Off the grid yoga studio flourishes amid farm fields


Planting the Seeds of Tranquility

Off the grid yoga studio flourishes amid farm fields

Classes at KIND Yoga by Heart are taught in a transported greenhouse heated only by a woodstove.


By Hannelore Volpe

On Saturday, Sept. 3 KIND Yoga by Heart will celebrate its first year of getting people closer to nature.

Classes are held in a greenhouse that is completely off the grid, heated only by a wood stove. To reach the studio, students, carrying their colourful yoga mats, walk a few minutes along a path winding through farm fields.

“They walk on the path not knowing what to expect. That really helps students get into the mindset,” said studio founder and owner Ellen Reesor of first-time visitors. Once they arrive, students are immersed in the tranquillity of the landscape while practicing their yoga poses.

Classes are taught by Ellen, along with Emma Drudge and Deb Moore, all certified yoga instructors.

Classes include introduction to yoga, hatha and slow flow yoga, feminist yoga, yoga for families with children between 4 and 10 years of age and live music yoga. A portion of all proceeds goes to the Ontario Farmland Trust.

The greenhouse is located on the farm owned by Jay and Miriam Reesor (Ellen’s aunt and uncle) behind the Reesor Farm Market on Ninth Line, just south of Town. To create this unique yoga space, an old greenhouse had to be torn down to its studs.” Then we picked it up and walked it to the new location,” Ellen said.

A new floor was installed along with insulation and other renovations.

The greenhouse offers an open view of the fields for the yoga students. The wood-burning stove allows the greenhouse to be used for up to eight months of the year, possibly into November or early December this year.

Ellen is looking forward to eventually having a more permanent structure to accommodate more yoga students as the studio grows. Her long-term goal is to have a retreat centre in nature, offering various longer-term therapies, alongside yoga, to help people overcome mental, spiritual and physical barriers.

The seeds for the concept of yoga on the farm were planted early in the 25-year-old entrepreneur. She joined her Aunt Miriam for yoga classes and spent a lot of time picking corn on the farm since her early teens. She fondly recalls that “…getting up at the crack of dawn on a hot summer day to walk through hundreds of rows of corn and just ‘pick’ was therapeutic. I loved how being in nature away from all the noise and bustle of the city put things into perspective”.

Through yoga, Ellen wants to foster a greater appreciation of the land around us. While she applauds the growth and diversity in our area, she is also dismayed to see prime farmland that has produced food for so many people being taken out of production for developments. She is grateful for the support of her family and the community in helping her grow her yoga studio.

Ellen, who is an ambassador for Lululemon in Markville Mall and is a baker at Reesor’s Market and Bakery in Stouffville, said the goal of Emma, Deb and herself is to get as many people outside practicing yoga as possible. “We hope that the outdoor yoga experience will cultivate a sense of kindness towards ourselves, others and the environment.”

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