Meet yogi extraordinaire and founder of The Yoga Social an incredible community yoga-hub in the centre of Melbournes bustling CBD. She is a Yogi on a roll and has no plans to stop anytime soon!
Ambika, can you tell us a little about you and your journey to becoming a yoga teacher?
I discovered Yoga as a dancer. Yoga was part of the curriculum when I undertook full-time dance studies in my late teens. I then went on to work as a dancer/performer and whilst I was living in Japan a friend of mine introduced me to Yoga once more. I started practicing regularly and buying books on yoga and eventually went to India to explore! This was all in the early/mid 90’s. I did my first teacher training a few years after with Sivananda Yoga and then my teaching journey began. I first taught in London, then moved back to Australia and started my own business ‘AmbikaYoga’. Since then, I’ve opened my own centre in Adelaide, moved to Melbourne and now have a centre in Melbourne called The Yoga Social, I’ve completed numerous teacher training courses and am now training teachers
We absolutely love the studio, what was your motivation behind the space?
I wanted a space that was community focused and a space that ‘gave back’ to the community somehow. I wanted somewhere everyone could hang as well as practice Yoga. Somewhere people can feel safe to explore themselves, and which offers something for everyone. I think I’ve achieved this with TYS.
If the studio were a person, how would you describe them?
Friendly, intimate, fun and very open minded
What feelings and experiences do you want students to gain from the space and their time at The Yoga Social?
I want them to want to come back and I want them to choose Yoga as a lifestyle!
You have so much on the go at the moment, can you describe a day in the life of ‘you’?
Oh dear. It’s crazy! I wake around 5.30 (actually 5.43 .. because I press snooze twice) and arrive to work around 6.30. I teach 3 mornings per week. After teaching, I’ll do admin stuff then often I have a private client mid morning. I either teach at lunch time or I work on the reception desk of TYS whilst another teacher is teaching. Mid afternoons I either do admin again (depending on what’s going on) or I go home for an hour or so (handy living in the city). In the evenings, I usually teach one or two classes. Most of the time I leave the Yoga centre around 8 – 8.30pm. My partner Cera and I hang out with cats every night for about an hour before we are both in bed at around 9.30.
What do you believe is the most important change people should make if they want to be kinder to their bodies?
Swadyaya! Self-study. I think it’s the most important. Once we do this, the other ‘sacrifices’ won’t seem like sacrifices.
If you are having a low day what do you do to lift your mood?
Honestly, I have a little ‘gratitude’ exercise, which I practice when I’m feeling down. I list the things I’m grateful for. It works for me. Oh, then I smother my cats with kisses!!!
What are the plans for Ambika Chadwick & The Yoga Social?
In a years time I plan to hopefully, be finishing the writing of the ‘Advanced Yoga Teacher Training course’ at TYS and planning the dates for 2016. I also hope to be renting a larger space with two Yoga studios (and no crazy banging from upstairs).
Favourite Yoga pose…
This is a tough one, but I’ll have to say ‘Anjanayasana’. (Low Lunge)
It feels graceful to me, it preps me for so much (including Hanumanasana- Monkey Pose) and I can also take the back bend deeper. My front body is quite tight compared to my back body (especially quadriceps verses hamstrings) so I need this pose in my life!
In the meantime…
Head over to The Yoga Social website.
Book into one of her incredible classes or workshops!
Why not become a certified yoga teacher – Click here to study with Ambika in 2015!
The Yoga Social Level 1/181 King St Melbourne, Victoria