BANFF – It’s a dream come true for two Bow Valley women.
Emily Gionis and Hayley Molina have long since dreamed of combining their love for yoga and wellness in a way that creates something they can share with the community, and come February, it will be a reality.
The duo will open a new wellness and yoga studio, Banff Yoga Practice, located in the Harmon Building on Banff Avenue, which will offer numerous group classes along with expert instructors to top it off.
“It has been a dream of mine for probably two years now to open a yoga studio,” said Gionis. “I’ve been passionate about yoga since I started teaching four years ago and Hayley has always had a dream to open a wellness centre. So we came together, and it’s perfect to blend the two.”
Gionis said while there will still be a strong focus on yoga, such as ashtanga, meditation and yin, the duo aimed to give locals more options for their personal wellness.
In addition to this, the Banff Yoga Practice will offer classes in functional mobility, mindful strength, pelvic floor therapy, facial stretching and pre and postnatal health. The studio will also offer reiki, and yoga teacher training will be held each year.
“We’re hoping to help the community through this studio,” she said.
“We feel we’re bringing a lot that is missing from the community and bringing a lot of gentle yoga – yoga for beginners, which doesn’t exists, according to feedback I [have received] ... and authentic teachers, practitioners of health.
"A lot of our teachers – they’re massage therapists, they’re osteopaths, they’re fitness trainers, they’re kinesiologists, they’re exercise physiologists, so we’re really trying to bring a high calibre of qualified people to teach the Bow Valley.”
The stillness and the personal manner of yoga are some of the reasons Gionis is so passionate about the activity. Blended with meditation, she said yoga can really help people.
“The link between the breath and the movement is the most powerful thing for me, it’s helped me through injuries, heartbreak, healing and I love the stillness of the practice, I love that there’s so many variations from ashtanga to yin yoga, I love meditation, it’s part of my daily practice,” she said.
“I’ve tried fitness classes and it’s never resonated with me like yoga does, and I see it change peoples lives from teaching it.”
The studio itself is currently under renovation, and while a specific date isn’t set yet, the duo plans to open in February.
“I can’t confirm the date just yet,” said Gionis.
“We demo’d the entire space that we’re building from scratch pretty much. So renovations are underway and lots is happening now.”
Gionis and Molina are excited to start sharing their own personal passions with the rest of the Bow Valley community.
“Yoga’s a huge part of my life, so I want to bring more of it to the community,”
Visit banffyogapractice.com for more information.