There are numerous ways to get into yoga – just ask any of the instructors at the newly-opened Soulstice Yoga Studio in Dawson City.
One grew up doing sun salutations with her yoga-enthusiast mother; another took interest in hot yoga to improve her fitness levels while at university; another made it part of a recovery program following a back injury after a 400 pound glass door fell on her; and another was seeking balance in her chaotic life of shift-work stress as an air traffic controller in Ottawa.
Studio Coordinator Sandy McClintock first encountered yoga when her father dropped her and her sister off at classes held at the YMCA while he went to martial arts classes.
All speak of the benefits of yoga: gaining energy and strength, reducing pain and stress, obtaining greater balance in life and finding a sense of calm and peace.
“Everyone does yoga for such different reasons,” says instructor Krissy Fraughton.
And while yoga classes have been offered in Dawson City for many years in a variety of different venues, the opening of the Soulstice Yoga Studio is the realization of a dream for many enthusiasts in town: a variety of styles, levels and instructors is now available in one space that is solely devoted to yoga.
Operating on Second Avenue between Queen and King Streets, the Soulstice Yoga Studio offers a schedule of classes in disciplines including Hatha, Kundalini, Vinyasa Flow and Yin Yoga. There are already 12 instructors using the space.
For Sandy McClintock, the story of Soulstice Studio is about alignment – having the right people in the right place at the right time, and deciding to make it happen.
Largely, this involved four yoga enthusiasts who took a teacher-training course in Dawson City. The 200-hour Hatha Yoga instructor’s course was offered through Yukon College and taught by long-time instructor Joanne Van Nostrand, whose primary focus is on alignment.
Each teacher-in-training was motivated by her own background and reasons. For McClintock, it was to add skills and tools to her massage therapy and rehabilitation practice.
The idea of immediately instructing yoga, let alone collectively opening a studio, did not emerge until midway through the course.
“I had 47 things on my list that I wanted from this course, and opening a studio was not one of them!” McClintock says.
In reality, the current operation is a labour of love.
“The community desperately needed the space. I was ready to pay out-of-pocket,” McClintock says.
As it is, some of the other instructors are contributing extra to ensure rent gets paid. Ultimately, McClintock hopes to construct a studio, and expand the operation.
“But we recognize we live in a small community, and it changes with the seasons… We have to be realistic about what works and what doesn’t, and make adjustments as we go.”
So far though, Dawsonites have been quick off the mark. Long-time Yukoner Monna Sprokkreeff says she is delighted to have such a variety of classes and instructors available and under one roof.
“It’s lovely that Sandy has made this commitment, and this space is available for the community,” Sprokkreeff says.