Not-for-profit yoga studio opens this fall: teaming up

🕔Aug 04, 2005

This September, four yoga and meditation instructors in the Bulkley Valley are joining forces to open their own studio.

SEVA Centre, Smithers’ Yoga & Meditation Studio, is the collective vision of four women. Each has her own teaching style and training; together they are offering a range of classes throughout the week: flowing Ashtanga yoga, alignment-focused Iyengar yoga, the breath and body awareness of Hatha yoga, and guided meditation.

“Our vision is to create a space for stillness and reflection, a refuge for anyone who’s looking to work on the health of body, mind and spirit,” says meditation instructor and homeopathic practitioner Jean Christian.

The focus of the centre is based on Seva (the Sanskrit term for service), and inclusion for all. Unlike regular for-profit studios, Smithers’ SEVA Centre is heading in the direction of the thriving Victoria Yoga Centre, whose teachers have been active in the community for more than two decades and now form an official not-for-profit organization.

The studio itself is housed in a spacious upstairs room at Smithers’ United Church. Plans are to offer a selection of morning, mid-day and evening classes to complement work the instructors already have underway across the region. That includes quarterly yoga & meditation retreats, offered in a donated straw bale home in Driftwood Canyon, which draw participants from Burns Lake to Terrace.

As the centre grows, the instructors are aiming to add classes and workshops on meditative dance, practical spirituality, holistic nutrition, devotional music, and also develop a lending library.

“We believe that change must begin from within if we are going to create a peaceful and environmentally sustainable world to pass on to our children,” says Gail Hochachka. “A sustainable community begins by embodying and modelling sustainability in oneself. The words of Gandhi ring true: ‘We must be the change we wish to see in the world.’”

The instructor team includes:

Gail Hochachka—Ashtanga Yoga instructor trained in the traditional Mysore teaching style from India, co-director and consultant of Drishti-Centre for Integral Action.

Linda Kusleika—Iyengar-based instructor, massage therapist, childbirth educator and owner/operator of The Well Being, a client-based practice specializing in yoga & massage therapy.

Jean Christian—Herbalist, homeopathic practitioner, author, musician and meditation instructor.

Phillipa Beck—Certified Hatha Yoga instructor, operator of Full Circle Yoga. Currently studying holistic nutrition with Canadian School of Natural Nutrition.

The grand opening for SEVA Centre is Sept. 17, 3 to 6 pm, 3889 8th Ave., Smithers. Drop by for great snacks, and to check out the class offerings.