Yoga instructor Danica Jones and cyclist Nick Tunnell have combined their passions to create pop-up toga delivery service Bikes & Bends, which is doing great things
Words and photography Carolyn Enting
Danica Jones and Nick Tunnell are living the dream, with one foot in Auckland and the other in Raglan. They’re in love too, which is a beautiful bonus, and both peddling and pedalling their wares with their successful pop-up yoga delivery service Bikes & Bends.
The pair met while working for travel company G Adventures, however, it was their passions outside of work – yoga and cycling – that have created the couple’s mobile office.
Each week Bikes & Bends holds an outdoor Mindful Movement and Meditation class on the viewing deck of the ANZ Events Centre, Wynyard Quarter, Auckland. It’s an experience that allows you to practise your downward dog outside, breathing in the fresh sea air, while enjoying views of the city.
The idea to hold outdoor pop-up yoga classes occurred when the pair were living in Herne Bay and riding the cycleway into the city.
“We’d jump on our bikes and stop and do yoga in random places. It was so lovely doing yoga outside and that’s kind of how Bikes & Bends came about,” Jones says. “We emailed Auckland Council about our idea and they were enthusiastic and told us about the ANZ Events Centre deck.”
Taking in the ocean view from the deck for the first time validated their vision and they kicked off with an outdoor class on August 1, 2015. Since then, Bikes & Bends has evolved, providing yoga delivery for corporate clients and events in Auckland, Raglan and Wellington.
Through its yoga classes Bikes & Bends also raises funds and awareness for the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, Sustainable Coastlines and The Kindness Institute.
What’s the bikes and yoga connection?
Danica: We started doing outdoor yoga classes and wanted to encourage people to jump on their bike and ride into the city. NZ Post donated two of their old postie bikes and instead of having the mail tucked in the side we have the yoga mats, so we can ride up and set up a yoga studio. Bikes are something we enjoy but it also makes pop-up yoga really easy.
How did you get into yoga?
Danica: I was living in Melbourne, working for G Adventures. It was the dream job but after a couple of months sitting at a desk I got a sore back. I heard that yoga was good for relieving back pain. There was a yoga studio nearby and I just fell in love with it. My back problems completely disappeared and I became so much more aware of my body and mind, and gained strength and flexibility. But the biggest thing I never expected was the mental clarity that comes from yoga when you’re just focused on the present moment, and all you need to do is be there and breathe. Prior to that I always had a really busy mind. I’d be somewhere but I’d be thinking about something else so that was definitely an “ahhh” moment.
Nick: I was fixated on biking before I met Danica. She introduced yoga into my life and that is another journey in itself, which is certainly unfolding every day – becoming conscious of my body and my mind and as we practise more it’s been fully complementary to what I do as a cyclist. Even my mates are starting to do some downward dogs in the forest and stretch out a little bit.
What do you love most about your tiny container home in Raglan?
It’s close to town, located by the reserve and a stone’s throw to the water. We have the option to add another container to our section in the future or shift this whole thing and do something different. We can express ourselves creatively.
What’s your lifestyle ethos?
Nick: After a decade of adventure travel you really appreciate the simple things. Like canoeing the Yukon River, 700km over 16 days, and falling in love with the simplicity of life – all you really need is food, shelter and warmth. Experiencing a nomadic life teaches us that we already have everything and more. It also comes back to not buying things you don’t need. You make the most of what you have and it just works and you’re not adding to the problem.
For more visit bikesandbends.com