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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