Half way between Roman Road’s cafes, Semz and HiLAND Cafe, you will spot a tiny, green-grey-painted shop front – the recently opened ánimo yoga studio.
Nadine Sharkey, one of the founders, is there to provide a warm welcome into the shop. It turns out the studio itself is tucked away at the back. Lively, blonde and in her socks, she explains the front space – painted a calming, earthy teal and full of sleek, minimalist shelves – will actually be a sustainable lifestyle shop (once all the stock is unpacked).
Moments after, we are greeted by Nadine’s other business-half, Judy Christie, who greets us with a gentle Glaswegian lilt.
Sitting down on a large bench on the far side of the space, Nadine explains the shop will also act as a meeting space, where they are planning on holding lifestyle workshops (such as how to make your own face masks) as well as an area where attendees can socialise before and after lessons.
It is clear from this space that ánimo yoga is not just about yoga as a physical activity, but as a sustainable lifestyle. People turn to yoga for a variety of reasons in life from getting fitter to improving flexibility. But the founders’ vision for ánimo yoga (animo is Latin for breath), is to create a relaxing respite from people’s busy lives.
‘We run meditation lessons once a week,’ says Christie. ‘So on a Sunday afternoon you just lie there while someone whispers nice things to you.’
‘We wanted the space to be an oasis,’ says Nadine. ‘So that it’s not just a yoga studio – the whole space is relaxing and conducive to a sense of calm.’
Their yoga schedule reflects these principles. They offer daily flow yoga lessons that focus on movement, and on Sundays they hold a ‘nidra’ session, which is a type of yogic relaxation session aimed at calming the mind.
‘We wanted to make yoga accessible. It isn’t all about doing handstands and being able to touch your toes. It’s just about wandering in finding a peace of calm and quiet for yourself.’
They also run a free ‘tea and tots’ session: these are not yoga lessons but simply a chance for parents to sip tea and socialise with other parents in their front room.
‘It’s just a chance for parents to come in and have a cup of tea and a chat, and take time out of their busy lives. And you give what you can as a donation, but all proceeds from these events go to charity.’
If you are interested in trying out one of their lessons you can find out more at the ánimo yoga website.
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