Yoga was well represented at this year’s New Zealand Exercise Industry Awards.
Justine Hamill of Wellington’s Awhi Yoga won the prestigious Mind Body Instructor of the Year award, and Christchurch yoga studio, Adapted Yoga and Pilates won both the Studio of the Year and the Supreme Facility of the Year, beating local and international gym franchises to take out the title. They are the first yoga or pilates studio to ever win this award.
The Mind Body Instructor award is sponsored by our very own New Zealand made Courage My Love Clothing and it is open to any instructors who lead classes that incorporate extensive principles of mind-body philosophy, such as yoga or pilates. Collectively, our mind body teachers have helped thousands of people to access holistic mind-body practices that calm, enliven and nourish.
Justine’s classes exemplified the principle of mind-body integration and the judges commented that she skilfully incorporated many holistic elements (such as meditation, philosophy, mindfulness, breathing techniques) to help her students find peace and integration.
“Justine effortlessly integrated philosophy and mindfulness into her teaching in a way that felt relevant and authentic.”~ Judges comment
Justine teaches at Awhi Yoga in Wellington, and this is not the first time that they have been recognised in Exercise Industry Awards. In 2018, Awhi Yoga co-founder Jase Te Patu was also awarded Mind Body Instructor of the Year.
Founded by Rebecca and Jeremy Harford, Adapted Yoga and Pilates began as a small family business that started in the garage with a baby and an investment of less than $100. They now offer Yoga and Pilates classes around Christchurch and Selwyn catering to “every-body”, rather than just the traditional version of what people perceive as Yoga and Pilates participants, they believe this has been a key to their success.
“Not everyone is young, female and wears lycra,” says Jeremy. “Our students are your everyday people and are different sizes, shapes and ability. Yoga and Pilates, when taught respectfully and specific to the needs of each person is highly effective in helping become stronger, more flexible, have better mental health, better balance and less pain.”
“Our mission is to enable everyday people to become their best using Yoga and Pilates Principles. Ensuring that we create and provide consistent support and care to our students with this focus has certainly been a key to our success” says Rebecca. “We have students who have challenges and we love to sit down with them, identify their plan to success and support them each step of the way to achieve it. It is so important to ensure each person is supported, listened to and respected to help them achieve their own best.”
The New Zealand Exercise Industry Awards have been running since 2005 and are designed to recognise those making a contribution to the health and wellness of New Zealanders through exercise and fitness.
If you’d like to nominate your favourite yoga teacher or studio for an award in 2020 you can do so here.