A place to heal, discover, breathe and just be you

Photo by Greg Eans, Messenger-Inquirer | geans@messenger-inquirer.com Yoga instructors Jan Ward, left, and Kathy Fisher in the Soul Sanctuary located at Progressive Physical Therapy 1605 Scherm Road in Owensboro.

Jan Ward and Kathy Fisher started the new year off right. They opened Soul Sanctuary together on Jan. 7.

Soul Sanctuary is a yoga studio; however, Fisher dabbles in painting, so she teaches some art classes there.

Recently, the former Owensboro Public Schools teacher opened the studio for a preschooler's "paint and pose" party. Her little guests put on their Picasso hats for a painting session, then tried some downward facing dog poses and finished off the party by gobbling cupcakes.

Ward and Fisher met during yoga training classes. In October, they graduated from the 200-hour course and decided to partner on the studio.

Fisher uses yoga to stay mentally and physically fit. Gardening, biking, and walking and running round out her routine.

She grew up dancing at Johnson's Dance Studio. In her teen years, Fisher took up cheerleading and poms.

Flexibility is her middle name, so yoga was a natural fit for her.

Ward, on the other hand, was more sports oriented. She has competed in the Ironman Triathlon five times -- two times in Hawaii and Louisville and once in Maryland. In Hawaii, which was a world championship, she finished 11th in her age group.

As a swimmer, biker and runner, flexibility was not Ward's strength.

"I took yoga training for personal growth," she said. "I always said, 'I am not flexible enough for yoga.'"

She found flexibility isn't required. Yoga meets people where they are.

"We want people to feel like all kinds of bodies and all kinds of people can come to yoga," Fisher said.

As a new business, the partners continue to develop new offerings. For example, Fisher has taught teen yoga.

The studio has offered professional development to OPS and worked once a month with a girls' fitness class at Owensboro High School.

"We're always looking for ways to reach people," Fisher said.

Ward and Fisher are mulling over a possibility they call Yoga to You, a program that would take their studio on the road.

Both of them are mindfulness instructors. Mindfulness helps people focus on the present with kindness and curiosity. Ward and Fisher incorporate mindfulness in their yoga sessions.

Looking Into Now with Kindness is a mix of mindfulness and yoga for children. Fisher is developing the program for kids who range in age from preschoolers to high school students.

The studio has everything a client needs -- mats, bolsters and blocks.

Sessions cost $10 each or $70 for 10 classes.

For more information and a schedule of classes, go to Soul Sanctuary's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/soulsanctuarytransform/. Feel free to private message Ward and Fisher on the site.

Jenifer Harmon Wiggins posted a review of Soul Sanctuary on social media that reads: "This is the most wonderful place. It is open and comfortable for people of all shapes and sizes and levels of yoga. The teachers help you adjust positions to work for you. I feel safe and at peace there like nowhere else I've been. It is my happy place."

Renee Beasley Jones, 270-228-2835, rbeasleyjones@messenger-inquirer.com.

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