Right now I think the thing I miss most being away from Northland is the excellent yoga classes at the Yoga Space in Whangarei. The teacher is rigorous and compassionate, the yoga is classical, the "intelligent use of props" is our mantra. I almost always finish the class feeling like something profoundly good has happened to my body. I am never worried that I might provoke my chronic problems with neck, back and arms. I crave the class and would go more often than once a week if it were less than a 30km drive.
Through much research I managed to track down the nearest yoga class to where I am staying on the Kapiti Coast. Part of a franchise (or should that be sect) called Yoga for Daily Life they offer two classes a week at Raumati School hall, about 30kms from where I'm staying and which took forever to find in the dark. Of course arriving with high hopes set me up to be disappointed, but I think even before my standards were lifted by the Yoga Space I would have considered this class yoga-lite at best, and dangerous at worst.
The nearest comparison I can think of is the Body Balance classes at Les Mills, which although pleasant were more Tai Chi and Pilates than Yoga. The difference is that Body Balance was fun and Yoga for Daily Life was the worst of all worlds. The instructer was a substitute for the regular teacher so maybe she'd do a better job, but I got the impression of a limited, rigid programme being followed, so was not optimistic.
Afterwards I was complaining to my friend and she told me about a CD called Yoga Sanctuary and said I was welcome to try hers. I found it quite enjoyable- at least it had some real yoga postures, which you could hold for a decent length of time. It's still a bit lite compared to the classical instruction I crave, but I need some external direction while I'm down South since I am not self-disciplined enough to just do yoga alone. So right now the CDs are looking like my best bet.