“We are an ethical movement – promoting health, happiness and wellbeing,” Danica Jones, co-founder of Yoga Outdoors says. “Our light-hearted style of yoga is brought to the community using two bikes to create a beautiful outdoor yoga space complete with yoga props”. Yoga Outdoors, founded by Danica and partner Nick Tunnell, is an outdoors yoga studio located on the viewing deck of the ANZ Events Centre. The pair use two retro bicycles to cordon off the yoga ground.
They founded their business with a goal to create social change.
“From the beginning, we wanted to do something more than just teach yoga. With one of my close family members lives with depression, I know it can be quite hard for people to understand depression. That’s why we teamed up with the Mental Health Foundation to educate the community and promote wellness,” Danica says.
Danica and Nick started holding Sunday Community Yoga classes promoting the Mental Health Foundation’s Five Ways to Wellbeing kaupapa and donating all the profits back to the foundation.
“We love the Five Ways to Wellbeing. They are valuable to everybody – whether you are experiencing mental health problems or you are well. We all need a reminder from time to time,” Danica says.
Every Sunday session concludes with a morning tea of fresh fruit and coffee to create a space for participants to connect, unwind and meet new people.
Danica says, “Our favourite part of the weekend wellness classes is the coffee. More than just the caffeine, it’s the hanging around after class and having a chat. We believe a sense of community is essential to feeling mentally well.”
The pair are halfway to their fundraising goal, and will continue fundraising through the winter months when the community might need it the most.
“The Five Ways to Wellbeing highlight that life is all about balance. Just like when practising yoga, we need to find the balance of strength, as well as softness.”
Danica and Nick are both trying to find balance with their new business and bring that knowledge and understanding to their class and members.
“Yoga encourages us to be open, both physically and mentally. And it reminds us to live in the present moment,” Danica says. “One of my favourite quotes is one I heard in a yoga class many years ago: ‘Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate your mind on the present moment’, from the Buddha.”
If you would like to donate to the Mental Health Foundation through Danica and Nick’s Support Yoga Outdoors please visit their online fundraising page