The grand opening for The Yoga Studio will be held on Saturday on Main Street. They will hold two classes in the morning and host an open house for the rest of the day. The open house will include raffles for free yoga mats, a free month of unlimited yoga sessions and cookies.
When I pulled up to The Yoga Studio all my insecurities rushed into my head. I wasn’t athletic or nearly comfortable enough to try yoga. But I stepped through the door nonetheless. I was greeted by Whitney Raybould, who made an effort to learn and remember each class member’s name.
As I walked through the door and into the dark room, humid heat blew against my face — a healthy feeling, my cracked Rexburg skin welcomed the moisture. As my eyes adjusted to the dim studio, Raybould helped us with our mats, putting them where they should be to leave space for others to join.
The class began.
As the music of Elliot Moss played, I let go of my insecurities. There were no mirrors, no light for anyone to look at me. I focused on my body and on Raybould’s directing voice. I fought to do things exactly as she dictated, but I accepted my limitations. I knew that no matter what, moving my body was enough.
As the class ended, the smell of lavender filled the room and a person massaged a wet towel on my forehead. We meditated. Sweat dripped down my cheek and for the first time, I felt at peace in silence.
Raybould prompted us to put our right hand over our stomach and our left hand over our heart. She told us this connected us — the right hand symbolized our community and the left, ourselves. Raybould reminded us to feel.
I’ve never enjoyed yoga. My previous experience consisted of 15-minute Facebook home workout/yoga videos. But this experience changed my perspective. The Yoga Studio changed my perspective.
Raybould opened her first yoga studio four years ago in Rigby after attempting to heal from plantar fasciitis. She began doing yoga on her own and soon after, a friend invited her to a yoga teacher training in Utah. While there, Raybould loved how, as they exercised, they listened to Linkin Park, a band not normally played during typical yoga sessions.
“I was like, ‘how cool that (the instructor) did this in an organized way, in a group, a room full of people to music,'” Raybould said. “It was just like this: dark, no mirrors, the lights were low. And so about a year and a half later, I was in a position where I was ready to learn more about this thing that has helped me and healed me in so many ways.”
Raybould found a small studio in Rigby and began building her brand. In Rigby, she met her current co-owner, Betsy Billman. Four years later, they’re opening a new studio in Rexburg with the hope that it will be a place for all sorts of people to come and feel connected to their bodies.
Laurel Colt, a senior studying recreation management, learned about hot yoga and fell in love with the practice immediately. She is now a teacher at The Yoga Studio. She says that yoga has brought her balance emotionally and mentally.
“It gives you the space to regulate and process all the things that are happening,” Colt said. “So I think the goal overall is just to help people — help people give themselves that space to heal and feel.”