Maggie Rueda, well-known in the Farmington Valley as a yoga instructor and teacher-trainer, has purchased Valley Yoga from Shelley Dungan, who moved to Newport, RI.
Now called Journey of Yoga--Inspiring Health and Happiness, the studio is located at 730 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury, above Sarah’s Nails and behind Kidz Kuts.
“How often does someone get an opportunity like this?” asked Maggie. “It’s a turnkey operation in a beautiful, sunny studio that had already been lovingly created by Shelley. And the location is superb. The timing was right for me.”
On Sunday, Sept. 29, from 9am-3pm, the soft-spoken, but confident Avon resident will host an Open House featuring free yoga classes on the hour. There also will be refreshments, music and henna tattoos.
Maggie is excited about the breadth of classes and workshops that she has planned during the next several months.
The studio has a dozen instructors who teach restorative, gentle, slow flow, Hot Power and Vinyasa yoga, at various levels of difficulty.
Meditation and Yoga Nidra (guided relaxation) are also offered, along with Holistic Healing in the form of massage therapy, energy healing, Reiki and Ayurveda.
During warm weather, she periodically teaches free yoga on the Simsbury Flower Bridge, which has been popular in the past.
“Yoga is for everybody,” Maggie explained. “When I meet someone and they say to me: ‘I don’t like yoga,’ I sometimes say back to them: ‘You should try it again … either a different type of yoga or a different instructor.’”
In fact, when she took her first yoga class in her early twenties, she couldn’t sit still during the slow pace of gentle yoga.
“I was very athletic and walked away thinking yoga wasn’t for me,” Maggie said.
It wasn’t until years later that she made another attempt while taking a Hot Yoga class with a friend, in a room with a temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
“This style of yoga appealed to my need to move and sweat,” she said. “I was hooked and yoga completely changed my life. It’s helped me cope with many life-changing events. I’ve learned to breathe, stretch and meditate. I meditate every day.”
Maggie, an E-RYT500, has taken several hundred hours of yoga instruction and has been teaching for 10 years, in yoga studios, fitness centers, businesses, schools, private homes and libraries.
An addition offering to regular yoga classes, Journey of Yoga is certified as a 200-hour, Yoga Teacher Training school, and Maggie is the director of that program.
“This is not just for someone who ultimately wants to teach yoga,” she explained. “It’s also great for yoga students who are ready to take their practice to the next level.”
The next session begins in March, 2014, and applications are already being accepted.
Recently, Maggie completed Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist training and certification, learning “the science of wellness,” an approach to healthy living that incorporates diet, lifestyle, exercise, sleeping habits and cleansing routines.
Journey of Yoga is a name that she thought of and has been using for the past eight years, and it seemed appropriate for the studio.
“The acronym is JOY and joy means bliss, which is the highest level of energy that we can generate and strive for in our lives,” she said. “We all want to be happy. “
The word “journey” recognizes that life is a journey of transition, change and continuous growth.
“Yoga can help us on that journey, not only from a physical perspective, but from an emotional, mental and spiritual perspective as well,” Maggie said. “My dream is that when people walk in the door, they immediately let go of the stresses of life, and walk out feeling relaxed and restored.”
“I’m looking forward to the next step of my own journey,” she added.
In addition to offering classes and workshops, Journey of Yoga also has opportunities for local artists to display their work on a wall in the reception area.
For more information classes, workshops, teacher training and the Open House on Sept. 29, go to journeyofyoga.com