Our vision and a radical model
We are a donation based yoga studio supported by a group of people with the common interest of yoga and community. A donation does not mean it is free. A donation, however, also means things like monetary values (i.e. money), a review on TripAdvisor, you spreading the word about this place to your friends, all of that is part of donation. Our vision is to offer our services in a way that feels accessible and sustainable for all people. The more you donate, the more people you cover, not only the teacher but also people who cannot pay as much as you. This isn’t a “corporate, get rich” model. This is the “community” model and scaled for the average, honest human. We will never turn anyone away as everyone deserves peace of mind and practice, but we do need and appreciate the support to sustain our business and our very special model.
This is the only model in the yoga world that supports the teacher in a way that they can actually make a living rather than a struggle. Please honor the work your teacher does. Pay them a respectful amount for what they offer. This sort of work is indispensable.
Your donation supports our studio that is open to everyone who is interested in this practice of breathing, mindfulness, well-being and social awakening, where we help grow each other, together.
Our studio is smaller and you get to overlook the vast emerald ocean every day with a very intimate setting (our studio currently hosts 8 students maximum). You can hear the waves crushing, monkeys jumping trees to trees (sometimes visiting our studio). We see the sunrise, clouds moving, big blue sky reflecting the ocean, and that’s our studio, molded into the Mother Nature.
Flying Elephant Yoga is not a quiet, “sacred” dark cave only for the privileged but a cozy home with perfect imperfections, full of good stories, inspiring growth and a safe environment for learning. We wanted our yoga practice to blend in with our real lives.
It took a long and challenging year getting used to the culture, getting to know our friends, our land, our ocean and our weather to build our home base. But as they say, “if it were easy, anyone would have done it!”
What we learned from this “birthing” experience is that life indeed throws you curve balls, sometimes the hardest ones yet, especially when we are the closest we’ve ever come to to our dreams. But it never throws you anything you cannot handle. And in the end, we only have one life as we know it. We don’t get to practice run. This is all we’ve got. So we’d better give our 100% and more.
That’s why our practice can involve anything from a radical hanging belt to a great vinyasa class, a beginner class to a mom and baby class to a jungle toddler class. Our classes represent our human tribe, yogis and yoginis of all walks of life, experiencing breaths in the space between a vast blue ocean and a thick jungle.
Here at Flying Elephant Yoga, there is no such thing as overstaying our welcome.
Our space also reflects our vision. Instead of cutting down trees and contribute to more deforestation, we built our studio from recycled tsunami shelters. These old trees have survived heavy rains and scorching sun already. They are strong and perfect for our little cocoon.
And after yoga or diving, you can enjoy our freshly brewed coffee made from good Sumatran coffee beans, or delicious juices made from local fruits. Or enjoy freshly homemade bread for breakfast or snack.
Dana ~ Practice of Generosity
Dana is a practice of cultivating generosity.
Flying Elephant Yoga became a donation-based yoga studio shortly after it opened its door. This is a very personal decision I have made based on my past experiences teaching yoga in different parts of the world, what I’ve learned from those experiences and much of my contemplation through them. Dana or the practice of giving goes both ways. I believe in what I teach and its values and I don’t want to turn away anyone from practicing yoga because of lack of funds. Your donation supports our studio that is open to everyone who is interested in this practice of breathing, mindfulness, well-being and social awakening, where we support each other, together.
Tomomi Kojima is the owner of Flying Elephant Yoga located in Pulau Weh, Sumatra, Indonesia. She started practicing yoga when she first moved to Canada in 2000 as a teenager. She then became a certified yoga teacher in 2008 and has been an integral part of extensive yoga teacher training programs both at 200hr and 500hr levels at a local Canadian yoga studio. After teaching and traveling in North America, Mexico, Australia, and Bali, Indonesia, she established her own independent yoga school in 2014. Her classes are based on vinyasa or flow mixed with her own personality and experience, and various styles of yoga she studied along her journey. With the background of vinyasa, power vinyasa, yin, pre- and post-natal yoga, she encourages her students to observe their minds while nurturing their own individuality. Her classes are about honoring both the traditional and the modern, physical and mental aspects of yoga.
She loves spending her time with her husband and her baby by the beach.
Many asked why our logo uses elephant. A flying elephant at that. Well, after many variations and edits, we’ve decided that instead of letting the elephant grow its wings, why not leave him be and let him hold onto the feather…..KNOWING that our mind can play a trick on us OR we could use that imagination and power of believing to our advantage. Remember, Dumbo? The feather allowed him to believe that he could do the impossible. But in the end, he realized that he does not need the feather. He’s powerful and inspirational as himself. We can use our mind tricks to our advantage and believe that we CAN impact, change or help ourselves and the world. But know that we don’t need to change who we are. We already are “powerful beyond our imagination” as Marianne Williamson put it. And so in this place between land, ocean and the big sky, let’s fly. Together.