Waiuku’s 1920s billiard hall, off Queen Street, has undergone a huge makeover in order to be made into a new community facility.
Kirsty-May Lillis and a small team have been working on the property for several months, and it is now close to completion. The building will house two yoga studios, which will be used for Kirsty-May’s business Yoga Lane Studios. However she wants it to be used for all community groups.
“It has definitely been a labour of love,” she said, “but it’s a beautiful building.”The deconstruction revealed rich Kauri timber, which they have decided to keep as a natural element. They’ve stripped back the paint, added walls, new changing rooms and bathroom facilities.
“We’re hiring it out to different groups for karate, and various classes. We want it to be used. One of the rooms has a lowered roof which will feature a room for hot yoga. The building has been empty for several years, so it’s great to be able to use it and offer it to others to hire too. There are so many other groups out there, but we just wanted this purpose-built space to bring it all together and to create community,” Kirsty-May said.
Kirsty-May herself has been teaching yoga since July last year.
“Originally yoga was made for men, by men, but Western society has made it a lot more feminine.” Now, however, she says there is almost a 50/50 split of men and women at the classes.
“It’s a really good response. It’s humbling to see a lot more men coming.”
Overall, Kirsty-May is excited to be in such a historical part of Waiuku, behind Unichem Pharmacy, and to see what happens next. “It just takes patience and persistence.”
Yoga Lane Studios will be hosting an open day, Sunday 11 March, from 11.30am to 4.30pm for the community to explore the revamped building and take part in any of the free classes held throughout the day.