By Tom O’Keefe
Love Child Yoga is open at 1 Horatio Street! Co-founded by Neelu Shruti and Dana Nguyen Anh, Love Child offers yoga for everyone—Beginner Basics, Vinyasa, Prenatal, and Baby & Me Yoga classes—Doula Services, and prenatal and new parent support. Their vision for Love Child is to build a community that provides resources for new and expecting parents, and offers small yoga classes so that anyone and everyone can benefit, learn, and grow from personalized attention to their practice in a nurturing environment.
Born in Germany, Dana was introduced to Pranayama at a young age by her father, who is Vietnamese. After completing degrees in Fashion Design and Dance, Dana was drawn to yoga. She started practicing yoga while in college in Berlin, found it a natural extension of her interest in mind-body connection, and completed teacher training while pregnant with her daughter, Kaya.
Neelu was the doula for Dana’s home birth, and their friendship—and joint vision for Love Child—grew from there. Born in India, Neelu attended the Rishi Valley School, where she was introduced to yoga and the philosophy of J. Krishnamurti. She worked for six years as an architect in New York before discovering her passion for empowering people through a conscious, supportive, and challenging yoga practice, and by sharing information and best practices for health and wellness.
How did the vision for Love Child come about?
Neelu: Dana was looking for an intervention-free birth. I suggest a lot of things to clients, but everyone has different priorities, so I was thrilled when Dana decided to have a homebirth.
Dana: I’d been thinking about the Brooklyn Birth Center.
Neelu: The lack of birth centers is a huge problem–for those of us in the West Village, with St. Vincent’s closing. Even having been in many different birth scenarios, homebirth is so much different. Justin was there. The midwives came and went. But there was something incredibly special about being there with Dana the whole time.
So we became friends first. You can’t have that kind of intimate moment, and then go on just living your life.
Dana: And you were still my doula. You visited me after the birth. I came to your postnatal classes. You knew Kaya. We met for lunch. I came to other classes of yours, and you came to my classes, and then we started talking about this vision for a communal space, an inclusive space. Everything happened so fast after that–like in one day?
Neelu: Yeah! One day we talked about the experiences that you’d had, and that I’d had. We agreed it would be amazing to have a space. The next day, a listing just came out of the internet.
What has it been like launching Love Child?
Dana: I haven’t had time to think! What’s it like to run a business? I knew about time commitment, but it’s so much more than I expected. But it’s great! It’s just unbelievable to have this opportunity.
Neelu: Unreal. Going through my to do list—the things to catch up on, that I never catch up on. People give me feedback—that they love what we’re doing, combining all of these supports and resources. When I do stop for a moment to reflect, I’m speechless. It’s especially nice to offer these services to a community that really appreciates them.
For the full interview; information about classes and services at Love Child Yoga; and updates about Neelu and Dana’s soon-to-be-released video series, please visit: http://www.lovechildyoga.com/