I have been an athlete most likely since I could walk and continued to explore the following; running, jumping, hitting, judo swimming, rowing, paddle boarding and of course rugby.
It was not until 2005, when I welcomed an adventure that a plane ticket from New Zealand to Los Angeles to just meet Mickey Mouse would bring. I continued my life-long rugby career with Santa Monica Rugby Club, but noticed the toll that rugby took on my body. That was the moment that I started my healing journey. I thought that yoga was for girls and not for someone like me. It was not long after starting my practice that I noticed my body was healing without drugs, without surgery; my body knew how to heal itself.
This healing path led me to become a certified Yoga teacher and Thai Massage practitioner. Shortly after being certified in Yoga I found one of my newer passions AcroYoga. Hence, the creation of Koha Yoga was born in 2009. Koha is the Maori word for gift. I help people discover their gifts of trust, joy, laughter, play, balance, release through Flying Thai Massage, AcroYoga, Yoga and Paddle-boarding. In 2012 I officially became a certified teacher with my wife/partner/co-teacher Sara.
Born in Wisconsin, I have always been connected to nature. I grew up above a bait shop and the formative part of my life I have spent trying to protect humans from over consuming our earth's finite resources. In my studies and practice I have watched humans who are connected to their surroundings have a less likely chance of destroying it. My connection to Yoga happened early on in my life, because it allowed me to connect my breath, mind, movement, and spirit to source.
My discovery during my years of practicing has given me a desire to share this insight with as many humans as possible; if you connect yourself to source you will be happier. Yet, sometimes yoga was boring, just doing it on my mat, without the human connection.
The day I found my self on top of someone’s feet, flying, my life has never been the same. I always wanted to share a different approach to yoga, an approach with more fun, play, joy, and transformation. I've been a yoga teacher/partner yoga teach for a long time, but in 2012 became a certified acroyoga teacher with my love/husband/partner/co-teacher Whakapaingia. Therefore, yoga becomes double the fun, because now I can teacher others how to play together. They get to experience the joy, the play, and the connection yoga gives while strengthen their connection/relationships to other humans.
After missing a flight to set out on an international adventure of her own, Sara headed to Venice Beach and caught eyes with Whakapaingia. (It sounds like a move, but it is not!)
After asking Whakapaingia “Do you want to play?” an instantaneous partnership and Koha Flying Yoga were created. It was love and first flight.
Baby Kotahiataahua, meaning “Beautiful Oneness,” followed soon after.
Today, Whakapaingia, Sara, and Kotahiataahua share the gifts of AcroYoga, Yoga, Bodywork, and Stand Up Paddleboarding to inspire a revolution of strength, play, balance, and community.