The story of one Creature Yogi | Jaclyn Cunningham


It seems to me that we talk about community a lot. We have this idea that when you rock up to a yoga studio you will be and feel part of a community, but how often does that really happen. You say hi, you do your thing silently, and then you say bye. Yoga hasn’t always felt like community to me. 

I’ve lived in Byron Bay just over 2 years now, and I’ve been going to classes at Creature for a lot of that time. It started when my little sister came to visit from the Sunshine Coast, a good 4 hour drive away. When I asked her, “what do you want to do while you’re here?”, her answer without hesitation was, “go to Creature”. Ah, the power of Instagram!

And then I was in. And yes, to begin with I was showing up, doing my thing, and going home. But perhaps it’s the beauty of living in a small town - with one yoga studio that stands out from the rest. Because then everyone I meet who loves yoga, loves Creature. And housemates, friends, random people met at social occasions are often there to share the space on the mats.  Friends with their own practice are easily convinced to try it out and become hooked. That then becomes a reliable end of the day catch up – the 10 minutes before and after class to check in about each other’s’ days and also share the practice. Yes, it’s a solo gig, but much more rich when shared.

And it’s not just richer social connections that have come from this shared space, I’ve also developed significant professional connections. I work with young people and was undecided about doing a Rites of Passage facilitation training with a local organisation, which works mostly with boys and men. I’d read the book by the founder and seen the webpage and was still not sure until one day, there was the CEO at my Creature class. So I waited outside after class, introduced myself, asked some questions and decided that yep, this was definitely something I wanted to do. That meeting has led to a great friendship, to a work experience placement with the organisation six months, and to the support to create a Rite of Passage program for teenage girls. Now “meetings” or catch-ups can often mean an early morning yoga class at Creature followed by coffee or brekkie (with a significant amount of time spent in conversation about our shared love of Creature teachers). Byron life, it’s pretty epic.  

In a town that can feel isolating and overrun by tourists and visitors, community spaces are rare and valuable. Thanks Creature.

With love,
Jaclyn Cunningham

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Jaclyn’s weekly blog