Teaching Faculty 


Dyana Wells

Program Director / Lead Teacher

Dyana has been a lifelong student of many disciplines. She has a BSc majoring in Botany and Zoology, MA (Hons) in Philosophy, MCW (Hons) in Creative Writing, Dip Yoga Therapy from Wellpark College, a Cert Counselling and most recently a Cert Art and Creativity.

Dyana has been teaching for much of her life. She developed the 200 and 300 hour Yoga Teachers Training Program at Kawai Purapura where she taught Yoga Philosophy, Meditation, Somatics and Anatomy & Physiology.

She continued teaching with the Contemporary Yoga Teachers Training school in Remuera.

Dyana also taught Chemistry and Anatomy & Physiology to Naturopathic and Massage students at Wellpark College of Natural Therapies.

She has published a trilogy, Anchors in an Open Sea, charting the pitfalls and triumphs of a life lived in search of the elusive truth.

Her infectious curiosity about all aspects of living and the relationships between them is the gift she brings to her teaching.

Manisha Lebel

Associate Teacher

Manisha is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-500) with Yoga Alliance & Yoga New Zealand, a Registered Naturopath & Herbalist (NMHNZ) with a Masters Degree in Holistic Science (Schumacher College & University of Plymouth) and a Registered Celebrant (CANZ).

In recent years Manisha been working as a Yoga & Meditation Teacher offering both Community and Gentle Yoga and Meditation in the town of Whakatane in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.

She has also participated in and assisted on another 200-YTT with Golden Flow Yoga (in Golden Bay) in April of this year, the Somatics & Mindfulness training with Contemporary Yoga and will be participating in and assisting on Mark Whitwell’s 200-YTT in Fiji in September/October of this year.

Dr Paul Butler


Paul is a General Medical Practitioner. Paul likes to work at the coal face and also with organisations that focus on the health of the whole. 

A graduate of Auckland University, Paul also has an MSc in Holistic Science from Schumacher College/Plymouth University. His interest in an inclusive approach to health is reflected in his current commitments. 

Paul is principal of a multidisciplinary health care centre in Auckland, the Milford Natural Health Clinic and Milford Family Medical Centre. He is currently working as a GP contractor for the Tuhoe Iwi in Taneatua. He is a Trustee of Physicians and Scientists for Global Responsibility. He is also a Trustee of the Prema Trust, which operates the Kawai Purapura Retreat Centre and the Wellpark College of Natural Therapies.


Raquel Barbiellini


Originally from Brazil and in Aotearoa NZ since 2005, Raquel is a passionate health and wellbeing advisor and a senior mental health, alcohol and drugs clinician. She is a registered Drug and Alcohol Practitioner and a qualified Social and Health Scientist with Post-Graduation in Alcohol and other Drug Studies.

Throughout her own health journey, she became fascinated by the calmness and clarity that mind-body practices provided her. Raquel was intrigued about the integration of yoga and mindfulness for health counselling to support the well-being of clients, friends and family. She has a special interest in the impact of sleep problems and stress in our general wellbeing.

In recent years Raquel decided to incorporate these mind-body practices into her work and has completed an iRest Yoga Nidra Level 1 certification, a 200-hour Yoga teacher training, as well as the Yogi Kids and Somatics & Mindfulness modules as part of the 300-hour teacher training (Contemporary Yoga Centre).

She is on a journey to a mindful, calmer and embodied life, and would love to share her learnings with others.

Raquel feels honoured to bring her skills and experience to OpenGround and work with her teacher and mentor Dyana Wells and colleague/friend Manisha.