This summer I was interviewed for the YOGA MAGAZINE, feel free to have a read 😉
Nestled in the heart of Eastbourne’s ‘Little Chelsea’ is a beautiful and quirky loft space where the Yoga Life Studio has made its home. A place of tranquil calm and warm welcome for all, its manager Eva Kristlova is passionate about how yoga can help others and transform local communities. Hers is a mission of compassion and care – to meet people wherever they are and help them to discover their life purpose.
“Being real and following your true self is so important, being in your heart and not trying to be someone else. Connecting with who you are. Your authentic self.”
Eva, tell us a little about yourself – your journey so far …
I was born in Czechoslovakia and I grew up in a small community, surrounded by family and friends. I moved to the UK in 1996 and I really missed that sense of closeness and belonging, knowing that someone had my back. I began to search, hoping to recreate a community which is supportive, non-judgemental and open to everyone. After living and working in London for 7 years, I moved to East Sussex with my family. We now live in Exceat, right by the Cuckmere River between Eastbourne and Seaford and I work full time running the Yoga Life Studio and teaching yoga there and other locations in East Sussex.
How did you get involved with yoga?
I studied with the British Wheel of Yoga in Seaford, East Sussex under the tutelage of the wonderful Janet Bond. I cannot thank her enough for her discipline, dedication and trust in me. Even before I qualified, I started to teach at the Yoga Life Studio in Eastbourne, where I also undertook responsibility for its day-to-day running and met my firm friend and yoga partner, the inspirational Wenche Beard. With Wenche we have shared many special moments together – from opening the teacher training school here in Eastbourne to taking our students on life-changing yoga retreats in Greece and Egypt.
What do you enjoy most in life and in your yoga practice?
Spending time outdoors is a great passion of mine and I absolutely love taking people to unusual locations for yoga classes. Years ago, I started running a class on our local beach. At first, only one or two people came to join me; but now I am joined by a large and faithful group of like-minded yogis, some of whom will even change their work hours to come and join me! I am blessed and humbled to be surrounded by these people who come throughout the year, whatever the weather, to be part of our group, our community. The camaraderie is wonderful; we have rested in Savasana in 0° and paddled in the sea in the snow! We simply love being crazy yogis together!
We live in a beautiful place and I am lucky enough to live close to the stunning Seven Sisters where I regularly offer sunset yoga classes overlooking some of Sussex’s most famous landmarks – the white cliffs, the oxbow lakes of the Cuckmere River and the gorgeous English Channel. When I am not on dry land, I take the more adventurous yogis on the river for some SUP yoga which is so much fun!
In my classes I like to inject a bit of lightness and fun. Life is serious enough so I want to give my students a sense of freedom and playfulness. I recently started teaching on a local Alpaca Farm! The Alpacas are unbelievably cute and the therapeutic effect of combining a gentle yoga class in the presence of these beautiful animals makes everyone so calm, happy and connected to nature, it’s very special.
Tell us a bit about the Yoga Life Studio and what you offer …
The studio is tucked away in a converted stable block in a quiet and popular area of Eastbourne. We only relocated this year so this is a new and exciting chapter for us all. We offer a wonderful selection of classes that attract many yogis, both locally and from further afield. Our classes are open to all – from complete beginners to seasoned yogis. Our classes range from gentle Hatha yoga to more powerful Vinyasa Flow. We have antenatal and postnatal classes for new mothers and fun aerial yoga sessions too; and plenty more besides! We also host so many wonderful courses and special events. We are home to the Yoga Life Teacher Training course which is facilitated by Wenche and myself (the next one starts April 2020); Yogabeats with the David Sye Foundation; Yin, Yoga and Cake; Cacao Ceremonies and more!
My vision for Yoga Life is rooted in my deep sense of community. I want to be of service to others and create a welcoming and safe space for people to come to, where friendships are formed and beautiful connections are made (even if it is just with yourself). I want our space to be sanctuary where everyone is welcome to come and be part of our yoga family. We run drop in sessions for all and community sessions which are facilitated by volunteer teachers where all donations received go directly to local charities which help those who are most vulnerable in our local area. We also love to take part in free events in and around Eastbourne – recently I have been at the Beach Life festival here in Eastbourne, offering free yoga sessions on the seafront which was a great success.
I am just starting to realise how many people’s lives we are making better, how what we do here matters. I believe that sharing yoga is a real privilege and a gift that we can pass on to others. Our clients can see how much we love what we do and knowing that we can make a difference to someone’s life is the ultimate reward. Yoga is all about sharing and giving; living in the way that makes you and everyone around you feel good. If you want to be happy then give!
The Yoga Life Studio is based at The Stables, 25 South Street, Eastbourne – please feel free and welcome to come and receive a big yoga hug!