At the opening of Bondi Yoga House I heard the incredible tale of Amanda Graci and Ben Gould, who left their corporate jobs on a whim and went exploring the world on a journey of self-discovery.
Amongst many magical moments, it was yoga that shaped their travels and filled their souls. “Our yoga teacher training that we did in Nicaragua was so memorable because it was such a culture shock from our life in Bondi. In Nicaragua we were living in very basic conditions for three weeks (no electricity, no hot water). This really gave us time to focus on why we were doing this and what we wanted out of life.” Says Amanda.
The moment they realised that they couldn’t go back to their normal lives after 10 months of travelling was in Thailand at the end of their trip. “We had both been tempted by offers to go back into corporate jobs and good salaries again but in our hearts we both knew this was not what we wanted.” She says, “We decided to chase our dreams and launch Bondi Yoga House. From there we knew there was not a minute to waste in getting started.”
From art to reality
Back in Bondi, with a half formulated plan, Ben had a moment of synchronicity that became the true beginning of Bondi Yoga House and the start of a beautiful creative friendship.
He was walking down Gould Street (also his surnname) when he saw a hand painted mural with the words “Explore Dream Discover”.
Upon closer inspection he noticed that 500 countries and cities from around the world made up the painting – it tugged at something in his heart.
They had been searching for artistic inspiration, but had not had any luck finding the right person. He immediately emailed the artist Sarah Staunton (@penheartspaper).
“I told her our story and vision for Bondi Yoga House and that her work inspired us. Three months later we have the most beautiful design and incredible relationship with a talented and creative woman.” He says.
A place to refresh and nourish.
During their travels Amanda and Ben did their yoga teacher training and practiced all over the world, bringing home their knowledge and inspiration for tranquil, mindful living.
Bondi Yoga House is their place to share this with others, to bring unsteady minds back home to peace.
Sitting in a zen courtyard (which will double as a yoga space), surround by people who love and support the duo, you can feel that happiness and tranquility flowing through the boutique retreat.
They have paired with Lululemon, AGOGA, Buf Girls, Zeitgeist Cuisine and more to bring a holistic experience to their guests. Everybody is welcome at the retreat, whether it’s for a deep yoga experience, some time out, a body detox or simply embracing the Bondi healthy lifestyle.
A balanced life
At Bondi Yoga House wellness means balance. Balance when it comes to your physical and mental health. Their philosophy is to enjoy having an active lifestyle and eating healthy but also embrace the occasional pizza date and winery trip.
“I think what’s most important is that we stay to true to who we are and what we love and support each other along the way” says Amanda.
A typical day at Bondi Yoga House begins with morning flow yoga practice, delicious healthy breakfast followed by free time to explore Bondi and Sydney.
Evenings include a chill yoga session and optional healthy dinner. Group health discussions lead by a naturopath and a massage for each guest are part of the stay. There is a lot of flexibility within the schedule for guests to have time to explore and enjoy beautiful Bondi and Sydney with optional additional activities like surfing, SUP, costal walks and more.
Bond of brothers
Another unique aspect of Bondi Yoga House is their men’s only retreat.
Playing on the BYH (in Bondi Yoga House) they decided to name the mens only weekend, Bring Your Homies. They’ve created an active weekend to give men the chance to begin their yoga journey (or continue and develop their practice) in a space that is free from expectation or judgement. There is a focus on releasing tension, stress and creating mindful moments. The all-inclusive weekend incorporates healthy breakfasts, twice daily yoga, group personal training and evening BBQs.
“It’s a modern and mindful twist to the typical boys weekend explains Ben.
With over 2.2M visitors to Bondi Beach every year, Bondi Yoga House is the perfect destination for those looking for a healthy and active escape.
Even during my brief time at the retreat I felt like one of the family, it has a very grounding and light energy. The launch was an intimate event with positive and like-minded people gathered to support the passionate yogis.
“Bondi Yoga House is a home away from home for our guests.” Says Amanda. “A place where you can feel a bit better, eat a bit better and have a good laugh.”
This post first appeared on Holistchic.com