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Studio Visit: Avani Day Spa and Yoga Studio

photo 1When I walked into Avani in Hastings, Nebraska, it felt like I was home.  I had heard about the studio, met the owners and teachers, and seen pictures online, but this was my first visit. I walked in, took a deep breath, relaxed away from the busy day, and felt the familiarity of the studio wrap and comfort me.  The space is warm and inviting, has the perfect mix of eclectic décor, is spacious, and clean.

I knew I was going to be in the area to give a talk at a health and wellness conference, so I reached out to Elizabeth and Chelsie to see if I could pop in to visit and maybe to teach.  They were open to it and I was thrilled.

So, when my talk at the conference was over, I zipped to Hastings, hoping to make the next class.  Thankfully, they had recently expanded their schedule and there was a Flow Class with Megan that would work for me.

The space for the yoga studio is quite roomy. You could easily fit 30 mats, probably more.  There is a collection of handmade artwork in the space that is quite whimsical. I LOVED the painted elephant artwork that hung in the front of the room.  (It’s too bad there’s that whole asteya yama, or I would have snuck one out to my car.)  There is a row of windows, slightly obscured by artwork and gauzy fabric that lets in just enough natural light to keep you connected to the outside, but still buffers the sometimes chaotic sidewalk energy from outside.

photo 4

With the amazing Avani teachers: Megan, Chelsie, me, Elizabeth, and Jenni.

Megan led a lovely flow class with just enough heat to provide a little challenge, but her gentle nature provided a leisurely pace, so you could really enjoy and explore the movement.  The class focused on standing poses of anjanaeyasana (lunge), virabhadrasana II (warrior), and trikonasana (triangle).  She worked to open hips and create stability leading us to a rooted vrksasana (tree).  For a little bit of fun towards the end, she had us play for a little while with bakasana (crow).

There’s a huge plus to attending a class at a yoga studio that is also a spa.  The savasana adjustment was divine. With confident, nourishing hands, the short massage of the neck was the perfect send-off to the final resting posture.

After class I led a workshop on the Building Blocks of Handstand.  I was pleasantly greeted with students who had wonderful alignment and integrity in their practice.  It makes it so much easier when you are digging into a complex posture like handstand to start with yogis who already have a really solid foundation and intention to learn and absorb.

photo 2Shame on me, I didn’t have the foresight to book a massage ahead of time, so I will definitely have to get the full experience next time.  The massage rooms were cozy and inviting, but make sure to plan ahead as some of the therapists didn’t have openings for a month.  That there is a pretty good endorsement!

I love it when I get to experience other studios.  To be part of new surroundings and community is really a privilege.  To be reminded that you can find the comfort of home when you travel is really exceptional.

Enjoy the Journey,

Suzanne

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