Barb Minichiello and her team open a full health yoga centre in Creston. The Yoga Room. Photo by Jenneil Peters

The Yoga Room opens on Northwest Boulevard in Creston

Barb Minichiello has created what she describes as “a simple space” in what others will see as a warm and inviting place to practise yoga.

The warmth rises from The Yoga Room’s in-floor heating system, through the cork tiles and into a room that as inviting as it is unencumbered with clutter.

Barb Minichiello’s dream of a full health yoga centre has become a reality, and the space invites everyone from yoga newcomers to people who suffer from injuries and chronic pain.

“And everything in between,” she adds, surveying the results of her work, and expressing gratitude in the days before Thanksgiving to the many contractors and suppliers who helped bring her vision into existence.

“Just a really simple space, that’s all I needed,” she says. And now, together with her friends and colleagues, Gail Thompson, Stephanie Derraugh and Denise Dumas, Minichiello is offering a range of classes, even as she prepares to drive to Texas to participate in the Extreme Cowboy Association World Championships.

“It’s a pretty busy time right now,” she laughs.

Minichiello began her journey to become a yoga instructor in 2012, when she began a two-year commitment to attend once a month weekend classes in Penticton, home to the South Okanagan Yoga Association. Her first 500 hours of practice were performed under the guidance of local teachers Gary Smith and Gail Thompson.

With that experience under her belt, Minichiello went to take another lengthy series of courses in Seattle to become a Certified Yoga Therapist.

“The yoga I teach is therapeutic anyway—it’s not just ‘gentle’,” she says. Her courses now include specific pelvic yoga sessions, which are designed to complement the work being done at Full Circle Health by physiotherapist Joanne Gailius.

“I also do classes that focus on the back, shoulders and neck,” she adds.

Thompson, who has been teaching yoga since 2003, focuses on classes for intermediate yoga practitioners.

“Gail’s classes are more classical yoga in style,” Minichiello says.

Derraugh, a registered massage therapist, has in recent years been focusing on yoga. Before relocating from Manitoba, she completed her yoga certification, restorative yoga training and yoga teacher training, as well.

The most recent addition to the team is Denise Dumas, who focuses on more physically strenuous workouts such as Power Flow.

“She’s really bendy,” Minichiello says. “I’m not so bendy!”

The space in the building at 1204 Northwest Boulevard is large enough to hold the necessary equipment and can accommodate as many as 24 people.

“But it is very spacious for 12 people and I prefer to work with smaller groups.”

Minichiello continues to work with individuals with specific needs at her home studio in Lister, but another room in the Creston building will eventually accommodate those private sessions.

“This has been a lot of fun,” she says, surveying the space. “I especially like the colours outside.” Vivid hues of green and orange make the building easy to spot.

Minichiello and her team will be celebrating The Yoga Room’s Grand Opening on Wednesday, October 18 and visitors are welcome to come and go from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. Demonstrations will be held and door prizes given away. For more information about The Yoga Room, go to www.theyogaroomcreston.com.

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