Approaching yoga in an intentional way, Solo Yoga + Bxing combines the power of strength, mobility and intensity to provide a well-rounded experience for any body type.
Prior to opening the boutique studio, owner Edie Brennan taught yoga for the residential impatient and outpatient treatment programs through The Emily Program, an organization that provides resources and treatment options for those suffering from eating disorders; she describes this role as a “dream come true.” Brennan says it provided her with the opportunity to combine both of her former struggles: repetitive physical activity from sports and suffering from her own eating disorder. Teaching for nearly seven years, Brennan gained experience working with a vast clientele and managed to expand the program nationally. “That experience propelled into a full desire on how I am really approaching teaching and how to make things truly accessible for everyone” she says.
Thanks to her former role, Brennan says she became more intential when it came to deciding what she would offer at her own studio. “It allowed me the ability going into Solo to be conscious of what we are offering and give instructors the autonomy to do and approach movement in new ways while letting the space evolve itself,” she says.
Understanding that both yoga and boxing can be intimidating realms for newbies, Brennan says she wanted to create a space that would break classic stereotypes. “[Standard yoga studios] claim that it is accessible to all, but it really isn’t,” she says. “It is a very cookie cutter approach on how classes should be lead and appeals to really only one body type: able-bodied, flexible person and primarily female.” Ditching big box studio rules, Brennan opted for a space that combined elements of mind and body to help administer healthy habits and avoid the creation of a space that encouraged people to simply workout and leave.
Comparing the Solo experience to physical therapy, she says true change doesn’t happen from showing up once a week. Instead, it stems from individuals connecting the dots and realizing they must change their mindset in their daily lives to keep progressing. “What we cultivate with ourselves and become more aware of is really contagious,” she says.
This mindful practice is at the heart of Brennan’s fitness philosophy. Starting from the center outward, the studio emphasizes breath control and core strength in every workout to increase mobility throughout, while also benefitting the mind and body. Offering eight classes (two yoga flows, yoga sculpt, HIIT flow, boxing and yoga-boxing), each one provides a different focus that can be catered to an individual’s needs.
“Pairing low intensity—[yoga]—with high intensity—[boxing]—creates more access for everybody. It is kind of a beautiful blend,” says Katie Francis, Solo Yoga + Bxing colead of yoga teacher training. “So many things in our life are so out of control, so finding that thing that you are getting control of brings a sense of grounding, and I’m hopeful that others will feel some of those benefits too.”
Tips for trying new fitness regimes
Following the bountiful holiday season, a time when channeling your healthiest self can be tough, many new diet fads and fitness regimes can seem daunting. With new fitness goals, consider these helpful tips from Brennan on how to approach new wellness practices.
- Look at the venue before attending class to get a feel for where things are, how the space feels, and it will provide you with the opportunity to ask questions, so you know what to expect the first time around.
- Give the new experience some time to marinate into your daily routine.
- Try it more than once. After a few exposures to the new movements and fitness style, one will begin to understand the instructor, how they teach and how your body is supposed to feel.
Every summer Solo takes the fun outdoors and offers paddleboard yoga classes on the river. Starting with simple paddling to help individuals get acclimated with the water, class goers then anchor their boards and proceed to take class while balancing on their boards.
“It is an amped up balance challenge, it increases everything,” Brennan says. “On land and solid ground, you feel certain movements but when you are on the board you can feel the tiny micro muscles working to support your body.”
Providing a unique challenge to basic postures and transitions, SUP Yoga is the perfect opportunity to embrace all that nature has to offer while incorporating a new variety of movement for the body.
For more information on class rates and dates visit solo.yoga/sup-yoga/.
SOLO Yoga + Bxing
520 Second St. Suite A, Hudson, Wis. 715.808.8635 @solo.yoga