Get To Know Sarah, Yoga Teacher & Founder of SALA Studio, & Her 3 Favourite Yoga Poses

Sarah is the founder of SALA Studio – a minimalist style gym located in the heart of Ponsonby, Auckland. We caught up with her where she shares with us the story of SALA, the mantra she lives by, and how she turns moments of low energy and low motivation around.

Sarah also shares with us 3 of her favourite yoga poses that you can practice at home, with no equipment needed! Scroll down to find these!

We’d love to know a bit more about SALA’s story. Can you tell us about it and what led you here?

A series of on the spot decisions! I don’t make plans, generally. That’s as true for SALA as anything else. There’s no forecasting or projections, just a gut instinct. On me and my (now) husbands first date, he said he wanted to move back home to New Zealand, and I sort of decided on the spot I’d give it a go 😂 When we arrived in Auckland, Josh had been away a decade and I’d never been before, so on reflection it’s so funny to me that I decided to open a community-based business, when I didn’t know a single person! Spontaneity has always been the way I roll, and while it probably does mean some deviation, I do believe in the end, I end up where I need be.

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘the journey is as important as the destination’ – or something along those sentiments at least – so I don’t mind taking the extra time. I think it’s what keeps SALA very responsive as an entity. Because I don’t have some predetermined path, it gives me the freedom to flex my creative impulses. At the core of SALA, if I was to unravel the last three years, would be authenticity. Just to be authentic and allow whatever wants to be created to create itself. I didn’t necessary make any of the things SALA is loved for, not deliberately anyway. It sort of snowballed, grabbing bits on the way. It’s alive in its own way. 

How long have you been a yoga teacher? What is it about yoga that you love? 

I’ve been teaching for over ten years. I love that it means I am the eternal student. Every class is an opportunity to add (or shed) a layer and I feel grateful to have a job which enables me to be so present. 

What’s your outlook on health and wellness? Do you have any mantras you go by?

My ultimate mantra is ‘leap and the net will appear.’ My outlook is quite simple. Everything you do is a stream with flows into the river of your life. The food that you eat, the products you use on your skin, the places you spend money, the way you move your body. Support the inner (and outer) ecosystems with loving awareness.

In moments of low energy or low motivation, what do you do to turn this around? 

I rest (again, when possible with a toddler). We are so immersed in #hustleculture it’s hard to see where that story ends and our own begins. Im not subscribing to the idea I need to always be over working in order to feel successful anymore. I think a lot of us are at this crossroads right now. Post-pandemic I made a conscious decision to just really enjoy what I have, rather than seeking more – whether that be in terms of studio expansion or striving for a bigger house, or family. I sort of just said no. I have decided to slow down and to engineer opportunities for freedom, rather than getting caught up in the excitement of something new. That has been a really powerful personal boundary to set with my own ego. This is enough. You are enough (still hurts my ears to hear it.) I think as a small business people are always expecting you to be on the hustle- to strive to become a big business. They want a success story, and they don’t care if you pay in blood. I also subscribed to this story of success. 

What are your go-to recipes to nourish yourself? Favourite cosy winter dishes?

Tagine!! 

Sarah’s 3 favourite yoga poses to practice at home

Downward Dog

I love down dog. Such a foundational yoga shape which stretches the lower back, shoulders and hamstrings. There’s so many ways to modify this pose (bending knees, hands on blocks) to make it suitable for any level of yogi! 

Warrior 2

Warrior 2, strengthens the arms and hips, brings a grounded presence to your mind. My yoga practice is very simple since having a baby. I like to feel rooted in my shapes, spending more time breathing in each shape.

King Pigeon

My signature move, king pigeon. It requires both dedication and longevity to your practice which I think makes it so special.

About SALA

SALA is located in the heart of Ponsonby in a refurbished factory, the perfect home for the gym that combines fitness and minimalist style. SALA is more than just sweating, it was born from their desire to create impactful experiences, community and healthy habits. They believe working out should never feel like a chore, thats why we designed a gym with a diverse timetable and contract free-drop in classes taught by expert trainers.

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