Lyons' Main Street yoga studio; a new name and a new location
By Rebecca Louzan
I grew up knowing well the concept that “everyBODY can do yoga.” I knew this because my grandmother - while in her 80’s - was my very first yoga teacher. I’ve seen many scoff at the idea, probably imagining an intimidating figure resembling a pretzel and thinking “no way.” But my journey has taught me differently. EveryBODY can do yoga, and it does not need to be intimidating. Like anything, you simply choose your pace, your intensity, your style. You learn to listen to your body. And from there you grow and evolve. That is what Namaste Lyons is all about - starting where you are and opening your body and your mind to their own evolution.
In the fall of 2011, I had just come down off a beautiful Pikes Peak ascent, when I answered a phone call from former Lyons local, Alana Yerman; she had an idea she wanted to share. A few weeks later, we began painting the walls and selecting the flooring for a small room in which we would teach yoga and see private clients over the next five years. A shy young woman at the time, my anxieties would creep in every morning before I taught yoga in that room. But halfway through each class, when my students’ eyes were closed and their breathing was steady, my mind forgot about the confidence I lacked as a - then quite green - yoga instructor, and I’d intently watch the transformation in the people sitting in my class. Little did they know, each yoga 'student' taught me every day that they came to my studio. I watched as they created a refuge in their lives - to which they would return several times a week, to slow the movement, to slow the breath, and to create space in which they would dedicate themselves to a practice. They taught me patience, dedication, and humility.
Early in the morning on September 13th, 2013 - when the flood hit Lyons - I left my home and I ventured across town by foot to collect blankets and yoga mats from our studio and brought them to the Community Church for flood refugee neighbors to sleep on. When I tried to make my way back home that night, I found myself stranded on the “Main Island” that had formed in Lyons, unable to return to my “Upper 5th Island” for days. That night, I retreated to my yoga studio floor, and there I slept on Alana’s shiatsu massage mat with one of the few blankets we had not given away.
Days later, holistic health friends and colleagues from outside of town began reaching out to us, asking how they could help our community. We began to meet, one at a time just outside of town, where I would drive them through the National Guard barricade and to our Lyons yoga studio. There, they would set up massage tables and scented oils, and would voluntarily treat locals, firefighters and volunteers for days to help relieve the shock and impending stress the community was absorbing.
In our studio, I have watched transformations occur in people time and time again. I’ve witnessed individuals with extremely limited mobility, chronic back pain, head injury, arthritis, high blood pressure, stroke, cancer, depression, anxiety, autism, multiple sclerosis, children struggling with addictions and abuse, women carrying their first babies and so many others find refuge, growth and stillness in the practice of yoga. These past five years have held the most humbling and growthful experiences I’ve ever known. I am deeply grateful to the people who have shared these journeys of their human condition with me.
When Alana moved to Chinle, Arizona after the flood, I decided to keep my doors open solo, for I had watched the space we created become a refuge for so many. I’ve learned many lessons without her by my side as my business partner, but most importantly I’ve connected to a deep dedication to my community members who practice within our walls. Last month, I moved my studio to a new and larger location under the Soda Fountain on Main Street. As I watch newcomers walk through my doors, I am filled with excitement for the evolution of the yoga studio I have come to love very deeply.
I am happy to announce that we have expanding class offerings. Our three newest yoga instructors include the very-loved vinyasa teacher, Blake Curton, the community-known Ashtanga teacher, Lori LeGault, and our newest Lyons resident and Kripalu-trained teacher and counselor, Tara Hanson. We hold classes nearly every day of the week right in downtown Lyons. I personally specialize in Gentle Stress Reduction Yoga and specialized, therapeutic classes. Tara teaches a moderate Slow Flow Vinyasa. Lori starts a 6-week Ashtanga series, and Blake will lead a more vigorous Vinyasa class (Friday Happy Hour Vinyasa). We are offering an Ages 3-5 YogaKids session with Julianne Pream from Aug 31st - Oct 5th. We warmly welcome community groups, meditation gatherings, we facilitate sound baths and host networking events that supports the holistic health businesses. I work to creatively offer affordable ways for community members to attend yoga classes, even if neighbors are struggling financially; I deeply believe that yoga should be available to everybody. We hold free monthly community class as a way to give back to all that my community does for us. The next two free Community Yoga classes are both held at 6:30pm on Wednesdays: Sept. 7th and Oct. 5th.
This month, I happily celebrate each person who has practiced with us as yoga local yoga student, Sam paints our new name that deeply exemplified my feelings for each of my Lyons neighbors, “Namaste Lyons.” The traditional way to close a yoga practice is to bring hands together, and to humbly bow to one another, offering the Sanskrit word, “namaste.” Nama means “bow,” as means “I,” and te means “you.” Literally, namaste means “I bow to you.”
So, “Namaste, Lyons.” The light that makes up my soul sees and deeply respects the light that makes up yours, Lyons. I am looking forward to another five years, and to the next adventures this path brings.
See our full class, event and workshop schedule at www.namastelyons.com. We are very active on Facebook at www.facebook.com/namastelyons. I hope to see you on the mat! I’m more than happy to schedule a private session if starting in a class setting feels intimidating and you’d prefer to start in a more private setting.
The article author, Rebecca Louzan is the co-founder and current solo owner of Namaste Lyons, formerly Lyons Yoga & Wellness. Rebecca is a yoga + meditation instructor, reflexology provider, author and a holistic wellness advocate. www.rebeccalouzan.com She studied at the Rocky Mountain Institute of Yoga and Ayurveda and at Clark University. Rebecca co-founded and operates a second Lyons-based business, Onda Creative - a branding and marketing studio that specializes in the Yoga/LOHAS, Outdoor and Biotechnology industries with Lyons local, Jason Stillman. www.ondacreative.com