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Yoga for a cause

New studio hosts donation classes for Pacific Wild

A new yoga centre is warming its muscles by hosting donation classes this weekend, with 50 per cent of the proceeds going toward the environmental protection group Pacific Wild.

The Yoga Studio teachers Lydia Zamorano and Sarah Manwaring-Jones said they want to start by making sure everyone in the Squamish community can give yoga a try free of commitment, so they are asking residents to pay what they can. After all, the practice has something for everyone, said Zamorano.

"We really think that yoga is for everyone and sometimes there can be a misconception that yoga is only for people that are on the Yoga Journal cover," she said. "We really wanted to have a community space where anybody in the community can come in here."

Those visiting The Yoga Studio, located at the southern end of Second Avenue, will first notice the large windows framing the massive Stawamus Chief underlined by boats moored at the Squamish Yacht Club. With the daylight breaking through, it's the perfect place for reflection and feeling at ease with the environment.

The pair practices the Ashtanga style of yoga, which teaches interconnectedness and the act of unifying the body and breathing, which in turn, encourages harmony and heightened awareness of the surrounding world, said Zamorano. The idea to pass on half the money raised over the donation weekend to Pacific Wild, which protects wildlife and habitat on the West Coast, came naturally, said Manwaring-Jones.

"We're both passionate about the environment so choosing an environmental group was logical.

"And having a business, especially in the practice of yoga, it's nice to feel that you're contributing something that's not yourself."

The pair had been instructing yoga in Canmore, Alta. collectively for the last six years but the natural beauty and stellar rock climbing drew them to Squamish. They helped run free yoga classes at the Howe Sound Women's Centre while The Yoga Studio was being renovated.

The donation classes run Saturday and Sunday (March 7 and 8), with energizing classes at 10 a.m. and Restorative classes at 12 p.m. The first is slightly more intense while the latter is more relaxed. Guests are free to try both and the classes are designed for all skill levels. Those unable to attend the classes can still drop by at 1 p.m. to find out more and take advantage of future discounted rates.

The Yoga Studio is located on the second floor of 37776 Second Ave., above Mojo Signs. To find out more information about the studio or Pacific Wild visit or