Domestic abuse survivor launches yoga business
She still remembers the promise she made to herself.
Three years ago Nichola Jones vowed to piece her life together after walking out of an abusive relationship.
Her spirit was broken and it took a long time to fix it, she said.
But Jones said she finally felt like things had turned around for her.
The yoga teacher's newly-formed business Ora Yoga took its first client this year.
She said not long ago the business was just an idea in her head.
It began when Jones realised yoga could help women regain their self-esteem, especially victims of abuse.
Last year, she started working on a business case for the idea.
She called it Ora Yoga. The word Ora meant survivor in Maori.
It included regular yoga classes, and taking groups of women on special "self care" retreats twice a year to help rebuild their self-esteem.
All activities included childcare options.
Jones, now an advocate for abuse victims, said yoga healed her.
Once out of her own toxic relationship she realised she had lost her identity and decided to practice yoga to connect with herself.
"I am stronger because of yoga."
Ora Yoga classes ran on a Friday morning.
She said her classes had a special focus on using a gentle approach.
"We begin by sending love to the heart."
But the best was yet to come, she said.
This month Ora Yoga will have a formal launch party and fundraiser in west Auckland.
Jones said she was looking for community support. The ticket for a gluten-free and vegetarian dinner put holders in the draw for five complimentary passes to Ora Yoga classes, a Shakti Mat and a performance by a special guest.
Singer and songwriter and Women's Refuge New Zealand ambassador Tina Cross had promised to come to the party.
In 2014 Cross released a single called Walk Away to raise funds and awareness for Women's Refuge.
The launch party for Ora Yoga will be at Green Bay Community House on May 20 from 5pm to 9.30pm.
The ticket price was $25 per person and $15 for children. Go to Ora Yoga Om on Facebook for more or call Jones on 021 353 456.
Children were welcome at the event.