Community Yoga spirit at the Yoga Life Studio in Eastbourne
In this day and age there is ever increasing need for bringing people back together, communicating, reaching out and supporting one another. In this fast and often overwhelming world it is so important for us to reconnect with our communities, open our hearts and offer our support to those in need. And in Eastbourne we decided to do this in our own unique, yoga way.
Last year we started to run very special Community Yoga classes, where absolutely everyone is welcome and where a fee for the classes is not an issue. People who attend pay as much as they like/can and help our local community and those who will really benefit simply from attending a yoga class.
Our caring teachers run the classes for free with all the donations going to our chosen charities or a charity of their own choice. Each week there is a different teacher and different flavour and that also makes this class so special. Some of the charities that we support are You Raise me Up, Raystede Animal Shelter and Yogabeats Conflict, as well as Warming up Homeless. The feedback from the charities, participants and teachers is so wonderfully positive and encouraging, we are all very proud and privileged to call ourselves community yogis.
Recipe for happiness? If you want to be happy, give to others and make them happy.
Eva Kristlova, Yoga Life Studio
From Georgina Warrick who regularly attends the Community Yoga classes:
Once a week on a Saturday afternoon in Yoga Life Studio everyone gathers for Community Yoga. As with all classes at the Yoga Life Studio you are welcomed in and everyBODY is made to feel at home. The studio really is a home from home as it provides a sanctuary and a place of rest- almost a mini retreat which in the modern world and it’s 24/7 overwhelming pace is so important.
It recaptures that community spirit and reminds me of the days when you used to pop round to your neighbours for a cup of tea. A togetherness is captured and with the reliance of digital devices it feels even more special to have this human connection and practice together.
The brilliant thing about community yoga is each week a different teacher facilitates it so it’s a wonderful way of trying out new styles you maybe normally wouldn’t attend and even surprising yourself when discovering you love a new style/teacher. It is also donation based and you pay what you can afford. Yoga classes can be expensive and add up but at Yoga Life Studio they strongly believe that yoga should be accessible whatever your budget so community yoga is a wonderful way of attending and whether you have 50p or £10 to give for the class you are just as welcome.
And the best thing is any money raised from donations goes back into local or chosen charities. Such as You Raise Me Up which supports families after the loss of a young adult and Raystede which raises money to look after animals and Yoga Beats Conflict -where Palestinians and Israelis come together through yoga to find peace.
Community Yoga at the Yoga Life Studio really does embody the Karma Yogi spirit.
From Bev Stevenson, community yoga teacher:
Community yoga has many benefits for so many people and can touch people is so many different ways. My own experience was to help practice my teaching as part of my Yoga qualification with all of the trainees given the opportunity to take sessions. We also have the chance to choose a charity we would like to support. For me it was one which is so close to my own heart and family, The Ben McNicol Trust. Ben was a wonderful little boy who attended the same school as my own children. Tragically Ben passed away from a brain tumour aged just 6. His amazing parents wanted to set up a lasting legacy and with considerable fundraising were able to buy a property just 5 minutes from the Royal Marsden Hospital in London called Ben’s House. This now houses families for free while their own children are undergoing cancer care and offers a sanctuary for them to try and cope at such a challenging time. As this touched so many of us in Eastbourne, I sent out invitations to my yoga class in which all the fees would go towards Ben’s House. I had a studio full of familiar faces and old friends who wanted to support not only me but Ben’s Trust. Some of my class had never been to yoga or the studio but given an opportunity to support the charity meant they experienced the joy of yoga, Yoga Life Studio and Ben’s Trust, a truly karma yogic experience. Now qualified I am still given the opportunity by our wonderful studio to take these sessions and will always make my donations to this fabulous charity. It allows the community to access yoga at an affordable price, donate to local causes, meet other like minded people and for us as teachers to give back to our community. Yoga is never just about the postures, it is about a truly positive and wonderful way of living in which we all benefit and community yoga is all about this.
From Tanya Davis, Yoga Life Studio teacher:
A Community Yoga Class is a wonderful idea for any Studio, in my opinion. So when Eva, the Manager of The Yoga Life Studio, introduced it at our new Studio premises at the beginning of last year (the Stables, South Street), it was one of the first Classes I taught there.
It is a gift to be able to instruct a Community Yoga Class as I find the atmosphere within these sessions is always so positive and enlightening. All those participating seem to carry the vibe that they are giving back as well as looking after their own well being. It’s a win – win experience. Last time I took the Community Class which generally starts at 1pm for an hour we carried our awareness to the full moon that had occurred the night before. This first full moon of the year carries the name ‘Wolf Moon’ amongst other names and invites us to look at our relationship with our ‘Community’ so to bring this into our practice seemed very apt. It was a lovely Class and I believe everyone who came left the session with something positive be it; a feeling, a need listened to or just a thought. Each week the Community Session brings a different Yoga Teacher with a different approach so the Classes are ever individual and unique.
The Yoga Life Studio has its own given Charities and sometimes, the Teacher taking the session will dedicate the Class to a specific Charity that they support for example Warming Up the Homeless or Chestnut Tree House, a hospice for Children.
I think the Community Yoga Class is a valuable thing and I look forward to taking my next Class and indeed participating in some as well.
‘Thank you and your community yoga class for donating to our charity. Your generosity is helping us to offer financial and emotional support to families that have lost a young adult. From the team at You Raise Me Up, we thank you once again x ‘
‘Yogabeats Conflict Is a not for profit charity that works with mixed groups of Palestinians and Israelis, rebuilding the bridge towards peace again through yoga.
In addition to this, the charity trains those on both sides of the conflict to become Yogabeats teachers and use the union of yoga within the community.
Thanks to the Yoga Life Studio, Eva and the Community Yoga Teachers for their love and generosity!’ David Sye