Human Design: Reflector
‘Awareness is the beginning of change.’
Born in New Zealand to a Maori father and Swiss mother, Mahara was brought up until the age of ten surrounded by a big, spiritual Maori family. When she was five, she was the first to know that her beloved great-grandfather passed away, after he had visited her in her dreams to say goodbye.
At the age of ten, the separation of her parents moved the family to Switzerland, sadly leaving her father, NZ family and friends and the comforts of home behind. Mahara holds great respect and gratitude for her mother who worked three jobs to keep the family above water and remembers the challenge of acclimatising to a new culture and language. Mahara attended Art School for a year after High School and undertook an apprenticeship as an interior designer, finding joy in expressing her artistic side, though the family still struggled financially.
At the age of nineteen, Mahara was persuaded to enter the Miss Switzerland pageant, enticed by the grand prize of a car and luxurious jobs, and to her surprise won the title in 2000. In one day she was catapulted from anonymity into fame, fortune and attended gala events and saw the world. Though this new world offered up celebrity status, glitz & glamour, Mahara struggled in her search for privacy, simplicity and realness.
After her year holding the title, she headed straight after her biggest passion - MUSIC. As a DJ.
Mahara created three compilations with Universal Music, as well as 3 of her own tracks, featured on three of the renowned Cafe del Mar Samplers.
In the face of criticism and pressure, Mahara decided to play at lounges and bars to promote herself and her CDs. She was a beginner, but wasn't able to start off small or anonymously, but she didn't give up; a few years later she was spinning records at events such as the Tony Hawk Show at the Grand Palais in Paris, and NYC Fashion Week and alongside world renowned Artists including Marc Ronson, Samantha Ronson, Rhazel, John Legend and Paul Oakenfold.
Here are some snippets of her previous work:
The Tony Hawk Show, Grand Palais Paris
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As well as spinning, Mahara modelled for several known brands, choreographed fashion shows, and hosted events & city guide TV. Her fashion sense led her to design women's gowns as well as styling for foto shoots. Here are some clothing designs by Mahara from 2004-2010.
Then everything changed, as a serious knee injury and pulmonary embolism struck Mahara, giving her the opportunity to reassess her life’s direction. She decided to end her career in the spotlight, sell everything and go backpacking for a year around the world. Starting in India, the spiritual home of yoga, Mahara embarked on a journey to find the deeper meaning in her life.
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In Rishikesh, Mahara lived a transformational month at the Kriya Yoga ashram, where she was initiated by the guru Swami Shankarananda Giri. Her daily yoga practice at the Ashram combined Meditation, Hatha Yoga, Mantra and mindfulness practice, Ayurvedic teachings and Pranayama. Although Mahara had been practicing yoga since 2005, it wasn’t until her time in India that she found the deeper meaning of yoga. On a remote island in Fiji, away from civilization, electricity and running water, Mahara experienced Samadhi (pure bliss) during meditation. It was this exact moment that she knew her life purpose was to share this path of meditation with others.
On this journey, she took a Hatha Dharma Teacher Trainer course with Chris Cotty and travelled to Bali to complete her training with Emily Kuser of High Vibe Yoga, specialising in Hatha yoga with refinements in Pranayama, Meditation and Philosophy. Here, she saw deep knowledge of unconditional love, and experienced the energy within a sacred Women’s circle, drawing her to the talented Nianna Bray’s Women’s Wisdom Teacher Trainer course in Queenstown. Through yoga, tantra, dance & rituals, Mahara attained a whole new level of understanding and appreciation of the incredibly beautiful feminine energy and continues on the path to unlock its power.
A more detailed list with all her studies can be found here.
In 2015 she opened up two beautiful yoga studios in the heart of Dunedin, New Zealand, returning back to her roots, where she was teaching for two years.
As much as she loved living there, she felt a calling to leave. She wanted to focus more on holding trainings for people to transform. She wanted to work more with the heart & soul, rather then focussing on the physical body. So she followed her instincts and went back to India, where the next chapter of her life began and
TANTRA ENERGY was born.
To Mahara, the best teacher has been LIFE. Walking towards her fears, facing challenges with a positive mind, practicing mindfulness, watching children, animals and being in nature. From her humble beginnings to the explosion of fame & glamour, and then the simplistic yet spiritual year abroad, life ultimately taught Mahara - what really matters is LOVE, compassion, natural intelligence, community and following your truth. But to do that, we first need to find out who we really are. Mahara has never felt more free, alive, natural and happy, out of the public eye, and teaching tantric and shamanic arts, yoga, meditation and dance to anyone with an open heart and open mind.
Mahara has learned to appreciate the little things in life, to live with humility, to take risks and live your dreams, to listen to the heart and trust in the universe and in the self, knowing that all is within. Her goal is to inspire you to be the very best version of yourself, encourage you to reach your highest potential, and help you evolve into a happier, more loving, peaceful, and balanced person.
(This Bio has been last updated in 2016)
"Experience the magic of silence and find your truth." Mahara McKay