The New Year brings hope for a refreshing new start. Collegeville Yoga Bar, in Collegeville Pennsylvania, is a community celebrating wellness and life. They practice this daily and in the lives of local children and charities, such as the National Kidney Foundation. What struck me most about this business was it’s genuine care to better their lifestyle and better influence the people who enter it. I had an opportunity to sit down with the owner, Stefania, and ask a couple questions about her yoga studio.
I used to live about four blocks away from a yoga studio. At the time, I just really enjoyed taking yoga classes. I didn’t truly know what yoga was, other than the pose part of it, which is certainly something but not the whole part of what yoga is. Suddenly I realized, I’ve been taking yoga classes for so long and I have a teaching background – I bet I can teach this. After completing a teacher training program, I decided to open my own business because I had built up enough of a following.
We really try to make everyone feel like a community here. Part of the experience in coming to a yoga class should be more than just exercise. In order to get that other part of yoga, the breath component, or the idea that you are living a good life, you need to feel like you belong where you are. We try to guide that with our clients and give back to them when we can. Periodically we offer free classes and just finished a t-shirt contest. We also like to give to local charities, sporting events, and fundraisers.
The number one thing we want them to know is that we care about them. Everyone comes to class for yoga, but everyone has different physical and/or emotional reasons for coming in. As an educator, we want to help you find where you are for right now and help you move forward.
In theory, yoga has eight facets. Breathing, meditation, and poses all correlate with being in a yoga state. It is more of a lifestyle than anything. Ultimately you want to get to the eighth limb which is like enlightenment. This is where you are grounded, centered, and let everything go and live in the present moment. It has nothing to do with putting your leg behind your head. It’s about living the best way you can without stressing over all that other stuff everyone has that can take away from being a full person.
There are a lot of great physical and emotional components. Your nervous system can calm itself with proper breathing. Sometimes people have a reduction in anxiety or different stress in general, depression. Then there’s sometimes a physical component of lower blood pressure, greater flexibility, and weight loss. For most people yoga is used as a lifestyle. It can go into what you put in your body and into simply giving your body rest. Sometimes we are so “go go go.” We don’t necessarily sit and do nothing. Your thoughts have to be able to collect at some point. So part of that is just taking a moment and rest your body to get yourself centered.
A lot of people who are new to yoga enjoy the beginner classes like “Beginner Hatha.” “Hatha” and “Vinyasa” are also some of our most popular classes. Vinyasa means movement with breath so it has more fluid movement as you go from one pose to another as you relinquish breaths. Some people prefer the Hatha style because you hold your pose a little longer and it is a little bit slower paced than Vinyasa.
We have a children’s training program that begins in January. On February 3rd we will be celebrating our two year anniversary at this new location. All the classes will be free that day 9:15 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Beverly, who teaches Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, is going to do 10-15 minute Reiki sessions with people who are signed up.
“Success is not the key to happiness; happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” Buddha
It is refreshing to see firsthand that a business truly cares about people. Collegeville Yoga Bar is a place people are guided to live a better life – full of contentment and acceptance for who you are.
To visit Collegeville Yoga Bar:
50 Second Avenue, Suite 3 Collegeville, PA 19426