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Village Yoga: Welcoming Beginner Yogis

By Courtney Clark

Located near Livonia, Village Yoga Franklin has been welcoming yoga students of all levels, and from all walks of life since its inception, though it is known for being the go-to yoga studio for beginners. A small and intimate studio, Village Yoga has a quaint and friendly feel that puts all students at ease

Merrily McDonald, Village Yoga's owner and one of its teachers, took over the studio in 2014 after teaching yoga for a decade. Jumping at the opportunity to guide the studio and foster its continued growth, the yogini has helped it become what she describes as "a neighborhood gathering place."

"Think 'Cheers' with all of the characters and then some," McDonald said. The studio is small to help beginners, more familiarly known as "Never-Evers," adjust to the practice and receive personalized attention. McDonald teaches with a strong Ashtanga foundation and is known for challenging students and encouraging them to surpass their mental limits.

Ashtanga is only one of the many styles of yoga offered at Village Yoga. Ashtanga, Village's website explains, is also known as Power Yoga and is a fluid flow of asanas, or postures, without pause that requires and builds up strength, speed, and endurance. Gentle yoga is practiced mostly with students' eyes closed, enabling them to 'feel' instead of 'see' [their] way into a pose, consequently turning their yoga journey inward.

Restorative yoga is a great practice to help students step out of a busy mindset and hectic schedule to focus on clearing the mind. Students can also try gong meditation with optional auricular acupuncture, Yin Yoga for flexibility, slow yoga, slow yoga flow, vinyasa yoga, and yoga immersion. McDonald encourages newbies to try all of the classes in order to figure out what works best for them.

In addition to several yoga practices, Village Yoga also offers alternative therapies. Guests can try Auricular, Reiki, or Ayurveda for holistic treatments. Auricular therapy involves placing five hair-thin needles in five points of the outer ear, which eases chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety, and much more.

Reiki, as the website explains, "is an ancient Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation." This treatment has a practitioner sending energy into affected areas of the body to heal after a brief meditation. Ayurveda, "an ancient system of healing that will help to uplift and transform" one's whole being, uses moderate lifestyle changes to improve the quality of life. Changes can include food, spices, herbs, essential oils, meditation, yoga, and music to help guests feel completely refreshed.

McDonald explained that Village Yoga Franklin operates based off of yogic philosophy, which states that "our yoga practice mirrors how we live our lives." The small, friendly, and personalized practices and treatments ensure that students improve their physical health as well as their emotional and mental well-being.

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About The Author

Courtney Clark graduated from Flagler College with a BA in English and Creative...

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