Higher Ground Yoga with Jane Fenn

Tucked away, around a winding bend in Red Hill, on the Mornington Peninsula, you will find Higher Ground, a newly established yoga studio. The micro space, which was once a bakery, has been transformed by founder Jane Fenn, into a space dedicated to wellbeing for the community.

With an eye for design, Jane worked with Design Orr Build to create a space that encapsulated the beauty of nature in its construction. From incredible cork flooring to custom timber seating, it’s an absolute work of art!

In today’s blog we get the lowdown on yoga poses to start and end the day with, plus chat design, and Jane’s journey to opening Higher Ground.
To read more, and to book a yoga class visit: www.highergroundyoga.com.au, and follow @higherground_yoga & Jane Fenn @whitelightly on instagram.

1. Congratulations on the opening of Higher Ground - a yoga studio, retail space and corner of community happiness and hope! Can you tell us how this beautiful business has come about?

It might sound funny but the idea of creating Higher Ground Yoga came to me at a party, I was in a room full of people, surrounded by friends when my ideas, life experiences and dreams all suddenly clicked into place - the world seemed wonderful and clear. I've held so tightly to the memory of that moment over the last year, it's given me strength when my resolve has wavered.    

2. We are OBSESSED with the fit out! Zen, calming and really refreshingly original. Talk us through the highlights (and please don’t forget that incredible floor, bench and wall sconces!)
Creating the space was such a joy. I knew how I wanted people to feel when they entered the studio, and my aim was to build a community around wellbeing, individuality and freedom. Matt and Rhiannon from Design Orr Build totally got it! We choose the most crazy beautiful natural cork flooring which is a dream to practice on and brings comfort and a sense of calm to the room, it is also one of the most sustainable flooring products available. The studio space was originally a bakery, Rhiannon and her team were so creative in their design and use of materials, the natural light was very important to us and the colour palette they created is stunning. The timber joinery was made by my father-in-law Edward who is a builder by trade and is such a gifted craftsman. I remember when the timber first arrived it was totally the wrong colour, I was devastated, but soon enough I had a paintbrush in my hand and we stained it all with a beautiful Japan brown tint. One of my favourite pieces in the studio is the wall light over the arrival desk, it's a vintage glass fitting made by Limburg Glashutte sometime in the 1960's, I spent many happy hours searching for it and love the halo of light it casts on the wall.  

3. We’re all about sleep. What do you think the best yoga poses are to do pre-nap time to get that elusive deep sleep?
My favorite sleep-inducing yoga pose is Viparita Karani or legs up the wall pose, and it's really easy to do in bed. It takes physical pressure off our heart, nervous system, and refreshes the brain with oxygen to help melt away the day. Two minutes in this pose combined with easy mindful breathing and you'll be able to slip into the land of dreams.  
4. When you wake up in the morning, what’s your go-to energising yoga poses?
The Sun Salutations sequence is a wonderful way to energise the body and helps me get my head straight for the day. There are lots of variations to explore but it can be as simple as - forward fold, reach up to the sky, and repeat.
5. We all know yoga is good for us, but what is it about yoga that has made you want to commit a big chunk of your life to it?
Yoga is the under-current of my life. I didn't choose it, it chose me. You can't underestimate the power of stepping out of your own head for an hour at a time to redirect your energy to being present in your body. On a basic level, yoga is simply a sequence of movements connected to the breath. But it's really the holistic dedication to positivity and health that makes us feel so good.  
6. Where did your yoga journey start?
My grandmother Joy studied yoga in the 70's which was pretty radical for a suburban housewife. She introduced me to yoga at a very young age, and I remember practicing with her in the lounge room. I returned to regular yoga in my early twenties, and have continued ever since.