Client Testimonials

Retreat Testimonials

Make time for yourself. Give yourself a weekend away. Meet new women! I went on my first ever Vegan yoga Retreat with Namastays Retreats in July 2019, booked again in November, and in January 2020. Treat yourself. Create time and space for rest and relaxation.


I enjoyed my experience so much in a short time. I felt like I had travelled the world, found myself, and come back restored, enlivened, and ready for my joyful life again. So grateful.


A weekend spent at Namastays Retreat recently was a new experience for me! Although I am not a regular user of yoga I thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie of women, the vegan food, knowledge gleaned from those present, and the amazing organisers Michele, Olivia and Julia Nysse.


I am so grateful for this beautiful and loving Retreat! Michele is a very loving, caring and knowledgeable woman, and her daughter Olivia is full of life and compassion. Thank you for your yoga classes. The nutritional food was so energising, refreshing and lovingly prepared by Julia and all the kitchen angels. I would encourage all women to experience the nurturing and love!


This retreat was absolutely everything it promised and more. I came away nourished, nurtured and loved! What more could I ask. Thank you Michele and Olivia.


This retreat was a 60th birthday present and I couldn’t have wished for a better start to my next decade! The wonderful location, the kind and generous team, the delicious, nourishing food, the yoga and relaxation – it was all just wonderful. Perfect, in fact. And many of the tips I learned have stayed with me back in the “real” world, and are helping me on a daily basis to stay relaxed, happy, healthy and grounded in my busy life. Much love to the whole Namaste retreat team.


This relaxed, beautiful retreat was ideal for a break from busyness, to come back to myself and re-centre. There was a perfect mix between activities and free time, the weekend was fluid and spacious. Thank you so much to Michele, Olivia and the Team. Namaste and Nga Mihi Nui.


This was a wonderful experience. I am older (a grandmother) and took a daughter. We both got so much out of this wellness retreat. There are so many things that ‘wellness’ can apply to – mind, body and soul. This retreat addressed them all. Recommend to anyone struggling with anything.


Taking time out for myself on my first retreat at Mangarara was so great, I booked in for their next retreat. Taking a break from work, mothering & everything else to focus on health and wellness is a very nurturing and peaceful experience.


Michele, Olivia & their wonderful team provided a well-planned and managed retreat in perfect surroundings. I feel my mind and body are nourished, ready to face the world, but also I’m going home with a few tips to add to my daily life. I really do feel like I’ve had one very lovely rejuvenating holiday without stepping on a plane!


Thoroughly enjoyed the retreat, beautiful location, lovely people, wonderful food and a chance to be cared for and looked after by a lovely group of hosts.


The health benefits are positively life changing!

“Gentle yoga with Michelle opened up a portal of inner calm, mind-body healing and birthed a luminosity of awareness to be more attuned and present within my body. I feel re-earthed, relaxed and refreshed after class! The learned practices help sustain a deep sense of inner connection, flow and harmony through out the week. Michelle exudes empathy, gentleness, and a welcoming reassurance that invites you into a healing, restorative, safe space.

The health benefits are positively life changing! Weaving gentle yoga poses, breathing, and meditative practices into my lifestyle have immensely reduced symptoms of physical trauma, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, stress, anxiety and depression. The exercises maintain joint health and suppleness and increase range of movement. I experience more vitality and well being and feel abundantly happier and at peace. I notice when a few days are missed of mindful practices, and am reminded of the immense benefits they bring!”.

AC, 2019

Building strength and balance in the most gentle way!

“How I am enjoying your Gentle Yoga classes Michele…. I love the way you ensure that those of us who need to, can accommodate the painful joints while still building strength and balance in the most gentle way! A wonderful, meditative time that is really helping. A big thank you to my daughter (who loves it also) for introducing me to you and Gentle Yoga!”

Pauline E, 2018

My body started to heal from within

When I first met Michele I was in a health crisis, I had severe ‘chornic adult’ eczema, the doctors had no answer for me. With the knowledge and support from Michele, I began my healing journey supporting my body with natural supplements, herbs and diet. My body started to heal from within and my skin began to heal naturally. Using gentle Yoga postures, Meditation and Breathing Techniques that Michele taught me has really helped with my anxiety and state of mind. I would highly recommend Michele to anyone wanting to heal in a holistic way. Thank you Michele!

Olive, 2018

 I always feel grounded and nurtured afterwards

Thank you Michele for your Yoga Classes, I have been to so many different teachers over the years, however your knowledge of Yoga and your explanations of the benefits of each Asana (pose) are hard to come by, with your help I have been able to begin my own practice at home, understanding the benefits of each pose. I really enjoy  the Pranayama (breathing techniques) and guided Meditation you bring to your classes.  I always feel grounded and nurtured afterwards, I look forward to many more classes with you.

Simone, 2017

It helped me a lot with my back pain

I loved your Hatha Yoga classes and it helped me a lot with my back pain and horse riding.

Marie W, 2017

Slowing down and getting in touch with my breathing

Michele, Thank you so much. Your wonderful classes have been a tonic for me. In Gentle Hatha Yoga I love slowing down and getting in touch with my breathing.

To play and be joyful in an environment that is safe and supportive

The more often I go to Laughter Yoga the easier it gets. And now, I see it as a kind of amazing therapy where we can find ways to let go of things we no longer need. It’s an opportunity to play and be joyful in an environment that is safe and supportive. I always find these classes to be inspiring and uplifting.

Marie E, 2017

Laughter Yoga is so good for the whole body!

Thank you for this year it has been a privilege to be part of your classes. Laughter Yoga is so good for the whole body!!!


Erin, 2017

Michele was very warm and welcoming and extremely thorough going through every little aspect of our lives that could be effecting our chances of conceiving

In April 2013 my husband and I decided to add one more addition to complete our family. At the time our daughter  was 1.5 years old and I had always pictured giving her a sibling relatively close in age, however the months quickly passed and before we knew it we had been trying for well over a year.

GP visits revealed I had Poly cystic Ovarian Syndrome and that I was simply not ovulating regularly if at all, this discovery was to put it lightly disheartening. Almost 3 years later after  a tone of scans, blood tests, medications and specialist appointments we were coming up eligible for  IVF but I still had reservations about turning the process of having a child into such an intrusive medical procedure.  My mother was recommended to Michele by several clients and convinced my husband and I to give it a go.  Little did I know at the time of meeting Michele this was going to be a game changer, the best move we could have ever made! Michele was very warm and welcoming and extremely thorough going through every little aspect of our lives that could be effecting our chances of conceiving. Within two weeks we had charts, a book and all our different herbs/vitamins that Michele felt would benefit our whole Hauora and most importantly we had hope that we might be able to naturally achieve our goals.. Only several months after starting this journey with Michele my husband and I can proudly announce we are safely in our second trimester with a perfectly healthy baby!!!! We cannot thank/recommend  Michele enough and will eternally be grateful for her love, support and guidance.

Chloe & Jimi Poulgrain, 2016

We are 6 weeks pregnant!!! Yay. Thank you for your tips and support, it obviously made a difference. We are so thrilled.  Thanks for all your help. You’ve been wonderful.

Emma & Brett, 2016

Anthroposophical treatments

I’ve had several  Anthroposophical treatments with Michele which included  foot baths and different compresses. The gentleness of the foot baths  followed with  the compresses and  being wrapped in blankets was extremely relaxing, nurturing and beneficial to the health issues I had sort help for. I would highly recommend treatments with Michele, her caring nature and expertise made the treatments a relaxing and healing experience.
Christine, 2016

Michele is a very warm and approachable person with an empathetic nature who I felt very comfortable talking to. She took the time to understand my history in detail and uses an holistic approach to offer various options in her treatment plan.

Rachel, 2016

Michele’s beautiful nature shines through in her laughter yoga sessions. She leads her classes with a sense of open acceptance, making them accessible for everyone. The teens responded well to Michele, and were able to embrace the laughter yoga concept. Thanks for introducing them to another variation of yoga Michele, I also enjoyed the session!

Susan (Yoga teacher at Rejuvenate Yoga, Hawkes Bay) 2016

“We recently held a session of Wellness laughter at The Lusk Centre in Havelock North.

Our members are on average in their mid 80’s. Members participated whole heartedly in the session and ruptures of giggling and laughter was heard around the room.

Thanks so much to you Michele.”