Up Close And Connected With Clare Monahan – Co-Founder of Light Space Yoga

Light space yoga is one beautiful community – designed to feel like a little sanctuary to find calm, peace and quiet from the outside world.

What inspired you to create a yoga community?

Initially, when Mum and I first opened White Space Yoga (out of the basement of mum and dad’s house), we just loved teaching yoga and didn’t really know what to expect in terms of building a community.  When people actually started to attend our classes and our community started to grow (not only in terms of size but in connection with us and with fellow yogis) we were incredibly humbled. And we felt blessed to be able to provide a space for people to feel a part of something.  A few years down the track we were inspired to extend our community and to open Light Space Yoga in Balwyn and then in Mitcham because, to be honest, we all just get such a buzz out of being in the studios, and seeing the impact that the yoga and also the friendly, nurturing and positive communities that are developed at yoga studios has on peoples’ lives.

Why is connection important to you as a small business owner?

From a studio perspective, connection is absolutely vital for students, for teachers and for us.  It’s so important that people feel comfortable and relaxed in the studio so that they can connect with their bodies, their breath, their emotions, their reactions and, for teachers, their teaching.

As a studio owner, there’s so much to do and think about all the time to make sure that, for students and teachers, their experience at the studios is effortless so that they can just relax and be really present on their mats. Personally, I’d find it really difficult to dedicate the time and thinking required to run the studios the way they deserve to be run if I didn’t feel so connected with the vision.  For me, it makes the work authentic and real (and fun!).

How does yoga help one better connect?

Yoga invites you to listen. To listen to yourself, to your body, to the patterns of thoughts in your mind, to inquiry and ultimately to connect to yourself. In everyone’s busy lives, it is so rare to give yourself 60 minutes of time just for you. Yoga invites you to quieten down your thoughts by focusing on your breathe and the sensations in your body.

One thing we’ve also really noticed is that such strong communities and strong friendships are built at the studios, and there’s a real sense of connection and feeling part of something among students, which is really special.

As a small business owner how do you identify your trigger points for knowing it’s time to reconnect with self?

I’m very lucky that I have a lot of support around me. I have my Mum, my Dad and my husband – who are all so connected with the studios. I also have amazing parents-in-law. With 2 young children (a one y/o and three y/o) and running 3 studios, it is often my beautiful Mum that knows when I need to slow down or back off. She is always the first to tell me!

What do you do when business gets a little overwhelming and you know you need to reconnect with self?

For me, it’s simple – I up my mediation practice and focus on doing the simple and core things with the studios really well. I prioritise sleep. And I also increase my focus on family. It is so important to me, and my little boys are everything. They will come with me to the studios, and adore playing with the props and doing their own form of yoga. I’m so grateful that yoga is such a big part of their lives.

Website – lightspaceyoga.com.au