On Friday we opened our digital doors and officially kicked off Warrior & Wild. At this point, we’re playing a bit of a game of trust - our literal doors haven’t opened yet and you don’t even know what you’re signing up to. We’re offering this launch promo code at the moment but for all you know, we could be offering second rate teachers in a dingy little hall (we’re doing neither of those things…I promise!!).
So how do you decide whether to sign up at all?
I wouldn’t suggest opening our actual doors just yet (the studio is less zen and more war zone right now; I hope those who have seen it so far have a vivid imagination) – so the next best thing we can do to help you get to know us is to let you in on a little of who we actually are and what you can expect from Warrior & Wild...
To give you some context, it’s late Saturday night and I’ve just got back from the studio. My day has been a mixture of plastering and marketing, and now I’m writing this accompanied by nut butter straight from the jar and a nice glass of white (yes, you can still do yoga and drink wine!). It’s been a long 10 days since we got the keys and started the lease, and I’m still swinging back and forth between ‘YAY THIS IS AWESOME’ and simply ‘oh boy…’.
To start at the beginning…I came across yoga through the fitness route, and any thoughts of sitting still and focusing on my breath were not on my radar. After seeing a lady who must have been well into her 70’s next to me in a hot yoga class have such strength and agility, I knew I’d do whatever it took to be like that at her age! Over time, I developed beyond the fitness aspects of yoga and began to see the other benefits off the mat. A shitty day could be turned around with a great yoga practice, and I’d come out feeling invincible.
Earlier this year I began my teacher training after I began asking a lot of ‘why’ questions in my yoga classes. I’m an inherent student and love learning, so my go-to solution was to do the training course, and get the answers for myself. I started the course as a personal-development thing and didn’t imagine I’d want to stand in front of a class, but by the end of the third module I literally wanted to teach EVERYONE, I absolutely loved it and was dying to spread the love.
Since then I’ve come back down from my yoga high and landed somewhere in the middle. You won’t see me on the timetable just yet, as I’m keen to develop my own teaching a little further before public consumption, but it has left me with the desire to make the benefits of yoga accessible to more people. Throughout my teaching I struggled to find anywhere in Nailsworth I could practice on regular basis; a back injury left me needing a more gentle style and I couldn’t find anywhere that fit in around my routine and work schedule. Maybe it’s the engineer in me, but I instinctively sought to find a solution – the answer was to bring the yoga to me.
I’m not an established businesswoman with years of experience in entrepreneurship under my belt; nor am I a seasoned yogi who’s spent a decade travelling the world from retreat to retreat living a blissful life and bending myself in unfathomable shapes on a daily basis. I’m a naval architect by day, and whilst this is somewhat of a different field, the one thing I do have working in my favour is the ability to bring things together and make things happen. This is the first (quite large..!) step in a bit of a mad journey, and we’ll definitely be finding our feet along the way, but the support and feedback we’ve had so far has been immeasurable and now I’m just dying to open! The space we have is amazing (I’m pretty sure I’m going to want to live in it when it’s finished) and frankly I’m just excited to be bringing together an amazing collection of teachers into one place where I can get to be a student again.
To elaborate on the non ‘obviously yogic’ name…
For those of your newer to yoga, ‘warrior’ is a posture, or rather a series of postures…warrior I, II and III. As with anything in yoga, there is no one size fits all and each posture often means something different to each person. For me, I see each of the variations as tapping into a different element that reflects characteristics I love.
I see Warrior I as being about flexibility –it’s heart opening and there’s no escape from those areas that need work. As a natural-born control freak, flexibility in everything is definitely something I’m working on constantly. Warrior II is for strength. Any Warrior II posture that comes in more than halfway through my practice is a real challenge for me to hold; you can’t just hang out in it, everything needs to be strong and engaged. It’s exhausting but powerful. Finally, Warrior III is balance. Literally, you’re standing on one foot and leaning forward… you don’t get much more balance needed from a standing posture. This part is the reminder not to go too far down the rabbit hole; it’s all about seeing the bigger picture.
And the Wild side? Well that’s two-fold. My studio dream seed was planted whilst on a road trip in Canada last summer. The mountains, forests and lakes throughout the Rockies just left me dazzled. I fell in love with Whistler and a yoga studio there, and returned craving a space like that closer to home. The themes throughout our branding come from some of the incredible views of the nature and wild there, and the feather in the logo comes from a necklace my other half bought me as a gift, which you’ll probably catch me wearing a lot!
The secondary side of ‘wild’ is literally just relating to the crazy definition of wild. Mostly because I still think I’m mad taking all of this on…
The class timetable is one that will be constantly evolving. There is no studio in Nailsworth for me to take guidance from; I don’t know what times will be busiest or which classes you want more of. We just need to start somewhere. From there, all I ask is for your feedback; if you want more of a particular style, or something at a different time, you just need to let us know.
Warrior & Wild will be more than just a random nice room that you go and do some yoga in. This week I met a wonderful local shop owner who described Nailsworth the only place in the south comparable to a northern town for community and friendliness. That’s what we want bring into the studio. Too many people go to classes to ‘tick the box’ of having done yoga that week – maybe it’s the British in us, but we can go to classes for weeks with the same people without even knowing their name! We won’t be asking for your life story in each class, but we do want to encourage the growth of a yoga community on and off the mat.
I’ve heard so many people in the past couple of weeks tell me that they’d like to try yoga but they think they’re not bendy, strong or fit enough to come along. Yoga is big and scary. It’s new and different and you’re pretty sure you’re going to be the only one feeling like you’ve got the flexibility of a poppadum whilst the svelte athletes around you bend themselves into pretzels. I know this because 95% of people I’ve spoken to around Nailsworth recently have told me that very thing. Few people come to yoga BECAUSE they’re strong and flexible and mobile, they come so they can develop these things. Don’t be nervous about coming, I promise you won’t feel alone or out of place.
Perhaps you’ve come across Warrior & Wild because you’re practicing yoga at home and are looking for some classes nearby. Maybe you’re recovering from an injury and have heard yoga will help with regaining some strength and mobility. You might be an athlete looking to bring some flexibility to those muscles that have tightened up over years of training, or maybe you’re just here because you’ve heard somewhere that yoga is apparently good for you and you think you should give it a try.
[Option E is that you could just be on this website because you work in the Canteen where I’ve frequented about 4 times a day for the last week in the pursuit of caffeine, and you’re intrigued about what’s going on upstairs...].
In addition to any of those things, you probably just have absolutely no idea where to start. We’ve scheduled a timetable that has something that aims to suit everyone, and if you get in touch and let us know what your interests are we can try and point you in the right direction. I can’t promise is that you’ll fall in love with yoga straight away, it can take time to see and feel the benefits, and there are SO many different styles. Yoga is ridiculously diverse, there’s no guarantee you’ll find the style you connect with on your first, second or even third class. I love my practice but I’ve still been to a lot of classes I didn’t like. Don’t be put off by trying a single one and thinking ‘yoga isn’t for me’.
The benefits of a regular practice extend far beyond being able to touch your toes or do a headstand. Come to a dynamic class to strengthen and develop your physical wellbeing. Come to hatha and learn to link body, breath and mind. Come to a restorative class to nourish yourself and allow your brain to slow down for an hour (you’ll catch me in this class religiously!).
Don’t come to learn party tricks. Come to hang out with like-minded people and spend some time doing something to actively benefit your body and mind. Get to know each other, us and our teachers. Share what you love and what you’re nervous about. Let us know what you think yoga is, what's holding you back from trying or simply what you'd love to achieve. Most of all, just get involved.