When COVID-19 forced many companies to close or suspend their services, Amanda Hatcher, a yoga studio owner, suspected that there had to be a way to survive.
She knew she couldn’t do it alone.
Hatcher owns Little River Yoga Studio in Townsend, but has also partnered with Maryville Yoga Shala to teach there. Before that, she taught yoga at the Olympia Athletic Club, also in Maryville, for almost 20 years.
But when the pandemic broke out, she was unable to give face-to-face classes in Little River, a small studio. During the pandemic, she only offered private and zoom classes. Maryville Yoga Shala is now permanently closed.
So Hatcher popped the idea of maybe opening a yoga studio in Maryville. She sought advice from other instructors. Timing was their concern.
“People told me, ‘Don’t open a yoga studio,'” she said. “They told me, ‘Don’t do it.”
Hatcher took her advice. Thanks to a partnership with Grandview, she began offering outdoor yoga at the Grandview Pavilion for several weeks when the weather was mild. The outdoor pavilion is a great way to socialize, and students have great views of the mountains.
“When it got cold I started looking indoors,” said Hatcher. She didn’t have to look far. Hatcher said she discovered another store in Maryville, Bike N ‘Tri, and its beautiful room, which is perfect for yoga classes. The store closes its doors to customers at 6:30 PM, which is a popular time for yoga classes. She can also hold classes several days a week, including Saturdays and Sundays, before the store opens in the morning.
Will Norris owns Bike N ‘Tri, which was also affected by the coronavirus and was closed for months unless by appointment. The bike shop is now open Monday to Saturday with adjusted opening times. He said the relationship with Hatcher’s yoga business has been really positive.
“I’m thrilled to have Amanda in the room,” he said. “I believe we have a similar mission to serve our community in a way that allows them to move their bodies to improve both physical and mental wellbeing and to create a community based on inclusion and acceptance is based. “
Norris said the space Hatcher uses is 500 square feet. There is space for 12 yoga students.
Hatcher calls this new venture Tri Yoga and has t-shirts printed. She still owns the Little River Yoga Studio in Townsend and continues to offer private lessons. She said she would take some of her teachers from there to Tri Yoga at Bike N ‘Tri, 601 E. Broadway Ave., Maryville.
The Blount County yoga community has grown over the years, Hatcher said. She didn’t want that to decrease because of missing classes. She said her private lessons in Townsend, along with her new Tri Yoga and renewed partnership with Grandview, will offer yoga enthusiasts many opportunities.
A Maryville room of your own could be an option later. She still worries about another spike in COVID-19; There are a lot of people who still don’t feel safe when they get out, she said. Right now it only makes sense to share space, said this instructor.
“I think the wellness community has been hit really hard,” said Hatcher. “It makes sense to help each other.”
She has been a member of the Blount County’s wellness community for many years. Her husband Brad is the owner of Hatchers Martial Arts. She taught kickboxing courses there.
Aside from the place in the Bike N ‘Tri, Hatcher said she loves the location too. The building is the one with the large mural painted in 2020 and visible as motorists drive through downtown East Broadway. There is also parking space at the store and four exits.
As she moved forward, Hatcher said she also spoke to the owners of Crossfit Pistol Creek in downtown Maryville to offer their clients some of their yoga classes. She said some of them had expressed an interest in becoming more flexible and improving their balance. Things Yoga Can Help With. Meditation is also popular, she said.
Hatcher specializes in strength and also gentle yoga. She said she heard from many people admitting to canceling their gym memberships or getting used to exercising. She welcomes newcomers and longtime yoga practitioners to her tri-yoga classes.
The meditative effects will help in these stressful times, said this instructor. Just breathing properly can make a person less reactive and more positive. Balance is also important, said Hatcher.
“Stressful attitudes can cause discomfort in your stomach and face,” she said. “You can feel like you are leaving your body when you are doing yoga.”