While some moms might see yoga class as a respite from family duties and childcare, one local instructor is working to turn that idea on its head.
Stacy Cushenbery, owner of Twisted Tree Yoga, takes a holistic approach and provides people of all ages a chance to practice in a welcoming environment. The studio, located at 1403 Prairie Avenue in Des Plaines, opened in late spring.
“The idea that you are raising kids with yoga is a unique part of our studio,” Cushenbery said.
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While most studios focus on classes for adults, Twisted Tree offers “Mommy and Me” classes to mothers with toddlers. Its Infant Massage courses demonstrate techniques for comforting colicky babies and the Kid Class on Saturday mornings is among the most popular.
The studio’s focus on children stems from Cushenbery’s experience as an elementary school teacher. Cushenbery currently works at a private school in Chicago but years ago wanted to find ways to help her students cope with stress and deal with symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). She pulled some yoga exercises from the internet and noticed a huge difference when she brought those into her classroom.
“My students were really receptive,” Cushenbery said.
The children’s classes at Twisted Tree Yoga are as educational as they are physical. Cushenbery creates thematic lessons for kids and integrates history and culture into the classes.
Cushenbery, a Des Plaines resident, started practicing and teaching yoga in 2003. She has wanted a studio in Des Plaines for years and earlier this spring, noticed an empty storefront. After conferring with her husband, she decided to go ahead and open her own studio.
“It seemed like the perfect time,” she said.
As a new business, Cushenbery said most of her new students hear about the studio through word of mouth. She values a welcoming feel for her students and wants classes to maintain an intimate feel.
“I am trying to grow studio in conscious way,” she said, adding that it has been exciting to start to see regular customers.
Stacy’s gentle, calming voice and the beautiful, aesthetically pleasing studio brought Katie Petersen, a Des Plaines resident, to the studio for the first time on Tuesday. The central location and easy parking are two bonuses, she added.
Petersen is a yoga instructor herself and said she hopes that the studio gives a boost to the local economy.
“I could go on for an hour why this studio is a good thing for Des Plaines,” Petersen said.