New yoga studio offers safe, calm space where students can slow down
Nikki Sjoden’s intention when she opened Harmony Yoga + Wellness on the west side of Steamboat Springs in April was to create a space where people can feel safe and calm, and can slow down while escaping their busy lives.
“I really think we live such an active, go-go-go lifestyle in Steamboat Springs that I wanted to have a space where you can come take deep breaths, reconnect to your body and come do yoga,” Sjoden said.
Harmony’s staff of eight teachers will teach 11 classes at the west side yoga studio. Classes include Mindful Evening Flow, Energy and Inclusion, Yoga Flow, Gentle Yoga Stretch, Rise and Realign, Intuitive Flow, and Yin Yoga — balancing an active lifestyle.
“We’re constantly adding teachers,” Sjoden said. “I have two more teachers that will start in October, so it just feels wild that I’m going to have nearly 10 instructors in six months of growth.”
Sjoden, a former gymnast, was introduced to yoga by a former boyfriend in her early 20s.
“I was a national gymnast for many years, and I just had like a million injuries as you can imagine,” Sjoden said. “When I first got into yoga, it was with core power … so that felt very nourishing to me in my early 20s when you want deep sweat, and those really hard postures.”
The draw of yoga took Sjoden to New Zealand in her 30s, where she continued to expand her training in the practice.
“I did my yoga teacher training there, which was really incredible because it was a three-week immersive with no phone, no yucky food and no alcohol,” Sjoden said. “It was more of an inner journey, and then adding the yoga on top of that I got to teach in New Zealand at a couple of different spots. That was cool to kind of get my practice there.”
Sjoden returned to the United States and began teaching in Denver. She moved to Steamboat Springs six years ago and enjoyed her role as an instructor teaching Yoga at the Old Town Hot Springs. But Sjoden said she wanted more, and that’s why she decided to open her own studio earlier this year.
“I loved the community aspect there,” Sjoden said of teaching at the Old Town Hot Springs. “But I didn’t feel like, as a teacher, I could slow people down as much as I wanted to, and incorporate some of the more spiritual sides of yoga that I think is important — like noticing your thoughts and being aware of the moment. People just wanted to work out.”
Sjoden said her studio offers a wide range of classes that will appeal to many people, including those who want a strenuous workout, and also those that may not be looking for something quite as intense. The studio is open seven days a week with two classes on Monday, Thursday, and Sunday, and three on Tuesday and Wednesday. Saturdays will be set aside for workshops and other events.
Sjoden said her studio offers a 5-pack that includes one free class for students, and a 10-pack that offers two free classes. She also recently rolled out a discount for school teachers. Students can go to Harmony Yoga + Wellness online and purchase a drop-in class, or sign up for unlimited classes.
But Harmony Yoga + Wellness offers a lot more than just that. Sjoden said she wants to create a space where students can enjoy the moment, instead of feeling like they need to rush back to their busy lives.
“I would say one of my bigger missions is also community,” Sjoden said. “When you get done with your class, everybody zooms out, and there wasn’t this space to really meet somebody, or have a conversation after class. I have a hot tea bar on the side, so people can hang out and have a tea, or they can pull an Oracle Card if they want or just sit here and connect with somebody that’s either already a friend, or somebody that seems like-minded.”
Sjoden added a large mural and plants to make the space feel homey, and her father and brother helped with the lights and fan. The space is an expression of the journey that led Sjoden to yoga, and it’s journey she hopes she can inspire others to follow.
“My biggest, greatest lesson in life is patience,” Sjoden said. “Allowing the process to happen instead of rushing it, controlling it and trying to force it to be something that it’s not ready to be. That is how it has felt for this whole journey.”
John F. Russell is the business reporter at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach him, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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