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Yoga Center re-opens as community partnership

When the former owner of a yoga studio in Powell pulled out recently, yoga teachers and students decided to combine their efforts to keep the studio operating.

Under its new name, the Yoga Center now is a cooperative venture spearheaded by five certified yoga instructors and eight students at the center.

A grand opening will take place at 5 p.m. Friday at the center, located 163 N. Clark St.

“The students stepped up and wanted to keep it open,” said Helena DeFina, one of the teachers at the center. “We have each agreed to pay a certain amount each month to keep it open ... It’s been a breath of new life.”

They would like to extend that concept to make it a community-owned center. They’re making it easy; anyone interested can join the center for $5. The first class is free; after that, classes cost $7 each, or $50 for 30 days of unlimited classes.

The center offers a pleasant, relaxing environment in which teachers and students can tune out the world while they focus on body, breath and mind.

“To me, yoga brings in the breathing element, and that just sort of separates it from regular exercises,” said Rowene Weems, one of the eight students who spearheaded the partnership.

Yoga is not a religion; it’s a system of health, DeFina said.

“It’s not just physical,” she said. “Whatever helps you calm the mind is what you need. (The Yoga Center) is an environment to help put you in the right place.”

That’s why it was so important to keep the center open, she said.

According to information at the center, yoga:

• Is for any body, any age, any time, any place.

• Increases flexibility and strength

• Reduces stress

• Has therapeutic benefits

• Creates body awareness

• Improves cardiovascular health

• Helps with weight management

• Is spiritual, not religious

• Helps quiet the mind, bringing focus and clarity

• Leads to better breathing

• Is time tested, 5,000 years

• Leads to greater compassion for yourself and others.

Weems said people often have misconceptions about yoga.

“They hear yoga or see poses and say, ‘I can’t do that. I’m not flexible enough.’ It’s not like that at all. ... Basically, it’s more of a question of movement and breathing and stretching. The teacher is always watching to make sure you’re not straining, you’re not hurting yourself.”

DeFina said there are modifications for each pose to adapt it to each person’s abilities and needs.

“You don’t have to be this rubber band to benefit,” she said.

Yoga Center schedule

A grand opening will take place at 5 p.m. Friday at the Yoga Center, 163 N. Clark St.

One yoga class is offered daily five days per week at the center.

Following is the class schedule:

•    Monday, 5:30 p.m. — Gentle and Restorative with by Beth Wipplinger

•    Tuesday, 7:30 a.m. — Multi Levels with Chuck Neustifter

•    Wednesday, 5:30 p.m. — Hatha Yoga with Milo Asay

•    Thursday, 5:30 p.m. — Slow Flow with George Miller

•    Saturday, 8 a.m. — Multi Levels with Helena Defina

1 comment

  • posted by Cathy Spencer

    July 12, 2012 8:47 am

    It is great to have yoga continuing in the community. Anyone can participate in yoga no matter what there physical limitations, senior citizens and children alike.

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