Madrona Yoga, the little studio nestled in the trees at Maple Meadow at the foot of Goodman Road hill, is celebrating 10 years in business. Classes are held Monday through Saturday mornings with an evening class on Monday night. Owner Desiree Kleeman recently sat down to answer questions about her studio and yoga experiences.
When did you begin teaching yoga?
About 18 years ago! Yikes, where did the time go?
Where did you learn how to teach?
My first yoga class experience, believe it or not, was in an air conditioned gym with the clanking of gym equipment and people walking through the middle of the class. The teacher was an aerobic teacher who had no yoga teacher training. But wow, did I love it! It was like getting a massage from the inside out. It was shortly after my first class that I did my first teacher training course with Maureen Orman in Ladner. It was amazing. I learned more from her than any other teaching training I did after that. Maureen had a yoga studio in Ladner, Delta Yoga Centre, and I was fortunate enough to be hired and teach my first yoga classes at her place.
What type of yoga do you offer at Madrona?
We offer Vinyasa Flow, Gentle/Therapeutic, and Yin. Our classes are small enough that we (the teachers) can adjust the practice to who is in the room. And we always make sure to offer modifications so that even if you are new to the practice you can rest assured that we will take care of you.
I came into yoga after a full and long dance career, so I draw on my dance background when teaching, with a big emphasis on music. I also created and make six-foot round yoga mats that I use in my Friday morning flow class, when space permits. I love the freedom and creativity the big round mats can give you.
What are the benefits of yoga?
Whew! The benefits of yoga? Where do I start … Yoga improves flexibility, muscle strength, promotes healthy bones, increases blood flow, helps you live a healthy life style, gives greater focus and balance, releases tension, boosts your immune system, gives you peace of mind and just makes you happy! Those are just a few things. I always tell people practicing yoga can be an addiction, a healthy wonderful addiction.
How would you describe your students? The students who come to Madrona Yoga are a variety of age and activity level. Some, male and female, are extremely active and use their yoga practice to complement their other activities, while others benefit from the more gentle/therapeutic classes we offer. We have people who have been crossing the border for 10 years to come and take classes with us. Why not come across the border for milk, gas and yoga?
Do you hold special workshops?
We have had many workshops throughout the years including meditation, restorative and yin classes.
Do you offer Yoga trips?
I have led three yoga retreats to Bali, with my next one March 13 – 19, 2017. Bali is an incredible and spiritual place to dive into your practice and it is one of my favorite places to bring people to. I build the yoga portion of the retreat around my 6 foot round mandala yoga mats, with a flow class in the morning and yin in the afternoon. Yoga is, of course, the main emphasis of the retreat but experiencing the culture and food are just as important. So you can expect a week full of yoga, incredible food, group outings and time to relax and unwind.
Who else teaches at Madrona?
Kathleen McInnes has been teaching since I opened up the studio on Goodman Road. Even though we have very different teaching styles, I think we complement each other’s classes perfectly. She has students that have been coming to her Tuesday/Thursday gentle yoga classes loyally for the last six years. Over the past few years she has expanded her teaching style with Yoga Therapy and yin classes. I don’t know what I would do without her!
How much does it cost?
Prices for classes range from $11 to $14, depending upon frequency.
For more information about the studio, go to madronayoga.com. To learn about Desiree’s round yoga mats, visit mandalayogamat.com.