Lucy Lawes is a Wonder Woman.
Blending an exploration of yoga, sustainability and creative thinking, Lucy has recently opened her estuary yoga space (just a few doors up from our Fitting Salon) in North Melbourne. Lucy's approach is to equip her students with tools to create inner space to better deal with today's frenetic lifestyles. Something we think is radical, yes!
Can you tell us about Estuary Yoga? What inspired you to establish your own studio?
An estuary is where the waterways meet the vast ocean. This is a beautiful illustration of connection - different parts of ourselves, and people from all walks of life, coming together like the water in mutual nurture and community.
Estuary Yoga Space is a shared space, in which we can take time to breathe, to slow down, and learn to create our own sense of balance and flow amidst the dynamism of daily life.
Our hope is to offer a space that welcomes an honest expression of you, and cultivates your own sense of home. We have an amazing team of teachers, each growing and embodying the teachings they share. In doing so, they each offer permission for others to align to their own truth and values.
There is a well of strength and resilience that we tap into, when we can get quiet, be honest, listen in, connect. For me, creating Estuary is a tribute to the natural world, and to our natural instincts for creativity and joy even through life’s challenges.
In building and maintaining the space, we’ve integrated practices, products and principles that pay respect to the Earth, and to each other. From the hand-crafted furnishings (each built by my husband Andrew - I’m still in wonder of this), to the handwash or incense we use, to the locally made edibles on offer, we hope to draw attention to the importance of intention in every little choice and action.
(More details on our sustainability practice can be found here.
It’s a daily practice of constant and courageous exploration - one we can journey through together.
In your blog you talk about the concept of decision fatigue, how indecision is driving the small and big decisions in our life. Can you expand on this idea? How would you recommend we slow down?
In our privileged lifestyles there is an enormity to the number of choices we face each day. This is not something our minds are evolved to handle - not at this pace!
The path of least resistance thus becomes uncertainty and inaction. Sometimes a fear of failure (ie. FOF) or fear of missing out (ie. FOMO) begins to shape our choices. This is not a path that centres or strengthens us.
To slow down is simple - and simultaneously, very challenging when all else around you is moving so rapidly! To slow down requires an intentional tuning in, to a deeper sense of self. It’s choosing to delve deeper, rather than be swept about by the noise of the world and the busy thinking mind.
This is why yoga asana, meditation, along with other endeavours that help you find ‘flow’ and embodiment, can be such vital practices.
The breath is one of the most powerful and direct ways to start tuning in. When the mind begins to feel like a shaken-up snow globe, one simple but powerful way to refocus is to close the eyes - literally drawing attention inward - and take 3-5 full, experiential breaths. Follow the inhale all the way through the nostrils, lungs, belly, and stay with the exhale the whole way out. Engage with the sensations of being IN the body, rather than simply having a body.
When we can broaden awareness, and feel more grounded, we tend to let the small stuff go. We chill out! This broadness gives a clearer vision of what really matters to us, and this is what guides the choice-making that is true to our values.
In our upcoming Radical Self-Care: Rituals and Remedies workshop at The Fitting Salon, you’ll be exploring 5-minute practices to take through our day. Can you tell us a little about this idea and why its important to find time for ritual?
Consciously or not, our bodies hold onto the weight of expectations. Particularly as women, we tend to be our own harshest critic. Sometimes these expectations become a cage which confines and stunts our growth - not ideal for innately creative, life-giving creatures!
The purpose of this workshop is to offer ideas for self-care which are simple and easily incorporated into daily life. It’s about supporting the life you want, not complicating it. Remedy encompasses a sense of healing, and Ritual implies something done regularly, with intimacy and significance. It is the intention behind even the simplest actions that give meaning.
Forming these little check-in points through the day can become a beautiful way to practice kindness towards the self. When we build our capacity for healing, reconnecting, and filling our own cups, we also build our capacity for kindness towards others. It always starts from within, and radiates outward.
Do you have any rituals or routines that you practice daily?
I have a number of little rituals, like different tools in a box, to be selected depending on the type of day and what is needed to create more centre, more harmony.
Early morning always starts with a warm water with lemon, ACV and honey, to cleanse and flush through the digestive system. There’s usually some dry body brushing to being moving blood and lymph through the body, pranayama (breath-work) and meditation, as well as some gentle movement on the yoga mat.
Throughout the day - especially when feeling scattered or overwhelmed, I close my eyes and connect palms to belly and heart for a few breaths. You get to remember, and literally feel, that you own this breath, this heartbeat, this awareness of everything here right now. Whatever is happening, you are present, and you’ve got this.
Night time rituals include candles, some grounding yin postures to open up spaces of tension, and some meditation or journalling. When I’m lucky, a foot soak and a chapter from a good book, in bed :)
What are three things you always say ‘yes’ to?
Avocado, ocean, and walks in dappled light.
- - -
About estuary yoga space | north melbourne
640 Queensberry St, North Melbourne, VIC 3051
Estuary Yoga is a space for you to find centre, balance and flow. We share the practice of yoga on the mat, and as a lifestyle; a practice of aligning your inner values with how you choose to inhabit the world.
Let’s journey together.
vinyasa | yin | meditation | creative + sustainable living
Studio photos by Mel Steer Photography.
Beach photos by Emily French Photography.