by Wesley Delanoy
Heartspace Yoga and Healing Arts offers yoga instruction for all levels of experience. They hold drop-in classes daily, as well as structured series and workshops, teacher training, sound healing events and other offerings focused on fostering the mind-body connection, such as Pilates, meditation, massage and qigong.
Owners and registered yoga teachers Andrew and Elizabeth Kasius purchased Heartspace in 2010, which was located only in Albany as a yoga studio since 1998. In 2013, they opened a second location in downtown Troy. They employ two part-time employees that help to run the studios, as well as the services of more than 20 highly qualified yoga instructors offering classes at both studios.
“We offer a variety of yoga traditions and styles in order to meet the needs of many different people with varying levels of experience, age and body types and conditions,” says Elizabeth. “We make a great effort to make it accessible to brand-new beginners and people who want to try yoga, but aren’t sure where to start. We have a large age range of our students, from teens to people into their 70s and 80s”
Heartspace offers yoga for beginners, mindful yoga to manage stress and anxiety, yoga for ample bodies, yin yoga, restorative yoga, vinyasa flow, hatha yoga, kundalini yoga, prenatal and postnatal yoga, yoga for athletes, family yoga and more.
“Anyone can do yoga,” says Andrew. “There is no competition, grades, pressure or judgement. There is only the intention that you bring to the mat. You don’t have to be flexible, have good balance, be skinny or any prerequisites like that. If you bring interest, curiosity, dedication and effort, we will work with you to help meet your goals.”
“Our biggest challenge is convincing folks to come in for the first time,” says Andrew. “People say, ‘I’m not flexible, I can’t do it,’ and things like that. We help you establish a practice that suits your body. Once people get a taste for it, many enjoy it and return. We’re always looking for ways to support the growth of community and connection at our studios.”
“More seniors and retirees who are just starting out with yoga have been finding us. We’re able to offer more daytime classes with a very modest pace and appropriate approach for our older students,” says Andrew.
Heartspace is hosting Restorative Yoga and Massage Healing Therapy, with Diane Simpson and Jeanne Korn, from 2 to 4 p.m., March 11. There are also master classes with Toolin and workshops that include The Dharma of Breathing, in late March, as well as monthly Nourishing Yoga for Athletes and Others, with Samara Anderson, working on anatomical focal points in each workshop.
Yoga teacher training at Heartspace started in 2008, led by Lauren Toolin through her Yoga Vidya school. The program includes both a 200- and 340-hour advanced program. “This is the most established teacher training program in the Capital District, and there are many graduates teaching throughout the region,” notes Andrew.
Heartspace Yoga and Healing Arts is located at 10 Second St., in Troy, and 747 Madison Ave., in Albany. For appointments, call 518-512-3390. For more information, visit HeartspaceAlbany.com.