Parito Coastal Yoga Retreat
Guest Experiences of Parito
Atmavidya and Pete have been away from Parito 2013-2016 and Parito was being cared for at this time, with no retreats running.
With permission from guests who have written to us to share their spontaneous letters of gratitude for their time at Parito (or who have published elsewhere), we humbly share:
Viv (USA)
Personal Yoga and Meditation Retreat November 2017
On 1/12/2017, Viv wrote: 
Hi Atmavidya, 

It was a very special the time I got to spend with you in the retreat. It was short but it was very powerful. 

You have a magical place over there. It was a surprise for me when I get there in person. I was a little skeptical in the beginning not knowing what to expect having booked everything online, but it was so much better in so many different levels. My jaw dropped!

Your space is gorgeous, I love the peace that it transmits with all the natural light, views, access to the beach and the bush.  

The food was excellent, there was so much love in each meal that was served. So fresh, so much flavor. I loved everything including all the fresh fruits and teas. What a bless! 

I got so much knowledge from you and Pete. I can say that I improved as a person and that is priceless. All your meditation classes, Yoga and Mantras penetrated deep into my soul. I'll always carry that with me. 

There is not enough words to say thank you! I feel so lucky to have found you!

I hope we can cross paths again in the near future. I would love to go back. 

Thank you SO MUCH. 


Emma (New Zealand)
Personal Yoga and Meditation Retreat July 2012
On 8/11/2012, Emma wrote:
Dear Atmavidya,
I would be very happy for others to see my experience of Parito.
Since then I have kept up with my yoga.  I was practicing my asanas every day but life has kind of taken over at the moment.  I definitely practice the karma yoga now every day and the breathing exercises and yoga nidra when needed. I have also found a lovely yoga teacher who is just down the road from me and is orignally trained in the Satyananda tradition.
I worry a lot less these days and am definitely a more positive person who is slowly attracting more positive people into my life so thank you for the guidance in yoga.  It has helped.
So yes, please post my words on the website.
I hope you are well and I also hope to be able to make it back to you one day in the not too distant future.
Warm wishes.
On 15/07/2012, Emma wrote:

Dearest Atmavidya and Pete,

I just wanted to send my sincerest thanks for such a wonderful retreat.  It was exactly what I needed.  My back has been getting stronger every day, I feel more relaxed and I feel ready to go back to work tomorrow.

Pete, your food was wonderful and you looked after me so well.  Atmavidya - you truly are an inspiration.  You are insightful and really looked at my needs and tailored the yoga to suit me.  I have left with aspirations to keep up with many of things you have taught me. I will be starting my first class at the Manipura centre on Wednesday.  It is a 25 minute drive from my work so thought this could be very doable once a week.

I have also booked myself into a women's workshop on Sunday afternoon - 'Empower the Inner Shakti' with Swami Karma Karuna.  There is even optional Kirtan afterwards.

So thank you again for teaching me a little about yoga.  I endeavor to come back one day!

Kindest regards,

Leonie Johnsen (Director of Organic New Zealand
Published in Organic Explorer Newsletter 1/05/2012
Personal Yoga and Meditation Retreat December 2011

Parito Yoga Retreat

Screen shot 2012 04 29		at 8

Located in Raglan on NZ’s beautiful west coast, 2hrs south of Auckland. A beautiful example of how living very simply off the land and all it provides can be so inspiring.

Late last year we stayed only 2 nights with the gorgeous Pete and Atmavidya at Parito and left feeling really quite transformed. The sun setting over the rugged west coast ocean was magic.

A range of organised retreats and workshops are offered at Parito throughout the year.  Each of these retreats are suitable for all people whether they are experienced practitioners or beginners.

Lila (Australia)
Personal Yoga and Meditation Retreat June 2012
Thank you so much Atmavidya from my Great Heart of Love.  I give you total gratitude.  You are such an incredible inspiring being.  Thank you for all the Love, support, help, nurturance, guidance, education, Joy, laughter, Light and smiles.
My time at Parito has been truly transformational, I've learned to be gentle with myself, to listen to my body, but also that I am tenacious and strong and can make choices from my Higher Self.
With Love and Gratitude, till next time.
   Grainne (Western Australia)
   Personal Yoga and Meditation Retreat May 2011

On 27/05/2011, at 8:11 PM, Grainne wrote:

Hi Atmavidya and Peter,
Thank you so much for the wonderful retreat!
I'm back at work now and submerged in office life again.  However, the
benefits of my stay with you are still in effect and I'm brimming with
energy again.
I had a long drive yesterday - I had to drive for almost 3 hours to
get to a school and then 3 hours home in the same day.  On the way
home I pulled over and lay down in the back of the 4WD and listened to
the Yoga Nidra CD that you kindly gave me.  It was wonderfully
rejuvenating and I was able to make it back home without the usual
feeling of exhaustion.
I hope that everything is wonderful with you both at Parito.
Lots of love and light,
Manu (Germany)
Personal Yoga and Meditation Retreat November 2009
Dear Atmavidya and Pete,
I have been meaning to write to you for a while now and have finally found the right moment.
I stayed with you for two nights in November 2009 afte a difficult trip to Germany, my home country, where my Mum had fallen terribly ill.  It was totally by coincidence that I came across a sign of yours.  I had never really practiced yoga but had heard good things about it.  The long hours in airports and on planes had taken their toll on my body.  My entire back was painfuly stiff from the neck all the way down my spine and I was feeling mentally drained.
I am still amazed when I think back at the two nights and three days you allowed me to be there at Parito.  With every hour I spent with you I could feel my body and spirit recharge.
But my stay with you was much more than an immediate remedy.  Although I have left Aotearoa last year to follow my heart to the US, my (now) husband's homeland, I carry my experience at Parito with me in my heart.  I practice yoga several times a week and live a mostly vegan and raw foods lifestyle.  In my meditations I frequently return to Parito.  
One Day I hope to return to Parito.
You have created such a special place and I am so grateful I was able to learn more about it.  Thank you for sharing your practices and teaching me about the beautiful ways to live life.
Danke, Kia Ora.
(Offered 30 June 2011 in an email)
Felicity (Northland)
Personal Yoga and Meditation Retreats over 2009 and 2010
In October 2009, a lovely neighbour mentioned a place she had found for her son to go for a retreat.  I had looked at many retreat options myself acknowledging that I needed a boost in my life.  As soon as I looked at Parito Yoga Retreat on the web, I knew instantly that this was the one for me.
Having done very little yoga and meditation in the past, Parito proved to be the perfect introduction to these tools that would help shape my life to come.  Atmavidya's grace, gentleness, intuition, guidance and insight of your personal needs (that far surpass your own) is amazing to experience.  Pete's cooking is wonderful and just what my body was calling out for.  He is also very humorous.  18 Months have passed and I now incorporate beautiful yoga practices into my life that lift anxiety and limitations.  The world expands as I do whilst exploring further yoga study.  New Zealand is blessed to have Atmavidya and Pete at Parito.  
(Offered April 2011 after general request to ex-Parito guests in e-newsletter from Parito to share any outcomes of their experience at Parito)
Katie (USA)
Mindful Sustainable Retreat (April 2010)
Dear Atmavidya and Pete,
I am in Indonesia, guiding an educational travel program for American College students.  I have been teaching toga to my students and have recommended Parito to several of my freinds who may be in NZ next year.  I hope that you will meet some f them.  I have the fondest memoris of my stay at Parito.  I hope that i can visit again one day.  Wishing you all the best.
 Lesley (Waikato)
Personal Yoga and Meditation Retreat (August 2009)
Hi Atmavidya and Pete
Hope you are well. I have been meaning to email you since our exclusive retreat to thank you for a wonderful weekend. For days afterwards I would often find myself singing or just smiling to myself. I initiated a routine of getting up early to do some yoga and meditation which proved to be an excellent way of beginning my day. 

The kids are loving the buckwheat and banana pancakes (an almost daily ritual) I have also discovered chopped dates work well if we are out of bananas. They are getting used to kitchree and ask for a blessing at meal time and we have been enjoying a reading or poem together at dinner too. The fruit trees and lavendar have been planted and I practice my karma yoga at every opportunity (with mixed success:). I also joined hamilton organic gardening society this week and signed up on Oooby.

So as you can see our retreat with you has has many positive effects on my life. There are many more but I mustn't go on. Life hasn't become suddenly perfect but I feel I have a better kit of tools to draw on when the mood swings or tiredness strike. I hope to join you for another retreat perhaps later in the year.

Thanks again and love to you both.
Carol (Waiheke)
Personal Yoga and Meditation Retreat (July 2009) 
I came to your retreat hoping to realign my sleep patterns.  Since being there my sleep has been going really well, so much better, and I am so thankful for the space and heart you provided to enable me to heal myself.  
Also, Atmavidya, the advice you gave me about my back seems to be working.  I noticed after the retreat that even when I walk, I lean forward slightly and over the years that has led to the slight sciatic twinges I was getting.  Now I walk straighter and in yoga postures, I sit as recommended and I haven't had that back pain.
Two amaaaaaazing gifts!
Edith (Whaingaroa/Raglan)
Be Silent and Know YourSelf Retreat (February 2009)
Edith is a reporter for the Raglan Chronicle who attended this Retreat in January 2009 and wrote the following article for the paper:
The quiet life at an idyllic coastal retreat
Parito Coastal Yoga Retreat sits high on a hill at Ruapuke, overlooking a vast expanse of ocean with Gannet Island on the horizon. The view from its wraparound deck is breathtaking, the silence promises peace and tranquillity.
Breath and peace are perhaps intrinsic to Parito – a Maori word meaning to be in touch with new beginnings – which offers yoga, meditation and “mindful living” to its guests who come from all walks of life and distant parts of the country.
They’re certainly important to the five of us who gather there one recent weekend for a  Be Silent and Know Yourself retreat. Mouna or sacred silence will be practised for much of the weekend, from the Friday night until Sunday noon, to create a bit of mind space in our busy lives.
It’s an interesting concept and something of a challenge to a talker like me.
For Parito’s hosts Atmavidya and Pete Schon, who call themselves the caretakers of the land, it’s another chance to share a lifestyle dedicated to “living simply and sustainably”.
They say they aspired to the natural lifestyle a long time ago, in the mid 70s,  got close to it in some places, and now finally have found it in the idyll they have created at Ruapuke. 
The five acre block is formerly a cattle run-off, and the couple have worked hard to bring it back to health over several years. Now, says Pete, we can   “share its abundance”. Pete mainly prepares the retreat’s organic vegetarian meals while Atmavidya – an accredited Satyananda teacher – leads the yoga/meditation practices.
The garden and orchard, based on permaculture principles, are a flourishing mass of every conceivable fruit and vegetable. “Quite a wilderness”, says Pete, who explains that companion planting and encouraging beneficial insects is all part of the plan. It’s labour intensive, he admits, and the reason he’s now given up his other work, most recently as a glazer for Raglan potter Tony Sly.
Atmavidya – or Pamela, as she was known before taking on her guru-given name – has also pulled out of mainstream working life. A few years back she worked as a lecturer in teacher education at Waikato University,  but now she devotes her time and energy solely to their alternative lifestyle at Parito.
Together they’ve created their own piece of paradise. A small stream surrounded by regenerating bush runs through the land, a home-made waterwheel “that really works” provides irrigation and two Buff Orpington ducks called Tajas and Sara waddle and quack companionably about, producing an egg each a day for half the year or so.
The duck eggs plus fruit and veges from their land provide our healthy, creatively cooked meals the entire weekend.  And the wholemeal pancakes, with all the trimmings, served up at Sunday breakfast are simply superb.
“Kai prepared in this kitchen is prepared as Prasad (prepared with the intention to uplift the good, the beauty and truth within another),” reads a motto on the wall. And you just know you’ve been offered not only healthy food but nourishment for both body and soul.
Pete and Atmavidya’s home is warm and welcoming. Built of recyled and eco-friendly materials, it has large windows for passive light and heat, while four solar panels provide power and water heating. A thriving worm farm processes all household wastes.
As Pete says of the worms in the main tank underneath the house, “they’re eating everything very happily”. And as long as only plant-based materials go through the system, they’ll continue to do so.
We guests at the retreat are equally happy. For me, it’s time out – to focus on practices not entirely alien in my world but certainly not everyday, and to observe a different, almost monastic, lifestyle without the clutter of the rat-race. I like the space and beauty, enhanced with candles and incense, around me. It feels a privilege to be here a while.
“Feel the joy and peace of silence,” (the words of Swami Sivananda) says another simple motto on the windowsill. And that’s why we’re on this silent retreat – for “fasting the mind” allows connection with the inner self. 
Atmavidya encourages us all, near the end of our rejuvenating weekend, to take stock and do what she calls not the swot but the swan analysis – the letters standing for strengths, weaknesses, ambitions and needs rather than the strength, weakness, opportunities and threats of the business-world acronym.   It all seems so appropriate in a beautiful  environment far removed from the cut and thrust of the commercial world.
 Published in Raglan Chronicle, January 2009 
Irena Ateljevic (Netherlands)
Personal Yoga and Meditation Retreat (December 2008)
If you are tired and exhausted by the endless rat race and you need time and space to stop and think; to reflect; to rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit Parito Yoga resort is THE place to do it. let me tell you about my experience. I arrived from europe fully jet lagged, my body 'violated' by narrow aircarft seat; my stomach spoiled by airplane food and these magical people brought me back to life in just 5 days. You arrive at their magical place in full lush green bush and nearby beach of 2km that you can have completely to yourself. They look after you, they cook for you; while at the same time they let you be. They are utmostly and fully dedicated to sustainable living and healing of people and earth. They cook by using all ingredients from their garden; they make their own honey; they make your bath from which you can see the Ruapuke bay; they even provide you with eco shampoos so they don't spoil earth with anything chemical!! How magical and how encouraging that we can create sustainable Earth after all and that there are people who work on that. The place is superbly clean; there are only 2 rooms so max 4 people can stay at the same time (there are 2 bathrooms to share). Yoga classes are superb and given with special personal attention. You can also experience silence meditation which I warmly recommend because it does bring you in touch with yourself. Honestly, I got seriously changed there and have re-entered the outside work with new presence and new self-awarenes. I truly and warmly recommend it (I'm an academic by profession so please trust me as I would be critical if there would be anything to be critical of). Enjoy. You gonna love it.
Posted by Irena Ateljevic on Organic Explorer Website (
2008-12-11 18:14:59 
Maryann (Whaingaroa/Raglan)
Vegetarian Cooking Workshop and one night and day of Retreat (November 2008)
Since my last experience at Parito Retreat and the cooking class has helped me to chose healthy options to aid in nuturing myself especially in times of challenging work loads. It was one of the best investments and I am glad you introduced me to the techniques of meditation, nuturing self and taking time out in the beautiful surroundings and animals. During that short time at the Parito Retreat, I was able to gain clarity and recharge my batteries to make lifestyle changes. Today I have made changes in time management, happier, confidence and having a creative lifestyle. 
I plan to return to the retreat as I had an amazing experience and thoroughtly enjoyed the rest in the beautiful surroundings and the peacefulness. 
Stephanie (Canada):
Mindful Sustainable Living Option (April 2008)
The time I shared with Atmavidya and Pete at Parito was simply amazing.  Every part of the experience was an opportunity to learn and grow.
I arrived at Parito after having met a young woman who had just come from there.  I had no prior knowledge of the Satyananda system of yoga; however, after listening to the experiences of the prior resident, I knew there was no alternative but to contact Atmavidya and arrange a stay!
The retreat centre truly is about retreating.  Not retreating from oneself, rather retreating from the busyness and distractions of many external environments in order to better look inward and seek clarity and development of your higher, truer self.  Further, the space that is given to do this at Parito provided me with a renewed awareness that I have since applied in all aspects of daily life.
The amazing energy and dedication that Atmavidya and Pete have put into developing Parito give residents an experience of what Satyananda yoga is and can be. From daily yoga, meditation, and relaxation practices to karma yoga and self study, Parito recognizes Satyananda yoga as a lifestyle.
My experiences at Parito varied, but were all "just right." At times I struggled to overcome habitual emotional reactions, particularly after making "mistakes", while other times I felt very uplifted.  Overall, I felt filled with the beautiful light and energy of Om and was re-energized and aware of myself.
Since leaving Parito I have deepened my yoga practices and journey on my spiritual path. This path was illuminated for me at Parito and I am grateful for the experiences and energy shared with Atmavidya, Pete, and all of those who have given their beautiful energy to Parito.
Hari Om!
Emma (UK)
Mindful Sustainable Living Option (March 2008)
Why I came: To take part in a meditation day/workshop and stay for a night, ended up staying 3 weeks!! Something kept pulling me in!
Challenges: Staying focused during karma yoga, watching and observing the mind, deep emotions that were released during and through meditations and dreams. Dealing with certain desires that arose whilst watching the mind.
Overcome: By trusting in the universe/myself, by having great support when needed and time to chat and reflect on experiences. By just persevering with it and realising this period of time was a healing time for me. The bad had to come out before the new could arise!
Valuable in my time: Realising my potentials in life, brought out the child in me!! A chance to put things into perspective in my life, feel so much clarity and achievement! Spending time at the beach on my own dancing and singing to my hearts content!! A feeling of peace, in finding all I had been searching for, for so long which was reached by stilling my mind and realising its all within!And  finding that anything is possible when you put your mind to it.
Helped in my life: Inspiring others to consider a yogic lifestyle, staying calm, present and positive, appreciation, trusting in the universe, building complete faith in my life, and feeling a sense of letting go (especially of the ego). Opening of so many new possibilities, inner strength and wisdom, feeling of slowing down in my life, and carrying on with a healthy lifestyle. And now I intend to be a yoga teacher!! So many positive new changes in my life ever increasing!
Contact Jenny on +64 (07) 825 8993 if you wish to organise a Retreat. 



Nautilus shell

Parito Coastal Yoga Retreat

+64 (07) 825 8993

1574 Whaanga Road, RD2 Ruapuke, Raglan, New Zealand

For a map of the area click here

top of page

Nautilus shell