By TERESA HAMMOND
A dream which might have once seemed far off, has now become reality for Kellie Content. Following close to one year of teaching at Koru Yoga Studio, Content has now become the owner.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to own a yoga studio, because I know what yoga has done for me personally,” the new owner shared.
The yoga enthusiast said her love affair with yoga first began during a spring break of college. Feeling a bit too dormant and needing to move, she and her roommate downloaded a yoga app and decided to give it a try. She’s been practicing daily ever since.
Her post-college career, however, did not lead her to a yoga mat, other than to teach as a side gig four years ago with Get Fit Modesto and later Get Fit Oakdale, Sukha Modesto and Koru. A traditional 9 to 5 job working with her father was where she found herself.
Content explained that while she loved working with and for her father, her mentor in many ways, the environment and rigid schedule was unfulfilling. In 2018 after reviewing expenses and missed opportunities, Content made the choice to leave her 9 to 5 and earn her living selling essential oils and teaching yoga.
“I instantly went from this miserable human being to ‘yes, the world is mine now. What am I going to do with it?’,” she shared.
The millennial quickly realized the simplicity of her life worked well with her new career choice, no longer dreading the next day of work, yet rather looking forward to what was to come.
“It doesn’t seem like work to me,” the studio owner said of the business and the new career direction. Content also noted her feelings on the importance of listening to client feedback on struggles, as well as desire and needs for their practice.
“I finally feel like I have a sense of purpose. I’m not necessarily changing the world but I’m helping change somebody one day at a time,” she said.
Now with the formalities of the business takeover in place, Content is looking to reach the public and gain a larger audience for all that the studio offers. Updates have been made to the interior space, as well as the addition of things like blankets and bolsters as the class menu expands.
“As a studio itself, we still have the name Koru it’s just that we’re shifting from just Power Yoga to more variety of Vinyasa classes, Yin, Restorative, Hatha, maybe some Ashthanga,” she said, “different styles of yoga so it’s more open to the community as a whole.”
Traditionally a heated yoga studio, the owner said that will be altered for Yin and Restorative classes, due to the use of props while also possibly appealing to the clientele who does not desire the added heat.
Founded as a donation based studio when first opened over a decade ago, Content shared that model will still be obtained. Noting the importance of what “donation base” means, which is not free. Suggested donation is $15 per class, pre-purchase punch cards are also an option, as well as monthly membership, which is a new option. Persons unable to make the suggested donation are not turned away, yet rather requested to donate what they’re able.
“I want people to walk in and feel a sense of weight and relief lifted off of them,” she said of her goal for the studio.
“It just feels good on the body, that’s one of those immediate things that you find,” she continued, when asked about her love of yoga. “I’m all over the place, I go a thousand miles a minute. My brain can’t keep up with my mouth, my body can’t keep up with all this stuff. I find that it’s really calming to me.”
Content now hopes to spread that love to others and share not just knowledge of the practice but dispel the myths and stereotypes which may keep people away.
“You don’t have to be flexible to do yoga,” she said. “It’s a very personal practice. You work with where you are on your mat, that day, that time.”
Koru Yoga Studio is at 809 W. F St., Oakdale and can be found on Social Media as well under the studio name. Class schedules are listed on both social media sites. Additional information on Koru can be found at koruyogaoakdale.com.