Local Love Chris Wilson – Owner of Yoke Yoga

May 24, 2017

Our latest Local Love Chris Wilson is the incredible mind and Founder behind the beautiful  Yoke Yoga studios in South Melbourne & Torquay. We chat to Chris about his unexpected move to the coast, why he believes meditation is a powerful tool to make positive changes and what to expect from his upcoming retreat in Nihiwatu.


Chris, can you please tell us a little about you?

I have a beautiful family two girls, two dogs, three chooks. We live on the surf coast. I fell In love with yoga back in 2006 while living in Byron. Yoga helped me keep focused while studying marine Science. I soon realised I was more passionate about yoga than marine science and went on to become a teacher in 2007.


Now a little about your amazing yoga studios Yoke Yoga… (what does the word Yoke mean?)

If you look up Yoga in any traditional text, it’s likely you’ll come across the word ‘Yoke’. Yoga is to Yoke or to join/create a union with. What we’re creating union with is hard to describe with words, you can point at it by saying ‘the vastness of awareness’, or ‘pure consciousness’, or you could say we’re relaxing into that which is observing, as opposed to being tangled up in that which we’re observing.

Have health and fitness always been important to you? Was there a defining moment where you decided to make a change? 

Health and fitness on the physical side have been a lucky byproduct of loving surfing and getting outdoors but haven’t always been a focus. I think that by practising a lot of yoga there’s been a natural gravitation towards healthy food/lifestyle choices. If there was a defining moment for me it would be in my mid 20’s when I realised the importance of looking after the mind. More specifically by taking ownership of challenging emotions/thoughts rather than running away or trying to suppress them.


What do you believe is the most powerful change people should make if they want to be sensitive to their mind and bodies?

I think getting into meditation. This gives perspective to challenging thoughts and loosens up unnecessary tension in the body.  Spend between 5-30 minutes a day sitting or lying down. Let the mind roam around/do what it does then begin to bring the awareness into the body. Practice welcoming sensations in the body. Then notice the movement of breath, and perhaps then notices a felt sense of being you. Relaxing into that feeling is super healing.


Can you tell us why you decided to move from the city to the coast?

We had kids and thought it would be a nice place for them to grow up!



We have found there is a shift towards a more conscious way of living that most of us are starting to take notice of our health. People are now opting for retreats in holiday destinations and health workshops and seminars on the weekends. Yoga has definitely paved the way for this, do you agree?  

Yes, for sure it feels as though people are shifting towards more health conscious living. I think Yoga has been more of a guide for this movement, and that many factors have helped pave the way. Interestingly I think that there’s a lot of stress in people’s lives these days, and this could be a great driver towards more health conscious living. Stress works eventually- it guides us towards healing.


We absolutely love the studio, what was your motivation behind the space?

Thank you!! My brother’s firm Folk Architects did the design. We wanted something that encouraged community and felt spacious.


What feelings and experiences do you want students to gain from the space and their time at Yoke?

We’d love people to feel welcome, to feel in safe hands, to feel encouraged to step out of their comfort zone, to decompress, to unwind physical and emotional tension, to build strength and confidence to meet the world with clarity and equanimity.

Tell us about your retreat coming up with Deb Langley in November. It’s the number one hotel in the world!?

Yes, thanks for asking about this one. We’re super excited to have the opportunity to retreat in such a beautiful location and incredible resort!

Deb Langley is a dear friend and phenomenal teacher. We’ve been meaning to run a retreat together for a long time and things are finally falling into place. We’ll be offering a deeply nurturing world class yoga program including daily meditation, breathing exercises and guided asana classes. The food and facilities at Nihiwatu are beautiful and the people are so peaceful! It’s a true paradise.


Favourite Yoga pose…

Down Dog 🐶

images via: www.geelongadvertiser.com.au


W: www.yokeyoga.com.au

I:   @yokeyoga

F:  facebook.com/yokeyoga.yogaoftheheart



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