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Yogaharta Seaford: Chat With Owner Ruth

When Ruth set out to include yoga in her daily routine over 5 years ago, she never believed she would be owning her own yoga studio just a few blocks back from the beach. This isn’t to minimise the hard work this ‘book keeper by day’ has done to completely fit out a brand new studio in Hartnett Drive, Seaford. Because boy, has there been hard work. But the results speak for themselves.

What is Yogaharta?
Yogaharta is a place where people can come and have a bit of a sanctuary from the struggles of life. It’s pretty stressful out there sometimes with family and work, so it’s really a place where anyone can come and destress. Get out of their head and stop thinking about all their worries and just focus on their body and breath and get themselves into stillness. Head back into the world with a bit of renewed energy.

How did you get into yoga?
I had a bit of a bad breakdown, I ended up in hospital and they did yoga in there. They did a lot of teaching on how to keep yoga studio and just went every day. I just got absolutely addicted. I really noticed the difference it made. It was a way for me to make sure I stayed well, and really Yogaharta is about me bringing that to others. Yogis in India have known about this and have being doing this for thousands of years. It’s all been accessible for everybody its only just now that people have become aware of it.

Do you have any tips for beginners in yoga?
I didn’t start yoga until I was 50. You think you’re not flexible or you can’t do it because you haven’t been moving all those years, it’s not true. In a very short time, if you just keep practicing, your flexibility will improve. With our classes, we’re a more gentle studio. We’re more about restorative and gentle stretching, so focusing on the mind. It really caters for everybody and every level. You should never feel competitive with who’s next to you on the mat. We just make everyone feel ok for wherever they’re at, and celebrate the little victories, like when you can finally touch your toes. When people say, ‘I could never do yoga, I’m not flexible,’ it’s absolutely not true. Stretching is so good for the body. People will try meditation and say ‘Nope, I can’t shut my mind up.’ It’s just persistence and keep bringing your mind back.

How do you try to stand out in the health and wellness industry?
We absolutely provide every thing so you can come and you don’t need to bring anything at all. We’ve got no end of packages on how you can pay. Yoga should be accessible to everybody. We offer 25% discount to pensioners and concession holders. And come chat to us if that is not affordable because I don’t want anyone to be excluded. And we’re trying to be a whole centre of healing and provide different treatments eventually.

Have you found many challenges in opening Yogaharta?
Definitely. I gutted this whole place pretty much from scratch and it took a lot longer than I first thought it would. And I’ve never run a yoga studio before so I had no idea what I was doing. One of my old yoga teachers helped me a lot at the start.

Do you have a 5 year plan for Yogaharta?
I’d like to eliminate all the other stressful parts of my life and just focus on yoga. Definitely an aim and a goal.

Do you have any tips for people to help with their health and wellness?
The vegan diet. I did so much research on foods that can keep yourself well and healthy as well, and discovered how bad meat and dairy is for you. Just getting out and spending time in nature around beautiful things. Taking that time out to really appreciate everything. Drink plenty of water. Spending time with family and friends, people that uplift you and don’t bring you down. Lots of hugs. Speak beautifully to yourself and say you did the best you could and you’re doing a beautiful job. Just taking the time to look back to where you were, to where you’ve come.

Do you have any role models?
I love biographies, going to see people talk, and always on YouTube listening to speakers.

Do you have any advice for women in business?
Look, it’s hard. *Laughs* But if you’ve got an absolute passion and love for what you’re doing, and you have a strong belief that you have something of value to add, then just go about making it happen, it will be. Never ever give up and keep working towards it. Even if you start off with something part time, until its sustainable, its certainly doable. If you believe in it, there will be other people that have a need and a want. Hang in there and keep going.

Find out more about Yogaharta at yogaharta.com.au

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