Learning to be present

Students practice the Warrior II or Virabhadrasana II pose.

Students practice the Warrior II or Virabhadrasana II pose.

Lemon Tree Yoga offers mind and body wellness with a variety of classes

Story by Grace Thornton

Photos by Dawn Harrison

Krista Young, owner of Lemon Tree Yoga.

Krista Young, owner of Lemon Tree Yoga.

Krista Young’s problem was one a lot of people know well.

She was sitting too still.

But at the same time, she wasn’t sitting still enough.

“I’m an accountant,” she said, “and I have worked my whole life sitting at a desk. Over time, I developed back problems from sitting all day.”

But even while she sat, she felt her life was passing her by at a breakneck pace.

“We’re on our phones, we’re multitasking at everything we do,” she said. “So much of the time life is just flying by us.”

So she found the answer to both problems.

“It’s made all the difference in the world,” Young said. “It’s been so therapeutic for me. It’s helped relieve stress, made me more flexible and given me better posture. And it’s become that if I don’t do yoga, I feel bad.”

She found that she just wanted to share that good feeling she got from yoga with others. So she became an instructor.

And this July, she opened her own studio — Lemon Tree Yoga in The Village at Lee Branch.

“I never intended to open a studio,” Young said. “It just kind of unfolded that way, and I absolutely love it.”

It’s become a family affair.

“My husband is one of those types who would never consider doing yoga and I finally convinced him to try it, and now he comes and he loves it,” she said. “He’s the most overworked, underpaid person on my staff,” she said.

But he does it because he sees the benefits too, Young said.

The same goes for her teenage daughter.

“I’m still working on my 13-year-old son. I have a ways to go with him, but I’m holding out hope,” she said with a laugh.

It’s good for everyone, Young said. Everyone’s moving too fast. And even if it’s just for 60 minutes, yoga offers the opportunity to “slow down, breathe, be calm and have some movement.”

Some people get confused about what yoga is really about, she said.

“It’s not a religion,” Young said.

What it is instead is “a way to connect on a deeper level to whatever your faith is,” she said. “It’s very meditative. It’s about taking deep breaths and going into deep thoughts and appreciating that moment. You turn inward and find your circumstances for that day and find how to move and breathe through that.”

Taking away all the phones and distractions allows the real you to come to the surface, Young said. “For some people, these classes are the only time that ever happens.”

Sandy Tucker, one of the first class attendees at Lemon Tree Yoga, said she “can’t speak highly enough about the experience.”

“Physically and mentally, the benefits are incredible. I have carpal tunnel and the aches and pains that go with being 52,” Tucker said with a laugh.

She used to think she hated yoga, but Lemon Tree “made a yoga lover out of me,” she said.

The atmosphere, the quality of the instructors and the diversity of the classes all make it a world-class studio, she said.

“I can’t tell you how much I’ve benefitted from taking yoga there,” Tucker said.

Young said she wishes more people would give themselves that gift.

That’s why she started Lemon Tree Yoga, she said.

“This is not something you get into to become rich. You get into it because you love it and believe in the benefits,” Young said. “I would love for everyone to experience some of that, just to feel better, to feel good.”

Lemon Tree Yoga is located at 611 Doug Baker Boulevard, Suit 116, in the Lee Branch Shopping Center in Birmingham. For more information and a list of class schedules, visit Lemontree.yoga or call 205-913-3491.


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