A popular yoga studio in Des Moines has stretched its way to Kansas City.
Power Life Yoga, in the former Board of Trade building near 48th and Main streets, opened in late September and already has devotees from all walks of life.
From early morning to late evening, everyone from retirees to college students drops by for a class. During the lunch hour on weekdays, the studio is bustling with attorneys, architects and retail workers from across the Country Club Plaza, all looking for a little “om.”
Co-managing the new Kansas City location are Jenny Anderson, 28, and Michelle Howe, 29, who are also yoga instructors.
For them, yoga isn’t a sport, it’s a journey on a mat. It offers a repose from everyday chaos. And both women encourage everyone, whether they’re into yoga or not, to put down that smartphone and tuck away that to-do list once in awhile, and just breathe.
Because life’s too short not to take a little time for yourself.
A different path: Howe has been in the yoga business for a while, but Anderson only recently made it her full-time career. She used to be an elementary school Spanish teacher in Shawnee.
“I loved teaching and seeing the kids grow, but now I’m watching the community blossom into health and wellness and happiness,” says Anderson, who grew up in Kansas City. “It’s powerful to know I get to be part of that movement.”
Kansas City love: Opening a Power Life Yoga location in Kansas City was a natural expansion for the company. It’s still in the Midwest, but with the benefits of a larger market.
“This is an up-and-coming city and there’s a lot of culture here,” Howe says. “People love living here and there’s a big push to support new and local businesses. We’ve been welcomed with open arms, and it’s been very humbling.”
One big family: “When you move to a big city, it can be really hard to make friends, especially as an adult,” says Howe, who recently moved to Kansas City from Des Moines. “We’re creating an environment where people can just be themselves and meet other people with similar interests. We’re already seeing real relationships form, which is awesome.”
Exposing the stereotypes: “The average Midwesterner doesn’t really know much about yoga, so we do run into people who think it’s just for hippies or its boring,” Anderson says. “We’re not pushing the perfect lifestyle here. We eat pizza and drink beer. You don’t have to be flexible to try yoga. We really want to help demystify it.”
A few benefits: “Yoga changes the way your body responds to stress,” Anderson says. “You find yourself actually breathing during a traffic jam or not snapping at people as much. It’s not just about fitness, it’s about your mind. Sure, you might get a nice butt, but you also get a little something extra with it.”