Community Yoga at The Ivy Studio

It's almost been two years since the opening of Mondays Wholefoods Eatery in the unique & character rich Auckland suburb of Kingsland. Very early on, the vision for Mondays was not only an eatery, but a multipurpose space that fostered community and wellness. Like most good things in life, Ivy Studio evolved organically and collectively. With the support of a few wonderful people in the yoga community; including Jane of The Yoga Connection; the wonderful teachers at Ivy and the generous and passionate team at WE'AR, we've created something pretty special in the quaint ivy-clad studio above Mondays Eatery. 

Ivy Studio's vision is to support local teachers share and develop their yoga with the community at affordable prices. Our collective of independent teachers now fill a timetable with a variety of practices including meditation, flow, yin, and restorative yoga. 

One of the very first Ivy teachers, Josephine Lorelle is a revitalising presence, and an inspiration to me and her students. Below she shares about her recent teacher training experience in Ubud, Bali as well as her time teaching at Ivy.

Before I sign off I would love to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to WE'AR, to our teachers and students and everyone in the community who help make Mondays Eatery and the Ivy Studio the special place that it is.

 ~ Hannah Horton, Director Mondays Wholefoods

~ Josephine outside The Ivy Studio

As I flew into Bali for the first time in 2011 I peeked out the aeroplane getting my first glimpse of where I was going to spend the next 5-weeks training to be a yoga teacher. I was immediately struck by the seemingly disorderly way the boats were parked, all kind of hugged together. Now on my third trip to Bali I love the beauty of this;  from riding a scooter through the ordered chaos, being surrounded by the dedication to Balinese religious & cultural beliefs, the attention to detail in creating and presenting offerings, their culinary skills, the craftsmanship and the weather which jumps from hot mornings to flash flooding downpours in the afternoons. It is the people that stand out the most for me, they are so kind, generous and dedicated to serving others without hesitation. 

Today I find myself back in this tropical country, joining 30 others from around the world who are attending yoga training with Janet Stone at Bagus Jati, Ubud. On the first day, one of the other students came up to me after practice and asked: "Where did you get your lovely gear which hugs your body as it moves?" It was WE'AR of course! 

 ~ Yoga teacher training in Ubud

A year and a half ago when I arrived back in Auckland, I discovered WE'AR in Ponsonby and was instantly transported back to Bali, the fabrics, the smell of the incense and the chic designs of the yoga lifestyle gear. I especially loved the wide waistbands that hugged and supported around the midline. Today, I literally cannot go into the store without leaving with one of those cute yoga bags smelling of Bali. 

I moved into a place in Kingsland and soon discovered the beautiful eatery - Mondays.  I was pleased to hear they had opened a little yoga studio above the café and after a few emails with Hannah, I put myself on the teaching schedule. 

~ Before class at the Ivy Studio 

Last year we were looking for a partner to help support the space as we were not a big studio. Hannah and I approached WE'AR as they were a local company, with ethics and values that are aligned with our own. We also adore their gorgeous clothing!  WE'AR supported us by offering discounts on yoga gear for our teachers and they donated their 100% natural, sustainable rubber mats to the studio.  

~ Hannah and Selini our PR and events manager

The mats have made such a difference to the studio, making it look more unified. The students (and teachers) love them, especially the amazing grip they offer in down dog!


Now writing this in my final days of my trip to Bali, I have found my thoughts drifting more-and-more towards ethical practices, understanding the impact of my environmental footprint and most importantly both the positive and negative sides of what tourism can have on the local Balinese community. I have found myself wanting to give back in some way.  

In addressing this I can say that I have no hesitation in promoting WE'AR to my students, yoga peers, and friends. Their clothing comes from a family run manufacturing house in Bali. WE'AR is conscious of religious, social and financial needs of the Balinese, while also practicing Conscious Consumerism.  It feels good to be wearing yoga pants and practising on a mat that both supports a local NZ designer and also a Balinese family run business. I know this is small in the scheme of things, but our spending choices really can make a big impact.  
It has been fantastic to have the support of an organisation we can truly believe in at Ivy. This week I am back in the studio and I can't wait to get onto those mats and start teaching everything I learnt during my time away.  
Josephine Lorelle

Ivy Studio's community is continually growing! If you are looking for a space to practice or teach, Hannah and her team would love to hear from you.

IG  @theivystudio
FB  @Ivy Studio  
FB @Josephine Lorelle
IG @Josephine_lorelle
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