1/16/2014 3:05:00 PM New yoga studio owner hoping site becomes community hub
by DENISE MARTIN
Don’t let the words yoga and fitness throw you off; the new business opening inside the mall in Center City isn’t really about creating bodies that look good on the outside, it’s more about creating spiritual fitness. Essential Fitness Yoga Studio owner and teacher, Christine Kissner, is hoping her new space in the mall becomes a center, a hub, where people finding balance in their lives are fortified. And, not just people with money to burn. Kissner said her vision is to be as inclusive as possible and at the same time make just enough money to pay the bills. To be on the safe side, she’s keeping a couple other part time jobs she enjoys.
Kissner developed a gentle, body strengthening program working as lead fitness coordinator with senior citizens at Vitalize, in Chisago City. She’s also known around this area for leading restorative yoga classes periodically at area churches. She parted ways with Vitalize during a recent administrative transition. Yet the calling to teach wellness was still part of her life. She found support in a network of friends and colleagues eager to help her continue to share her philosophy through this new enterprise. She especially credits mentors Carolyn and Tim Alm, Christine Cardinal, Roger Trivette and Connie Stevens, her mother Alice Hoffman and a “special friend” for all of their on-going suport in this. Everybody is welcome to visit the studio in Center City this Saturday, Jan. 18 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Visitors can see the space, learn about what is offered and have a refreshment. A massage therapy provider is also part of the studio offerings. Kissner trained at Yoga North, in Duluth.
Her general fitness interests led to eastern religion related philosophies, meditation, etc. but she is not a docttrine-oriented person. She’s heading more in the life coaching direction. She’s also part of a local Facebook “Share the Love, Watch it Grow” effort. Kissner doesn’t adhere to one specific yoga discipline. There are combinations of approaches that work for different people, she explained. Her sessions aren’t competitive, strenuous yoga routines. She estimates she’ll be providing about 12 classes each week, it depends on what her customers express. County Government Center workers just down the road from her studio, might expect a noontime gentle fitness opportunity.
The idea is for people to carve out time to get in touch with their body, “The issues are in the tissues,” she quips. Technology is such a necessary part of daily life today-- but it can also create an emotional disconnect, Kissner observed. Not feeling you belong and not having a place to go to share common experiences only heightens suffering of any intensity. Come visit Kissner during the open house and see what you might learn.