Albany Leisure and Aquatic Centre, Tola Wellbeing is a yoga studio run by Robin Russell, teaching classes using a slow flow through posture with emphasis on breathing techniques. In Sanskrit, the classical Indian language still used in yoga to define practices, asana or poses, Tola translates to ‘A Balance’ and at Tola Wellbeing, the aim is to bring balance to all things for inner contentment and peace. Robin teaches thoughtful and reflective yoga which promotes a positive understanding of the connection between body and mind.
To learn more about the many benefits of yoga and how it can assist those preparing for a wedding, we spoke to Robin about her profession.
What is yoga? The word yoga, stems from the Sanskrit word yuj means to yoke or bind and is often interpreted as ‘union’ or a method of discipline. A male who practices yoga is called a yogi, a female practitioner, a yogini. The Indian sage Patanjali is believed to have collated the practice of yoga into the Yoga Sutra an estimated 2,000 years ago. Today most people practicing yoga are engaged in the third limb, asana, which is a program of physical postures designed to purify the body and provide the physical strength and stamina required for long periods of meditation.
What do I need to start practicing yoga? All that is really needed to begin yoga is your body and an open mind. It is also helpful to own a pair of comfortable leggings or shorts and a t-shirt that isn’t too baggy. Yoga is practiced barefoot so no special footwear is required but it is recommended to bring some water and a towel to class. Tola Wellbeing Yoga Studio has mats and props available for you to use in class and can be purchased for personal home practice. There is a common misconception that you need to be flexible in order to try yoga. Although flexibility is a happy by-product of the practice, it is not a prerequisite. I try to remind people that everyone has their first class once and the hardest part is showing up consistently. Once you do however, you just might wonder why you hadn’t tried it earlier! Yoga has so many benefits which I love sharing with others.
Why should we try yoga at Tola Wellbeing? I have a gentle approach to teaching and am able to understand the unique levels of each student. I focus on the movement of the yoga poses and the feel within the body. I am able to link the movement with the breath, helping students connect their body and mind. Each class has a different focus and pace from week to week.
When you’re not teaching yoga, where would we find you? I find joy in appreciating the stunning local scenery, cooking and spending time with my partner, Charles and our families. I enjoy drinking coffee and recommend Fredrick’s on York Street as my favourite spot for a caffeine fix!
For more information about Tola Wellbeing or to try a class for yourself, Robin can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Class schedules can be found at www.tolawellbeing.com and be sure to follow the studio on social media to stay up-to-date and always inspired!Poses captured by William Marwick.