Each teacher and studio brings their own life and training experience into their teaching style. So when someone asked me what makes my studio in Georgetown, Ontario different I had to stop and think.
There are many Georgetown yoga studios with great teachers and I am a firm believer that each studio brings their own flavour and speaks to different people. I am also a firm believer that Georgetown yoga studios need to VALUE their services and support each other (meaning charging the prices that really work for them and not undercutting each other). This de-values a whole industry based on constant growth, hours of learning and preparation and daily yoga practices that cost time and money, not usually passed onto the customer. So to my fellow studio owners, value yourself as much I value you! I am so grateful for you and all you do!
Value yourself as much I value you
However, I digress.
Instead of pointing out all that makes me different, an assessment that cannot truly made, I want to share me, my teaching style and my studio.
1) My studio is in my home
After recovering from a depression I knew what I wanted and needed to stay healthy. Going back to a 9 to 5 job (let’s be honest it’s 9-5 and then 8-10 p.m. and weekend job) as a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) in the environmental consulting field was not going to keep me healthy. I had come to the realization that the environment I was in was toxic, the definite hours a week taxing on me and my family and that although I enjoyed protecting the worker, I ended up mostly protecting companies and not really serving the people.
So, what did I want and need?
I needed a yoga-like space with people working together as a cohesive collective for the greater good. I needed to have to have flexible hours so I can be present for my children after school and in general (I could not be burnt out). I needed and wanted to do something I loved and that made a difference for others, serve them with my heart and soul. I wanted to make enough money to cover all our bills so my husband could take more time off from work.
Get the amazing power of that one-on-one yoga feel without paying the one-on-one cost!
Having my Georgetown yoga studio in my home allows me all of the above as I do not have to commute to a studio or stay there from 9 to 1 p.m. and then 5-10 p.m. In addition, my studio allows me to really connect with each student as my studio holds 8 students. If I am going to serve others it cannot be at the expense of real connection. Which is why my tagline is get the amazing power of that one-on-one yoga feel without paying the one-on-one cost!
2) In the summer, we head outdoors
One of the reasons we bought our house, besides having a separate space and entrance for my studio, was the private backyard. I knew I wanted to be able to teach outdoors as I believe being in nature helps you connect to yourself and to source energy. Plus, who wants to be cooped up in a hot yoga studio when you can be outside in nature in the sun, listening to birds and nature? One of the perks of living in Georgetown is all the outdoor activities so I wanted to lower the amount of time spent indoors. I love the spring and summer and spend as much time as I can outdoors.
So, what did I want and need?
I needed to be able to connect with nature to continue to be healthy. I wanted a space where I could teach my classes and be in nature. I also wanted this for my students. Knowing how nature can help one connect with themselves, heal from emotional stress or depression and provide a calming effect, I knew I wanted a studio with green space.
Nature can help one connect with themselves, heal from emotional stress or depression and provide a calming effect.
Our choice to have SelfLove Health and Wellness’ Georgetown yoga studio was no mistake. We have a huge private green space where we practice outdoors facing a forest. We have big plans for this backyard (did I hear someone whisper negative edge pool?) and I cannot wait to share our final oasis with you!
3) I allow my students to guide the practice
The type of yoga practice that helped me recover from my depression, along with therapy and medication, was a fusion vinyasa. You are guided through your practice like Ashtanga yoga (which I LOVE teaching) but then allowed to flow on your own like Mysore yoga for a small portion. This allows the student to really take on their own practice, knowing that they are in charge of their practice.
This allows the student to really take on their own practice, knowing that they are in charge of their practice.
They can add or take away anything they wish and really connect their movement to their own breath. Sacred space meditation opens the practice while Yin yoga starts to close the practice. In addition, I get to know what each student needs and will adapt the practice for them. Some sequences will challenge one student while providing ease for another. Simple cues are given to allow each student to choose their level while still moving them outside of their comfort zone. I know how much this helped me so it is an honour to provide this for those I serve.
4) Classes are different every class and for every level
There are “bones” to my classes in my Georgetown yoga studio, the students get to know the general flow of a class but never know what postures are coming.
I speak to alignment to allow the student to find the posture that fits their body but still allows them to grow deeper into that posture as they progress.
The focus is first on breath and then connecting movement to breath to help find the posture that feels right in your body. Although I am big on proper alignment, I do not force alignment. Instead I speak to alignment to allow the student to find the posture that fits their body but still allows them to grow deeper into that posture as they progress.
As my classes are kept small, it allows me to help a student find deeper postures and better alignment with hands-on touch and more visual attention. It allows me to be able to cue my students in a more personal way. Plus, giving a little massage or alignment during a stretch or savasana is everyone’s favourite!
6) We giggle and have fun
Although yoga is a meditative calming practice, it does not mean we cannot laugh and have fun. Depending on the student, class or day we will have open conversations and laughter. We don’t always have to take ourselves so serious, especially when we fall over (and we ALL do!). It is being to smile at yourself and get right back into it.
We don’t always have to take ourselves so serious!
I definitely knew I needed and wanted fun and laughter, we all do. Nothing can bring us closer together than smiles and giggles. So why not add fun to our practice?
If any of these items has struck a peak of interest in my classes in my Georgetown yoga studio, why not come try a class with my for FREE? I would love to meet you and see if we are a fit for each other! If I can serve you in any way, I will be here.