I always thought that yoga meant striving–, a tense and judgement- filled reach of body and mind for the perfect pose– which seemed always just out of reach. This created an unease and sense of baffling inadequacy around an ancient practice that by reputation was supposed to invoke calm, peace, flexibility and strength. But when I walked down the stairs into the clear and beautiful space that is the Wholehearted Yoga Studio everything changed.
It is not just the clear white open space, the wonderful view of the ocean, the scent of essential oils and the thrum of the meditative music. These are beautiful and well-chosen, full of joys. It is the whole vibration of the studio, mediated through its owner and teacher Araluen, that opens in the mind as well as the body a sense of freedom, self-acceptance and, ultimately, joy. At Wholehearted we are invited to be who we are, and to open to possibilities of both mind and body that invite ease and freedom. We are introduced to asana and pranayama, poses and breathwork, that serve us, and nourish us, filling up our buckets and letting us step back into our outer world with lighter hearts, calmer minds and bodies that are energized as well as relaxed.
This studio is special in every way. It carries the light of yoga to everyone who is fortunate enough to come in the door. There is variety, like Yin’s peaceful slow speed classes, and Yang classes with more movement but never hurry. There is Restorative with floor-based deeply relaxing peace for mind and body, and there is Pilates, to strengthen the core and improve the balance. Every teacher teaches from the heart. Everyone is skilled and unique, freely sharing their gifts with us in every class. I feel so lucky I found this studio. It brings me, every time I go, a new sense of the possibilities of movement and stillness. Most of all it brings me energy, joy, a sense of gladness to be alive, and, in our meditations which close each class, a deep feeling of peace.
Wholehearted is well named–it is the true heart of yoga, and right here, in our beautiful neighbourhood.