Alma Puts Weight Behind Foundation

Alma Someday
  • Alma co-founders Emily O’Sullivan (pictured right) and Danielle Lowy.

Hawke’s Bay Foundation is excited to welcome the region’s newest health and wellness provider Alma Studio on board as a Corporate Supporter.

Alma, meaning ‘nourish’ and ‘soul’, is a multi-disciplinary movement studio now open in Havelock North’s new Joll Road development. A house of movement, wellness, mindfulness and connection, Alma is the brainchild of ex-corporate Emily O’Sullivan and former LA prosecutor Danielle Lowy. Profits from Alma’s recent launch and weekly koha classes will be split evenly and directed indefinitely to their chosen charities: Hawke’s Bay Foundation (administration support) and Hastings SPCA.

We caught up with Emily to find out, why us?

So why did you decide to choose Hawke’s Bay Foundation as a charity partner for your new business Alma Studios?

After attending the Night of Us event last year, I was really impressed by Hawke’s Bay Foundation and the impact it is having on local community organisations. Having a finance background myself, I love how the fund creates a sustainable long-term model (where the interest from investment is used to support local charities) – it’s clever and makes sense. I also was really impressed by the sheer number of charities that benefited, due to how the fund operates.

Why are you so passionate about the practise of yoga and pilates?

I turned to yoga while suffering from work-related anxiety in my 20’s, with my fast-paced job I would often come home feeling mentally frazzled. I needed to find ways to ground myself and now know full well the benefits that movement and meditation can have on a person. I hope everyone is able to leave Alma feeling a little bit happier, a little bit healthier and a whole lot more relaxed.

How do you feel the two (Alma and Hawke’s Bay Foundation) align in terms of ethos and aspiration?

Alma, meaning ‘nourish’ and ‘soul’ is a new Yoga and Pilates studio in Havelock North. Our intention for Alma is to be more than just movement though.. to also be a place of wellness, mindfulness and connection. We want to create a sense of community – whether that be through connecting with others, hosting beautiful events, or through our koha / charity classes. We have further aspirations of how we want Alma to have a greater impact on our local communities in Hawke’s Bay. This feels very aligned with Hawke’s Bay Foundation whose primary goal is to help local communities.

You and your husband Ryan have settled your young family in Hawke’s Bay, would you agree there seems to be a growing concern and will from people nowadays (especially the younger generation) to ‘give back’ by helping people and planet beyond profit?  Can you please explain.

I think there is absolutely a growing desire for the younger generation to give back and help people and planet beyond profit. Coming from a finance background myself, of course a business needs to be financially viable in order to be able to give back. However, I think that a lot of people today are passionate about giving back and making a difference in the mahi they do. For us, this is an integral part of the Alma brand and our values. This isn’t just a ‘tick the box’ exercise of giving back – it is core to who Alma is as a brand and company. I am passionate about creating a beautiful space to serve the community, but also to be able to give back to the community where we can.

How will you personally feel knowing you are making a positive impact for Hawke’s Bay Foundation, and what would you say to encourage other businesses to follow suit?

I feel great knowing we are making a positive impact for Hawke’s Bay Foundation. I have two young daughters that will be growing up in Hawke’s Bay and want them to learn from a young age the importance of giving back, and the impact it can have on local communities. My mum has always said to help your own backyard / local community first, and this has always stuck with me. I encourage other local businesses to do the same – there are a lot of communities in Hawke’s Bay that need our help!

If you have a business in Hawke’s Bay and would like to support the work of Hawke’s Bay Foundation to build a stronger Bay for generations to come, please get in touch with Amy on (06) 870 4648. We’d love to hear from you!


With its comprehensive offering of more than 80 classes a week, Alma Studio facilitates both heated and unheated Yoga, Reformer and Mat Pilates, meditation and breathwork. Stemming from the desire to create a wholly inclusive space, Alma has been designed with everyone in mind – meaning daily practitioners and first timers are equally encouraged and welcomed.

To find out more visit, check out their Instagram @almastudionz or stay updated via their Facebook page at