The valley is now home to a yoga yurt, and we 10/10 recommend taking the time to try out a yoga class at it. Hatcher Pass yoga is brand new and oh so beautiful. The yurt looks out on a lake and is just a few miles away from the backcountry haven of Hatcher Pass. Stop by for a morning class on your way to hike, ski, snowboard, or sled. We got the opportunity to catch up with owner Jenni to learn more about her yoga background and her dreams for Hatcher Pass Yoga. Read below to learn more about Alaska’s new yoga yurt!
How did you come up with the idea of a yoga yurt?
I have to give my husband credit for the yoga yurt idea. He started his yoga journey at the Yoga Yurt in Soldotna. When I decided to open my own studio and he described the yurt idea to me, I loved it immediately. The yurt came to us locally from Nomad Shelters in Homer and we hired local builders, Above and Beyond Roofing & Construction, to put it together and combine it with the office/bathroom space. My favorite feature of the yurt is the heated concrete floor. It is so cozy and warm, and doing savasana on in-floor heat in the middle of winter is the best.
What originally inspired you to open a yoga studio?
After spending ten years working in the fitness industry for other people I just felt like owning a studio was the next step for me. When my husband and I bought our lake property three years ago and realized we had such an amazing view of Hatcher Pass, I knew I wanted my yoga studio on our property. As soon as we coupled the space with the idea of the studio being a yurt we knew we would have one of the coziest little yoga studios in the state. I am so excited to be able to bring Yoga to the Hatcher Pass area and see us grow closer as a community. I am also incredibly joyful to be able to bring outside guests to the piece of Alaska that captured my heart over 20 years ago.
What is your vision for community health?
My vision for the Hatcher Pass Yoga community is to create a safe space for any and all to enter despite their physical, mental or spiritual state. The amount of stress and pressure we live in every day is becoming somewhat unbearable. Having a space for people to come in and connect to their breath, to pause and feel present in their body is more important than ever. Yoga is an opportunity to learn so much about your body and it creates the perfect gateway to a healing journey. Overall that’s what we want for each and every client that walks into HPY, an opportunity to heal from the inside out.
What impact does health and wellness have on your daily life?
Meditation, breathwork, and movement are the three key components to my overall health and well-being. I was introduced to these practices in my first 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training. Over the years I have witnessed the importance of these three tools. Practicing them daily has helped me to heal past traumas, heal physical injuries, help fight off depression, shift mental perspectives, and connect me to a stronger sense of my own true nature. It’s a constant work in progress, not a one-time dose. I like to think of it as my daily dose of medicine and self-care, that helps me cope with life stresses, depression, and insecurities. In my opinion, everyone should be “heavily meditated!”
Over the years what is the most important thing you have learned from being a yoga teacher or studio owner?
Boundaries. Being a teacher and a studio owner has put me in many positions where I have had to find the inner strength and the right words to defend my boundaries and limits. I know I like to please people and in the beginning stages of my career being a people pleaser cost me a lot of wasted time and energy. Despite knowing that it is impossible to please the masses, I hope to please as many as possible – but in doing so I also have to remind myself to not let that come at the cost of compromising what is best for the success of HPY and the overall experience for all those that enter it.
Do you have a favorite style of yoga?
My favorite yoga style to practice is vinyasa flow. Moving at the pace of my breath through poses that offer both a good stretch and a test of my strength is typically what I practice on my own time. Although when it comes to teaching, I love to teach a healing emphasized Yin class. Yin always gets amazing reviews and there’s nothing better than helping someone feel good in their body, especially if it is their first time doing Yoga!
What is your vision for the future of Hatcher Pass Yoga and yourself?
Growth. Community. Connection. Transformation. Adventure. All of those things. I know we are new to this area, but our teachers are not new to Yoga and we have a lot to share! As we find and grow our community I hope to form collaborations and creative opportunities for all things wellness. I myself as well as the other teachers at HPY all share the same passion, knowledge, and desire to share what has been life-changing for us with any and all who enter our cozy little Yogurt. (Our contractors coined that phrase as they worked on the yoga + yurt = Yogurt) We are eager to offer retreats and grow our offerings to include all things recreational. We want to offer more than just yoga in the studio but also in our amazing backyard, Hatcher Pass. My brain is chock-full of epic adventures that will someday soon be offered at HPY!
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