Community yoga classes a way of giving back for fun-loving Far North couple

Yoga teacher Meg Bell is giving back to the community by holding free monthly yoga classes in Kerikeri. Photo / Jenny Ling

Being super bendy and agile is definitely not a requirement at a new community yoga class in Kerikeri.

For yoga teacher Meg Bell, the free monthly Saturday sessions at the Turner Centre are all about giving back to the community and having “a bit of a stretch” along with a few giggles.

“Yoga studios can be so intimidating.

“If you’re not used to going into one you fear the worst, you think it’s a place of judgment, that if you’re not bendy you’ll get thrown out the door.


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“It’s not like that at all.

“It’s good having all these people who can get together and have a bit of a stretch-out and learn things to do at home.”

Bell moved to the Far North from London with her husband, meditation teacher Matty, in January and opened a yoga studio called Numi in central Kerikeri.

Numi, which means “to fold or bend” in te reo, offers a variety of yoga classes during the week including vinyasa, flow, prenatal classes, and yoga for beginners and mums.


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As part of her practice, she wanted to offer free community classes and approached the Turner Centre, who agreed.

Bell describes the classes as “a monthly community stretch and hang-out session and a way for people to connect”. They are for all ages, and it’s ok to bring your kids if you’re stuck for childcare.

Meg and Matty Bell have opened a new yoga studio in Kerikeri and are holding free community classes at the Turner Centre each month. Photo / supplied
Meg and Matty Bell have opened a new yoga studio in Kerikeri and are holding free community classes at the Turner Centre each month. Photo / supplied

Around 40 people turned out to the first class in April, and more attended the second session in May.

“It goes with the territory, when you become a yoga teacher, it’s like giving back in some way.

“Not only do you train in helping people within the studio you have to be community-based as well.

“It’s as much about being a good person as it is anything else.”

Bell, who is from the UK, discovered yoga while working in a retreat in Spain, and trained with international teacher Michael James Wong at the Krama Yoga School in London.

Her husband Matty discovered yoga in his early 20s, and after years of daily meditation, trained with Dr Graham Burns and Isabell Britsch at Yoga Campus.

Keen to raise their two children in the Far North, but sad to leave the “incredible” classes of London, they decided the next best thing was to bring all that they had learned to Kerikeri.

“The Turner Centre have been amazing allowing me to put this monthly event on in their space, free of charge,” Bell said.


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“It’s a bit of fun, and super lighthearted. People can have a bit of a stretch and hopefully, if I’ve done my job right, a few giggles.”

Bell said the plan is simply to keep the classes running, and get a coffee cart to pull up outside afterwards to encourage people to socialise and make new friends.

The classes are usually held on the first Saturday of the month, but dates may change.

The next free yoga session is on June 10. Check out Numi on Facebook or the Turner Centre and don’t forget your yoga mat.

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