One of the most important aspects of a community is the accessibility to health and wellness. Practicing yoga – whether at home or in a class, has a multitude of health benefits such as reducing stress, improving cardiovascular health, increasing flexibility, and encouraging mindfulness. It also creates a space to build community and share a collective energy through practice.
Certified instructor and creator of Love City Yoga, Corey Thomas recognized the need for organized, consistent yoga classes on island when she moved here from St. Thomas, four years ago. She started Love City Yoga last season, bringing much needed weekly classes to the Island. I went to one of the first classes, and it’s been beautiful to watch Love City Yoga grow over the last year.
I sat down with Corey a few nights ago at Salty Mongoose, and she shared her ideas of expanding her practice to connect with residents, tourists, and even the local school kids.
What was exclusively an “all levels” weekly practice above Colombo’s Smoothies, Love City Yoga has grown to include almost daily classes with the help of certified yoga instructors, Eliza Kuchuk, Maura O’Connor, and Katie Gavlick. This season, there are a variety of teachings offered at Love City Yoga like Vinyasa Flow, Forrest (Hatha), and Restorative. Vinyasa is a fast paced style of yoga, while Forrest, otherwise known as Hatha, focuses on breath work and breathing through the pose. One of my favorites is Forrest yoga because of the emphasis on mindful breathing. I especially look forward to winding down with a lavender infused washcloth over my eyes during savasana- talk about complete nirvana!
In addition to different styles of teaching, a new location has been been added on Wednesday’s at the renovated Concordia Eco Resort. All classes are typically $20 or donation based and lasts an hour. You can signup for classes and find the schedule here.
Prior to moving to St. John, Corey taught at Breathe, a non profit donation based studio on St. Thomas. Breathe Studio is known for their “mindfulness programming”, teaching yoga in local public schools and kids summer camps. (They also organized St. Thomas’ island-wide recycling program!)
Adopting Breathe’s “mindfulness programming” in local schools, Corey has plans to start volunteering at local public school, Julius E. Sprauve within the next few months, teaching yoga to elementary and middle school aged kids in 30-45 minute classes. Practicing yoga in the classroom has been proven to “heighten attention span and awareness, lower anxiety level, and encourage physical well being.” (1). Eventually, part of the proceeds from Love City Yoga classes will go to fund this project.
With all these exciting things in the works, Corey has a website under construction that will provide an updated list of happenings, scheduling, and locations. For now, that information can be found on the Facebook page and Instagram. Personally, I can’t wait to see what else Corey has in store for us with Love City Yoga.
See you on the mat!