Donna Wikio (Founder & Director)

Donna has been teaching since 2006 and founded Hot Yoga Dunedin in August 2009.

Her first introduction to yoga was with her mother when she was 12. She remembers feeling a sense of calm and stillness afterwards and continued to seek these feelings throughout high school and university.

In her 20s she worked as a model, in hospitality and travelled a lot. It was a tumultuous time and she would always find a local yoga studio wherever she was to try and remain calm amongst the storm! She enjoyed Iyengar for it’s precision and discovered Jivamukti in New York which was vigorous and sweaty – two things she had never before associated with yoga!

After the birth of her first son Kaia she was living in Wellington and bored with the gym stretch class. She found a flyer that said ‘Hot body cool mind’ and out of curiosity attended her first Original hot yoga class. It was a real struggle at the time, however walking home afterwards she felt light and free, both physically and mentally, she was hooked!

In 2006 Donna completed an intensive 9 week training with Nikki Knoff. This training covered Iyengar and Astanga styles of yoga and included philosophy, chanting, meditation and anatomy. Despite the rigours of this training Donna maintained her Original hot practice the whole time.

She moved to Queenstown soon after and began teaching at Studio Sangha Queenstown, a mixed yoga style studio. In 2008 after the birth of her second son Zion, Donna plucked up the courage to attend Bikram (Original hot yoga) Teacher training in Mexico and has never looked back.

Donna has since trained in the Advanced Series, Yin Yoga, Trauma Informed Yoga and is also a certified Inferno Hot Pilates teacher.

Donna loves what yoga has done for her mind and body and feels honoured to teach what she loves. As well as managing the studio, Donna also co-leads local and international retreats.

She looks forward to seeing you on the mat soon!