Mark Whitwell, promising us love, sex and intimacy in 7 minutes a day

Mark Whitwell, author and yoga teacher

by Kara-Leah Grant

He’s arguably New Zealand’s most famous born and bred yoga teacher, yet he doesn’t have the profile down under that you might expect.

That could be set to change with the release of his second book, The Promise of Love, Sex and Intimacy.

Endorsed by heavy-hitters like Deepak Chopra, and Ram Dass, The Promise also comes with a phone app, designed to help people do their daily seven minute practice. Mark maintains that seven minutes practice is enough to make lasting change in a person’s life, and it becomes so pleasurable that there is a natural extension of the practice into 10, 15, 20, 40 minutes or more.

Published by the same powerhouse folk who brought you The Secret, The Promise is Mark Whitwell’s attempt to woo the mainstream masses with a digestible daily sadhana he hopes will change the world.

It’s a bold claim, and exactly the kind of thing we here at Yoga Lunchbox love, so we tracked down Mark and persuaded him to talk to us.

Our conversation covers everything from studying with Krishnamacharya, the teacher of teachers, how the word ‘yoga’ has become meaningless, and when real yoga teaching actually starts. He talks about the lack of real education in 1970s New Zealand, and how that, plus music like The Beatles, sent him to India.

Mark Whitwell, yoga teacher and author of Yoga of Heart, and The Promise.

Other topic sof conversation include:

– Is yoga a commercial activity?
– Why yoga is not “an irksome spiritual duty,” that you have to get done
– How just seven minutes of yoga a day can change your life
– The breath
– Why intimacy has been taken away from us by religious idealism
– Religion, yoga, and sex
– Mark’s latest book, and his hopes for it’s impact
– The concept of non-duality
– The best sentence in the book
– Obsession
– When Mark will next be in New Zealand



  1. Sarah Walls says

    Great interview with my guru Mark. In 2005 I randomly stopped off in Marahau, Nelson one week and joined in on a yoga workshop he was running, seeking a change. I came away realising that I am not meant to change but rejoice in who I already am. So powerful, I love this man and his intentions for us all. Thanks Kara-Leah for bringing him back into my life. X

    • Kara-Leah Grant says

      Hey Sarah,

      Wonderful to hear of your experience with Mark. It was such a joy to speak to him.

      Many blessings,

  2. says

    This is very very good, it spoke a lot to me as I have “The Heart of Yoga” back home in NZ , what I most admired is the fact of Mark following his own heart to the truth about yoga , more than asanas and just one style .Its almost anti yoga the way I think at times , oh I better do my asanas to make it a better day, support my art practice and life , What the ? , no wonder its hard to keep up a home practice when its like this, separate , thats not yoga ! .I also liked his comments about doing stuff for money, my best efforts haven’t been with thought of financial reward in mind , that follows naturally as we are all talented in our own ways, we just have to be who we really are, and true yoga will help us get there Thanks a lot KL for this .

    • Kara-Leah Grant says

      Hey Mike,

      Mark is great eh? I really enjoyed speaking to him and we’ve got plans to do another SKype chat, once I launch my book.

      Thanks so much for your comment Mike, always enjoy hearing from you.


  3. Raisi says

    thanks so much for the interview, kara-leah, it was such a pleasure for me to listen to your conversation.
    i discovered “heart of yoga” recently and it opened up a completely new perspective on yoga to me.
    be both blessed!


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