The other reason I've been out of the blogosphere... I OPENED MY OWN STUDIO!!! Holy moly, head 'sploded, when did that happen, where am I? Yep! Three other owners (two of my fav yoga instructors in C-U—Hayli and Jodi—and my amazing myofascial massage therapist mentioned above—Laura) and myself joined forces in a whirlwind of events that suddenly had us opening a studio before I even told my own mother about it. I am so very excited to introduce you to Reflect Yoga Therapy.
There are a million reasons I'm buzzing about this studio—obviously—like access to all my favorite instructors in one location, having a voice in the type of classes or workshops I would like to see at the studio, or bringing all my favorite bits from the other studios in my travels to one location. But the way we're offering yoga to the community is what I find the most exciting...
CONTRACTS: We offer up our class packages similar to what you'd find at a park district. Sign up for one package and when it's done it's done. There's not a monthly fee coming out of your account for the next year. You can change up what your yoga routine looks like from month to month, and the flexibility of when you go to classes is available to you within each program.
UNIQUE PACKAGES: There are four types of yoga offered
- Aerial (FINALLY, aerial yoga where I live!!!!): After you take the Aerial Yoga 101 workshop (to see if you like it and to get all students on the same page), you can sign up from anywhere between 1-4 classes per week. And though you will do some beautiful inversions and playful flying—the surprise really comes as you use the swing as a tool to improve your yoga. You don't have to be a Cirque du Soleil performer to attend. In fact, these classes can be therapeutic for many issues, as the swing will hold the weight of your body which allows you to stay in a pose longer by taking pressure off the parts of the body you're still strengthening (ex: in downward facing dog the swing will pull your hips up into the air while taking pressure off your wrists).
- Exec Yoga: Many people have insane schedules with jobs that barely let them leave for lunch. But if you were given one hour to do yoga and a healthy meal with flexibility of when that hour happens—it would be a lot easier, right? Exec does just that! With classes starting at the top of every hour (11am, Noon, and 1pm), you can get in a 45 minute class and (in the very near future) grab a healthy meal to go. This program also offers you gym access on opposite days of classes from 11a-2p downstairs in Studio Helix, so you can house your yoga and gym in one location. I'm excited for the future of this program as we expand into breakfast and dinner options too.
- Pivotal Yoga: This is a sponsored quarterly package that works with local businesses/organizations to create a yoga program specific to their needs. Currently we're working with the Illinois Women's Tennis Team and very soon we will start our Yoga for Runners sponsored by Christie Clinic in prep for the Illinois Marathon. We foresee this option growing in many different ways as groups and individuals discover what helps them live a healthy lifestyle best. This is really the highest quality yoga you can experience because it will be specific to you. Depending on the program, before you even get on a mat there is a one-on-one assessment with one of our yoga therapists. You'll learn where you are strongest and where you need more work, and the instructor will learn how to adjust the class to better guide you. At the end of the quarter you can do another assessment, if you like, to see how far you improved!
- Community Yoga: And for those still exploring their options or trying to get familiar with the space/packages, we offer Community Yoga. These are a variety of classes divided into two pricing packages. Community Yoga with our Junior Instructors [1+ Years Teaching | 100-299 Hours Training] or with our Senior Instructors [4+ Years Teaching | 300+ Hours Training | Anatomy + Physiology Training]
INSTRUCTORS: We really are looking at our instructors in a new light. We love all this community offers us in yoga, but when we sat down to think of our dream team it included those who have studied anatomy and physiology. Those who look at their students and see how they tick. How they hold themselves and what that means for their overall well-being.
Personally, I can't believe how drastically my yoga improved when I integrated it in with a massage therapy session. Obviously your body opens up more after a beautiful massage, but my massage therapist was also my yoga instructor. Hayli, now one of the co-owners of Reflect, would have me go to her yoga class before my massage. She could see how I was holding my body, where I was tight, where I was weak... She could watch how this machine of mine was moving. Then, once on the massage table, she could get right to the point. It was incredible.
Our Senior Instructors are those we believe look at the body this way. So when they're engineering the lesson plan for their class they are paying attention to details and fine-tuning along the way. Our Junior Instructors may not have that same experience, but we see incredible potential in them and are excited to train them into Senior Instructors.
We also have programs in place to take care of our instructors. There is an educational fund they can use to deepen their yoga knowledge. We offer investment opportunities, to not only benefit them further for all they bring to the space but to also have a louder voice in how things are run. We compensate instructors more than norm with the intention that they'll no longer teach a million classes with the same lesson plan, but less classes with diversity and at a higher level of quality. We make sure they're only in the classrooms. Instead of being distracted to check students in or help with the retail side of things, we have a front desk staff to take care of those needs.
LOCATION: This. Building. Is. Incredible. What once was the old Sears building in downtown Champaign is now a wellness oasis conjured up by the incredibly intuitive Laura Kalman (Reflect co-owner and Studio Helix owner—aka my myofascial massage guru). Her careful efforts to restore, recycle, and reuse have been recognized by many, including the PACA Heritage Preservation Award for our attention to detail, sensitivity to historical architectural relevance, and LEED-based restoration. Salvaged doors, exposed brick walls with original murals, welcomed natural light, and fresh air on demand creates this peaceful haven.
I'm so very proud of what our team is passionately working on to offer our community. We only opened on January 4th and already we are finding ways to grow and learn and inspire others. It has been (and I can only imagine will be) an amazing adventure!
Please do come visit when you can — and if anyone is interested in reviewing my studio, I would love to feature it on this blog!
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