On her own path to wellness, a local woman found a passion for yoga and is now sharing her love for the discipline in her new Trail studio.
“I turned to yoga as my refuge, it was an escape for me,” said Jennifer Geddes, instructor and owner of Kootenay Life Yoga. “I originally tried yoga for the philosophy – the mental part.”
But Geddes fell in love with the movement, too.
“I learned to accept that it’s OK if I didn’t get something right away,” she said Tuesday on her second day in business.
“I would try it the next day. Letting go doesn’t mean that you’re giving up.”
Soaking up some of the sunshine pouring into the window of Kootenay Life Yoga, formally a music store in Trail, Geddes laughs when she thinks back to the early years when she taught herself the discipline.
“I started learning with books because there was no studio at that time,” she said. “But you can’t learn yoga from a book.”
Crouching down with her hands and feet flat on the hardwood floor of her bright and airy studio, she slips into the first move she ever tried – the “crow.”
She leans forward and balances her knees on her shoulders – a simple task now for the instructor with about 10 years experience. After teaching in an informal setting, she recently completing official training.
She learned how to apply yoga philosophy to her everyday life after finishing a four-week stay at an ashram in California, where she studied “Sivananda” – a type of yoga that focuses and expands on 12 classic postures.
“It physically works every part of your body from your head to your feet,” she said, adding that those practicing feel a sense of accomplishment as they watch themselves progress.
Kootenay Life Yoga caters from the beginner to advanced yoga student, also offering a class that focuses on meditation, adaptive chair yoga for those with mobility challenges, and a prenatal class.
“I offer one advanced class, ideal for athletes,” she said. “It’s fun to do, it’s amazingly relaxing and rejuvenating at the same time. You get to the end of the class and you feel spent but in a good way.”
Geddes also specializes in Thai yoga massage, which features an instructor taking a student through a series of stretches.
She has classes starting as early as 7 a.m. into the afternoon as well as an evening class.
The studio is also open from 1-3 p.m. for those looking for a place to practice their stretches on their own, as long as Geddes doesn’t have any private sessions ongoing.
Participants are encouraged to enjoy the studio, where they can sip tea after class in the comfort of a living-room setting.
For more information on Kootenay Life Yoga, visit www.kootenaylifeyoga.com or call 368-7200.
Located at 1205 Bay Ave., the front of her shop is generally open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday to Friday.