Pose Your Way to a Healthy Mind, Body & Spirit
We don’t live in a world conducive to balance and harmony. We fight traffic. We nuke our food. We’re bombarded with information from the TV and notifications from our smart phones. We hurry from appointment to appointment and spend our free time scrolling through photos on our social networks wondering if our friends’ lives are better than ours. The cycle of comparison and competition seems inescapable—unless you practice yoga.
Since 2010, the trained teachers, staff and counselors at Gracetree Yoga & Growth Studio have been helping local residents turn the autopilot switch to the off position and live more intentional, balanced lives. They offer yoga sessions to people of all fitness levels and body types. The escape from the rat race begins with their welcoming studio space on Cincinnati-Dayton Road.
“It’s a converted home,” says co-owner and yogi of forty years Betsy Brothers, “so it has that homey energy. It’s a place you can come and be yourself with your family without any pretenses or putting on any acts.”
It’s this absence of pretension and artifice that inspires Gracetree’s three prohibited “C’s”: the studio disallows competition, comparison and criticism.
“I’m not into saying, ‘How long can you hold that plank pose?’” Brothers says. But that doesn’t mean you won’t get a good workout. Yoga can absolutely improve your core strength and flexibility, but according to co-owner and certified yoga therapist Janet Nash, the physical perks go beyond slimming your waistline. Yoga can reduce stress, improve muscle strength and balance and help you sleep better.
“The physical movement associated with yoga allows people to really understand what it means to live and feel inside your body,” Nash explains.
Gracetree provides a variety of services and activities to improve physical health beyond yoga, including acupuncture, aromatherapy and massage. But they don’t just help people heal from the neck down: the studio offers mental health therapy and holds workshops to help local residents expand their consciousness and live a more aware, present life.
“We want to help people understand why we consume what we consume. We want people to know the emotional reasons for behavioral changes. For example, the holidays just ended and we all tend to eat more and drink more alcohol than normal around the holidays. Why is that? We help people see the dynamics at play that lead to those changes,” Brothers says.
Gracetree offers a safe space, uncluttered by the noise and demands of modern living.
“Yoga is for everyone,” Nash says. “It’s not a religion; it’s not a belief system—it’s more of a science and a way of being. Yoga is a way of life.”