Yoga — the exercise of mind and body. While the practice may seem intimidating, four women decided to change the Bowling Green yoga scene way back in 2011.
4Yoga was founded by WKU professor Angela “Angie” Jones and three other like-minded women. Nearly nine years later, Jones is the only founder left, but the studio has only grown bigger. 4Yoga started out with only five classes back in 2011, but as of March 2020 there will be around 70 different classes offered.
The entire idea of 4Yoga was to offer yoga to anyone who wanted to give it a try. There’s no commitment — each class is $5. The classes range in difficulty and style, and even meditation and pilates are an option.
“Since yoga had been so important to us, we wanted to make sure it was available to other people even if they didn’t have financial resources to pay 15 or 20 dollars per class,” Jones explained.
The studio came from humble beginnings, sharing the space of a dance studio and working around the dancers' schedules. When the opportunity to have their own creative space arose, Jones and the other teachers jumped on it. The studio now has over 15 teachers for March and many more reaching out for opportunities to teach.
With the success of 4Yoga, students and teachers alike are impacted. Heather Kessler, a teacher at the studio, had her first yoga class at 4Yoga. When her daughter’s health needs took her out of school, Kessler took her to Jones’ gentle class to meet her physical education needs. Kessler eventually joined the 4Yoga team as a teacher.
“Angie, the other teachers and students are some of the most authentic and interesting people I have ever met,” Kessler said. “It really does feel like a community, and I appreciate the fact that we are on a mission to make yoga accessible to everyone.”
The future of the studio seems bright — Jones wants to expand the services offered to accommodate more of the community. Off-site classes for seniors and yoga in the international center to fight trauma could be a possibility in the future.
But there are still solid opportunities for new students right now. Not only is it a cheap option for a workout, but it can be extremely valuable to your mental health. Jones mentioned she wished she had tried yoga in college for the sole reason of stress and anxiety management.
College students experience high tension daily, and many lack the tools needed to release their stress. Jones sees yoga as a way to reprogram your mind and your responses in a way that can increase your health. As a friend once said to her, “It’s really hard to get pissed off after you do yoga.”
One student in particular has been positively impacted by the studio and has only good things to say. Molly Wilson is a regular attendee of the yoga classes and started going in the beginning of 4Yoga when she was recovering from a serious neck injury. But yoga has helped heal more than just her neck.
“My allergies are less severe, I am healthier and I feel better overall,” Wilson said. “Because I feel better, I eat less junk, take fewer medications and enjoy being more active. It’s a very healthy cycle.”
4Yoga is doing something not many other yoga studios do — including everyone and making it affordable to participate. The growth of the studio is nothing to scoff at, and there are no plans to stop that growth any time soon. With Jones as the director, 4Yoga plans to expand and wants new students to make that step with them.
Features reporter Taylor Metcalf can be reached at 270-745-6291 and firstname.lastname@example.org.