‘You’re never too inflexible for yoga’
In April of 2021, Emily Terceira launched Salt Yoga.
As a nature lover, and with the pandemic in mind, she decided it made sense to specialise in “outdoor yoga experiences”. Plus, she felt it was something her clients would enjoy.
“We were born during the pandemic and I think that caused me to really create something that was my niche. I live my dream of being outside and teaching. And the community that we've built up through the pandemic has been really special,” she said.
“We offer group classes and private yoga outside, and paddleboard yoga on the water. We also host different yoga workshops like mala-making, posture breakdown and enhancement and meditation workshops. We also host yoga retreats both locally and internationally.”
It is something she has unconsciously worked towards since she took her first yoga class in college.
“I was a dance major, and just started practising yoga as a way to cross-train for my dance career and would not have probably continued with dance had I not had yoga in my life,” she said.
“Any level, any skill set, any age, can and should come to yoga. You're never too old. You're never too broken. You're never too wrong to come to yoga. You're never too inflexible. I think we can get so hung up on that. And that's why you come to yoga, right? To prevent injury and to calm the mind; people walk away from a practice completely different than how they showed up.”
In 2013 she moved to Bermuda to teach at Jackson’s School of Performing Arts. The following year she flew to Thailand where she received her 200-hour teaching certification.
“I started teaching a donation-based yoga class at Jackson’s on Sundays. It was a cash-only, pay-what-you-can class. And so that's kind of how my yoga career in Bermuda started.”
After five years she left Jackson’s and became a teacher at Lucky Elephant, a yoga studio that closed its doors last year. Ms Terceira opened Salt Yoga “a couple months later”.
With four part-time instructors she offers classes for anyone interested in exercising their body and mind.
“I feel really blessed to have the team that I have. Every single instructor is incredible in what they do. They all have great energy in leading classes and they all offer something a little bit different. But we all have the same core value of providing a well-rounded class for the bodies that show up to practice that day.
“A lot of our classes are open level so we get people who have lots of different skill sets or yoga experience or body awareness. I think it takes a skilled teacher to walk into class with a plan and see that maybe the plan isn't going to work and scrap the plan and move forward with another great class that they can create on the fly. Our teachers do an amazing job with that.”
The setting is a bonus. Salt Yoga’s classes “on the rooftop” – at the Loren in Hamilton Parish and Azura in Warwick – offer “incredible views of South Shore and both places are really special”.
“People have been coming to classes consistently for a year and we're always getting new people,” she said. “Covid is still around, the rules have changed and they've been more relaxed, but some people are still uncomfortable practising inside and so the fact that we offer these outdoor options, I think, makes a lot of people happy.”
Since its launch last year, Salt Yoga has held small weekend retreats at Spirit House in Devonshire. In November the group will hold its first international retreat, in Costa Rica.
“I think, especially post-pandemic, people want to travel and we haven't been able to do yoga retreats for a couple years, [not] an in-depth one like that,” Ms Terceira said.
Of real benefit is the time that such retreats allow you “to connect with yourself”, she added.
“Every day we [will] dive deeper into the yoga practice: classes are 90-plus minutes, there's journaling, there's meditation, there's a little bit more in-depth work done on a retreat. And then of course it's got that vacation setting.
“When we're in Costa Rica we're going to be surfing and ziplining, and there's a private chef feeding us every day, so it's a really exciting, holistic and nourishing experience. It's a very wellness-centred vacation. You come back feeling really rejuvenated – a very special thing.”
Join Salt Yoga at Azura on June 16. In celebration of International Yoga Day there will be “a rooftop practice with live music to celebrate the start of summer”. For more information: www.salt-yoga.bm