Rose Hawkins running a yoga class at her home in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.
Rose Hawkins running a yoga class at her home in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Contributed

Starting her own business was a new beginning for Rose

ROSE Hawkins' first life was spent living on a dusty cattle property out near Emerald and working for State and Federal MPs at Rockhampton, dealing with the queues of unhappy people desparate or angry enough to turn to a politician for help.

She's living her second life in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, running yoga retreats from the privacy of her home between Maleny and Montville.

Ms Hawkins, 56, is part of what demographer Bernard Salt calls the new wave of 'lifestyle-preneurs' - older people not ready to retire but no longer prepared to keep slaving for the man - or anyone else for that matter.

MORE: The greys are coming: The rise of the "lifestyle-preneur"

For Ms Hawkins, the change began more than a decade ago when her marriage broke down and she found herself living in town and taking up yoga as her way of healing.

"I spent a lot of time on a cattle property and in the 1990s we went through a very long drought," she said. "Where I lived was very dry and dusty and hot and you were always hanging out for rain. It was a very tough life. ... Parts of it I loved, of course, but I decided I didn't want to live that life anymore."


Rose Hawkins
Rose Hawkins Contributed

Ms Hawkins' love of yoga led to her qualifying as a yoga teacher and starting up a successful school at Rockhampton. A few years ago, after visiting some yoga retreats in Italy she decided it would be worth setting up her own but she wasn't going to do it in Bundy, she was going to do it in the spectacular and lush surrounds of the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

The resulting business is a little bit bed and breakfast, a little bit zen retreat and a little bit yoga school and basically involves Ms Hawkins doing things she loves - yoga, teaching, and cooking for her guests.

"I think it's natural for me to want to nurture people and help people heal themselves," she said.

Ms Hawkins says it doesn't feel like work, but manages to keep the bills paid regardless, providing her and her new partner with an idyllic life intersperced with trips down the range to spend the odd week in their campervan by the sea.

It may not be, strictly speaking, retirement, but in a lot of ways it sounds much better.

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