New yoga studio offers opportunity to improve health for mind and body

Published 8:15 am Thursday, December 10, 2015

Star Photo/Lisa Morell  Owner and instructor Emily Smith believes Elizabethton is the perfect location for a yoga studio.

Star Photo/Lisa Morell
Owner and instructor Emily Smith believes Elizabethton is the perfect location for a yoga studio.

Interested in practicing yoga, but don’t want to drive to Johnson City or Bristol for classes?
Elizabethton Yoga makes it possible for all with classes geared towards beginners age 13 and up, as well as classes for those with experience.
Owner and instructor Emily Smith moved to Bluff City four years ago for work and said she was surprised there was not already a yoga studio in Elizabethton.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity to offer a studio locally,” said Smith. “I really think Elizabethton is a good place to do it because lots of people are interested in practicing yoga, but they needed a place to go.”
They are open and starting small, she said, and plan to have a grand opening in January and to gradually offer more once she determines what people want to gain from classes.
“Yoga is healthy for your mind and body,” Smith said. “It’s helped me to manage stress, think more clearly and become more flexible, and it promotes muscle development.”
Yoga is a type of meditative exercise in which Smith said a person “transitions between thoughtful movements.”
“The idea behind yoga is that your mind, body and spirit are all connected,” she said.
Her classes modify techniques according to individual ability to accommodate everyone.
“Lots of people see images of various yoga positions and think, ‘my body doesn’t move like that,’ and decide yoga is not for them,” she said. “It’s not about trying to look like the pictures; it’s about finding a way to do it that benefits you.”
Smith has been practicing yoga for five years, and is a certified yoga instructor through the Yoga Alliance. She completed a 200-hour yoga instructor course at Bristol Yoga, which her other instructor Emily Franklin will complete by the end of the month.
Yoga can be especially helpful for the elderly or people recovering from injuries, Smith said. Franklin, a physical therapist, said yoga noticeably speeds up recovery time for seniors.
Franklin teaches the Gentle Restorative class on Thursdays and can answer questions about injuries or other health concerns related to practicing yoga.
This class is the least strenuous, though Smith said all classes currently focus on beginner to intermediate level techniques.
“We’re going to gear classes toward demand, so if we have people wanting to do a power yoga class, I’d love to teach it,” said Smith. “We’re open-minded, and have lots of beginners right now.”
The Yoga for Everyone class takes place on Tuesday from 6:30-7:45 p.m. and Saturdays from 10-11:15 a.m., and the Gentle Restorative is on Thursdays from 6:30-7:45 p.m. Classes are $10 each, and the studio is located at 429 1/2 E. Elk Ave.
Smith recommended that people wear comfortable clothes, but said they do not need to bring anything else. Mats, blocks, bolsters and other props are provided.
For more information about the studio or classes, visit

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