Though yoga classes have been offered at local gyms and dance studios, those who just want to practice yoga now have a place to go — 5ive Point Yoga and Massage.
It opened this past March and is located at 223 Inman Street, next to The Catch Bar and Grill and across the street from the Museum Center at Five Points.
Owner Melanie Lyon began teaching her first yoga class at a local gym in 2007. Prior to that, she said she and a friend would often drive to yoga studios in Chattanooga to practice. They soon decided that they needed some place for people in the Cleveland area to practice.
Lyon and fellow instructor Rachel Evans were drinking coffee downtown one day and saw a “for rent” sign in an empty shop window as they were walking back to their cars. That ended up being their chance to have a studio in Cleveland.
Lyon and Evans joined up with yoga instructors Rajesh Maggirwar and Elise Chamberline, and they now offer about 18 classes per week from the downtown studio on a schedule that changes monthly.
Classes are offered for those with different skill sets and those who want to try different styles of yoga, which can range from slow-paced classes for beginners to classes for those who are more advanced yogis. In addition, Lyons is also a certified massage therapist and offers massages at the studio by appointment.
“We have a nice little mix,” Lyons said.
For beginners with no injuries, she said she recommends the “Yoga Flow” or “Slow Yoga” classes. For those who are older or may be suffering from injuries, she recommends the “Backcare Basics” or “Gentle/Restorative Yoga” classes.
For anyone who wants to try yoga for the first time, there is also a free “Community Yoga” class offered on Saturdays from 12 to 1 p.m. In addition, Lyons said first-time participants can attend one session of any class on the schedule for free.
Whatever type of class people choose to attend, she said all participants take part in breathing and stretching exercises that should help people feel better when they are done.
Yoga consists of a variety of breathing and stretching exercises that Lyon said help get more oxygen into a person’s body and get muscles in better shape.
“It supports your whole body,” Lyons said, adding that the most common feedback she has received from class participants is how many had never taken a class that had focused so much on breathing.
While yoga can be practiced in conjunction with religious activities in some instances, Lyons said her studio just focuses on the physical aspects of yoga. People are encouraged to focus on their breathing and stretching and think about whatever they like.
“I just say, ‘whatever’s in your heart, come into this space and breathe,’” Lyons said.
She said she did not want people to be of yoga because they think it is a religious activity. To her, yoga is more about keeping one’s body healthy.
A common misconception she said some people have about yoga is that they have to be really athletic and flexible to do it. Lyon said that, if done slowly and carefully, yoga can be a great way to build up flexibility and strength. She said she has had everyone from pregnant women to people recovering from injuries take her classes.
She also encourages families to get involved. The studio also offers a “Kids Yoga” class for children and any parents who want to get involved with them.
With the exception of the free community class, all adult classes are $10 each. Punch cards good for 11 classes can be purchased for $100, and $75 buys a monthly membership to attend as many classes as one wants. Kids’ classes are $5 each or free with a parent’s monthly membership. Lyons said those visiting the studio for the first time can attend any class for free. Those who attend the classes are asked to bring their own yoga mats.
For more information about the studio and its class schedules, visit the studio online at www.facebook.com/5ivePointYoga or call 284-3232.