Earth Yoga, the Beating Heart of Santa Catalina…

By Shirley Roberts
Published in the Majorca Daily Bulletin
on Sunday 27th March 2016

Three strong women who met in the melting pot that is Mallorca are the faces and bodies behind Earth Yoga. Sandra and Jay met on the Repic Beach of the Port of Soller over ten years ago when they both relocated to Majorca with their young families.  Meanwhile, at the same time, over the other side of the island in Calvia, Katja and her family were doing the same. Sandra and Katja trained as Yoga teachers and after Sandra opened the studio they began to work together in Santa Catalina.  They loved their baby space and teaching the Vinyasa Yoga that was to become their trademark.

Jay’s career in running a corporate business in the UK and a recruitment agency here in Majorca was behind her. She took a little time out and went to the yoga studio and became Sandra’s pupil.  She wanted to know all she could do with her body and her mind through this completely new experience. The following year was a life changer and after a year of exercise and focusing Jay’s yoga teacher training began. 

Sandra is an actress from Sweden, with training in New York and a whole list of acting credits to her name.  Yoga enabled her to train her body and get the very best out of life’s day to day experiences. Sandra’s life as a Yoga teacher has given her great opportunities to introduce the great visiting Yoga professors from Sweden and other parts of the world to the Earth Yoga Studio. Her contacts are worldwide and have enabled her to introduce people such as Jeanne Heileman to Majorca.

Jeanne Heileman specializes in discovering the needs of an individual and gently guiding each student to their own grace and balance. She creates a safe haven for students to dive deep, find their edge, and transform. Jeanne teaches with sensitivity, generosity of spirit and a good dose of humor. Founder of Tantra Flow Yoga, Jeanne brings together her years of studies and teaching skills into a style of yoga inclusive of asana, Ayurveda, mindfulness, with the added focus of the poses’ energy. She was introduced to yoga as a dancer and actress. Facing ongoing pain from scoliosis, yoga allowed her tools for physical realignment and acceptance of difficulties.  In her quest for a deep and meaningful connect with all that yoga has to offer, she studied extensively in Ashtanga, Iyengar, Anusara, ParaYoga, Vini and Trantra Yoga; each adding a deeper element of meaning to her practice and teachings. 
 Jeanne – is a ParaYoga Level II certified teacher, YogaWorks senior teacher – tours internationally teaching teacher trainings, workshops, and retreats. In this capacity she conducts courses for Yoga Teacher Training in Earth Yoga a number of times each year.  Palma has become her Spanish base and Earth Yoga her home from home. Students travel from all over Europe to these courses and Earth Yoga is the training Centre.

Katja’s world in Majorca is on the other side of the island to the Sollerics. As a fitness instructor with her own clients before Yoga took over her life she had many of her own contacts.  Originally from Germany she has introduced many of her fellow countrymen to the Earth Yoga studio and all that goes on there. Four nationalities influence the use of the studio from Swedish, German, English, American to local people from all other countries. Katya also runs the Earth Yoga space in Portals next to Marineland. This glorious studio overlooking the sea is Earth Yoga by the water.
Earth Yoga reluctantly said goodbye to its first baby studio a few years ago now and created a large teaching space in Carrier Despuig in Santa Catalina.  The new building has two teaching areas catering for 45 yoga mats in one and 18 in the other.  Earth yoga in this space has become the heart of the community and a magnet for many uses.  The daily classes offer something for everyone with a new Mums and Babies Yoga just joining the repertoire.  Kids yoga and classes for the less mobile are part of the ever expanding list of what is on offer.
The Earth Yoga world is a complicated business to run with many teachers and visiting gurus from all over the world coming to the centre to teach. The space is also in constant demand from groups who appreciate the clean lines and lack of distraction that the place gives them. Someone has to pull all this together and make it work for the users and the teachers.  How fortunate it was that Jay’s previous life had prepared her for this.  Her London career saw her running a company with a seven day a week booking service to staff and clients and now she finds herself doing all that here. Different discipline but the same skills coming into great use again. Jay organizes the Earth Yoga world, teaches her own classes and rarely switches off.

The Earth Yoga team are constantly open to the new opportunities that the yoga world brings them.  The key to doing this successfully in Majorca is being able to respond to the changing needs of clients as their year moves round.  The yachties who love yoga in the winter when they are land based leave for the sea in the summer.  The people who relocate and want a new focus and an opportunity to meet like minded people are constantly changing.  One of the great pleasures of the Earth Yoga team is the number of people they have introduced to one another and friendships that have grown from a yoga start.
The common interest in yoga is a fascination to the three strong women of Earth Yoga.  The centre they have created is a magnet for for people from different places and stages in their lives.  Yoga is the subject and practice that binds them together. The charitable donation classes that Earth Yoga regularly hold are for the people without food in this country and other places and are supported by all their users.
Every season brings a new focus and for the Spring of 2016 the focus is on men.  Visiting teachers are often men but the male clientele of Earth Yoga is on the low side.  Once men can see that the Vinyasa Yoga taught here is as much about fitness and flow they become accepting of all the benefits. The education process has begun and the word is out that Earth Yoga are after all the men out there to show them what they are missing.
The summer is an ultra busy time for the 15 teachers of the Earth Yoga world.  Majorca fills with many yoga groups hiring houses for retreats who need private instructors.  Vinyasa yoga is being taught all over the island and on the occasional yacht by this team all summer.  The boutique hotels of Majorca have started offering Yoga as a service and increasingly call on Earth Yoga to find them a teacher on an ad hoc or regular basis.  
The three great women of Earth Yoga are examples of the changes that relocation can make to your life.   All of them changed career and have created a beating heart in the middle of Santa Catalina.  Hundreds of people come through the doors each week.  They arrive as a seekers and enquirers and leave as a friend of yoga and of theirs.
A great team of people, a great facility in the heart of the City and a positive story of the benefits of relocation and change.  The pleasure this week was all mine… 

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