Yoga boutique in paradise
Add one part Yoga with another part fashion, and what you have is Ambu Yoga Boutique Studio, located on the grounds of South Seas Resort on Captiva.
But Ambu Yoga Boutique Studio isn’t just the creation of entrepreneur Yali Zawady, it also is a dream come true for the Yoga instructor from Colombia, South America.
“There’s an excitement in me, I definitely have those butterflies in my stomach everyday,” Zawady said. “It’s just really nice to see all that hard work paying off.”
Zawady is no stranger to Captiva and the beauty which comes with it. Her style of Yoga blends nature with the body’s movement. She has trained and studied at Nosara Yoga Institute in Costa Rica, the Foundation of Pathanjala Yoga Kendra in India and Bala Vinyasa Yoga in Naples.
She has a good history teaching and sharing her love of Yoga on Captiva, which includes instructing beach and SUP (stand-up paddle board) yoga. She is also certified in holistic health coaching through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
It’s her vast experience in the world of Yoga and healthy living which she wants to share with her students and clients through Ambu Yoga Boutique Studio.
And she has the perfect facility to do so at South Seas.
“We will have one of the most beautiful studios in the area,” Zawady said. “It is approximately 1,000 square feet and can hold classes up to 30-plus students. We have all the props you need, such as yoga mats, blocks, straps and bolsters, blankets and eye pillows for restorative classes. All the props are made from recycled material, as well.”
Ambu Yoga Boutique Studio will not just feature the spacey and comforts of home to practice Yoga, but also offer fashion merchandise, making it a unique experience.
“I am focusing this as much an eco-conscious business as I can,” Zawady said. “That means not promoting products which are made in sweatshops. The clothing will be quality and it also will be multi-use in that you can use them for yoga, water sports like running, paddle boarding or just put them on to go out for lunch.”
After teaching and instructing Yoga on Captiva, Zawady captured the sense of excitement people had for the art of exercise. It made sense to pursue the next step and that was to open her own Yoga studio, along with her being able to share her sense of fashion in the form of the boutique.
When things started to roll towards her opportunity to open her own studio boutique, it happened quickly and in sync.
“What I really liked, was that everything happened very naturally, with a flow,” Zawady said. “It’s been a flow of events, happening one after the other. It was the right moment, the right place and the right situation.”
The right place was South Seas, in which Zawady instructed Yoga classes over the course of the last year. It’s a great opportunity to open on the resort’s grounds, because she can be near her clients whom she has created a bond with during their stays at South Seas.
“(Ambu Yoga Boutique) is totally independent from South Seas and we are open to the public,” Zawady said. “We definitely have a good connection with South Seas, though, and are extremely happy to have the support of the resort. We are open to serving the entire island.”
Zawady will be in the company of Ambu Yoga Boutique Studio staff/instructor Chelsea Benjamin, who is a native of Florida, as well as Joyce Craig and Cindy Mason, who will teach when she returns during the winter.
Ambu Yoga Boutique is open seven days a week, with up to two to four classes on weekdays and once a day on the weekends. There also will be workshops and seminars held in the studio on such subjects as wellness, eating healthy and healthy movement through Yoga.
Zawady said she is excited to start classes for kids in the near future, as well as preparing selection of classes for the winter, which attracts the older population.
“We will have more meditation, gentle and restorative Yoga classes in the winter,” Zawady added.
Although there are more than several Yoga studios in the area, Ambu Yoga Boutique Studio has the vast advantage of being in paradise. It’s a selling point which will be hit on by Zawady when she is marketing her new business.
“It’s just a beautiful location,” Zawady said. “You can go through a vigorous yoga session and go right to the beach and jump in the ocean. Or you can go right next door (to Doc Ford’s) and grab a bite to eat or go and walk the beauty of the island.”
It’s exactly what Zawady wants her students to tap into – the natural beauty which is Captiva.
“I’ve always been inspired by nature,” she said. “Our mission is to promote a healthy lifestyle and the benefits of yoga.”
The Ambu Yoga Boutique’s website is still being built, but information is still available at www.ambuyoga.com.