Glide Yogi: Carmel Bob

 

Carmel works in the field of allied health. In her work she models well-being to her clients and yoga is an important part of her own wellness regime. She loves yin yoga and comes to class two or three times a week to refresh her energy after working long days where she dedicates herself to the well-being of others.

Where did your yoga journey begin?

My yoga journey began many years ago but it was difficult for me to find the right combination of teacher and space at that time in my life. My first memory of what it is like to experience ‘yoga’ in terms of feeling peaceful and calm was at a park in North Perth. I had been to class and while walking through the park after class, I saw my then teacher journaling. He looked so serene and present to what he was doing and that was the beginning of my Aha moment. I saw his serenity and just knew that I needed that in my life.

For me yoga is like an instrument that helps us connect with ourselves. The teacher uses their voice, knowledge and inner wisdom to guide and to provide support. They hold the space for students and the student determines how to use the instrument for their benefit. My serious yoga journey began with Carol who is my first long term yoga teacher. I had never committed long term to a studio or to a teacher before. Carol uses a therapeutic voice that is inquiring and inquisitive, open and inclusive and non-judgemental. The way Carol teaches is similar to the way I work with clients. Her teaching style is a good fit for me. She seems to be able to intuitively tune into students needs and adjusts classes accordingly. Doing multiple beginners classes with Carol, some years ago, helped me get more comfortable with what I’m doing in the physical practice of yoga. Now I don’t focus as much on what I’m on doing but more on my state of being. I often have my eyes closed in class to intensify my experience of the practice and as an aid to keeping me grounded.

Tell us a little about your experiences at Glide Yoga

I really enjoy the space that Annie and Carol have created. The space feels like a retreat. I’m sensitive to smell and love the way the mats are cleaned with essential oils after class. The studio smells healthy and clean. I find the grey and white colour palate very relaxing. The gauziness of the curtains and the beautiful dimmable lights create a welcoming environment. It feels as though Carol and Annie have intentionally created a welcoming and safe space especially designed to induce relaxation. I love the way the trees and plants are visible above and below the window frosting which gives the illusion of nature being connected to the space. My favourite feature is the Phalaenopsis orchids that are the focal point of the studio. I often select one of the yellow throats of the orchids as my drishti point. I just focus on the yellow colour, breathe and find that it helps me to ground myself.

I love the sense of community that has developed at Glide. It’s a healthy space for me to be in and I feel a real sense of connection to others in class. At Glide it feels as though there is room for whatever you need from your yoga practice. There are many reasons why people practice yoga; rehabilitation, injury management, relaxation, strength building, anxiety and stress management, as a complement to meditation and many more. At Glide Yoga the programme of classes and workshops accommodate various needs.

I have attended some of the workshops and have been to one coffee club. These are lovely additions to my yoga practice that help me get to know people better and remind me to mindfully abide in the good space.

In what way has yoga changed your life?

I couldn’t imagine life without yoga which now feels like a natural complement to my healthy eating, walking and mindfulness practice which combines to make my personal wellness practice. Yoga puts back what work and life take out. My work days are stressful and busy. I have incorporated small but powerful yoga practices into my work day that reduce fatigue and increase energy. I love the slow movement of yin yoga. Yin feels like a massage and a physical therapy session combined. I always feel aligned afterwards, not just stillness and connection but skeletally aligned. As I work long days where I am sitting all day, this is the perfect antidote to stiffness and discomfort for me.

What would you say to people who are curious but a little hesitant to begin?

Everything at yoga may be new to you. You may not know what to do or what to expect and this can be scary. Yoga will not be familiar to you. You are entering another world which can be confronting. For some, consciously slowing down will feel uncomfortable. I want to let people know that it will feel different, unusual and it will push you out of your comfort zone, but afterwards you will feel a new sort of ease in your body and mind, like coming home to yourself so it will be worth it.

 

Glide Yogi: Holly Toft

Holly is an Interior Designer and mother to Eddie and Madison. Eddie loves that he shares the same studio space with his mum and looks forward to the Kid’s Yoga class every Tuesday. Holly attends Slow Flow on Thursday’s with her sister Tilda and loves the space we have created at Glide Yoga.

Where did your yoga journey begin?

I went to my first yoga class with my mum and sister when I was in high school and it has become a constant in  my life that helps me to feel more balanced. Wherever I am living, I always look for a studio that will make me feel comfortable and welcome. Aesthetics are important to me and I need my yoga space to have the right feel, smell and look. When I moved back to Perth from Melbourne I spent some time trying different studios from Scarborough to Freo.

Tell us a little about your experiences at Glide Yoga

I first noticed Glide Yoga when I was walking by one day. I looked it up on the web and liked the simplicity and style of the website. The timetable worked for me and Tilda and so we attended a class together. We liked the space and enjoyed the class, we felt really welcome. In a yoga space where you are trying to clear your mind, you really notice the little things. For me the surroundings have to be just right. I’m very particular about the fine details, the small things. I loved the paint finish, the smell of the spray used to clean the mats, the softness and fall of the curtains which reminded me of an apartment I worked on at Leighton Beach. I like that the mats aren’t rolled and that they are cleaned after each use with aromatherapy oils. The studio felt fresh, clean and has a retreat like calm about it.

In what way has yoga changed your life?
Tilda and I both have incredibly busy lives and it’s important for us to be able to spend time together doing things that help us feel connected. Going to yoga once a week together is such a great way for us to catch up without talking and we always go for a coffee afterwards. It’s so great for us to spend time together without any distractions. There have been days when Tilda has been unable to make it to class and it feels weird not having her there. Since Eddie has been coming to the studio, we have introduced some yoga time at home. I get the yoga mats out, put on some music and Eddie and Madison sit and meditate together. It’s such a wonderful way to get them ready for bed, having some quiet time together. We light candles at bath time and the journey of quietening down begins from there. It’s Eddie’s first out of school activity and I thought he would be clingy at drop off, but he was fine. He loved it straight away and often asks when his next class is, I never struggle to get him there. Last week he came home from yoga with a toy butterfly and I’ve noticed how important it is to him and how he takes care of it.  Madison is keen to join in and will attend the class for her age group.

What would you say to people who are curious but a little hesitant to begin?
Yoga is not for anyone else, it’s not like a dance where you are doing it for performance or show, it’s just for you, for your well-being, to begin to feel and sense inwardly. Don’t be put off by what you see people posting on social media. Yoga is not about perfection, it’s not about doing the pose perfectly. You don’t need to be flexible and what you find easy, know that someone else might find challenging. Everyone is different, so know that your practice is your own journey and that we are all getting the same benefits and even more so if you can’t do it!

Glide Yogi: Mike Vervoort

Mike is a 59 year old oil and gas consultant. He lives in Claremont with partner Kylie and their two golden retrievers, Jasper and Molsen (so named after a Canadian beer). Jasper and Molsen often come to the studio with Mike and Kylie at the weekend and love the attention they receive from passers by, not to mention the treats Carol gives them after class. Mike regularly attends 2-3 classes a week and loves restorative yoga, which he finds has a calming effect on his busy mind.

Where did your yoga journey begin?

My mother was a Hatha yoga teacher in Montreal back in the 1960’s. She learnt yoga from visiting Indian yogis and set up her own studio in a hall where students donated what they could afford. She was under strict instructions from my father not to teach men! As a young woman she suffered chronic back pain and migraines. Yoga cured her from these ailments and she still has a daily practice, which now that she is in her eighties, is more spiritual and meditative. I was a severe asthmatic as a child and my mother taught me at age seven the power of controlled breathing. This helped me enormously, and took away the anxiety and panic I felt as a result of not being able to breathe when having an asthma attack. I didn’t really practice yoga poses with my mother, although we did sometimes practice sun salutations at home. I’m certain she would have liked to practice more yoga with me, and my siblings, but the demands of life and our interest was perhaps not so great, however learning to control my asthma through pranayama possibly saved my life. It took me a long time to actually go to a yoga class and my first class was at Glide Yoga in 2017. I had a very different life in Canada, I worked full time in the Oil patch, and was a grain farmer so worked long hours and with five children, I had no time or way of attending yoga classes. Kylie was interested in starting yoga, it was something we had spoken about often. I walked by the studio many times and I really liked the frosting, from the outside, it looked so clean and crisp. We signed up for the beginner’s course and loved it.  I think being able to attend unlimited classes while doing the course really helped us stick with it, and I became more comfortable with the practice.

Tell us a little about your experiences at Glide Yoga

Glide is this amazing oasis in the heart of Claremont. From the moment I walked in, the positive energy in that space became almost addictive. The teachers are so knowledgeable and professional. They have a beautiful spirit that creates calm and warmth. I immediately felt comfortable and connected to Carol and Annie. They make you feel so welcome and it’s really important to feel connected and to be able to trust someone who is teaching you how to get inside yourself. In class I never feel like I’m being judged, I just show up on the mat and give my best and respect that everyone else is doing the same. Everyone is there as their own person, performing to their own level of accomplishment. There is no pressure.

In what way has yoga changed your life?

I have a busy mind, one that needs to slow down. Restorative yoga helps me to relax my body and calm my mind. Learning to meditate, to relax and restore has provided so many positive outcomes for my mind, for my ability to cope with adversity in life. Although I’ve always been fit, I’ve never been flexible and have not always felt at peace. Like a lot of people, I’ve experienced tragedy in my personal life and as a result have felt anger. Yoga, particularly the breathing and relaxation has helped me learn how to control my emotions, so that I can be less reactive and more responsive.   I’m learning through yoga, that a flexible body and healthy mind are paramount to my wellness, and longevity. My mum was such a compassionate mother and I feel so grateful to her for teaching me how to be compassionate.

What would you say to people who are curious but a little hesitant to begin?

Everyone should do it! There are a lot more women at yoga then men, perhaps men don’t want to be shown up in front of women with their lack of flexibility.  To all the guys out there I would say, just do it, you can’t afford not to! It’s an amazing investment in your future. You’ve got nothing to lose and the universe to gain. It’s something special you can share with a loved one. You’re in a comfortable place, no competition, and why wouldn’t you want to get more out of life.

 

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