Last year, aged 35, I decided that I wanted to be the fittest version of myself. Bridge to Brisbane was coming up and I was going to run it, starting with a 2 kilometer run/walk/run regime. I had worked up to running 6 kilometers daily when I injured myself. Over 12 months later, I still carry the injury, with running out of the question. Accepting that Bridge to Brisbane was not in my near future, it was time to find a new passion to take care of my body.

As many of you know, I was raised in the small community of Wandoan, QLD. Wandoan doesn’t have a 24/7 servo, bank or hospital, but we do have a gymnastics club.  It was a second home growing up—you could find me there most afternoons. Gymnastics taught me a lot about my physical body, friendships, strength and sportsmanship, what it was like to contribute to a sports club and belong to a community group.  We had a small supportive squad and being a country club, we also became each other’s mentors and coaches, further embedding our deep friendships.

Twenty years down the track, I’m looking for new ways to love my body with an injury, undo the damage of the COVID lock down and enjoy exercise to positively change my current lifestyle. Pilates and yoga had crossed my mind in the past, but I had never committed to a whole term course and had thought (mistakenly!) that they were too low impact to be effective workouts.

Then I was hit by a blast from the past in the form of Carla from @carla_yogi, a friend from my gymnastics squad decades ago.

Following Carla’s journey from beginner to training in LA, to now a yoga teacher, has been truly amazing. I reached out to her a number of times and was met with her welcoming positive energy at every single occasion. Eventually, I was convinced to give yoga a shot myself, inspired by the chats we had. Living out in the Western Downs, Brisbane is a few hours away and so I thought next time I go down, I’ll drive extra early and book into a morning class to start my day on a high. 

I had no idea what I was getting myself into.


The Yoga Class

I arrived at Elements Yoga Studio feeling, this country girl is lost!  The styling was absolutely gorgeous, which kind of took my mind off being so nervous.  As I took a seat outside the classroom, a quietly spoken lady asked if it was my first time (I guess I just radiated the newbie vibe!) and told me that I could take off my shoes and get comfortable—there was nothing to be worried about. 

Then Carla walked through the entrance and I felt my anxiety drop at the sight of a familiar face. She reinstated that I had nothing to worry about and I just had to be present and just go at my own pace. We had a little chat outside the running class, not believing it had been over 20 years ago since we were team mates on a squad and how she was going to teach me to handstand, Yoga Style. 

The first class ended and strong, slender bodies flowed out of the room. Many nationalities, guys and girls, uplifting each other with positive affirmations and kind words of support. I sat there thinking to myself, these are my kind of people, but then I was quickly reminded of my own class next.

We moved into the room and I tried to shuffle back and hide in the corner, but Carla insisted that I be in the middle so that I had people all around to support me and make the most of this experience.

I am given a mat and a block, and we begin.


These are the points I would like to make about my Yoga experience.

  1. There really is nothing to be worried about—nobody is there to judge. Also, everybody was a beginner once and they are glad that you’re there, taking the first step.
  2. Yes, it is definitely a full body work out. I was feeling muscles I hadn’t felt in years through some of the stretches!
  3. Going at your own pace is always promoted, everyone is on their own journey to strength and flexibility.
  4. If you need to take a break or sip some water, that’s okay too. The class & teacher is there to guide you to a happier healthier you.

During the class, I realised that I have a long way to go in terms of strength, flexibility and balance. I then reminded myself that that’s why I was there—to nurture my body to build strength, flexibility and balance. I was surrounded by advanced yogis, but not once did I feel embarrassed or out of place or unworthy of being there. Reflecting on it now, I guess it really depends on your teacher and the class you attend; I am just so grateful that my first time at Elements was flawless and I’m glad that I pushed myself to try something different. Although I won’t be travelling down to Brisbane each weekend, I will try to fit a class in when I can and eventually gift myself one of Carla’s exquisite retreats for an immersive experience. 


To be honest, I think it might have been the idea of the retreats that enticed my commitment. A week of health, a total mental reset, and beach time with new positive people—if this was the new way to exercise, then sign me up!


I hope you liked my first journal post.  If you would like to leave your thoughts, I’d love to read them. Please remember that I’m not writing to be nominated for a literature or grammar award, I’m purely sharing my experiences to inspire others to try new things and live a more elevated life.  


All details for the Elements Yoga Studio are below.

They offer casual x 1 class passes and practice so much more than just yoga (cupping, acupuncture, Reiki, functional nutrition and much more!). I could easily spend all day at Elements discovering more about myself, health and mindset. 

If your looking for an at home experience Elements offer an IG TV (Instagram TV) program, perfect for rural and busy people. 



Carla Yoga Teacher @carlaraleigh_yogi 

Elements Studio @elements.yogastudio


Elements Studio 

P: 07 33910521
A: 64 Logan Road, Woolloongabba QLD 4102



Studio Opening Hours

Our studio is open 7 days a week, doors open 30 min before class and close 30min after class. 

Reception Hours

Monday – Thursday evening from 5pm – 8pm

Saturday - Sunday from 7-10am.


 Elements Yoga Studio - Carla Raleigh

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