Girdwood’s first dedicated yoga studio to open soon
Photo courtesy of Samantha Norman
Samantha Norman (left) and Erin Henzey sit in front of a newly installed mural in the first dedicated Girdwood yoga studio. The mural was commissioned to be done by Derek Yost from Portland, Oregon.
After a long summer of renovation, one of Girdwood’s better known commercial properties, the Girdwood Yoga and Wellness Shack, will open its doors to the public on Sept. 12.
Girdwood’s first dedicated yoga studio is located in the new Girdwood Townsite on Hightower Road across from the Girdwood Clinic. The studio will have two to three classes daily and will be offering a variety of yoga styles. No matter what your experience is with yoga, the Yoga Shack will have a class that will meet you where you are and fit your needs. There will be beginner’s classes, vinyasa, Forrest, and therapeutic restorative classes to help you return from injury.
The Yoga Shack is the brain child of Samantha Norman, a lifelong Alaskan who transplanted to Girdwood in the fall of 2013 with the dream of opening a studio to help better serve Glacier City and its surrounding communities in the realm of health and wellness. Samantha has been practicing yoga since 2001 and teaching since 2011 in Anchorage and Girdwood. Samantha is also in school to be an Ayurvedic practitioner. Ayurveda is the sister science to yoga and is an ancient healing practice from India.
“Ayurveda uses herbs, meditation, diet and yoga,” said Norman, “to help treat and cure disease. This holistic approach to heal the human body, in combination with Western therapies, has helped me cure an auto immune disorder.”
That is where the wellness side of the studio comes into play. Norman will start her Level 1 Ayurvedic internship in early 2015 and will start seeing clients at the Yoga Shack interested in a new way to heal the human body. Her training is already reflected in the way classes are taught.
“Coming from a place of compassion and self love while on the mat is how we can transform our lives and our bodies,” said Norman. “I provide a space for people to be vulnerable and breathe and move. If you provide that kind of atmosphere with a little encouragement, evolution of mind, body and spirit is bound to happen.”
It’s not just Samantha that has experience with healing and mindfulness. Girdwood is blessed with several other powerful teachers, some of whom will be teaching at the Yoga Shack. Erin Kilbury, Erin Henzey, Natalie Nickle, and Jule Harle will be on the schedule throughout the week. Other local teachers and Anchorage folks will substitute when needed.