By Natalie Suk
When Stevi Self broke her back in 6th grade, she tried numerous ways to alleviate the constant pain. Today she owns Southern Star Yoga. She believes yoga is a way of life and she has touched many lives through the practice.
Self was active in high school but focused on schoolwork in college. Then her back pain worsened. She decided she needed a change and wanted to try something new. However, it didn’t work until one of her close friends advised her to try yoga.
Yoga instantly changed the life of the self. Just a week after she started exercising, her back pain went away.
Self began practicing yoga in California. “Yoga was popular in California as early as the 1990s. However, yoga became popular here in Oxford much later. “
She grew up in the Mississippi Delta but later moved to California. Self returned to Mississippi in 1998 because she was pregnant with their first child. Oxford appealed to her and she decided to stay and practice yoga.
Self-taught at a local fitness center called Health Flex for 10 years. Then she decided to start her own yoga studio.
“Teaching at Health Flex was great, but I wanted to provide a yoga atmosphere for my clients, so I started the studio first,” she said.
Even said she wanted to create a place specifically for yoga. She believes yoga is powerful and deserves to be practiced on its own.
When Self started the yoga studio, she never thought it would become as popular as it is. She hoped that at least 50 people would practice a month, but she never thought that thousands of different people would walk through her doors. Southern Star now has more than 20 yoga teachers and 100 members.
Member Stacey Evans described the beautiful atmosphere of the yoga studio.
“I’ve been all over the world and seen a lot of yoga studios, but I’ve never seen a yoga studio that is so popular and popular,” she said. “People love to come here. Not only has it become one of the most popular yoga studios in Oxford. It is known throughout the state. “
Julia Jones, a former University of Mississippi student, said, “I love coming back to Oxford, especially because I get to visit my favorite yoga studio.”
Jones, who lives in Jackson, said Southern Star is one of the main reasons for her return. “The atmosphere is great, but the people and the instructors are even better,” she said. “They are the ones who create that warm feeling that makes you come back because even though you exercise, you feel relaxed.”
Said herself, she never thought the business would be so successful for so long, and it’s growing all the time. For the past 20 years, Self has practiced yoga almost every day. After the birth of her second child, she stopped teaching for a while. Two weeks later, her back started to hurt.
“That’s when I realized I was basically holding onto it for a lifetime,” she said. “I’ve had a relationship with yoga for over 20 years and it has changed my views many times over the years.”
Even said her current yoga inspiration is Shawn Johnson, who teaches bhakti yoga in New Orleans, the yoga of chant and mantra.
She has explored the mantra aspect of yoga, which includes Sanskrit and chant. Before opening the studio, she was a musician, but she put her guitar aside and focused on yoga. Mantra was a way to incorporate music into yoga.
“That’s the beauty in yoga,” she said. “It is constantly changing with your views as you learn new things about yourself and learn to grow each day. Yoga has influenced my life and I have seen it affect numerous lives around me. It’s great for a person’s health and spirit, and the benefits of it are endless. “