Why Small Businesses Matter in Ridgefield: Winding Path Yoga

Why Small Businesses Matter

Shop small, do big things for your community

Why Small Businesses Matter puts a spotlight on the local merchants who donate their time, talent, goods, and services for the betterment of our community. The shop local movement spreads virally as local businesses who are “tagged” have the opportunity to share their story!

You're IT Winding Path Yoga!

Three questions with Julie Shaw, founder of Winding Path Yoga.

Why did you start your business?

I began learning and practicing yoga over 35 years ago – that’s before there were yoga pants! After many years as a student, I studied to become a yoga teacher. Along the way I gravitated to teaching those who weren’t “typical” yoga students; people who had injuries and illnesses, and for whom a public yoga class was not going to be helpful.

I embarked on in-depth training in the area of yoga therapy – applying the tools of yoga to address health conditions. As my life unfolds, along with my injuries, illnesses, and challenges, yoga has helped me through all of it. I started my business twenty years ago to help others learn to use yoga to help themselves feel healthier and more balanced, just as I have been able to do.

What is your best-selling product/service?

My best-selling service is individualized therapeutic yoga instruction for neck or back pain. Sitting at a desk, staring at a computer, and living life on our phones have taken a huge toll on our bodies, especially our backs, and necks. Ninety percent of my clients start out seeing me for this kind of pain. Sometimes their doctor or a friend refers them, explaining that yoga therapy with me is different from what they might think of when they picture “yoga.”

It’s not about teaching someone how to do a set of poses. It’s about figuring out which poses serve that person best. I take the time to teach people how to understand their body and their condition, so their exercises are highly individualized. In general, yoga therapy works well for back and neck pain. All it takes is wanting to feel better!

Have you “reimagined” your small business?

During the pandemic, I completely reimagined my business, moving from an in-person model to a hybrid approach, seeing clients and teaching classes in person and online. This change opened up access to clients and classes virtually anywhere. I am now able to see people referred by practitioners in other states, and even other time zones.

I also reimagined the scope of my practice when I went through breast cancer treatment, using yoga therapy to help myself through all aspects of that experience. I gained first-hand knowledge of the illness, difficult treatments, and physical and emotional side effects. Applying what I knew about yoga to myself was the best on-the-job training I could have. My work expanded to include more clients and groups dealing with chronic illness and larger themes in life. And now I keep my business quite small on purpose, so I have time to work with individuals at a more in-depth level.

Julie would like to nominate Rob Creamer, Attorney at Law to be featured next!

Visit Winding Path Yoga online here, and make sure to check out their Instagram page as well!

HamletHub thanks Fairfield County Bank for making our Why Small Businesses Matter series possible!


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