We first met Tracey Ellis two years ago at the Om yoga show in London. We instantly fell in love with the British feminine style of this brand of yoga accessories and clothes. Shanti Sundays was an instant success at Yoga Concept and here is the story behind the brand.
Yoga Concept (YC): When and why did you start practicing yoga?
Tracey Ellis (TE): I dabbled a little bit in my 20’s, attending classes at my local gym but never had a regular practice. I liked staying out late and having a good time too much for a committed yoga practice. However that changed in my early 30’s when I began to have a real sense something was missing. I needed a lifestyle overhaul so I took myself off to India and dived on in, spending time in an ashram and fully embracing yoga and meditation. I completely fell in love with this new way of being. There was no going back after that; I’d found the missing link. When I came back to London I started working with triyoga and my yoga journey took flight from there.
YC: What was your last job before creating your brand Shanti Sundays?
TE: Head of marketing at pioneering drinks brand Botanic Lab and before that retail buyer at triyoga.
YC: Why the name Shanti Sundays and what does your brand stand for?
TE: Shanti is the sankskrit word for peace, something we could all cultivate more of in our lives. In this increasingly fast paced world, we need to learn to slow down and embrace that laid back Sunday feeling more; taking time out for the little things that keep us well; relaxation, yoga, meditation, time with loved ones. I hope the brand inspires people to invoke this peaceful Sunday attitude, every day. Shanti Sundays is very heart led, you can see that from our logo. Love is everything is an extension of that. Without love, what do we have?
YC: In addition to creating Shanti Sundays you teach yoga. What type and where?
TE: I teach mindful, slow vinyasa and restorative. My signature style is flow and restore. I like to work dynamically, building strength and follow up with deep rest. The body sinks even deeper into relaxation this way. I also love restorative as a stand alone practice as it has such an instant magical effect and works wonders on over taxed nervous systems; which most of us have, especially in cities.
I teach small groups and privates mainly in my neighborhood in Kensal Green at Gracelands Yard and Loft Studios. I’m planning some bigger classes / events this Autumn as I start building more of a community. The aim is to create a space where people can really embrace love for themselves and others and allow themselves to feel what they feel. As strong as we all are, my hope is to create an environment where people can lean in and feel supported, by the yoga, each other and of course, the most gorgeous Shanti Sundays props!
YC: Does your brand support any charities?
TE: I've designed t-shirts for an incredible charity started by 2 friends called Yoga Stops Traffick which has become a global movement raising awareness of Human trafficking in India and funds to rescue and rehabilitate those affected by this. We’ve also supported the amazing charity the Hope Foundation which works with rehousing street children in Calcutta. Part of the Shanti Sundays vision is to organise larger charity events of our own.
YC: What message do you want to convey with Shanti Sundays?
TE: At Shanti Sundays, love is everything, and that begins with you. self-care, self-love, love for the world. Our aim is to encourage people to fall in love a little bit more each day; with themselves and the world.
YC: How has yoga changed your life?
TE: I honestly don't know where I would be without it. Yoga threw me a lifeline and opened my eyes to the untold possibility of this life and the potential each of us has as human beings. Yoga has taught me how to be the best version of myself and be more involved in community and society in general. Teaching yoga is the greatest gift. Helping others wake up to their potential on and off the mat is the most beautifully rewarding thing of all.
Photgraphy by Cat Stevens