Yogallery - Combining Yoga and Art with Katie Christie

Posted by Valka Yoga on

Opened by Tim and Katie Christie, Yogallery is more than just your average yoga studio. Contemporary art adorns the walls, displaying a unique collection by Tim Christie, a well-known New Zealand based designer and artist. While the yoga studio, Now Yoga, is run by Katie Christie, a qualified yoga and pilates instructor.

In this hybrid space of yoga and art, Yogallery aims to inspire and empower everyone that walks through the door. It’s all about the freedom to express yourself, be that through art or movement.

Recently, we caught up with Katie over peppermint tea in the Yogallery space to find out more.

What inspired you to start the business?

We wanted to do something together, and something we also really loved doing. We thought, well we aren't getting any younger and you never know what’s around the corner. A close friend had recently passed away, that was very sudden and it kind of kicked us into action - if not now, then when?

I had been practising yoga since my early 20s and always wanted to open a studio. At the time I felt I needed a change from my corporate career so it just seemed like it was now or never. 

This is Tim’s first gallery, but his work is already sold in galleries internationally, as well as in Queenstown, Auckland’s Poi Room and Te Papa.

We knew this building was here and thought it was the perfect space to try out the concept of combining yoga and art.

How did you start out in the beginning?

We opened in July 2021, right during lockdown which was a tough time to open a business. Tim is a really accomplished designer and artist so we managed to thrive thanks to the popularity of Tim’s work. Even though we were in lockdown, people were still buying art. So we found combining yoga and art worked really well together. Since then, we have built up a close-knit yoga community. 

What classes do you offer at Now Yoga?

We have 12 teachers and a broad range of classes. We offer Yin, Yin/Yang, Hatha Flow, Vinyasa Flow, Pre Natal and Post Natal Yoga, and Pilates. We also have Stretch and Strengthen, which is a little bit of Pilates and gentle weights. It’s more about resistance, toning and balance.

Our Get Your Glow On class is designed specifically for women who are perimenopausal, menopausal or post-menopausal. The class is about helping women maintain their bone density and muscle mass. It is a little bit of cardio, impact and weights, enough to get the heart rate up in an environment that’s not at all like a gym.

What gets you up in the morning?

What we are trying to achieve, and what I’m really passionate about is people being empowered in their practice and feeling like they belong in this space so there is no barrier to them walking through the door. A lot of people want something that might be a little bit gentle, or just something they can relate to, depending on how their body is at this time in their lives.

For us here at Yogallery, we don’t just teach yoga, we teach the body in front of us. All the teachers bring their own special flair to each class so it’s not a fixed recipe. If you teach from the heart, then you teach a great class. I’m all about empowering people just to be.

What made you decide to use and stock Valka Yoga mats in the studio?

When I first used the cork yoga mat I was worried about slipping but it never happened, and I thought these yoga mats are incredible. They dry well and people comment on them all the time. Plus they are absolutely stunning. So we purchased quite a few for the studio and became stockists for Valka Yoga's mats last year.

Sustainability is also really important to us. Along with the Valka Yoga mats being sustainably sourced, all our yoga bolsters are made with from organic cotton (which Danny from Valka Yoga helped us source) and New Zealand grown buckwheat and dinkle husks. They are simple, natural and make for the most amazing bolsters.

What do you love about your business?

We are so grateful for the incredible feedback we receive and the community we are building is really lovely. There are people from all walks of life, and I really like that. I think the diversity of our community is what makes our life interesting.

Any exciting plans for the future?

We’re really aiming for growth which takes time, and just building up the classes. We eventually want to offer ecstatic dance, which is basically free movement and the dance of the yoga world. The DJ comes in and plays music in a continuous wave. It’s like a story, the music starts off slow and meditative and takes you on a journey to somewhere frenetic and really high energy, and then it brings you back down on the other side. It is a beautiful thing because people can be free in their bodies, and you can move however you want. You can just sit there and lay down on the floor, or you can dance like a crazy person. It’s just about releasing endorphins and moving without having any judgments.

I’m not a dancer by any stretch of the imagination, but I love to move. I’ve always been an active person. I love the grace of yoga and pilates and I love to dance. Everybody can move, it doesn’t matter what your injuries are. You don’t need to be well coordinated or have a background in some physical discipline, and I am proof of that.

What specials do you offer at the studio?

We have a special unlimited pass for $69 per month, or $39 per week. Our classes are held in-studio as well as online, so people can join in from absolutely anywhere.

If you want to learn more about Yogallery, Now Yoga or book in for a yoga class in this beautiful space, visit their website here.

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