SpiritRides: New Zealand’s first Equine yoga class

When a person is passionate about two things and decides to combine them, something magical can happen. For Stephanie from SpiritRides in Raglan, combining her love of horses and her love of yoga produced just such magic.

Stephanie was born and raised in Germany where she spent a lot of time working with horses, and when she immigrated to New Zealand in 1996 she knew having to be far away from her family could only be made easier by owning horses again. In 2011, SpiritRides was born as a Riding and later Equestrian Vaulting school. Stephanie realised the need for a private one-on-one setting for adults and children on her schooled horses and ponies, many of whom she rescued.

Her Yoga journey began 15 years ago, and for the last three years she has been co-leading a local group of like-minded people, enjoying the journey together in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. She felt there was something missing in yoga classes, and it was FUN.

A year ago she qualified as a Rainbow Yoga Kids and Family Instructor and a month later SpiritRides Equine Yoga was launched. She offers wroup Workshops, and together with her Yoga partner Elisabeth Denis, is venturing into their first retreat near Raglan. The purpose-built Waitetuna Retreat Centre is only 2km on the same road, which makes for a more than ideal team.

Elisabeth has done her yoga teacher training in the magical jungle of Costa Rica. Since then, her journey with yoga has led her to study with a variety of teachers and traditions located in different areas of the globe. However, she now considers Hatha and slow Vinyasa her main styles. Elisabeth taught yoga in her home country of Canada and in Costa Rica. Her first AcroYoga/Thai Massage retreat was created and held in Nicaragua with the help of another acro yoga teacher.

Elisabeth and Stephanie met earlier this year, clicking immediately, and they have decided to venture on this journey of retreats together, combining even more of their passions. Elisabeth’s are AcroYoga and meditation, and both love food. So, the combination of Equine Yoga, AcroYoga, meditation and Indian cooking classes was born to offer you a most unique and special experience.

The length of the retreat was chosen by both – an overnight stay is very doable if you are a busy working person and also allows parents just enough time to get a break without having to sacrifice too much.

They plan to host a few of these retreats over the summer months, so keep an eye on SpiritRides – Raglan Yoga FB page for upcoming events. The first retreat is on Labour Weekend (October 20-21) with an Early Bird special until the end of August of $280 including accommodation and food. The numbers will not exceed 18, making a nice group to work with and spend the weekend together.

Monthly Equine Yoga Workshops on Saturday mornings will also continue from November onwards, and can also be booked privately.

Stephanie and Elisabeth’s core mission is to keep evolving and sharing their knowledge with other human beings to embrace playfulness, love and movement through their time with you.

Stephanie Kennedy