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Yoga on the Ridge is Yoga for Real People

By S. Mathur

Yoga on the Ridge does things a little differently. Unlike other studios, which emphasize Hot Yoga and Vinyasa, it focuses on therapy and healing.

"I wanted to do something different than all the studios by creating a Yoga space dedicated to the therapeutic and healing aspects of Yoga," Owner Theresa Conroy said. "I saw a need for therapy and healing among people who had injuries or diseases like Parkinson's or MS. There may have been classes open to them in the past, but not a space dedicated to healing."

The mission at Yoga on the Ridge is to make yoga accessible and enjoyable for real people. This can mean modifying classes and postures for those with injury, illness and disability, or for those with larger or less flexible bodies. It also means creating an environment that is non-intimidating and welcoming to all beliefs, races and gender expression. The goal is to help everyone benefit from the healing power of yoga.

The studio has many of the regular yoga classes like Vinyasa and Flow. It also offers Yoga Therapy classes, in groups and for individuals. These help people to deal with stress, injuries, chronic pain, anxiety and depression. Yoga therapy can also benefit those suffering from heart disease, addiction, and neuromuscular or neurological movement disorders. Conroy's private work too focuses on therapy and healing.

As a certified yoga therapist, Conroy knows how to help people practice yoga safely. She is also trained to know which postures will help them heal or better manage symptoms.

"It is rare to find a trained Yoga Therapist in a general studio," Conroy said. "Students should be careful and skeptical of anyone without proper training and certification offering therapeutic yoga classes. At Yoga On The Ridge, they can feel confident that they are getting expertise and experience."

Instructors are all qualified and are seen by students as a gentle and calming presence in the studio. They are also well-versed in adapting training to different body types and ability levels.

"You'll routinely see people using a chair to practice, or modifying posts in other ways," Conroy said. In keeping with the studio's special mission, teacher training includes a class dedicated to teaching yoga to special populations.

Other unusual features of the studio include the Curvy Yoga class, for those with "non-traditional" yoga bodies. And then there's Happy Hour Yoga. The Yoga + beer event was created by Conroy's husband, whom she described as beer expert/writer "Joe Sixpack". It was the first such event in the country, where an hour-long yoga class is followed by a beer tasting. Delicious snacks are served as well, and each event sells out.

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