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Collaboration proves a hit

Robyn Hitchborn at the Love and Core Studio in Martinborough. PHOTO/SUE TEODORO

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Tucked away serenely among the vines, at the end of a gravel road on the outskirts of Martinborough, is a Zen-like oasis of calm and tranquillity.

The new home of health, wellness and movement centre Love and Core opened in mid-2020 just after lockdown.

The dedicated space for people to de-stress, unwind and mindfully focus on well-being, has been an immediate success.

Brainchild of Robyn Hitchborn and other Martinborough residents, the popular centre already has a strong following.

“It feels like we’ve always been here, and it was meant to be,” she said.

“It’s an absolute pleasure to come and work here.

“It has exploded with popularity. The amount of interest we’ve had has been pretty overwhelming,” she said.

The airy, light-filled, converted shed with its high arched ceilings, cork floors and pale wooden beams is surrounded by paddocks and has cows grazing peacefully across the road.

Although there had been informal yoga and Pilates classes in the church hall and later a studio in Jellicoe St, until Love and Core opened its doors there had been no permanent dedicated spot.

The new space brings yoga and Pilates classes under one roof, along with separate massage and reflexology treatment rooms.

Hitchborn, originally from Britain, moved to Martinborough with her New Zealand-born partner and their twins eight years ago.

She trained as a Pilates teacher in Melbourne and Wellington after the birth of her children.

“Having had the twins, my body was not in a very good way. I didn’t feel supple or strong or well.

“Pilates and yoga really changed that for me. It was a pivotal moment in my life, because it gave me a really strong sense of who I was and what I wanted to do.

“It was so joyful to me. That is essentially what movement should be about,” she said.

Hitchborn said the idea for the space was a collaboration between a group of people who recognised that the Martinborough community would benefit from a dedicated wellness centre.

“So that we could come together and practice meditation and movement and all different forms of yoga,” she said.

The range and number of group classes had increased since the centre opened, with mainly Martinborough attendees of all ages from 13 to 80. Hitchborn is upbeat about the future.

“I feel very hopeful and positive and inspired,” she said.

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