Sanctuary Yoga promotes positive body image, acceptance

Local fitness business offers variety of group classes for community

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Sanctuary Yoga promotes positive body image, acceptance

Hot yoga at Sanctuary Yoga involves posing in extremely hot, humid conditions.

Hot yoga at Sanctuary Yoga involves posing in extremely hot, humid conditions.

LUKE HOLLISTER | Daily Evergreen File

Hot yoga at Sanctuary Yoga involves posing in extremely hot, humid conditions.

LUKE HOLLISTER | Daily Evergreen File

LUKE HOLLISTER | Daily Evergreen File

Hot yoga at Sanctuary Yoga involves posing in extremely hot, humid conditions.

KATIE GROVES, Evergreen reporter

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With over 30 instructors and a multitude of classes for people to choose from, Sanctuary Yoga in downtown Pullman works to extend its reach in the community.

The studio specializes in hot yoga, but also offers non-heated yoga options in a variety of styles, including vinyasa power, fusion, yin and restorative yoga among many others.

“Someone who has never done yoga before could come and do yoga,” owner Judy Kolde said. “Sanctuary is for the community of Pullman, which includes people from WSU, from town, people who are visiting, everyone.”

DREW MISEMER | The Daily Evergreen
Judy Kolde, owner of Sanctuary Yoga, talks about her entry into yoga and benefits which yoga has had for her.

Their dance program consists of a wide range of classes for all ages and levels. For children 2-3 years old, Sanctuary offers creative movement classes which introduce movement and music. They also have adult ballet, jazz, contemporary and hip-hop classes for those who want to continue with dance.

“I feel like the dance program is the first way [kids] learn how to manage time, organize [themselves] and form friendships. It’s a great opportunity for the young women [and men] in our town,” Kolde said.

Sanctuary has its own competitive dance teams, which started in 2014 and perform at major dance competitions. Their jazz team has won the most awards, but the other competitive teams have performed during WSU basketball halftime games.

Kolde said Sanctuary is different from other traditional dance-only studios.

“There’s a lot of bad that comes from the dance world with body image problems,” she said. “[But] pairing dance with yoga, which is all about acceptance and loving yourself, brings a different dynamic to [the dancers].”

Kolde opened Sanctuary when she moved to Pullman after a fast-paced, high-stress career. She then found yoga, which she calls her sanctuary, hence the name of the studio.

“Yoga was my sanctuary to be more calm and mindful with my life,” she said, “and it also helped me get physically [and emotionally] better.”

Manager and instructor Destiny Sternod told how Sanctuary gave her a community and friendships.

“When I walk in the door I can let go of everything else and not worry about anything,” she said. “It’s been life changing since I’ve been here.”

People can attend class in many ways. They offer memberships and punch cards, and for new members Kolde recommended their two weeks unlimited deal for $20.

“It’s good for people to figure out which classes they like, what classes work best with their schedule, and try out a lot of different options before they commit,” Kolde said.

To accommodate everyone, the studio offers private classes and small, customized group classes.

Sanctuary Yoga is registered with Yoga Alliance and offers a full training for anyone interested in becoming a certified yoga instructor. Kolde said their teachers-in-training offer free community classes, and continually run special workshops and events.

The studio hosts events geared toward giving back to the community, like “Food Bank Fridays,” where people donate food in exchange for a yoga class.

Last month, they donated 75 pounds to the Community Action Center of the Palouse last month.

Sanctuary collaborates with the Whitman County Humane Society for their “Cats to The Mat” event, during which they bring in adoptable kittens to the studio and offer a yoga class with cats.

Sanctuary’s instructors are 200-hour certified and Sternod said they’re qualified to work with all levels, which she feels is important and adds to the quality of the studio.

“Anyone should be able to walk into our classes,” Sternod said, “and feel like they’re being taken care of and guided through their practice.”