by Sara Hill
Adopting a daily exercise regimen has numerous health benefits, among the biggest being how very life-changing fitness can be.
Joyce and James Atherton know this well. Six years after opening Modern Yoga in Strongsville, the couple recently celebrated the grand opening of their second location in Brecksville. Modern Yoga is a breath-based vinyasa yoga studio that uses infrared heat and steam to focus on alignment, movement, and posture.
A longtime competitive figure skater, Joyce said she was always curious about yoga but never tried it until a studio opened near her residence and a skating injury forced her to hang up her ice skates.
James, a runner often sidelined by back pain and a student of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, came to yoga through Joyce, who began bringing him to the classes she took. After several years, the couple, with careers in advertising and sales, felt ready to open their own yoga studio. Yoga, they said, was a completely life-changing experience for both of them individually and together.
“I think because we focus on breath, that is what sets our studio apart from others. Breath is the primary focus,” Joyce said. “Our slogan is ‘Come for the workout, stay for the yoga!’ It’s really more of a moving mediation here that reduces anxiety and stress. We worked very hard at creating community.”
Another one of the studio’s sayings is”No Bias, No Judgement,” Joyce adds.
“We like our studio to be a place where you like spending time together,” she said.”This is a place that really fosters good friendships. We have a book club, a writing club and local rec softball leagues. At a gym or with physical fitness classes, the focus is always on the physical. It’s not the primary focus in yoga. We use poses to get into mindfulness practice through breath and movement.”
Classes serve a wide variety and scope of levels. Specialty workshops are also offered, as well as a weekly donation class suitable for all levels with donations benefiting a different featured charity each week. To date, Modern Yoga has donated more than $35,000 to various charities through its weekly donation classes, which are held every Friday at 6 p.m.
“We teach a very breath-based yoga. We look at poses as a way to challenge your breathing process,” Joyce explained. “The Hot Power class is our signature class and the most popular. We add heat and humidity. There is real therapeutic value in a heated room. It’s almost a sauna-like experience and you’re very challenged. Our Hot Yin class targets flexibility and the cell membrane around our muscles. It’s a very relaxing class.”
Between Joyce and James, the couple has more than 10,000 hours of teaching experience, not including that of their teaching staff, which combined brings the total to more than 17,000. Modern Yoga has 12 teachers and hosts a continuous 200-hour Registered Yoga School (RYS) teacher training program. Students can begin anytime and go at their own pace, Joyce said. They have graduated 37 trainees since 2018. Modern Yoga also has a weekly podcast, The Modern Yoga Podcast, discussing topics surrounding yoga and overall wellness. Modern Yoga is also a member of the Yoga Alliance.
To see a class schedule and learn more, visit modernyogacle.com. ∞