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Ambu Yoga celebrates second anniversary
June 7, 2017

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A yoga instructor, who has felt a huge connection with the environment for some time, is celebrating her studio's second year anniversary this weekend with complimentary classes.

"I love how yoga centers me, especially since now we live lives that are very fast paced and everything is always taking us from our center," Ambu Yoga Boutique and Studio Owner Yali Zawady said. "I find that my yoga practice grounds me and reminds me I am a super human being and I am part of this world and that is enough. Being enough translates into feeling great when it comes to action."

The event will take place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 10. The day will entail two complimentary classes, drumming, healthy snacks and raffles. The first class, a slow flow yoga class, will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. and a guided movement meditation class, from 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Zawady asks that anyone interested in taking the complimentary class reserve a spot through email at info@ambuyoga.com.

The owner grew up in Columbia near a beach, which is why the island was a logical place to build her business. She said although she found Captiva many years ago, she still remembers that first time. The first time the beauty of the island brought her to tears.

The first beach she visited, the public beach at the end of the island, is now where beach yoga classes and mediation classes are taught, as well as beach clean ups. That section of the beach the studio also adopted.

With contributions to the national park system while she was in college, Zawady knew she would incorporate her love for the environment with her business. She said since yoga comes from natural movement and connection to the deep self, she thought what better way to practice than outdoors.

Zawady took it a step further, creating a business that would provide service to the environment. She said from her experience, individuals who practice yoga, are more willing to listen and take action for the environment.

"There's an opening heart happening through the yoga practice," she said. "Even if its physically, it's more willing to take action in different aspects and the environment is one of those. I wanted that to be part of the mission of the studio."

Zawady began looking for a local organization she could support, which resulted in the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation. She said since they teach classes on the beach it only made sense that they would support the Sea Turtle Research Program. Every month funds from the New Mood Meditation class is donated to the program.

Last year one of her students offered to match every dollar raised, which the individual did again this year.

"It's been amazing. I've noticed the feelings of the people that come to the meditation and how much they are connected to the island and how much respect they have for it," she said. "It's been a way to connect locals and visitors and bring an awareness to the visitors that they are not just coming to the beautiful beach, but we are sharing the habitat with other species."

Ambu Yoga offers classes both in the studio and on the beach. They range from gentle classes for beginners to more vigorous for those who are advanced. In high season, the studio offers 20 to 22 classes a week and this time of year they offer about 11 classes a week.

There's also a boutique located in the studio that offers a theme of education through conscious buying. Zawady said they have items that are eco conscious, or zero waste.

"We have more environmental friendly offerings in products," she said.

The studio is at 5400 Plantation Road on Captiva Island. For more information about the selection of classes visit www.ambuyoga.com, or call (239) 314-9642.

"What's been happening in that space is amazing," Zawady said of the studio. "That is the power. I get to keep going to make things possible for everyone to allow the studio to stay open as a place for healing."

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