SALA founder Sarah Lindsay
Based on Brown Street, Auckland, SALA offers an integrated approach to physical and mental fitness (with high intensity HIIT, Core and Kettlebell) yet it is centred around yoga. It makes sense too, that its founder Sarah Lindsay is different, far from your average gym owner.
Sarah’s journey with yoga began when she completed her study (she majored in Sociology and Philosophy, then she moved into Research) and travelled to India.
When there, she signed up for a yoga course.
“I couldn’t even touch my toes! I was the most unlikly yogi”, she says. But the experience was an awakening. The coordinates of her life’s direction were shifted for good. Returning to London, she did her teacher training and began teaching at many of the city’s most celebrated studios before she moved to New Zealand with her husband, always hoping to one day open her own place.
The rest, as they say, is history. But seeing her gracefully move into the most complex poses with ease can distract from a journey that has taken a tremendous amount of hard work and focus, mentally and physically. This woman is strong.
“I’m definitely not from a competitive sports background like most gym people”, Sarah expresses. But her difference is found in an accute belief in in the mind / body matrix being intrinsically bound to human experience. Yoga is the ‘cultural nucleus’ around which everything at SALA is framed. It also informs what is clearly a very intelligent, considered approach to teaching, anchored in storytelling. This unique take has been lovingly embraced by a dedicated community that frequent SALA.
Being a woman and an entrepreneur and a gym owner, Sarah’s approach to what she does is very personal, informed by her own experiences. She focusses on a positive health journey which has a spiritural depth. She also has the clever ability to refine this focus. To reduce it to the essential; the most accute and important details. From the minimalist lighting to the warm wood and thoughtful body products in the spacious changing rooms, to the soft scent that greets you at the entrance, everything is designed to be different.
Sarah’s choice of Ashley & Co. fits seemlessly into this curated environment. “I want it to be special. To make people feel special”, says Sarah.
This intelligence, curiosity and belief in celebrating beauty comes together very powerfully in SALA’S newly printed Yoga Teacher Training Manual. Crafted in every way from the design (done by the talented Kate Morrison from ALT Group) to the photography, ilustrations and Sarah’s own considered copy, it is a sublime celebration of SALA and Sarah’s unique lense on yoga and life.
SALA’s new Yoga Teacher Training Manual, a sublime celebration of SALA and Sarah’s unique lense on yoga and life
“I didn’t want to just have a pile of handouts”, says Sarah of the book. “This is my interpretaton”. Sarah was also mindful of presenting something too perfect. “The photos are crops, just showing a portion of the experience. I want to remove as many barriers to entry as possible, preferring to reveal the poses as shapes”.
With a growing interest in the book, it might evolve into another, broader publication for anyone with an interest in yoga. And like everything at SALA, it will be open, engaging and enlightening – with every detail thougtfully and lovingly considered.