White Bear Lake resident Brittany Tobin happened upon yoga at a particularly pivotal time in her life. “I actually found yoga when I was pregnant with my son, about seven years ago; I did prenatal yoga. It helped with my back pain, everything, and I’ve been falling in love with it since then.”
Tobin kept at it, taking more classes herself, and introducing the practice to her friends and family through yoga-in-the-park lessons. After becoming a certified instructor, Tobin’s next step was to open her own studio, Zen Fitness and Wellness. “I think the biggest shock was how surreal it was at first,” says Tobin. “Now I have people who love to come to the studio—which feels great—and I just love hearing their stories.”
The people who attend Tobin’s classes come from all walks of life, with students as young as 12, and others getting started on their yoga practice in their 60s. Tobin says that no matter your age or prior experience, it’s never too late to learn.
“When people tell me that they don’t think yoga is for them, I’ll either get, ‘I’m not flexible at all,’ or ‘I have horrible balance,’ or ‘I like an intense workout.’ But yoga isn’t about flexibility,” Tobin notes. “It’s about stretching. It’s stretching the muscles in ways you aren’t used to, which has so many benefits. Inside the body, there’s blood flow and circulation. And with all of us on more screen time, especially now, it helps with the neck strain and calming your mind.”
To help her clients, Tobin also offers a complimentary wellness profile with any class purchase. “I do a full body scan, I scan their water weight, muscle weight and BMI,” she says. “A lot of people, when they look at a regular scale, say, ‘I’m not losing weight.’ But they’ve actually gained six pounds of muscle because they’ve been working out.”
Tobin says yoga also helps to ease anxieties. “I have a lady who comes in, and she says, ‘I’m so stressed, and my body’s so stiff. I take your class and after the final pose I feel like a whole new person. I can breathe, I can move my body more.’ And I just love to hear that.”
Are you interested in starting a new fitness routine but don’t know where to begin?
Check out zenfitnessandwellness.com for a full class schedule, including classes like HIIT FIT, Bootcamp, and Cardio Drumming (Pilates and Zumba classes coming soon!), in addition to yoga classes for all experience levels. Note: Due to the ever-changing pandemic situation, please head to zenfitnessandwellness.com for the most up-to-date studio information.