Parito Coastal Yoga Retreat

Weaving in the Indigenous Maori Tradition


He honore he kororia ki Te Atua
He maungarongo ki Te Whenua
He whakaaro pai ki ngaatangata katoa


Acknowledgements to the Great Creator, the Source of all things, may Peace extend over all the land and may the Good and True emanate from all people. Acknowledgments also to Sky Father and Earth Mother and each of their children and grandchildren. Greetings to all of those who have passed on and to those who are blessed to share this home, here on Earth, together.


It is a natural response of human beings to create, with the Great Creator. As the realisation of the incredible Greatness within each of us begins to dawn, the aspiration to express our creativity and to give of the gifts with which we are born, begins to unfold.


The calling to work with harakeke was in Atmavidya's bones from a young age. She remembers making small mats with her brothers and sisters as they grew up near the ocean at Wainui, Turanganui-a-Kiwa (Gisborne). When she moved to Raglan in her forties, her neighbour Te Kaahurangi Maioha, showed her how to correctly cut the harakeke (flax) and make a kete. From this time, she was able to reach into her environment, come to know this wonderful friend (Harakeke/flax) who lived so close to her, and work with Harakeke to help take care of the environment and also create beautiful, natural and useful things for others.


Atmavidya went on to learn to weave through her studies with Te Waananga O Aotearoa and has completed two years of her Diploma in Raranga (Toi Paematua). Her incredible teacher, Heeni Kerekere is from Turanganui a Kiwa. Some of Heeni's work appears in a book called 'The Eternal Thread: Te Aho Mutunga Kore: The art of Maaori Weaving' by Miriama Evans and Ranui Ngarimu. Heeni exhibited the piece that is photographed in this book in the United States a couple of years ago. Heeni's kaiako was Erenora Puketapu Hetet, whose Husband is a Hetet from Ngati Maniapoto, related to the legendary weaver from Te Kuiti, Dame Rangimarie Hetet. Erenora has written a book called 'Maori Weaving'. In this book and in the Eternal Thread book, you can see some of Erenora's work. Sir Peter Buck who has written lots on weaving, esteems Dame Rangimarie as the best weaver ever, alongside one other.


It is from this esteemed tradition that Atmavidya has been blessed with weaving knowledge given by the ancestors. Her gratitude goes out to her teacher Heeni and each of her teacher's teachers.


Kete Honohono ki Te Atua 

This kete was made for a dear friend and visionary kaumatua for Tainui who has now passed on. His name is Fred Kana. The kete was made for his 60th birthday. The series of three kete use a pattern created by Atmavidya using a modified Niho Taniwha pattern. The pattern portrays the experience of connectedness with the Divine in meditation, through the use of the triangular shapes. He mihi Aroha ki a koe, e Fred.


Kete 1: Dimensions 320mm long; 230mm high; 70mm deep (flat bottom)
Kete 2: Dimensions 260mm long; 180mm high; 40mm deep (flat bottom)
Kete 3: Less than half of Kete 2


Kete Maarama Rere 

The Kete Maarama Rere was created for Atmavidya's dear friend Fran who has encouraged her spiritual journey and came and took many of the photos that have been used in this website. Nga mihi Aroha ki a koe, e Fran:

Dimensions: 165mm high x 285mm wide x 40mm deep

Pattern and kaupapa (theme) of the work:

The pattern essence is patikitiki which is sourced in a number of iwi and generally has the meaning of abundant food supply (patikitiki being flounder). The energy in which the kete was made was with this kaupapa of abundance. The particular focus was on abundant and expansive vision and awareness, thus the name...Maarama Rere. (The word maarama generally means light and within the word is ma, relating to purity/whiteness and rama relating to Light). Rama is also a sanskrit word, also meaning Light, generally of the Divine. Rere is often used in relation to flight...thus, the idea of expansive Light/Vision.


He Kete Poutama 

Being connected with the visionary leadership qualities of the humble Tainui kaumatua, Fred Kana, Atmavidya explored the kaupapa of poutama as reflected in the pattern the harakeke, as she grows.


Pou is an upright pillar or support. Tama is son, child or offspring. Atmavidya discovered the work of Mitaka Ra (2004) 'Leadership of the Tainui People'. Mitaka Ra communicates in this book through the korero of Te Puea Herangi and opens her book with this quote:


"May you open your hearts to the Turangawaewae of their own dreams that you will turn homeward to them (referring to the ancestors) and open the door to the understanding of all that you are." (King Tawhaio).


This work inspired Atmavidya as she saw the intimate link between our indigenous heritage of Maaori of Aotearoa and the ancient teachings of yoga. The essence of Te Puea's living of leadership is based on qualities of humility, faith and service to others and this is the type of leadership that Atmavidya is inspired by.


This kete and the following one carry the energy of this inspiring korero/vision.


In February 2009 Atmavidya and Pete's son Ben and his partner Nicole were married on the beach at Ruapuke. A ceremonial mat was prepared for this occasion.


Whariki Tauira

Dimensions: 800mm x 800mm

Kaupapa: Learning as an upward eternal moving process

The Whariki Tauira was created to help learn how to make the joins between each section of the mat and to learn how to make the sides even. This whariki was given to Jane Ritchie who carried out the marriage ceremony for Ben and Nicole.


Whaariki Takapau 


This whaariki takapau (ceremonial mat) was created to celebrate the commitment our son Ben and partner Nicole made to journeying through life together.


A modified pouhine pattern (which originated with the Herewini whanau of Torere) was used to highlight the pathways walked by Ben and Nicole. The pouhine pattern acknowledges the gifts of the feminine energy and like the poutama pattern which represents masculine energy, the pattern embodies the upward stepping movement of learning in life. The pattern also embraces qualities essential to leadership that can make a difference in the lives of others ... humility and service sourced in Aroha/Love.


Whanau (or family) and friends (some of whom are with us today and also those in spirit) who journey with these young people, sharing, supporting, guiding, assisting and sometimes challenging, are also represented. Connectedness to earth and environment is symbolised by the earthy colour whenu (strips) running in sections behind the pouhine pattern. A quality of union is represented by white whenu (strips of flax) that run underneath and through the whole mat and all that is represented within it. This connecting quality is the great presence of Love and Life that connects all things. May this great thread of Love join these two people forever.


Some images in the creation





Other Creations



He mihi Aroha ki a koe, e Harakeke

(Acknowledgements of love and gratitude to you Harakeke)


Opportunities for learning with harakeke:


Yoga and Meditation with Harakeke Retreat

This Retreat gives space to experience a life-style that can enhance well-being of body, mind and spirit through practices of yoga, meditation and raranga (weaving in the indigenous tradition).


Learn some techniques during this Retreat to expand connectedness with harakeke and discover your capacity to expand inner strength and flexibility by learning to work with harakeke through traditional practices of raranga given to Atmavidya by her teacher, Heeni Kerekere.  Also practice some simple, nurturing yoga and meditation practices (postures, breathing and deep relaxation).  



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Parito Coastal Yoga Retreat

+64 (07) 825 8993

1574 Whaanga Road, RD2 Ruapuke, Raglan, New Zealand

For a map of the area click here


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SATYANANDA YOGA - Affilliate SYAA 013616