Post written by Nancy Moseley
When someone mentions yoga, perhaps you immediately think of sitting cross-legged on a mat, middle fingertip to thumb touching lightly, the familiar “ohm” sound droning in the background. By definition, yoga is all of those things, but it is also a series of physical, mental and spiritual exercises designed so that individuals can attain bodily and mental well-being. Now that sounds a little more like it.
So how do you turn something that – in practice – is a person’s journey inward, into a business that can only grow and succeed by expanding outward? Well, Becky Crigger, owner of In Balance Yoga in downtown Blacksburg, has managed to do just that.
As an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, Crigger suffered from mild panic attacks, but because of a minor in religious studies became aware of the practice of meditation as a way to deepen spiritual seeking and healing.
“Meditation helped with the attacks, so I just decided to stay on that path. I became very interested in Eastern religion.”
After college she started supplementing her meditation work with conventional yoga, the notion of using a series of postures and poses as a form of exercise. Originating in ancient India, yoga is one of the six orthodox schools in Hindu philosophy. It came to the west in the mid 19th century and has soared in popularity since the 1980s, when teachers began to evangelize it less as a religious practice and more as a form of healthy exercise.
But, Crigger notes, it’s finding the balance of both that is her favorite part of running the studio.
“I like it when people begin a yoga practice for the physical benefits and end up finding a spiritual awakening. When they find a way, through the exercises, to reunite with their true selves.”
In Balance Yoga trains and employs 12 instructors who teach a variety of classes including Vinyasa, Yin Yoga and even meditation. It’s the first studio in Southwest Virginia to offer hot yoga classes – yoga practiced in a heated room so that your muscles stay warm for deeper stretches and toxin release. The studio offers massage, yoga therapy, and a variety of workshops which have included classes in nutrition.
“I ultimately want this to grow into a holistic wellness center,” Crigger admits.
Additionally, the studio offers Restorative and Prenatal Yoga classes, the conditioning and flexibility a natural preparation for labor. Crigger is dedicated to this idea of connecting people to yoga as a form of therapy, basing the lessons on the individuals’ needs.
“Recently my focus has been service oriented. I work with the residents at Warm Hearth leading chair yoga. I also offer classes for children with autism and I work with Blue Ridge Cancer Care. It has become a very meaningful path for me.”
After considering Christiansburg as a home for her studio, Crigger opened the business in 2009 in Clay Court, which was, as she admits, the perfect time. Blacksburg and the New River Valley were ready to accept and embrace yoga, where even 10 years earlier, simply due to unfamiliarity, it would have been too much of a struggle.
So what is the best advice for someone who has never taken a yoga class before?
“Honor your body,” Crigger offers, “take things slowly. Don’t expect your body to do what others are doing. Too often the focus is outer and yoga is about keeping the attention inward.”
Thankfully Becky Crigger has built her business around sharing the spiritual and physical benefits of yoga outward to the local community. She connects with us so that we might connect with ourselves. She wakes up every day with a passion and devotion to keep things, appropriately, in balance.
In Balance Yoga is located at:
401 S. Main St.
Blacksburg, VA 24060
Don’t forget to like In Balance Yoga on Facebook