TORRINGTON — After working at area libraries, and planning and providing programs for families, resident Lisa Shaia is stepping out on her own to open a yoga studio.

Shaia has practiced yoga for about 20 years. Her work at local libraries, including the Oliver Wolcott in Litchfield, included storytelling and other children’s activities.

“I wanted to blend all my interests and skills into one thing, and that was yoga, because everyone can do it,” Shaia said. “After I received my yoga certification (in 2018), and after talking with people I’ve worked with, it seemed like a great idea to open a yoga studio.”

Shaia is opening Kosha Yoga at 126 Franklin St.

Her research revealed that there were no specific yoga classes for children offered on a regular basis in the area. Sanctuary Yoga is nearby on Franklin Street, but it offers other types of yoga practice. “We can’t compete with them,” she said.

“And I wanted to do something for the parents,” Shaia said. “The parents hang out and wait for the children, and I thought, ‘Why should they do that, when they can do something for themselves?’ I hope to serve the whole family and do something great.”

She chose Franklin Street because “it’s an up and coming neighborhood,” she said. “It’s a quiet, it’s safe, with lots of local businesses, and we’re all going to work together.”

She’s already enlisted help from Nirvana Juice Bar and Good Company Coffee for a March 14 event. “Those are two of the businesses within walking distance,” Shaia said. “Everyone’s been so friendly and welcoming.”

Shaia was happy to find a job in her own town. “I’ve been here since I met my husband almost 20 years ago, and I will finally get a chance to work here and be part of the community,” she said.

In August 2019, Torrington officials announced plans for Franklin Street, including apartments, business and office spaces, dubbing it a “civic space” closed to traffic to encourage people to visit the growing list of businesses there.

At the time, Mayor Elinor Carbone said that the Franklin Street project was a draw for developers and businesses, “to what has been a neglected area of the city and to downtown.”

“It will be a meeting spot for the community that we hope will attract small events, such as pop up art exhibits, and bring in food trucks and vendors. There may even be a skating rink there during the winter months,” Carbone said.

Kosha Yoga will have children’s, family and adult yoga, providing breathing and meditation techniques, coping skills and dealing with stress and anxiety in a healthful way, she said. In addition to fun classes, such as Budding Buddhas, Karma Kids, and Namaste Ninjas, Kosha Yoga will have adult classes at the same time as children’s classes. “This is a great way to have a healthy family habit, while recognizing that caregivers need their own time,” Shaia said.

Shaia also plans to hold special events, when children are off from school, date nights for parents; kids’ night out programs and other themed events, as well as school vacation and summer programs for all ages, and workshops for parents.

For Shaia, practicing yoga has many positive benefits. “In addition to its physical benefits, it helps me clam down and not worry so much,” she said. “I want to pass that along. I wish I’d had it when I was growing up.

Shaia teaches gentle yoga, focused on breathing and meditation, “to help throughout your day.”

“I have a really great team of yoga teachers who are already known in the community, as well as new people,” she said. “I am feeling so lucky and blessed and positive about this whole experience.”

Kosha Yoga’s open house will be from 9 a.m. to noon, March 14, and will allow potential students to see the space, meet the teachers, help decorate the studio, and sign up for programs at a discounted rate. Two simultaneous free classes will run from 1 to 2 p.m.; one for adults and one for children. Private parking is on Franklin Drive. For more information visit koshayogact.com

Connecticut Media Group