New Richmond resident Jillian Kemmet found herself at a crossroads in high school: there were issues at home and she was trying to figure out who she wanted to be and what she wanted to do.
"My first time in a yoga class, I wasn't sure what to think because I was very athletic and into sports, so yoga was very different for me since it was a very self-oriented activity. I kept coming back and started going almost every day," Kemmet said. "When I was in high school, the yoga studio was basically my second home. It gave me so much and so much passion in life. It is something that I'm really passionate about. For me, just opening a studio was something I wanted to do for the community. I hope that even just one student can walk in here and help them find who they are through yoga."
After much thought, Kemmet and her fiancée, Adam Thorson, decided to make her dream of opening a yoga studio a reality. Lift Bridge Yoga, located in the old Fantastic Sam's location in New Richmond (228 Paperjack Drive), held its grand opening May 20. The studio currently has two instructors, including Kemmet, who obtained her teaching license in 2014 and taught for two years at a studio in Eau Claire before moving to New Richmond.
"I really like the space, it has a big back area for props, an area for people to put their stuff during a session and a nice reception area for people to lounge while they wait for a session," Kemmet said. "You don't need to bring your own mats or anything if you don't have them. You can borrow anything you don't have. I want the community to feel comfortable to come in and give it a try if they feel it is something they might like. We want to invite everyone in as they are."
The studio — which is open seven days a week — can comfortably fit 25 people, Kemmet said, and holds classes early in the day and late afternoon to evening. Renovations of the space started in April, with Kemmet adding a waiting area, reception desk, locker/cubby area and the yoga studio itself, along with a storage area in the back for extra equipment so participants don't have to bring their own.
"We have found that it is hard for people to attend classes in the middle of the day, so we have very early morning classes for those people who want to get their exercise in and then classes later in the day for those who want to come after work or school," Kemmet said.
The studio has several different types of memberships to fit all sorts of people and schedules. There will also be drop-in classes as well.
"Don't be afraid to step in and give it a try. If you are just starting yoga, we have beginner's classes where we will be teaching the poses," Kemmet said. "If nothing else, find the class that you are comfortable in and the teacher that you are comfortable with as well. Every teacher might not work for every person, so try a different class and find what works. Yoga isn't for everyone, but we want it to be for everybody."
The name “Lift Bridge Yoga Co” has multiple meanings. "When I attended my first yoga class, I felt I was at a crossing in my life, and yoga was the 'bridge' that 'lifted' my spirits and got me through,” Kemmet said.
Lift Bridge Yoga Co. also plans to hold multiple special events including, “Destination Yoga”, where they will team up with local businesses and hold yoga classes in places such as a brewery or vineyard. They also plan to hold “Seva Yoga” once a month. “Each month we will pick a local charity or organization and hold a free class accepting donations for the charity. Our first class we chose the Baron Co. Disaster Relief fund to help those affected by the recent tornado. We raised over $150,” Kemmet said.
Anyone interested in teaching at Lift Bridge should contact Kemmet for a tryout. The more instructors Lift Bridge has, the most classes it can hold throughout the week, Kemmet said.
For more information on Lift Bridge Yoga, visit liftbridgeyoga.com, or contact the studio at 513-262-1564 and firstname.lastname@example.org.