Kinesiologist Jeanne Santosa sat down with the Co-owners of Yoga Village to chat about their studio & offerings.
I assume it’s been an exciting start to the year for you within Yoga Village recently changing hands. Could you tell me a little bit about the new owners?
You’re right, it’s been so exciting taking over the reigns at Yoga Village! First and foremost the new owners are all yoga teachers, we’re a group of women who have come together in a mutual love for the practice, challenge, and growth.
Can you tell me briefly about the of Yoga Village and why you decided to take up the reigns at this new venue?
Our first yoga baby, WOKE Yoga in Mosman is currently humming along, and when we heard Yoga Village was for sale we were excited about the possibility of expanding our community. One of our teachers, Cora Geroux previously taught at Yoga Village and loved the idea of ‘coming home’ to Potts Point. Yoga Village is not unlike our studio in Mosman, a boutique space with a community vibe, so we thought it would be a really natural fit.
I’d love to know something interesting about each of you that most people don’t know. I’d also like to know a bit about how each of you came to yoga.
Lyndsey is a teacher’s teacher and has been practicing and studying yoga for nearly two decades. Her teaching journey began in Japan and then deepened through spending a number of years in and out of India. During that time she completed an in-house Diploma of Applied Science and Yoga at Bihar Yoga Bharati, a still active ashram yoga university. What you might not know about Lyndsey is that in her past life, she was a yoga teacher for the NZ All Blacks.
Cri has been practicing yoga for almost 20 years, before taking the leap into the teaching space in 2017. Yoga training led to an ongoing exploration into yin yoga, qi gong and TCM 5 element theory in relation to the subtle energy systems of the body, leading ultimately to the gentle bodywork modality of Reiki. What you might not know about Cri is that she’s also an incredibly talented artist & graphic designer, and has a creative eye to rival the best of the best.
Cora first started practicing yoga as a teenager with her Mum’s Rodney Yee VHS tapes, however, it wasn’t until she was studying Psychology in University that yoga became a regular practice. Cora graduated with a BA in Psych from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and promptly became a yoga teacher. Cora has been teaching yoga full time for the last decade, and is passionate about functional movement as well as the softer side of yoga, yin & restorative. What you might not know about Cora is that she makes a rad yoga playlist, loves to tell bad jokes in class, and spends just as much time in the gym as on the mat.
Em is in a long term love affair with yoga after attending her first yoga class in 1998. Due to long term illness and a snapped ACL Em’s yoga journey has dipped in and out of the physical practice of asana – but she always maintained her inner practice of meditation. What you might not know about Em is that she’s an incredible listener, and one of the most compassionate people you’ll ever meet.
Oh, and Lisa Theodore our studio manager…
Lisa began her relationship with yoga in 2003, discovering the safety and mental respite of her yoga mat during high school. Then began an 11 year journey working in the health and fitness industry dedicated to helping others as a trainer, coach, instructor and mentor finally arriving in her happiest incarnation to date as a yoga teacher in 2014. What you might not know about Lisa is that she rides a motorcycle, makes the most incredible spreadsheets, and is also an epic pilates teacher.
How did you meet each other?
Cora, Em & Lyndsey met through Lululemon Mosman ( thanks guys! ), as Cora and Lyndsey were both Ambassadors for that store, and Em was at one point, the store manager there. Cri was a long term student at WOKE Mosman, and became an integral part of our community when she completed our 200 HR Hatha Yoga Training & 50 HR Yin Yoga Trainings. Cri later helped to rebrand the studio with a new logo, name and design. Lisa and Lyndsey have been working together for years at Fitness First and Lisa also teaches Yoga & Pilates at WOKE Mosman.
Is Yoga Village a collective? How many teachers do you have?
We’re definitely a collective, we love the idea of being in conversation with a variety of perspectives! At the moment we have 11 teachers, including Lisa our studio manager, and the 4 owners. We think that diversity is an important part of a yoga offering, and we’re always open to bringing in new ideas, and teachers.
What would you say is the number one aspect of Yoga Village that makes your studio so unique?
Honestly, it would have to be the community. We’re a small, independently run studio so we have the kind of space where everyone knows your name. And even though we’re brand new to the community at Yoga Village, so far they have welcomed us with open arms. Many of our students came and helped out with our little renovation and the students here continually surprise us with their open feedback and encouragement. Community is everything!
Could you tell me a little bit about the renovations that you have been doing at Yoga Village? I’d love to know more about your renovation party.
We wanted to keep the integrity of the space, as Yoga Village is situated in a beautiful heritage building with stained glass windows, hardwood floors and a great layout. All we did was shift a few things to highlight those features. We’ve given everything a fresh coat of white paint, built a new desk and put in mat storage and seating in the reception area. Then we added a few things that help make the space feel like ‘home’ lots of plants and pillar candles in the fireplace. Currently were in the process of swapping out all the old foam blocks for natural cork ones, shifting to organic cotton blankets and some beautiful new bolsters. We want the space to feel light, clean, modern, and yet with a warm homey vibe. Come visit, and let us know if we hit the mark! Haha.
You have 3 teacher training courses coming up this year at Potts Point. What would be the number 1 thing that makes you unique as a yoga teacher training studio?
Teacher Training is a huge passion of ours, as it’s through these training courses that we get to have some small impact on the quality, integrity and awareness of the next generation of yoga teachers. The thing that makes us the most unique in that regard is that again, we’re a community oriented school, so all of our trainings are capped at a maximum of 20 students so each student in the course is seen and heard. We give individual coaching and feedback to each student. Oh, and we’re one of the only schools in Sydney that includes Trauma Informed Yoga and Yoga for Larger Bodies into our foundational curriculum. We believe that each yoga teacher needs to be educated on these topics right from the beginning.