Yoga Juice Samoa

By Rachel Laulu ,

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HOW IT’S DONE: Cornelia and Teophania demonstrating “Soul Dance”

HOW IT’S DONE: Cornelia and Teophania demonstrating “Soul Dance”

Q. Can a whirlwind be gentle and slow?

A. Yes, but it will gain momentum, it will pick you up and take you to places you wouldn’t dream of.

My six months here in Samoa have been that gentle whirlwind. It was my dream to come and live with my relatives in Nofoalii, to maybe teach a couple of yoga classes at some fancy resorts and to just chill out for a few months while I study my online course in Ayurveda. I planned on heading home back to Australia when things got boring here... But they just haven’t, and I don’t know if they will. My whirlwind is gaining momentum. I’m about to open a yoga studio!

Yoga is something that helps people find strength in their bodies, it centres the mind and brings you together as a whole, it shows you that nothing is lacking – it connects you to God and to your community whilst teaching you to be strong, independent and to love yourself. I’ve garnered many lessons in my years of practice, and the lessons keep on coming as the philosophies and medicines of yoga keep shining light and helpfulness into my life, essentially – I’m a bend and stretch teacher, I’m into spiritual stuff, but that’s mine – We should all have our unique connection to spirit, but my job as a yoga teacher is to facilitate you into a state of mindfulness, what you do with your mindfulness from there is up to you... one cool thing about yoga is it will make you healthier, stronger and it will make you a better version of yourself. I am happy to be in this whirlwind here in Samoa. This whirlwind has had me teaching some amazingly strong women. 

I’ve teamed up with some of those women to open a yoga and dance studio: these women are fierce, proud, humble, talented, beautiful and strong. It’s our vision together to offer a safe space where students can learn to dance, to practice mindfulness, to celebrate their bodies and to have fun. I’m happy to announce that the studio opens with classes beginning tomorrow. We’re called YOGA JUICE SAMOA and we’re based on the second floor of the ACE Hardware building in town. We’re offering classes in Soul Dance, Oriental Dance, Kundalini, yin and hatha yoga. I sat down and chatted with the teachers, and would love for you to meet them, they’re amazing.

 

Meet: Cornelia – 

Soul Dance Instructor

I came to Samoa for an internship and now love it here and hope to stick around a little longer. At  YOGA JUICE, I’ll be teaching Soul Dance, a class of modern dance that has its foundations in ballet but is expressive and free in its movements; in fact for me, Soul Dance is all about expression, expressing what you feel inside. There is no “one style”, but each style is unique to each person, and that’s what makes Soul Dance so special to me.

I love so many things about Samoa, the colours become so vibrant in the sun! The clouds in the hills are amazing, I love a fresh cold niu, and the early up and early to bed lifestyle I have here is just perfect (I’m a total granny at heart!)

I hope my dance class teaches students a new understanding of western contemporary dance and they can discover their passion in it too. I love Soul Dance and am so happy to be able to offer it.

See you on the Yoga Juice dance floor!

 

Meet: Ann – Yoga Teacher

 I’m in Samoa working at the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the UN for all of 2016. I am the FAO food safety and nutrition consultant for the Pacific Islands region. I’m from NZ, and I’m also a yoga teacher! My classes will suit beginners to intermediate yogis. My style is flowing sequences for flexibility, strength and cardio – always with a focus on the breath.

I love the friendly people here, the food, the outdoor lifestyle. People have been so welcoming. I’ve been enjoying swimming, outrigger paddling and snorkeling. The beaches are definitely a highlight, snorkeling at Falealupo beach when my son visited was fantastic. I’m loving all the food too, so much fresh food!

I’m excited to share my passion of yoga. Yoga for some can be an exercise session, for others a whole lifestyle and philosophy, and for many something in between. The choice is yours and you will experience health and wellbeing benefits either way! Yoga rocks!

 

Meet: Teophania – 

Oriental Bellydance Teacher

I’ll be teaching Middle Eastern dances! Have you heard of “bellydance” or “Raqs Sharqi”? That’s only part of a rich and broad cultural tradition. There are many, many regional dances of central/south west Asia and North Africa, and most are social dances: Just like Siva, it’s for everybody and everyone can dance these styles. If you can Siva, you can Sharqi!

There is even a historical and recent sharing between mid-Eastern and Polynesian dances, particularly because they share many of the same goals. I’ll be talking about this cultural stuff in classes too – after 16 years of dancing and teaching various styles, I believe aware dancers are better dancers.

In mid-East tradition, instead of choreography, dancers create movement in the moment. Improvisation needs reflection and creativity: a big healthy stretch for your mind and body. Dance can be as simple as a fun way to move around for an hour or as complex as a spiritual connection: you get to decide. 

So, this our Yoga Juice crew! We’re only just beginning, we’ll be adding more classes as we feel out the vibe and find out what our students want. Our dancers offer many styles of dance, including ballet, salsa and forro. I will eventually be adding classes for kids!, intermediate and advanced yoga students as well as whole classes in yin and kundalini yoga.

We’re totally into meeting new teachers as well, so if you’re sitting there and reading this and think you’ve something that would fit with us, you should make contact (please be a tai chi teacher out there!). The studio is also where we’ll be holding those fermented food workshops you’ve all been asking me about. We’re uber excited to invite you along for the whirlwind. You’ll love it.

Namaste.

 

*Rachel Laulu is a budding writer and yoga teacher who offers private meditation and yoga classes to corporate groups, schools, retreats and individuals from the YOGA JUICE studio or at your workplace or retreat. If you have any inquiries, regarding classes or those fermented food workshops please feel free to contact Rachel via email at yogasamoa@gmail.com or add her on facebook through her Yoga Juice Samoa group page



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