kept going back to class.

I realised we all need that time out to tune in and return to our true nature. I had often questioned where had that fun loving free spirited and spontaneous person gone? Yoga helped me to discover I was still there, just buried under many different hats of responsibility – wife, mother, daughter, student, teacher and friend.

And so I began to prepare, plan and design for my own yoga studio to provide others with the opportunity to experience all the benefits there are in taking time out to tune in.

I’m now extremely proud to introduce you to the Yoga Sanctuary studio.

Georgie Priest

Yoga did not come naturally for me, although yoga never minded that I had hamstrings made of steel and a long list of injuries that had been swept under the rug. Growing up I spent a lot of my time pursuing different sporting activities, distance running in particular. By my early twenties I found myself spending more time in the physio’s rooms than in my running shoes, my body was simply saying ‘no more’.

Looking back this was a blessing in disguise- it was how I ended up on a yoga mat for the first time in my life in 2008. From here on in yoga became the key to rebuilding a pain free body as well as a more balanced outlook on life.

In April 2012 I attended my first yoga teacher training in Los Angeles and have since gone on to study with other inspiring teachers in hatha, yin and power vinyasa styles.

Teaching for me is being able to help others cultivate the space for change in their lives not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. The society we live in encourages us to strive for bigger, better, faster and stronger both professionally and personally. Finding balance amongst the chaos life throws us- be it fun at times! is and always will be an ongoing journey, ever changing, one day it’s there and others it’s far, far away.

Yoga is like pushing the pause button, it creates the space to reassess, to re-evaluate and finally return to life ready to enjoy the ride.

Margaret-Anne (Marg) Hill

I began practising yoga in 2006, running was starting to take its toll on my knees and ankles and I was looking for something just as challenging but with a lower impact on my body. After a lifetime of chronic asthma and regular hospital admissions, I began to breathe better, my chest opened and my posture improved. The focus and health that yoga has brought to my life has helped in so many ways, particularly in bringing an ability to deal with and accept life’s uncertainties. I’m also finding it really beneficial as I get older in keeping my body strong and flexible and moving with ease.

I completed teacher training in the US in 2015 and love bringing the enjoyment that I have for the practice to others.

I want students to know that even though it can be challenging at times (and sometimes the hardest part is getting to your mat), the amazing benefits of a new and healthier you will come, you just have to keep coming back. There’s nothing like floating out of the studio blissed out after class.

The beautiful space and the variety of classes offered at Yoga Sanctuary provide the opportunity for everyone to develop in their own way and at their own pace. Whether you are an absolute beginner looking to experience a yoga class for the first time, or someone with experience hoping to deepen your knowledge, there is a place for you at Yoga Sanctuary. 

Lisa Fabri

I was introduced to Ashtanga yoga through a dancer friend in Sydney 2000 and I was immediately hooked by the challenging physical practice blending in breath and spirituality. In 2003, I decided to do a teacher training course and spent two of the best months of my life in Byron Bay living and breathing yoga. 

Returning to Christchurch I discovered Anusara Yoga through Katie Lane and embraced this slower flowing style with a stronger focus on alignment. Through my curiosity for all things yogic my practice has evolved but I still call on these two styles as my main influencers.

A gypsy at heart, I have travelled a lot and taught yoga in New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, The UK and Italy. I love the connection yoga creates in a room of people no matter where you are in the world.  It is a great leveller and encourages us to remember we are all the same.   

Living with chronic health conditions, Yoga is a tool that helps me manage my life on all levels. It is not a magic cure but a lifelong companion and practice to take you wherever you go. For me yoga is also is about feeling and being, rather than thinking and analysing. It helps you stay true to your authentic self no matter what highs or lows you are experiencing.

My goal as a teacher is to show that Yoga is for everybody. I believe it is about accepting ourselves and becoming more comfortable in our own skin. Through working with our bodies we become more aware of our posture, our relationships and the language we use with ourselves and others.

Through my yoga practice I have had profound experiences and I enjoy sharing whatever I have learnt, and hopefully facilitating people to find their own yoga path. I am grateful to be able to share something that brings me so much peace, strength and contentment and am honoured to be teaching in the beautiful space and warm community that Justine has created at Yoga Sanctuary.

Yoga helps to keep in check my inner drama queen and be more balanced with my inner hippie.

Perfection in imperfection.  The Yin with the Yang.   The mung bean and the French fry and Love and Peace For All.   Namaste!

Juls Moore

Hi! My name is Juls and I love being a teacher at Yoga Sanctuary. For many years I have admired the beautiful space Justine has created and her style of practice.

After practising and loving Yoga for more years than I care to remember, I completed my 200hr teacher training with Katie Lane at Grassroots Yoga in 2017. This year I completed a further 65hr YinYang Teacher Training with Jo Phee in Auckland.

I have been teaching Body Pump, Body Balance and CX Works alongside being a Personal Trainer at Les Mills for the last 10 years after returning to Christchurch from Queenstown where I worked at Pulse Fitness. My passion for Trail/Off road Ultra Marathon running and living a predominantly Yang type lifestyle has lead me to lean into the practise of Yin/Restorative Yoga. This compliments and brings back into balance all of the stresses the modern world and our current lifestyles puts on our postures, mental balance and general wellbeing around feeling connected to ourselves and being able to give back to the people we love.

Functional yoga is vital in creating balance in our bodies and minds. It seems so simple, yet at times it feels difficult to achieve.

This is where I find myself feeling the most passion as a Yoga Teacher. Holding space for you, the student, to be the observer in your own body. To feel the connections, to create the shapes that counter balance the other areas of your life.