If the sounds of the sea providing a back-drop for your yoga class and home made chai served up afterwards sounds like your cup of tea, then Bridget Kelly’s Yoga by the Sea is for you.
A musician and a dancer who brings an ethereal grace to her practice, Bridget is one of the many yoga teachers you’ll find scattered all over New Zealand, teaching in schools halls, church halls and in rotundas.
Like those many teachers, she’s made her classes her own – and even offers up the recipe for that home-made chai on her website.
1. What style of yoga do you practice and where do you teach?
Holistic Hatha Yoga. At Yoga by the Sea in Oriental Parade , under the Fisherman’s Table restaurant
A mixture of all styles of yoga, it’s a reflection of the people in the class. There is no dogma.
To follow only one avenue is simply to cut off others.
The aim is to be accessible to many different types of people, with various needs backgrounds and bodies.
2. How did you come to yoga?
Through Dance I came to the asana element.
Then through being a musician I came to the breath and rhythm element.
Then through a love of nature & art I came to the concepts/ philosophical element.
3. When did the yoga bug really get you?
I really can’t recall! There’s always a familiarity & a new-ness about it. I’m always discovering & rediscovering my love of yoga.
I love the sense of serenity & subtlety it gives you and a feeling of being simultaneously connected and free.
4. How has yoga transformed your life?
I am a nicer, stronger, more open person. Things are simpler. A truth emerges. It has given me a way to combine and share all the things I value in life.
In a more subtle way: While walking, talking, breathing, playing, working, loving, listening, engaging, questioning, contemplating, laughing… In these simple things you discover profound occurrences.
5. What is your home practice like?
On the mat it’s completely explorational / experimental and different every time.
Off the mat, I try to practice all day, while walking, talking, breathing etc
6. When people ask you, “What is Yoga?”, what do you say?
In layman’s terms, it’s combining stretches and breathing, strength and relaxation & meditation to help you feel simple things / think simple concepts. The more you practice the simpler / clearer things become.
It’s completely personal… It’s as varied as the people who practice it. Yoga will deliver, whatever you want it to be.
7. What can people expect from one of your classes?
A very relaxed & friendly atmosphere. It’s Yoga for the people. Absolutely no frills. Men and women of all ages and abilities come and are welcome. Soft lighting, candles, incense and aromatherapy. Sound of the sea lapping up on the walls…
The classes are a bit of a workout to create a detoxifying sweat. Helping you find a deep and restorative relaxation / meditation at the end. I also offer homemade chai (VERY popular!) after every class. So people can get to know each other. Yoga attracts nice people and I like to create a sense of community.
People can expect to find what ever it is they are coming for. The teacher opens the door and the pupil walks through it. (Some people like me to hold their hand, and that’s fine!)
8. What do you love most about teaching yoga?
I LOVE sharing the love. It’s such a rewarding job. I wish everyone did yoga and here is my chance to put it into some more people’s lives. Hopefully they are better parents, children, lovers and more responsible people in the community.
I feel very humble and greatful that I can share this passion of mine. I get to meet many wonderful souls and give people permission and strength to be themselves and pursue their goals. Giving the gift of Health & Empowerment.
9. What do you wish everybody knew about yoga?
How it can be empowering. How it’s definitely not about being flexible. How it’s free of ‘shoulds’. How good it feels and how it’s like a free massage and a free weights class and a free holiday all in one. EVERY time! and the possibilities it opens up… it’s infinite.
10. What role do you see yoga playing in our world?
Unblocking peoples blockages and opening peoples hearts. Creating community.
11. Anything else you’d like to say?
Everybody benefits from yoga, in whichever form attracts them. So bring a friend or family member to your next class! Parents enjoy feeling fit, energized and calm, Kids astound me with their focus and ability to enjoy relaxation, senior citizens feel more agile and enjoy practice such as breathwork and spiritual philosophies, while teenagers enjoy the strength, confidence and poise it gives them.
12. And finally, how do people find you?