Yoga could be the answer for you

This is our final instalment in our six part series on ‘feeling good’ and we’re talking to Jeannie Parker from local business The Yoga Collective in Erina.

This is our final instalment in our six part series on ‘feeling good’ and we’re talking to Jeannie Parker from local business The Yoga Collective in Erina.

1. Tell us a little about your business and the philosophy behind it.

The Yoga Collective Central Coast is a local community yoga studio where we aim to provide you with an immersive and integral yoga experience. Our philosophy here at The Yoga Collective is to “empower, rejuvenate and transform”, catering for the whole community to support their physical and mental wellbeing.

You don’t have to be able to touch your toes or do a handstand – yoga is for all shapes, all sizes, all abilities and ages! We aim to provide classes to suit your needs, age and physicality ability. Our experienced professional teachers will help you to feel supported and comfortable in whatever you are hoping to achieve from your yoga practice.

2.  How did you come to be teaching yoga and running the studio?

I’ve been teaching a variety of yoga styles for the last 5 years, but my yoga practice extends back to over 25 years, with a foundation of Ashtanga and Hatha. I grew up in the foothills of Byron Bay, training for sixteen years in classical and contemporary ballet at the Conservatorium of the arts with Southern Cross University.

In 2016 I undertook Vinyasa Yoga teaching training with Sandy Delgado and Samantha Bijok at Austral Yoga. I then completed my advanced vinyasa yoga training and advanced level 2 yin yoga training with Power Living Australia. I’m also trauma informed and trained in ‘frontline yoga’ which helps bring yoga and mindfulness tools to those who work in the front line and I can accommodate students who may have experienced other forms of stress in their lives.

The business itself has a long history and was run for twenty years by Mardi Bell under the name ‘Yoga ways’, who still teaches at the current studio.

I joined the studio in 2016 as a teacher when it was taken over by Leah Davies and renamed ‘The Yoga Collective’. During that time, I built a strong connection with the community of students and fell in love with the yoga space.

During the lockdowns in 2020, the studio had to close its doors as the space went up for sale. The idea of the studio being permanently closed and seeing the community of students and teachers disbanded deeply saddened me, so it was during this crazy and challenging time that I decided to take on the challenge of purchasing the business and bringing it back to life.

3. What styles of yoga do you offer?

Offering you more than just dynamic vinyasa, we also include Yin, Hatha, heated and non-heated Prenatal, Mums and Bubs classes, plus a plethora of workshops and courses to provide you an immersive and integral yoga experience. 

4. What are some of the benefits of including a regular yoga practice?

The benefits of yoga are limitless! Firstly, it helps build fitness, strength, flexibility and stability. A regular yoga practice also teaches us to be kinder to ourselves and those around us. We gradually become more aware of the way we are treating our bodies and minds.

Through the use of the physical postures (asanas) combined with the breathing techniques (pranayama) we also learn to move and breathe consciously. The more aware of the way we are breathing, the more we’re able to tap into our parasympathetic nervous system as opposed to sympathetic where we are reacting or responding in “fight or flight” mode. 

Yoga also gives us a “tool kit” to help take care of our emotional and mental wellbeing. When we truly connect to the yoga practice, we begin to meet ourselves in a new way. We become more discerning about how we’re fuelling our body and pay more attention to our thoughts and the stresses we allow into our lives. Kindness in the world starts with being kind to ourselves.

5. Do you have any interesting case studies you can share with us?

Yes, my own! I was seriously injured in a car crash a few years ago and it was thanks to yoga that I have recovered to the point that I have. I know that if I had not been practicing yoga my injuries mightn’t have healed to the extent they did – nor would I have been so supported in my state of mind.

These days I practice less “Yang” or dynamic yoga and more gentler “Yin” yoga styles. Yin yoga helps with working into the connective tissue, shifting tension and improving my body’s response to pain. Through a daily practice of Yin and Hatha yoga I remain mostly pain free.

6. You’ve recently moved to Erina – tell us about the new studio.

The move to the new larger studio or 125 square metres in size means we are able to provide all students with four square metres per student. This provides our yoga community a safe environment to practice yoga together plus genuinely adhering to the Social Distancing rules. Whilst we’re in a larger room, we still maintain the smaller classes along with the boutique atmosphere.

Now located in The Lifestyle building, Erina, our studio is a part of a community of lifestyle businesses that include acupuncture, martial arts, a hair salon, dance school and the Central Coast’s first futuristic ‘EMS’ Gym. We have all day free parking, the use of shower and toilet facilities on site. This is fantastic for early morning 6am classes before work!

7. Can you give a few suggestions of what people can do for their health at home?

  • Move. Movement is medicine!
  • Eat well. Food is medicine!
  • Sleep well.
  • Rest is crucial to good health.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Try growing a little edible garden.
  • Take the time to read, listen to music and do the things that inspire you!
  • Connect with nature and people. We are energetic beings we need community connection, joy, so try to see people face to face, as often as we can with the current circumstances, put down the phone or device and disconnect from the digital world at least a few hours a day.
Georgia Lienemann

For more information about The Yoga Collective, head to www.theyogacollective.com.au