Travelling as a young person with my parents through Asia, Africa, South America and other developing places deeply impressed on me the variety of human experiences.
Since that time, I have been increasingly drawn to eastern ideas around meditation and healing. As a teenager I started meditating, took up various martial arts and began a life-long journey of learning and practice of eastern philosophies and healing modalities including Chinese medicine, qigong and remedial massage.
Steph, my partner, was beginning a yoga journey when we met and together we shared our belief in meditation, service to others and creating a better world. We always dreamed of a place where our interests of eastern healing, yoga and meditation would converge to the benefit of our community.
However, like many parents, when three children, Bronte, Summer and Eli, joined us and the care needs of ageing parents came along we pushed this dream further into the future.
Yet the dream didn't go away. Now as owners of Dharma Shala, we are evolving the yoga school where Steph has practiced for over twenty years, into a vibrant Yoga Shala that is values-based, inclusive and welcoming to all!
I first dabbled with yoga at 20 before taking up a regular meditation practice. Like many others, I turned to meditation to manage my wellbeing at a time when my social movement work was particularly challenging. My earliest experience of the Dharma Shala community was during my first pregnancy. I was part of the cohort of pregnant women taking prenatal classes in 2002 when Dharma Shala opened and I have been practicing at the Shala since.
From our early thirties Andrew and I had a vision for a centre - a beautiful light filled space where the people could practice yoga, meditation and come together for community events.
For some years kids, careers and elder care got in their way so when the opportunity came up to purchase the old Dharma Shala it felt serendipitous. While this wasn't our original vision, we both felt that it could be a significant step towards realising it.
Overseeing a space that was special to so many, also brought an enormous responsibility. So, I focused my energies on sustaining and transforming Dharma Shala to provide continuity to our community.
Somehow it all came together and we are owners of Dharma Shala at the end of the street where we brought up our three children. I am excited to be working with Andrew realising a vision for our community, right in the heart of North Bondi.
Andrew and I are often in class. If you haven't yet seen our gorgeous space come join us for a Yoga class!
Click here to get started at Dharma Shala!