So, have you made your New Year’s resolution yet?
It’s a go-to question, often intrusive, asked of people at the start of the New Year, and one that can lead to much self-reflection—even stress.
But now that 2018 is here, you may be asking yourself: What can I do to improve myself this year? With all the deliberation on latest workout fads and diets, it’s understandable that simply the search for self-improvement can be cumbersome and stress-filled, rather than stress-free.
So for those looking for a sense of calm, and a way to transition their bodies along with their minds, they may consider a deeper look into the practice of yoga.
Kula Yoga in Hollister, offers a reprieve for the Hollister community. And its owner, Courtney Evans, understands the need for yoga among locals.
“It’s a lifestyle that can benefit every aspect of your life,” Evans says. “Especially for working people who are sitting a long time, driving and commuting—which is pretty popular around this area.”
It’s an approach to life the Hollister native began around seven years ago, while taking a prenatal yoga class when pregnant with her third child.
Because of yoga’s foundation of breath work, and centralizing and isolating muscles, Evans says the difference between the delivery of her second child and her third “was like night and day.”
At once, she became passionate about the practice and has now been teaching yoga for five years.
“My body has always been, since doing my practice, in incredible balance and I just wanted to share that with the community I grew up in,” she says.
Evans opened her business in March 2017 and by October of 2017, she had moved to the old Hollister Free Lance building on Sixth Street.
She named her yoga studio “Kula Yoga,” and the term “kula,” in Sanskrit, is defined as a ‘community of the heart,’ coming together of its own free will—building an intentional community—a family.
A fitting name, since Evans has hopes to share her newfound lifestyle with her lifelong community.
According to Evans, yoga is a practice that unifies the mind, body and breath.
“It means unite,” she says. “And it’s just uniting yourself—you take the time.”
Kula Yoga offers group classes, private sessions and special events.
Evans says the studio offers free assessments for those people who would like to get into private classes, or “just to get a little bit of a foundation for a group class.”
It also offers community classes every Sunday at 4pm at $5 drop-in rate.
Evans says that the community class is for everyone; poses are broken down, and there is no set style to the class.
“It’s really just set to welcome the community together,” she says.
Evans commends her three instructors for all sharing the same philosophy—regardless of what style of yoga is being taught, every client is made to feel welcome.
“It is geared toward everyone in any religion, any fitness level,” Evans says.
“We really just support that individual to come and make the practice their own and that’s what our group classes are for.”
For her private clients, Evans has already noticed a difference in some of their physiques and stress levels.
“I have clients who are more than 70 years old and are looking just to strengthen their core—to straighten their spine,” she says.
After working with one client on strengthening the muscles around the spine and core, “it gave him some inches when he went to the doctor,” Evans said.
She also who has private clients who need individual attention due to their weight or due to severe anxiety where more breathing exercises are necessary.
“It’s really across the board for everybody,” she says of her clientele.
Kula Yoga offers such classes as its Hatha Candlelight Yoga class at 7pm, for people looking to unwind before ending the day. It also recently held a summer series at Vertigo Coffee Roasters in San Juan Bautista; outdoor yoga on the patio.
“There’s a little bit of interest from businesses in town to do wine and yoga, beer and yoga, and things like that,” Evans says.
“We’re kind of expanding in doing our yoga practice in different places.”
Amy Waran, owner of Flying Colors Dance & Fitness in Hollister, and client of Kula Yoga, speaks highly of the studio and of Evans.
“I love her,” Waran says. “She really tries to create a class that is challenging and focuses on the areas I need most—whether that be strengthening my upper body or finding flexibility in my back. Her class pushes me, which is something I have not found in other yoga classes I have taken.”
Evans says the benefits of yoga are innumerable and amazing.
“It quiets the mind and improves flexibility and strength,” she says. “A lot of times people will say they can’t do yoga because they’re not flexible, when flexibility isn’t really required—it’s a benefit from the process.”
Kula Yoga is located at 350 Sixth St, #102 in Hollister. Fore more information on classes and pricing, visit kulayogasbc.com or call 831.756.8989.