Bluff Country Yoga opens on Third StreetMichele Hoffman had spent 17 years working in information technology administration for Macalester College when a car accident left her injured. It was then that the St. Paul native discovered yoga, and her career took a different turn.
By: Sarah Gorvin, The Republican Eagle
Michele Hoffman had spent 17 years working in information technology administration for Macalester College when a car accident left her injured. It was then that the St. Paul native discovered yoga, and her career took a different turn.
“Yoga helped me on so many levels,” Hoffman said.
Now, 11 years later, a desire to help others discover the healing effects of yoga led Hoffman to open Bluff Country Yoga at 427 W. Third St. in the former Blue Moon Café space.
“I want to help as many people as possible,” she said.
Hoffman first moved to Red Wing to teach yoga at Blue Water Yoga Studio. Then, two years ago, she began instructing yoga at Fairview Red Wing Medical Center, as well as holding classes and one-on-one sessions above Simple Abundance on Bush Street.
But because Hoffman specializes in working with people ages 50 and older, the stairs to that space often made it difficult for her clients to get to her studio. Her new space on Third Street is on the ground level.
“This is much more accessible,” she said.
Throughout her career, Hoffman has specialized in holistic healing yoga. She is certified through the American Viniyoga Institute, which focuses on health and healing. Hoffman added that she has more than 1,000 training hours and has studied anatomy, physiology and psychology.
“I’m not interested in fitness,” she said. “I’m much more interested in holistic healing.”
Yoga, Hoffman said, can help alleviate pain associated from a variety of ailments, including injury, age and diabetes, as well as emotional problems such as depression and seasonal affective disorder.
That means Hoffman’s style of yoga is very breath-focused, she said, and students learn how to use breathing techniques to make their movements more effective.
Hoffman is also eager to dispel a few common myths people tend to have about yoga and their limitations.
“They think they’re too fat, too stiff, have to wear fashionable yoga clothes,” Hoffman said, adding that none of that is true. In fact, as people age, their muscles get stiffer, which makes exercise like yoga even more important, Hoffman said.
“Tight muscles can pull things out of alignment. Yoga provides strength in a gentle way,” she said.
Currently, Hoffman offers beginning yoga and continuing yoga classes on Saturdays. She also is planning classes that will focus on helping with digestion, diabetes and head and neck pain.
In addition, Hoffman always offers private lessons, adding that when students get one-on-one instruction, it’s easier to adapt techniques so that they are well suited for each client. It also helps her build relationships with her students, which is especially important, she said.
“It’s really about the connection and trust you have with the teacher. It’s really about relationships,” she said. “As far as yoga teachers go, you want to find a teacher you trust and have a relationship with.”
What: Bluff Country Yoga
Where: 427 W. Third St.
More info: 651-301-1781, firstname.lastname@example.org
Grand opening: 3 to 6 p.m. March 24. There will be live music, refreshments and the chance to register for free yoga classes.