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Sweat and serenity at new yoga studio

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Co-owner Julia Lopez teaches a Honest Soul Yoga class, emphasizing different poses for students who are practicing social distance. Photos by Collette Orquiz

Sessions at the new Honest Soul Yoga can leave attendees feeling uplifted and empowered, the owners said.

“Everything you do on the mat is just practice for the more important stuff you do off the mat,” said co-owner Julia Lopez.

The studio at 223 E. Hildebrand Ave. opened briefly, but closed shortly after due to the pandemic. It reopened June 1.

Classes are limited to eight people to accommodate 6-foot social distancing. Temperature checks are required before classes and masks are requested when entering or leaving.

The space is cleaned between each class and attendees have access to sanitizer and disinfectant.

“Obviously with COVID-19 we’ve had to rethink quite a few things, but we’ve managed to achieve, I feel, still a cozy community while maintaining social distance,” Lopez said.

Suzie Mills, an Air Force veteran, in 2013 created Honest Soul Yoga in Alexandria, Virginia. After a tour in Afghanistan, she wanted to build a business having a positive effect on the world, according to the company website.

In 2016, Lopez, who also is the chief operating officer, joined the wellness company to lead teacher development and direct yoga programs. She became a co-owner in 2018.

Classes range from low-key movement and meditation to yoga with interval training. Also offered is vinyasa yoga.

“From a physical perspective, you’re definitely going to feel as if you’ve exercised, but we also are not shy about the fact that this is yoga and yoga is something that’s steeped in tradition,” Lopez said.

Classes are posted online and doors open at least 15 minutes early.

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