The Lady behind the LOVE - our own Wilhemeena


We wanted to say something about Wilhemeena - because - quite honestly - where would we all be without her?

One of our beautiful SOUL Tribe Liz Brookes said it quite simply

Thanks for creating SOUL - you have saved mine
— Liz Brookes

And we agree - SOUL is a legacy - it has survived over a decade and created, helped, inspired and quite literally “saved” a bunch of our SOULS along the way. It wouldn’t have happened without Wilhemeena.

Wilhemeena has been serving the arts and wellbeing communities for over 25 years. Starting as a dance artist and choreographer with a decade of practice. In 2015 she founded SOUL CENTRE – the first centre for kinesthetic and somatic education in NZ (it is still the only one!) It is a place where people can come and learn the latest human technologies alongside ancient and sacred practices that have been lost in the modern fast-paced world.


This is not just a yoga studio, but a place where you can find alternative practices alongside your vinyasa class and personal training. Things like qi gong, cacao meditation, shamanic sound journeying – learning to become a movement therapist, a somatic educator, a shin yoga teacher (  - Wilhemeena developed this too) a biodynamic cranio-sacral therapist – yes we know it is a mouthful – but it really does work!


Wilhemeena is passionate about bringing embodiment and somatic based practices to a wider populace. She has dedicated her life, her life savings and her (very energetic) life force to creating wellness and healing for as many people as she can muster.


“As we look after ourselves we remember that we are a part of the whole – the wholeness of our humanness and the wholeness of the earth of which we are a part – as we heal ourselves we heal the whole system.” she says.


Next year the centre will be launching it’s very own SOUL Somatics training programme a 3 month intensive programme which encompasses holistic massage, cranio-sacral therapy, chi kung and embodied anatomy. – Training therapists in the very unique style that Wilhemeena has created over her 25 years of embodiment practice.


The centre is dedicated as organic, sustainable and regenerative in its practices and ethos, and even supports young dance artists with subsidized studio hire and has created management internships, where people can come and work and study with Wilhemeena and take the learning back to their own communities. In this way she is bridging the arts, sustainability and wellbeing – “It’s all about wholistic being” she says


Since founding SOUL CENTRE, Wilhemeena has also founded SOUL RETREATS, SOUL WELLBEING AT WORK, SHIN YOGA, and a charitable trust THE SOUL TRUST, which is raising funds to create a retreat centre for all these amazing SOULful adventures things to be housed in.


In her spare time Wilhemeena is a leader in the corporate wellness sector and facilitates yoga, massage and wellness programs for selected businesses throughout New Zealand, and has lectured for the Sustainable Business Network and the NZ Department of Labour on Workplace Wellness.

She has facilitated workshops and classes in association with the Auckland District Health Board for Community Mental Health Facilities and in private dual-diagnosis programmes and has facilitated children's therapeutic groups for children in trauma at Starship hospi

Willa is one of the most kind, giving and intelligent people that I am honoured to call a friend and colleague. She has aided the transformation of so many people’s lives in New Zealand through championing best practice somatic health initiatives as an incredible resource for not only the Titirangi community but also for the entire body mind spirit/yoga/dance community throughout New Zealand. She has hosted literally thousands of workshop participants over the last ten+ years by supporting local teachers and international teachers on the brink of new innovative modalities. She has often self- funded workshops from her own health clinic practice and subsidised people who haven’t been able to afford workshops and classes. She has worked tirelessly in the background over the years to create an incredible sense of community for people wishing to really up their own health outcomes and the benefits of her great work radiate out throughout New Zealand and the world. I can’t speak highly enough of her.
— Dr Jaqs Clarke

Wilhemeena is making a difference and creating positive change by simply being herself. She leads by example. For each individual she meets she does her best to be present moment to moment. She shows up for herself and for her community and in doing so has created a legacy of people touched by her grace and magic.

Thanks to SOUL and to Willa, I am now the person I always wanted to be!

From the moment I walked into SOUL, I felt it was a very special place. I had been told by at least three or four people that “the lady there is very special” and “they do the best remedial massages I’ve ever had” so I was aware of SOUL’s importance in the community. “That lady” turned out to be Willa, the amazing director, and heart and soul of SOUL.

My SOUL journey began with Shin Yoga classes post surgery for colon cancer aged 33, and from there I have been blessed enough to experience deep emotional healing with Willa’s transformational sessions; with many wonderful classes SOUL offers and meeting many other amazing people, healers, artists and making wonderful friends along the way. But the most valuable and precious thing for me has been my learning from Willa, as she graciously shared her incredible knowledge and wisdom with me. I am quite literally a completely different person now, and I can actually say I really enjoy life, rather than just struggling through each day. Willa does an extraordinary amount of things, day in and day out, and keeps SOUL running to be here as a haven and a healing place for people of all walks of life, and yet she always, always has time to answer your questions and guide you in any way she can. She does this in a completely non-judgmental way.

SOUL is an incredible and unique space. I’ve visited many yoga studios but never been in such a lovely one, with gorgeous surroundings and birdsong. It really is blissful. Thanks to SOUL and to Willa, I am now the person I always wanted to be!
— Belinda Silk

Positive change means taking action, showing up in our own lives and in the lives of others to our fullest capacity” says Willa, “it’s the everyday moments that make the difference”.


Over the last 13 years of running SOUL, Wilhemeena has touched the lives of thousands of people, her centre has seen well over 75,000 people through it’s doors, she has personally treated over 5000 people and her classes have had over 52,000, these are just the ones she has managed to count, with much more turning up day by day. 


Her vision doesn’t stop here though, even with a beautiful centre on the outskirts of Auckland, several transformational retreats every year to tropical and far off places (including Samoa, Tonga, Bali, Nepal, Peru – to name a few) and workshops worldwide Wilhemeena has been cooking up a new poetry book to raise funds for a special piece of land to build a retreat centre so she can reach more people. “It’s important to have a place where people (especially in cities) can have time out, away from their everyday lives.” She says, “I want to create a place where I can work with people one on one over several days – I can’t begin to tell you how transformative that will be,” she says. “Some people need a longer time to let healing settle, and it takes some people a few days to even unwind from our fast-paced lives and slow down to earth pace – this is the pace of healing.”


Wilhemeena is a member of ISMETA, the leading international somatics association, a member of Yoga Alliance and amongst the other numerous trainings and certifications she has done she has racked up a powerful concoction of leading edge modalities. In 2015 she was awarded an Arts Venture scholarship, a prestigious award for leading arts entrepreneurs in Auckland.


If you want to keep an eye on where you can find her – check out her website or


You will be lucky if you can get your hands on her – or even better get her to get her hands on YOU!

 If you would like to contribute to this ongoing legacy of SOUL - we are looking for very special people to join our legacy tribe. For more information contact willa on