Happy Birthday to Us…Live and Breathe Yoga turns 5!

Happy Birthday Live and Breathe Yoga Townsville

Thanks everyone for coming along to our birthday bash last week. I hope you enjoyed your delicious juice and healthy snacks, some good chat and had your photo taken…you all know how I love photos!

Here we are. Live and Breathe Yoga (my first baby) is turning 5 and all I can really say is WOW.  It only feels like yesterday when Harry and I were packing up our wee flat ready to drive from Glasgow to Athens as the first part of our trip back to Australia with a big bold plan to open a yoga studio… We left with a lot of faith and  lot of unknowns…Harry didn’t have his residency when we left, (just a holiday visa), I had no real idea how much yoga there was in Townsville and the car we were to drive for the next 2 months blew up 5 days before we were due to be on the car ferry from the UK to Europe! Hmmm it was an interesting start…

So how Live and Breathe Yoga begin?

  • I sent four emails to my friends in Townsville while I was in Goa studying asking if they could spread the word for me
  • I set up one class in our living room in our tiny house in Railway Estate and it sold out in a few days.  I had a list of folk keen to start so I added another class and again within a few days it was sold out.  It was mainly to friends and boyfriends/husbands of this friends but there were a few new people too. I set up another class and it sold out again. That was January 2010 and I’ve been selling out the Introduction courses each month ever since.
  • Amazingly, there are still quite a few of those originals that are practicing here to this day too…

Some stats….In 5 years…

  • 21,311 students have attended class…about the same as the population of my home town, Mount Isa
  • Approximaitely  1750 classes
  • As well as at the studio we’ve taught classes at the Port of Townsville, the Main Roads Department, the Townsville Bulletin, the teachers of St Josephs School, the Year 12 students at Ryan Catholic College and St Patricks Girls School, the Townsville City Council, WHK Accountants and Korda Mentha Insolvency firm, North Queensland Athletics Development camp, the kids swimming team of Gardens Swimming club, Larissa Bright Corporate Retreat on Magnetic Island, Cowboys Leagues Club,  a yoga demonstration at the opening of the new Flinders Street and a very reluctant group of army lads out at Lavarack Barracks.
  • We have served countless  cups of Harry’s organic home made chai
  • We have lots of money for Yoga Tools for Schools Inc
  • We hosted a yoga dance party with Lululemon, with wigs, DJ and disco lights
  • We’ve had one snake greet our students on the verandah when we were teaching in the house
  • We’ve had one possum pee through the roof right into the class (thankfully it was onto my sister’s mat!)
  • and 8 babies born with a few more on the way…

Why Live and Breathe Yoga?

  • I have visited so many amazing ashtanga yoga studios around the world , including the shala in Mysore, India.  Each one was so special and I feel very lucky to have been able to practice and learn at these sacred places and meet such inspirational and devoted teachers.  I always left feeling so great – I’d feel so welcomed and instantly part of something bigger.  I wanted to live in a town that had a place just like that.  There was no dedicated ashtanga studio in here Townsville and so I thought well I guess it’s up to me to create it.
  • We are a dedicated ashtanga yoga studio because it’s all I know.  I do not pretend to know about other styles or give nutritional advice or anything that I don’t know about or have tried again and again myself. I believe in this practice 100% and that it’s for everybody.  I believe this practice can show us that anything is possible and our bodies are a wonderful gift that if treated well will help us live an extraordinary life.
  • My aim is not to teach but to just share my practice and inspire others to practice also.  I just share what I have learned in the hope that I can help others feel really good and gain the benefits I have from practicing ashtanga yoga over the last 15 years.

Massive thanks to:

  • Harry, for being amazing, extremely patient and a true yogi.  Without him I could do none of what I do. He cooks pretty much every meal, he cleans the studio, he makes the chai, he runs back and forth to and from the studio when I forget stuff (which is very often), he supports (most) of my crazy ideas, for painting the studio on his xmas break, and for putting me first before himself over and over again.
  • My family for allowing me to believe that anything is possible…especially my Mum and Dad who were there to help celebrate
  • My best mate Anna who is my biggest fan and has listened to all of my worries, frustrations, triumphs and is as hooked on ashtanga yoga as I am!
  • To the late Sri K Pattabhi Jois, and now his daughter Saraswati and grandson Sharath for bringing us this amazing practice and inspiring so many around the world to devote their lives to this practice.
  • My admin extraodinaire Alex Christopher from Monk Script, for keeping me on track, asking me the right questions and taking to her role like it was meant just for her
  • My team of current teachers Mel, Alli, Jen and Dani who have been a wonderful support to me and to the students.  Most have stepped up to the front of the class before they felt ready to teach and have done a magnificent job of keeping the classes going while I’ve been off having a baby and teaching part time.  Also a bug thank you to Leigh, who doesn’t teach any more but was a huge support when Elsie was first born last year.
  • The international teachers who have visited Live and Breathe Yoga – Mark Robberds, Matthew Sweeney, Paddy McGrath and Judi Farrell. And soon to be visiting Santina Giardina-Chard and David Keil
  • My teachers June Mitchell and Julie Hanson in Glasgow, who accepted me onto their training program many years ago and for David Keil for teaching me so much in my own practice and for influencing my own teaching so much…I can only dream of ever being in his league.
  • The wonderful therapists and health professionals in Townsville that have been keeping me healthy and with enough energy to keep going..
  • Jasmine and the Sundalah yoga community
  • Stephen from Verve Design and Rosana Kersh who helped to create my fabulous website and beautiful photos
  • Elle Roberts from ElleRoberts.me for being a wonderful support and sounding board
  • The divine intervention that brought us to our current beautiful addresss, Level 1, 80 Denham Street
  • Luke from Precinct Fresh Market for his delicious juice and snacks for the celebration
  • Clare Powell from Clare Powell Photography for taking the photos of the party and my new beginners practice cards
  • Last and definitely the most important are all the students who have walked up the stairs to Live and Breathe Yoga, have done their best on the mat, who have continued to keep going when it’s hard and who have taught me so much.

What’s next?

Lots of things in the pipeline that I am really excited about. We have a new timetable, have added meditation classes, are hosting our first deluxe retreat at Hidden Valley, Paluma at Easter have some exciting teachers and workshops coming up in 2015. I hope you can join us for another amazing year so you too can Live and Breathe Yoga.


To see all the part photos check out our Facebook page

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