It’s a quiet revolution in an unlikely town. It’s a yoga revolution.
The way yoga is being taught, and practiced throughout the CSRA is in sharp contrast to the way it is expressed in many yoga markets. Many similarly sized communities are oversaturated with hot yoga, power yoga, trendy yoga.
Here in Augusta, yoga is just starting to take off — to take shape. The way it is being taught is interestingly genuine. Surprisingly authentic — breath-based and student-focused. The teachers who are sharing this tradition within the few studios that exist, have an understanding of the delicacy and power of the practice.
Three-and-a half years ago, Yoga Therapist, Kim Bridi moved her family to the CSRA from Charlotte when she was hired as the Army’s first yoga therapist for a pilot program within its Chronic Pain Clinic at Ft. Gordon. She spent her time working with injured service members, teaching medical providers about yoga and truly creating an integrative medical model for yoga therapy.
She applied four principles to her work: adaptability, sustainability, and accessibility with a focus on the breath. And now, these principles are turning into a theme for the Augusta yoga community.
After leaving her clinical position less than a year ago, she quickly started to share her philosophy and teachings with the rest of the Augusta. She created the Mission OM™ Therapeutic Yoga Teacher Training program, which was hosted by an area studio. Her program will begin its third cohort this fall. She taught and mentored already-trained local teachers how to apply these principles to the style they were taught. She also founded a yoga-based nonprofit organization, the Mission OM™ Foundation, which was awarded a $10,000 grant this spring through the prestigious Women in Philanthropy. She also created a clinic for yoga-based psychotherapy as part of her internship for her Master’s Degree program in Counseling Psychology.
As yoga grows in Augusta, it is with this therapeutic orientation. Now, off-shoots of her training program are popping up. And she has just announced the opening of Evans Yoga Room, a breath-centered, therapeutically oriented yoga studio. This studio will open its doors in Evans this summer with a variety of classes from hot yoga to aerial to yoga for back pain.
This yoga studio and all of its classes will follow her principles of accessibility, sustainability, and adaptability with the breath at the center. It’s a quiet revolution, but changing the way this growing community experiences an ancient practice.