Island to Island, the Big Apple of Manhattan comes to Whidbey

Posted in Community, More Stories

May 6, 2015

It all began in May 2013 during a yoga teacher training in Costa Rica on the Northern Nicoya Peninsula.

Tracy Squillante and I, Joni Takanikos, flew in a small plane to Tambor, landing in a little dusty field. We spent the next half hour bouncing around in the back of a taxi, (those Costa Rican country roads remind me of some back roads here on Whidbey), on our way to a month long yoga teacher training retreat. We had just met and immediately made the discovery we were both from islands. Tracy, (Manhattan) and me, Joni, (Whidbey), often shared a mat next to each other on the covered outdoor platform, looking out to the beautiful coastline, flora, fauna, Yoda-like lizards, butterflies and swooping turkey vultures, whose flying antics were often aimed right at our eye level, on our perched on the hillside platform. The birds soared and swooped while we practiced hundreds of downward dog poses.

It was here over our scrumptious dinners that Tracy Squillante started dreaming of the kind of yoga clothes that could fit all shapes of women’s bodies, and could also be worn outside the studio, studio to street fashion. IMG_1014

After lots of hard work and design she launched her line this last year. It is made here in the U.S. and the fabrics and style are impeccably beautiful. Her right hand woman and niece, Jillian Squillante, have been hitting the road to visit yoga studios with her line, Haven Collective, ever since, as well as having an extensive online presence at Half Moon Yoga Studio, located in the Langley Village, and the studio where I am fortunate to teach, was one of  Haven Collective’s first stops last year, and the response to the line was overwhelmingly positive among our students and community.

Tracy wanted to include a portion of the proceeds of Haven Collective sales to a local charity benefitting women, and both Valerie Easton, writer, studio owner, teacher and I suggested Hedgebrook, the international women writer’s retreat on Whidbey. Val and I are both alums and value Hedgebrook enormously. So last year we hosted a New York State of Mind at the studio and this year we will host again with a pop up shop at Half Moon Yoga Studio on Saturday, May 16th from 11am-3pmIMG_1015

Stop by Half Moon Yoga studio, meet Tracy and Jillian, and let them help you find some beautiful yoga to street clothes. They will  be making a donation again this year to Hedgebrook and finding some time to enjoy all the beauty of our island. Last year was their first visit to the Pacific Northwest and not only did they fall in love with our lovely environment, but they were also deeply impressed with our dynamic island community. They are looking forward to meeting you, so please come to Half Moon studio to find your haven with Haven Collective. For more information please call Valerie at 206-226-6055 or visit


Joni Takanikos writes a WLM blog, In Search of Truth and Beauty. She has resided on Whidbey Island for 22 years and has lived lifetimes in this beautiful environment. She currently teaches yoga at Half Moon Yoga Studio in Langley. Joni is a writer, singer and performer with a lifetime project of “dreaming a better dream” for all beings.


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