Wednesday, October 7, 2009
High Street Yoga Celebrates One Year!
Yoga is the practice of finding tranquility through the union of mind, body and spirit. So it’s fitting that High Street Yoga, 141 E. High St., has spent the last year stretching that definition to include not only people who practice yoga, but also by embracing the community as a whole.
“I think that I wanted to make this a place of community,” said High Street Yoga instructor/director Barbara Kosciewicz. “The idea of yoga in general is to open yourself and so it seemed natural to extend that to others, too.”
To illustrate that, in the year since it opened, High Street Yoga has collected donations for the North Coventry food pantry, held a Toys for Tots Toy drive and offered a special monthly Kid Yoga class for local Moms Clubs as well as Moms Night Outs.
Kosciewicz has been practicing yoga for a decade and has spent the last six years teaching. She jumped at the chance to create High Street Yoga a year ago, in a space that had previously been used for storage above the Academy of Massage & Bodyworks.
“I was a student at the Academy,” Kosciewicz said. “The room was used for storage and Angela (Wagner) and Jim (Funk, directors of the Academy of Massage) asked me if I wanted to help them get a yoga studio started.”
So the space was cleaned out, painted and turned into a room that is warm and tranquil. The soothing yellow walls are appointed with wall hangings and a large “om” symbol, and the space is large enough to allow participants to spread out and relax.
This is the whole point of yoga.
“People don’t take any time for themselves,” Kosciewicz said. “You may read a book or take a bath. But yoga really gives people an hour to relax. It’s really slowing down the mind and slowing down the body and letting yourself completely take care of you. You can completely surrender and completely relax. That’s my focus.”
And because that’s her focus Kosciewicz designs her classes for all levels of experience.
“People say that they’re not flexible,” she said. “But you don’t need to be flexible to begin yoga. Just come exactly as you are. I give modifications for every situation. If you’re pregnant or injured I can modify the postures to what is comfortable for you. Everyone in class looks different because yoga is all about you as an individual and where you are physically.”
A typical class includes breath awareness, centering/meditation, clearly explained asana (the physical postures) and Savasana – the final relaxation. In addition, Kosciewicz will often add some extras to the class and during the past year has offered candle light yoga with live music, a Valentine’s Day Special that added foot soaks, chair massage and tea to the yoga class and a holiday stress buster series.
Continuing the plan to give back to the community, High Street Yoga will celebrate its first birthday by offering half-price classes to anyone who brings a donation for the North Coventry Food Pantry during the first two weeks of October. Each donation also qualifies the giver to raffles and special giveaways.
Classes normally cost $12 each and are offered Tuesday 7 to 8:15 p.m. and Wednesday 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. Packages are available and drop-ins are welcome.
For information visit the website at www.highstreetyoga.vpweb.com or the Blog at highstreetyoga.blogspot.com