- workshops & retreats -


Below are details of upcoming workshops and retreats that Jonathan / Openbreath are assisting to coordintate.  Please use the contact form at the bottom of the page to register your interest or enquire about further detail.

All Events

Below is a complete list of Openbreath events, past and future. 


Film Screening, Suter Theatre, Nelson

December 17, 2019

Join us for this very special one-off screening of:



Year: 2019

Genre: Documentary - Health & Wellbeing

Classification: Check the classification

Producer: Emma Balnaves

Director: Emma Balnaves

When: screening commences at 18:18 on 18 December!

Tickets and trailer - https://tickets.demand.film/event/9403



Offering an experiential collage of action and stillness, light and darkness, sound and silence, AGNIYOGANA explores the richness of traditional Hatha Yoga teachings. AGNIYOGANA takes the viewer on a journey through time and space to rediscover the inner dimensions of Hatha Yoga and the true meaning of “yuj,” (yoga). Our documentary film begins with a visual and aural initiation. The journey inward then explores the key requirements of Hatha Yoga: Firmness of mind; the importance of faith; the necessity of a qualified teacher; skillful moderation; the methods to restrain the senses; and the practice of universal equanimity. Throughout the film we examine the microcosm of the internal self in relation to the macrocosm of the elements, seasons, time of day, and other external forces of nature. The narrative is woven together through commentary, wisdom, and insight from those who continue to uphold and live by the ancient ways of yoga. Throughout, AGNIYOGANA offers rarely seen glimpses of traditional Hatha Yoga practices as expressed by modern day yogins. AGNIYOGANA is a meditation.




From the Filmmaker:


"The idea of making this film evolved over the last ten

years as I witnessed widespread confusion around the term

“Yoga.” I saw the great potential of a film that illuminated

yoga’s original traditions and holistic practices through the

words and experiences of authentic practitioners..."




About OpenBreath.org


Openbreath.org was founded by Jonathan Chambers (Trinley Gyalpo, based in Nelson, NZ) as a vehicle for passing on authentic teachings related to healing and awakening. More detail here: www.openbreath.org

Embodied Presence

4 Classes with Jonathan, Starting 14 November 2019

November 13, 2019


Thursday 5:45 - 7:15pm

4 Classes

Starting November 14, 2019



Yoga Jai
105 Rutherford St
Entrance opposite Hyundai (up stairs)


$20 casual attendance or
$80 for all 5 sessions if prepaid before first class.

For Information & Registration:

Contact Jonathan: info@openbreath.org

021 1860 476


The intention of these classes is to help demystify the practice of yoga, meditation and mindfulness - by bringing us in direct contact with embodied presence.

We will use gentle physical practices derived from yoga and qigong (chi-kung) to soften our experience of body.  On top of this, we will learn how to uncover, recognise and rest in the qualities of innate presence.

While we may be shaped by this world, we need not be defined by it.  By developing trust in this knowledge, we begin to uncover our essential freedom.  With this, our practice of yoga and meditation (whatever tradition we work with) can become a genuine path of awakening.

Suitable for all.

5th Annual Dzogchen Retreat at Wangapeka

With Lama Mark Webber, 18 March - 6 April 2020

March 17, 2020

The major theme for this year’s Dzogchen retreat, is the meditation on Dorje Drolö, the most secret syllable HUM practice, from the Chos Gonpo Yangzab, the Drikung Dzogchen lineage of ‘Completely Profound Enlightened Intent’.


Our intentions are at the heart of all we do, think, feel, where we go, what we say and what we become. In order to make profound and lasting changes to our intention mind—for all beings—we need to unbind and liberate deeply rooted beliefs. We need to clear away the clouds obscuring our innermost awareness. We all need a medicine that goes straight to the heart of delusion. And there we will discover pristine wisdom; the body, speech and mind of Dorje Drolö. Dzogchen practices, such as Dorje Drolö, go right to the heart: primordial, unchanging awareness. The ineffable vast expanse, displaying infinite compassionate qualities.

For more information and to register, please follow this link.

Beyond Body: Opening up the View of Yoga

With Jonathan Chambers, 17-21 July 2019, Wangapeka Retreat Centre

July 16, 2019

The word Yoga is often used to describe a posture based (asana) practice. While Asana practice is great for improving the quality of embodied experience, it is not a complete path of Yoga. If we aren’t clear about this, our practice may lead us to temporary feel-good states, but we may never develop the insight required to approach the true goal of Yoga (and Dharma): Unconditioned Freedom.

In this retreat, using breath meditation and gentle somatic practices including Yoga and Qigong, we will slow right down and contact the joy of embodiment. Contemplating Patanjali Yoga Sutras and various Buddhist teachings, we will allow our concept of Body to soften so that more subtle dimensions of Being can emerge. We will open up our View of Yoga, Meditation and Mindfulness, so whatever we choose to practice can become a pursuit of genuine Freedom.

Course Fees:

Set fee covers accommodation, materials and all meals.
In accordance with tradition, teaching is by dana / donation.

Full Course:
Weds 17 July 10am - Sunday 21 July 4pm
Member – $350 + dana
Non – $390 + dana

Weekend option:
Friday 19 July 6pm - Sunday 21 July 4pm
Member – $190 + dana
Non – $210 + dana

In accordance with Buddhist tradition, Jonathan offers the teaching of Dharma out of generosity. There will be opportunity to offer dana / donation in return, in appreciation of the teachings and to help support their continued flow. Please give as generously as you can (within your own means, of course…). As a rough guide, we suggest allowing for about NZ$30 per day, but this should be considered in light of your individual means.

If using Paypal please add 5% of the total cost and include with your payment to cover Paypal’s fees – many thanks.

Enquiries and Registration
For all enquiries, please contact Jonathan:

e: info@openbreath.org
w: www.openbreath.org
p: 021 1860 476

Or to register please fill out Wangapeka's online registration form:

About Jonathan

Jonathan has been practicing yoga, meditation and Buddha-dharma since 2003 and teaching since 2011. He began teaching Yoga under the wing of world-renowned Ashtanga teacher John Scott, and he has been given the blessing to teacher Dharma and meditation by his root teacher, Lama Mark Webber.

Jonathan has studied with many other great teachers in complementary wisdom traditions including Daoist Qigong. Jonathan has a background in earthquake engineering and music and is currently studying towards a diploma in craniosacral therapy.

He lives in Nelson, New Zealand with his partner and two young children. He integrates a full family life with a dedication to the practice and teaching of a universal path of healing and awakening.

Artwork by Milca

Ashtanga & Yin Yoga with Steph - an Everyday approach to Yoga

With Stephanie Nelson, 11-12 May, 2019, Fellworth House, Nelson

May 10, 2019

We are very excited to have Stephanie Nelson returning to Nelson on 11-12 May to give an Ashtanga & Yin Yoga workshop.:


Ashtanga & Yin Yoga with Steph - an Everyday approach to Yoga


Venue and pricing are now confirmed:


Venue: Fellworth House, 193 Milton St, Nelson. Entrance off Milton St up a long drive. Free off-street parking available part way along the drive at the base of the hill.


Fee: $100 for full course (4 sessions) or $30 per session casual attendance. Registration and pre-payment required as space is limited. Preference will be given to those registering for the full course.


Refund Policy: Full refund can be given prior to 30 April, 50% after that.


Sat 11 May: 10am-12pm

The Basics of Ashtanga Yoga - Breath, Banda, Gaze workshop using Led 1/2 Primary with options/modifications.


Sat 11 May: 2-4pm

Unwind with Yin yoga


Sun 12 May: 10am-12pm

Unlock the spine with a gentle introduction to Ashtanga intermediate series


Sun 12 May: 2-4pm

Breath and chant: Introduction to Patanjali Yoga Sutras

Unifying Mindfulness and Bodhicitta

With Lama Mark Webber, 5-8 April, 2019

April 04, 2019

Unifying Mindfulness with Bodhicitta
Friday, April 5th: 7-9 pm

Teaching, explanations and meditations on how mindfulness-attentiveness can be merged with relative and transcendent compassion (Bodhicitta). Liberating the mind requires compassion for oneself and all other beings, and increasing our capacity and strength of body, speech and mind.


Discovering Pristine Awareness (Mahamudra)
Saturday and Sunday, April 6th & 7th: 9:30-11 am & 2:30-4:30 pm

Pristine, Naked Awareness or Mahamudra is a term for our mind’s innate nature. It also describes the meditation of unbinding and non-fabrication. Mahamudra, or 'great seal’ is the view of all experience as it is—emptiness as total awakeness and compassion.


Empowerment and Meditations of Namgyal
Monday, April 8th 7-9 pm

This extraordinary three-part yoga was revealed in 1974 by the Ven. Karma Namgyal Rinpoche—Lama Mark’s principle teacher—while teaching in Peru. In Tibetan, Namgyal means victorious. The evening offers an introduction and profound meditations whereby one opens up to the complete victory of Enlightenment. We will finish with a community feast (Tsog).



$20 + dana per class for casual attendance or $80 + dana for the full course. 

Set fee covers expenses for hosting Lama Mark but the Lama gives his time & wisdom freely. Please give dana/donation/koha for Lama Mark as generously as you are able.

Teachings open to all. Registration and prepayment requested. Full attendance is encouraged. Cost should not be a barrier to anyone receiving these teachings, so please get in touch if you are unable to afford the fee.


Venue: Nelson Buddhist Centre, Nile St

For further inquiries, registration and pre-payment details

Jonathan at: info@openbreath.org

or Lara at: laracusdin@yahoo.co.nz

4th Annual Dzogchen Retreat at Wangapeka

With Lama Mark Webber, 1 - 31 March 2019

March 01, 2019

For more information and to register, please follow this link.

Heart of Yoga

With Jonathan Chambers

June 09, 2018

In this workshop we will explore three key components of the modern western presentation of Yoga: Asana, Anatomy and Philosophy. Our aim will be to extract the essence – a simple set of principles we can keep close to heart to help ensure our practice of Yoga becomes a pathway to genuine freedom and realisation.

We will weave together our explorations of body, breath and mind with a contemplation of the ‘Heart Sutra’: an essential Buddhist teaching on the nature of enlightened experience. Jonathan was first introduced to this teaching by Ashtanga Yoga teacher John Scott and has since explored it in depth under the guidance of his main teacher of meditation and inner-yoga, Lama Mark Webber. The Heart Sutra is a great support to asana practice, helping tune us into key insights which may arise as we practice on the mat.

Suitable for all levels - beginner to advanced.

Sunday 10 June, 2018


Wellness Movement


Illusion and Great Love: A one-month dzogchen retreat

With Lama Mark Webber, 6 April - 6 May

April 05, 2018

This year’s one month Dzogchen retreat with Lama Mark will be an in depth exploration of the unity of Great Love and the illusory nature of self and all experience.

Lama Mark will lead us into the retreat with a week of study, reflection and meditation on Bodhicitta, the mind of enlightenment or Great Love.

During weeks 2-4, we will continue to build off this foundation in compassion while shifting focus to the practice of Penetrative Insight, or vipassana. Lama Mark will teach and give meditations on the illusory nature of self and all phenomena. These Completion Stage Meditations with Support, are the method for cutting the root of delusion and liberating from all suffering states.

Lama Mark will bestow a number of empowerments and reading transmissions over the course of the retreat, as described in the detailed programme below. During the final week, Lama Mark will bestow the Three Roots empowerment in the Yangzab tradition to support the orderly unfolding of the unity of emptiness and luminosity (infinite expanse of compassion).

All About Bodhicitta

With Lama Mark Webber

March 29, 2018

Please join us for a rich weekend of teachings from Lama Mark Webber on the essential topics of understanding Bodhicitta, Emptiness and Tonglen (Sending and Receiving). These teachings are open to all.

Pop-up Mysore Ashtanga Class with Jonathan

With Jonathan Chambers

February 20, 2018

You're welcome to join me (Jonathan) at my first class of 2018. This is a one-off 'pop-up' class: Traditional Mysore style (self-practice) Ashtanga... 

Feel free to arrive any time between 5:30pm and 6:30pm. I'll be offering assistance till about 7:30pm.

Followed by a catch up over home-made chai (thanks to Ange!!)

$16 Casual 

Open to those practicing Vinyasa Krama under Tiffany's guidance too!

Stay tuned into the Facebook page to learn more about what Jonathan has been up to, and the new dimensions his teachings / offerings are set to expand into this year...

September AYC Workshop / Fundraiser

With Tiffany Fleetwood-Bird and Jonathan Chambers

September 23, 2017

Ashtanga Yoga Collective is excited to announce that this months AYC workshop will be held in association with the Trini Foundation (trinifoundation.org), a non-profit organisation dedicated to bringing the practice of Ashtanga yoga to those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.

All proceeds from this event will be passed on to the Trini Foundation to support the amazing work they do to increase awareness and understanding surrounding substance abuse and offer hope to those who are suffering. 

The session will begin with a Led Moon Sequence with Tiffany and conclude with a guided meditation on Compassion with Jonathan. Suitable for all! The moon sequence was developed by Matthew Sweeney and is a complementary practice to traditional Ashtanga.

Suggested Donation: $20 (cash only please)
Date: Sunday 24 September
Venue: Wellness Movement, 121 Trafalgar Level 2 (entrance off New St)
Time: 3-5pm (please arrive 15 mins early)
Contact: tiffanyfbird@hotmail.com
Pre-registration not essential, but appreciated!


With Jonathan Chambers, 4-6 August, 2017

August 03, 2017

Yoga and Meditation are so much more than techniques for calming the body and mind (though that is a good start!). Simply put, their ultimate purpose is to unravel the very fabric of self-experience… to reveal the true nature of this profound mystery we call life. In this weekend workshop we will explore this theme through contemplation, meditation, and gentle somatic practices including yoga. Drawing primarily from the Buddhist teachings of the Mahayana (Great Vehicle), we will identify the key threads to pull in order to initiate this unravelling/awakening process, and deepen our understanding of how the process unfolds. Suitable for all.

Ashtanga Yoga: Led Full Primary

With Jonathan Chambers

April 29, 2017

This month's Ashtanga Yoga Collective workshop will be a led full primary series practice. Jonathan will introduce the Sanskrit count ("ekam inhale....") as a method for focusing the mind and deepening into the practice - a technique he received from his teacher John Scott.


With Chani Grieve

April 05, 2017

Moving from the Heart unravels the Body. Unfolding the Body frees the Heart. This day retreat will explore the natural process of unfolding that takes place when we deeply inhabit the body. Through gentle but profound movements, using the power of awareness, we will feel and move our way into groundedness, dignity and open-hearted ease. This will be a day of deepening into the spirit of friendly enquiry and wholehearted presence, through mindful movement, guided meditation and metta heart practice. Chani Grieve has been passionately exploring meditation and body-centred modalities for over 12 years. She works as a Feldenkrais Practitioner offering classes, workshops and residential retreats in Australia and New. All welcome! *About Dana : Following in the tradition of her teachers, Chani offers these workshops for no set fee. Dana is the practice of giving from the heart. Your generosity allows Chani to continue this work and is deeply appreciated.


With Jonathan Chambers

January 28, 2017

Many people practice yoga (including Ashtanga) as a purely physical exercise.  While this intent will produce wonderful benefits for the body – eg: flexibility, strength & resilience – there are deeper dimensions to the practice which offer even greater potential for transforming our lives! In this workshop we will explore: ​ How to transform your Ashtanga practice into a moving meditation so as to unlock the door to other ‘limbs’ / dimensions of Ashtanga Yoga. What meditation and mindfulness practices are really all about – how they work, how they can benefit daily life, their ultimate purpose and signs that you are progressing. How to establish a seated meditation practice as a wonderful complement to your practice ‘on the mat’. Suitable for all – from those with a burgeoning interest in yoga, mindfulness or meditation through to established practitioners. Pre-booking essential!


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March 24, 2017

At the invitation of the Nelson Buddhist community, Lama Mark Webber will be returning to Nelson this Saturday to give a public Dharma talk. He will be offering heartfelt advice on how to unfold the progressive stages of meditation and uncover the pristine awareness that is our true nature. Please bring along any related questions. This may be the last opportunity to see Lama Mark in Nelson this year, so be sure not to miss out!


Join us for a rich weekend of teachings from Lama Mark Webber on the essential topics of Taking Refuge and Generating Bodhicitta: the outer, inner, secret and suchness aspects of the practices found with in the Nyingma-Dzogchen Preliminary Liberating Instructions.

February 23, 2017

Join us for a rich weekend of teachings from Lama Mark Webber on the essential topics of Taking Refuge and Generating Bodhicitta: the outer, inner, secret and suchness aspects of the practices found with in the Nyingma-Dzogchen Preliminary Liberating Instructions.

Choosing Freedom

With Jonathan Chambers, August 26-30th, 2016

August 25, 2016

Freedom is attained though a series of choices, made day by day, moment by moment.  According to the historical Buddha, absolute freedom is our birthright.  Closer than the tip of our nose, it is our natural state, and by attaining it, we serve our own best interests as well as the greater good. But in this world where stress, conflict, uncertainty and confusion are commonplace, a personal sense of freedom can be elusive and fleeting.  First we must decide to make freedom our priority.  Then, through patience, perseverance and practice, we must learn to observe how every choice we make shapes our reality, leading us nearer to or farther from our goal.  As wisdom develops, the choice becomes easier till ultimately, freedom chooses itself! In this retreat, from a foundation of Mahayana Buddhist view (aka the ‘Great Vehicle’), we will explore the nature of choice and freedom in the context of modern life through reflection, contemplation, and working with practices including meditation, mindfulness and yoga.  Suitable for all.  A weekend option is also available, but preference will be given to those attending the full retreat.

Empowerment of White Tara in the Lineage of Atisha

With Lama Mark Webber

April 16, 2016

An Empowerment and instructions into this profound and ancient meditative practice of Indian and Tibetan Buddhism. White Tara (she who liberates, she who protects from fear…) is a female Buddha relied on for meditation in all the Tibetan lineages.  Many great Yogins and Gurus have relied on this practice for realization and to extend one’s and other’s life span and energies. Her ability to break through repetitive patterns, penetrate fear states, protect from harm, heal and prolong life are legendary. 

The Heart Sutra: Heart of Dharma

With Lama Mark Webber, April 15-16

April 14, 2016

This mini-retreat consisting of four classes (approx 2 hrs each) will serve as a great introduction to the Dharma and the art and heart of Buddhist meditation. The Heart Sutra is a short summary of a great classic Mahayana teaching, studied and practiced, by thousands of people, many who have attained great realizations. This teaching points directly to the nature of Emptiness: the essence of all experience, all Dharma, all things, of full Awakeness, of compassion and the essence of most meditations.  It is a pithy and poetic meditation text and opens the door to a vast View of freedom and compassion. Lama Mark will clarify the much misunderstood concept of Emptiness and show why the term is used, its various levels of meaning and why it is at the heart of meditation, and in fact, all Buddhism.


With Lama Mark Webber

March 31, 2016

What's this iteTwo mini retreats at Wangapeka with Lama Mark Webber April 1-6 and 7-12, 2016 ​In these teachings Lama Mark will introduce an entire rich path for cutting directly through mental afflictions and bewilderment to reveal our true nature – the primordially pure, spontaneously compassionate and completely awake Nature of Mind. Known as the Great Perfection, or Dzogchen, this approach is considered by the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism to be a most direct path to full Awakening, the complete expression of the union of wisdom and compassion. The complete teachings will be given over two adjoining mini-retreats. You are welcome to attend Part 1 only, or both Part 1 and Part 2. Part 1: April 1-6, 2016: Outer and Inner Preliminaries of the Drikung Gonpo Yangzab Dzogchen First, Lama Mark will give a Drikung Yangzab Empowerment of Guru Rinpoche to open the door to this lineage’s ocean of blessings. In order to walk this path with increasing confidence, he will give detailed teachings on understanding and practice of the Yangzab Dzogchen, beautifully rich outer and inner preliminaries. This work is vital to develop merit/strength and wisdom to support the genuine realization of the Great Perfection, revealing mind’s luminous innate compassionate nature. Part 2: April 7-12, 2016 : Trekchö: “Three Statements of Garab Dorje” The second mini-retreat will introduce the teachings of Trekchö, or ‘thoroughly cutting through’, as practiced and taught in Patrul’s Rinpoche’s famous commentary of Garab Dorje’s, “Three-Statements that Strike the Vital Point”: 1) Direct introduction to one’s own nature, 2) Removal of doubt regarding this state, and 3) Confidence directly in the liberation of rising thoughts.m about? What makes it interesting? Write a catchy description to grab your audience's attention...

A Vajrasattva Retreat & Dzogchen Teachings A One-month Meditation Retreat

With Lama Mark Webber

February 25, 2023

A meditation retreat on the Tantric Vajrasattva meditation from the Drikung Yangzab Dzogchen lineage. This is a profound method of purification and medita-tion to free frozen and hidden habit patterns and reveal one’s stainless innate nature. Dzogchen (dzogs pa chen po)—Great Completion—refers to both the path of recognizing mind’s innate pristine wisdom and the full realization of Buddha-nature. The retreat will start with teachings on the Drikung Yangzab outer and inner Preliminary practic-es, including Vajrasattva. In addition, Lama Mark will give teachings on both śamatha (calm abiding) and vipaśyanā (penetrative Insight) meditations and their unity, and guide Vajrasattva meditations with emphasis on the view, meditation and conduct of the tradition of Dzogchen. There will be opportunities for interviews with the teacher. Teachings and practices in this retreat are in the lineage Padmasambhava revealed by the great Tertön Gyalwang Rinchen Phuntsog (1509–1557) of the Drikung Kagyu and passed down unbroken through to Lama Mark’s teacher Ven. Lho Ontul Rinpoche. The texts of the Drikung Yangzab Dzogchen outer and inner Preliminary practices, including Vajrasattva will be provided to retreatants. Lama Mark will be bestowing Empowerments.

Awakening Breath

With Jonathan Chambers

July 30, 2015

​An exploration of the role of the breath on the path of awakening.  Drawing from complementary traditions of yoga and buddha-dharma we will investigate the interrelationship of breath, body and mind.  Through yoga asana, pranayama, gentle bodywork and meditation we will seek to awaken the breath and discover how this unfolds to establish calm and serve as a foundation for meditative insight. Suitable for absolute beginners as well as those with a well established yoga and / or meditation practice.

Art of Vinyasa

With Stephanie Nelson

November 29, 2015

Friday Nov 20th, 5:45-7:45pm - Components of Practice Exploring the concepts of Vinyasa, Ujjayi, Bandha, Asana and Drishti in Surya Namaskar.  Followed with led Ashtanga Primary Series practice. Sat Nov 21st, 8:30-10:30am -  Mysore Practice Engaging with these ideas in the traditional  Ashtanga practice setting.  We will begin by reviewing concepts discussed in the previous session. Sat Nov 21st, 2:30-4:30pm - Transitions Looking closer at how we move between postures, jump thrus/back, core strengthening and aspects of the breath.  Closing with 'daily essentials' based on Yin yoga, a great complement to Vinyasa practice. Sun Nov 22nd, 8:30-10:30am - Mysore Practice Beginning together and looking closer at the opening and closing mantras. Steph has been practicing yoga for 20+ years and teaching locally and internationally for over 10 years.  She is the founder and director of Waiheke Island Ashtanga Yoga and The Breathing Space. She is an Experienced-RYT 500 instructor with the Yoga Alliance, and leads YA200 and YA500 registered teacher training programs.  Although she has practiced various styles of yoga, Steph’s main practice is Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and she regularly studies with senior certified Ashtanga teachers and travels to Mysore, India to study at the Shri K. Pattabhi Jois Yoga Institute. Steph loves supporting all levels of student and engages with each student individually.

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© 2015-2019 Jonathan Chambers Nelson, New Zealand

+64 21 1860 476


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