Sunday, July 27, 2008

Review: Studio Cirq and Interview: Lindsay van Niekerk

This post should have appeared much earlier in the week, but, dear readers, I have been busy!

Studio Cirq is tucked away in a side street in the centre of Melbourne, owned and run by a gracious woman called Lindsay van Niekerk. Yes, she hails from South Africa originally! A long time ago though. Lindsay has created a lovely space for people to go before or after work, and at lunch, and get their yoga fix. The studio also offers pilates classes, meditation, and shiatsu.

I have been attending the lunchtime Dynamic Yoga sessions, which are taught in the Sakshin Ghatasha style, and I love them! Just vigorous enough to keep you interested, not so vigorous that you need to shower before continuing with your day.

Image from a workshop held at Studio Cirq. See more on their Flickr

The studio is filled with interesting things; hand made stools from a local Melbourne designer, piles and piles of interesting magazines - yoga mags, health mags, Vogue. And then, of course, Lindsay herself is very interesting. Read on to find out...

1. How long have you been practicing yoga, and how did you start?
I think I started when I moved to Australia. It would be in the early 90s I dabbled in the odd Iyengar class at a school in Fremantle with a teacher called Kale Leaf (!) who was a wise and witty man who I believe is still teaching. I remember those classes fondly though I’m sure I hadn’t a clue what I was doing. The school was next to a strip club and I remember a Friday evening pranayama class where it took supreme mental strength not to be distracted by the amplified commentary coming from next door. It was a memorable experience and helps when I get stressed about the noise here at night with so many bars and restaurants around me. And now I am very drawn to Yin Yoga which emphasises working the joints by holding a pose for up to five minutes.

2. How has yoga changed your life?
The change has been a gradual process of changing the way I think about things. Trying not to be too dogmatic or believing their is one solution to things. Also being aware of the instinct to push oneself physically may be appropriate in many other activities, but in yoga we can rise above that and listen and learn instead of impose.

3.How did you come to open a yoga studio? What are the challenges? What keeps you at it?
I opened the Studio because I had lost interest in what I was doing (twenty years of film and television starting in Johannesburg) and wanted to do something that combined my skills in production management with my love of Pilates and yoga. My concept was very clear from the start and I researched it thoroughly, spending 8 months on a business plan. I love having my own business, making decisions every minute of the day that are all mine to make. Running a business can be a very creative process and I thrive on the human contact, particularly as it is something people want to do and the Studio is a place that is a great escape from the office.

4. What other things excite you?
Many things excite me. I read voraciously on many topics. I am also a huge user of the web, in particular blogs on topics ranging from architecture to politics. There is so much good stuff out there – I could spend hours on the web though I do restrict myself. I’m a bit of an early adopter and will research topics that interest me. Right now I am becoming more interested in growing things and have been messing around with making terrariums at home. Its something that will take a while as it is very much trial and error. Also I’ve discovered martial arts – and I do something called Swimming Dragon which is just the best thing as it is very expressive and beautiful to do. I’ve always been interested in design, music (my first job was at a record library in Johannesburg), cooking and I love animals, particularly my two large and noisy Siamese cats.

5. Lastly, tell us about your ultimate indulgence.
I’m not one for over the top luxury, though if you had to offer me a weekend at the Peninsula Hotel in Tokyo with unlimited spending, I may say yes please!!


shula said...

Wow, having you in Melbourne could prove most enlightening.

Unknown said...

great interview Nadine! also, i read your interview over at blisschick and just loved it. sending you big hugs!

Pink Heels said...

I wish that I lived closer to Australia so that I could enjoy this yummy yoga studio.