The Long Story

Thank you for being curious!

(This is the long story. The executive summary is here!)


Nuweiba Desert, Egypt, October 2011.

Nuweiba Desert, Egypt, October 2011.

My name is Yaisa Nio.

Though my looks may suggest otherwise, Yaisa is not an Asian name. According to my mother, it is of Gambian origin. Google however, is rather fuzzy about it. Oh well, ultimately I don’t think it matters where the name comes from. I have felt at home in many places around the world. My utopia would be a world without borders.

Currently, my home base is in South Australia, in the Fleurieu Peninsula.

Born in The Netherlands from Chinese-Indonesian parents, I grew up moving from country to country.

Even during holidays, we travelled incessantly. Inheriting my parents’ thirst for discovery, I continued exploring the world on my own from the age of sweet 16. Living in different continents taught me to appreciate a diversity of cultures. I learned to speak several languages. From a very young age, I was already aware that the world was bigger than what I could see.

However, until the age of 33, the main priorities in my materialistically prosperous and exuberant life were rather superficial.

It was all about climbing the corporate career ladder, partying hard and spending all my money. I loved it and I still look back upon fantastic memories.

At a certain point however, my passion for yoga, health and food came into the picture.

Well, the food passion was always there actually.

Frankly, quality and quantity of food have always been a priority in my life. I will eat everything and anything, or at least give it a try. I have my family’s Asian background to thank for that.

My lust for healthy foods however, followed my growing interest in yoga.

Family lunch in Taiwan, June 2011.

Family lunch in Taiwan, June 2011.

In 2006 in wandered into a gym in Singapore. Although I was only 32 years old, I was leading a typical modern-day, sedentary office life. I was looking for a place to work out my gradually fattening and stiffening body.  I started with some work-outs on the machines until I noticed they offered yoga classes.

My first yoga class marked the beginning of a long journey that has nowhere near ended yet.

It stills brings new discoveries, every time I get on that mat. There have been frustrated break-ups with the practice, followed by happy reunions. I have learned many, many life lessons from this simple thing called breath.

I eventually took a one year sabbatical from my corporate career and went from banker to beach bum.

Featuring in the El Gouna Magazine, diving in Egypt, October 2008.

I started working as a diving instructor in Egypt. A year later, l was working in the Maldives on a boat and never looked back.

The pleasure of working in and on the ocean with the corals reefs as my backyard largely made up for the lack of big bucks and important titles.

I met and eventually married Stefano, an Italian diving instructor. He is so different from me that I sometimes still wonder how he manages to put up with me.

Yet together, we embarked on the journey of our life. We migrated to Australia and finally settled down after years of roaming around the world.

I discovered the other love of my life in 2010 in Egypt: Ashtanga yoga. I knew instantly that this was to become my personal practice. It fit me and my lifestyle to a T.

Since then, I have studied and practiced with several amazing KPJAYI certified and authorised Ashtanga teachers such as Prem & Radha, Dylan Bernstein, Regina Ehlers and Youngblood Roche.

Ashtanga Yoga Bali Resource Centre

Ashtanga Yoga Bali, February 2015

In 2015, I unfortunately had to put my Ashtanga practice on hold due to a shoulder injury sustained in a scooter accident. For a good giggle, ask me for the long version of that story!

Recovering from the injury taught me patience and humility, requiring a softer style of yoga.

Yin and restorative yoga entered my personal life. I had studied these styles during my 200-hour multi-style Yoga Teacher Training with Trimurti Yoga in Goa in 2014. Now they are part of my daily practice and my teachings. They have greatly supported me on my road to recovery.

In 2016, I graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition® to become a Health Coach. This helped deepen my knowledge about the lifestyle choices available to lead a healthy and happy existence.

Today, I continue to learn about the importance of balance. I try to listen closely to my body. I make conscious efforts to feed myself with the right fuel. And not only in terms of food. Also our relationships, our work, our physical activity and our spiritual practice define how healthy we feel.

I teach yoga and practice yoga. I coach people who are determined to improve their health without relying solely on pharmaceuticals. I experiment in my vegetable garden and try to make products at home rather than to buy them in the supermarket. I try to listen more. To myself, to the people around me, to nature.

Recently, I have combined my health coaching practice with my yoga experience, running Health Coaching Programs for people living with chronic conditions.

If you are in need of something very specific or are looking for private guidance, let me know. Together we can figure out which combination of yoga, health coaching, meditation or breathing techniques you need.

If you would like to connect with me, don’t hesitate. I look forward to hearing from you.

~ Yaisa Nio ~