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Health

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Goat yoga has arrived in Cincinnati. Learn about the local farm offering these fun, furry, and seriously cute classes.

 

Image:  Desert Paddleboard

Think about it. The health benefits of a yoga class, with the cuteness of a Nigerian Dwarf goat by your side. Honey Sweetie Acres offers just that with their new Goat Yoga classes.

According to Regina Bauscher, co-owner of Honey Sweetie Acres, goat yoga is just one more wonder that their Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats produce. Regina and her husband, Steve, started the Goshen-based Honey Sweetie Acres to produce goat milk skincare and nature-based products, made from their award-winning Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats.

Nigerian Dwarf milk is very high in butterfat, approximately three times higher than the milk from any other goat breed, so it makes for some luxuriously rich skincare products. Regina and Steve quickly saw success, selling in major retailers such as Whole Foods, and brought more goats to their farm to keep up with the demand.  

The inspiration behind offering Goat Yoga classes began when they realized that there weren’t many opportunities for people to meet all their goats. “Goats are very friendly animals and seek human interaction,” Regina says. “They have a propensity to climb into your lap, whether invited or not.”

When they saw the popularity for Goat Yoga classes out West, they knew it was the perfect fit to bring to Honey Sweetie Acres. “We saw how Goat Yoga began in Oregon last year, then it moved to Colorado, Arizona and Nevada, and kept spreading,” Regina recalls. “Since we own the dwarf goats, we thought it was time for Ohio to join in.”

What’s it like? Regina explains: “[It’s] a normal yoga class, in which baby goats are allowed to roam between participants. They visit class members, sometimes climbing in their lap, on their back or just simply take up residence on their mat,” she adds. “Goat Yoga is a wonderful form of stress release when interacting with cute, baby animals.”

Classes are $30 a person, for adults 18 and up, and last two hours with 30 minutes of “meet the goats” time. Bring your own mat, and register online as class size is limited to 15 people and they do sell out. “Pre-registration is required. No-walk ins. The dates and times are all listed on the Honey Sweetie Acres website,” Regina explains. “Click on ‘About,’ scroll down to Goat Yoga, click purchase a ticket and a drop down menu with the remaining available dates and times will appear. Many classes are completely full and therefore, are not listed.”

Regina, at first, thought that the Goat Yoga would be just another fad, but now she sees it being offered for years to come. “We never realized just how many people actually love goats and wish they could own one,” she says. “For those living in the city, it is a bit if an escape for two hours in a beautiful natural environment.”

Regina says she loves to see the joy participants experience when they take a class. “My favorite part is watching the participants laugh; at each other, at themselves and the babies,” she says. “Seeing the smiles and the joy this creates is satisfying and we are happy we can bring the opportunity to so many people. Laughter is a wonderful medicine.”

To learn more about Honey Sweetie Acres, visit them online at honeysweetieacres.com, or follow along on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

 

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A local salon stays on the cutting edge (get it?) by specializing in the latest techniques and eco-friendly practices while also prepping to launch a salon RV next year.

 

Vagabond Salon offers vibrant, long-lasting hair color to clients.

With so many salons in Cincinnati, it’s not always easy to stand out. But for Rebecca Cowles, owner of Vagabond Salon, she says it comes easy because they truly are different.

Launched in 2014, and based in Montgomery, Vagabond offers haircut, color and skin services with a specialty in vibrant, long-lasting hair color. “I have invested a lot of time and money into my continuing education and continue to do so,” Cowles says. “You can come in for an exceptional balayage highlight or a haircut based on your own personal head shape to ensure it suits you the best. I also do facial waxing.”

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what makes Vagabond Salon different, Cowles says. “A vagabond is a person that wanders from place to place without a home. This term perfectly describes what I hope to achieve with my salon,” she adds. “The RV that will be Vagabond’s new home will move it’s semi permanent location every few years to up and coming communities that would benefit from the additional foot traffic and support. I’m hoping to be in Pleasant Ridge or Madisonville.”  

Vagabond Salon is also unique because of the steps they are taking to improve the environment and community. “I started Vagabond Salon to make Cincinnati beautiful and to turn the world of hair salons as we know it on its head.” Cowles explains. “Salons are notorious for being wasteful and I wanted to do something about that. We only get one world and it is up to us to take care of it. There are many small, yet impactful, things salons can do, in order to be less wasteful.”

To practice keeping the earth clean, the loose hair that she gets from the salon goes to “Matter of Trust,” a company that creates mats to soak up oil spills. In addition, Cowles has an entire dumpster dedicated to all that the salon recycles, and she’s adamant about other conservation efforts such as turning off tools when not it use.

“The RV that I’m building and will be operating out of next year will be almost entirely self-sufficient,” Cowles says. “I plan to recycle the grey water collected from the shampoo bowls into a community garden on the premises and recycle and reuse as much as possible. I have so many exciting things in the works and cannot wait for these projects to be completed.”

At Vagabond Salon, Cowles defines success by seeing the number of selfies that her clients take of their haircuts after leaving the salon. “Feeling confident and too beautiful to wait until they get home to share their new hairstyle,” she says. “Also, by the number of wonderful compliments I receive from the beautiful people who I deal with everyday.” Her favorite part of the job is seeing the lives that she gets to touch. “I love making people feel good and bringing the inner beauty out in everyone that comes through my door.” Cowles adds.

“Everyone who comes in to get their hair done, leaves knowing exactly how to achieve their look and maintain their hair at home,” she says. “We are different in the steps we take to be less wasteful and friendly to the environment.”

Vagabond Salon is located within Salon Concepts, at 9797 Montgomery Rd, Suite 8, Cincinnati, OH 45242. To learn more, call or text Rebecca Cowles 513-472-0202 or visit online. You can also follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

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Life is just better when you feel good about yourself. Our sexual health columnist explains how to gain freedom through accepting your body, one beautiful bit at a time.

How comfortable are you with your body? How about your naked body? Do you dread the inexplicable overhead lighting that is present in every women’s dressing room? (WHY?!?!?) There must be a reason that one of the most common nightmares reported is being in front of a crowd naked. Being naked leaves us in our most vulnerable state. Nothing to cover up with, nowhere to hide.

As we come upon the beginning of summer; pools, BBQs, daisy dukes, and bikini waxes, we are forced to confront our comfort level of being exposed, physically. After spending the winter hibernating and indulging in junk food during our Netflix binge sessions, summer can be terrifying. But what would happen if you could love and accept your body at any weight? What would happen if you could love every inch of your naked body?

Accepting our bodies and feeling confident naked can have so many positive effects on our lives.

  1. Set the tone for a great day!

Being able to look yourself in the mirror first thing in the morning can set the tone for how the rest of your day goes. If you begin the day staring at all your flaws and belittling yourself, you are most likely going to carry that around with you for the rest of the day. Being able to walk into a room with your head held high, feeling really good about yourself allows you to go through your day with a positive outlook, making day-to-day challenges easier to handle.

  1. Improve your relationships!

Research shows that those who have positive body image and self-confidence tend to surround themselves with other positive, motivating people. Having people around you that celebrate themselves and uplift you sounds a hell of a lot better than spending time with a group of people that call themselves fat and ugly all the time. Negative energy can be contagious. Remember: “You’re only as good as the company you keep” .

  1. Improve your sex life!

Whether you are in a new relationship, casually dating or have been married for 15 years, we all have that moment where we feel a little self-conscious about getting naked in front of our partner. Nothing is more of a buzz kill than being distracted by that negative self-talk reminding you of the cellulite on your thighs or that roll on your stomach. Being able to embrace and accept our bodies exactly as they are, allows us to be more present in the moment. When we are present during sex we have the ability to fully focus on all of the physical sensations that we’re experiencing and focus on the connection with our partners (and/ or ourselves!) and the pleasure we are receiving.

Try This At Home:

Find a quiet time when you will have 10 minutes without interruption.

Stand in front of a full-length mirror. The goal is to be naked during this exercise, but this may not be possible for some people. Feel free, when you’re starting out, to complete this exercise fully clothed or in your bra and underwear.

Slowly, beginning at your feet, scan your body with your eyes.

As you study your body, resist the urge to make any negative judgments.

Then identify things that you like about your body. This may be very difficult when you first try this exercise, but it will get easier with time.

*Positive thoughts about your body can be anything: your skin tone, your freckles, the curve of your back.

Use the full ten minutes if you can, taking time to express gratitude for your body and all it has done for you.

I recommend practicing this every day, but you can start out a few times a week and work your way up to daily practice.

For further information or sex, relationships or body image feel free to contact me through my website.

 

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While a heart attack affects men and women in the same way, they experience the symptoms differently. Experts at St. Elizabeth Healthcare explain the key symptoms a woman should take to heart.

 

The pressure between her shoulder blades would not let up. And when Karen Lugo, who is always cold, started sweating, her son called 911.

“I had no idea that I was having a heart attack,” said Karen.  She’s young (just 54), in good shape, and had no cardiac history. “I never had chest pain. My arm didn’t hurt.” No sharp shooting pains, just pressure. “Everybody who knows me, knows my family, was pretty shocked.” Neither of her parents had heart problems. She was fatigued and her stomach was upset, but she thought that might be the flu.

“Since I had my heart attack, I’ve had the symptoms printed up.” And, she’s eager to tell women that the symptoms for women are different than those experienced by men.

Unexplained feelings of nervousness and anxiety.  Tingling in hands and arms. Headaches. Pain in the jaw or neck, shortness of breath, nausea. Or, breaking out in a cold sweat.  They are all on her list and the list of the American Heart Association.

“And I tell everybody to quit smoking…I’d already started quitting” before the heart attack, Karen said. Since: no more cigarettes. Within an hour of her arrival in the St. Elizabeth Hospital emergency room, Dr. Daniel Courtade, a cardiologist with St. Elizabeth Physicians, put a stent in one of her arteries.

“Luckily,” said Karen, “it was one of the smaller ones.” But it was completely clogged. Two weeks later, Karen was back at work as a quality technician for a local factory.

There are no restrictions on what she can do and that means the world to Karen, who can run and play ball with her four grandchildren, ages 16 months to 13 years. “I enjoy my grandkids. They keep me young.”

If you believe you are having a heart attack, call 911 or have someone drive you to the emergency room right away – do not drive yourself.

To learn more about heart health and the simple steps you can take to get to a healthier lifestyle, click here to register for Women Take Heart: Wine and Watercolor, a fun social and educational event for women offered by St. Elizabeth Healthcare. Call (859) 301-9355 for more information.

Editor’s Note: This is a special advertising supplement, paid for by St. Elizabeth Healthcare.

 

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Ready to get your SWERK on? Keep reading to learn more about this fun, innovative dance craze that’s making its way to the Tri-State!

 

SWERK is a new fitness routine that helps you shed weight while having fun.

Rachel Vickhouse and Chelsea Mozel were searching for a way to get back to their pre-baby shape after kids. As avid hip hop lovers, they didn’t just want to get fit again, they wanted to make it fun. So they launched SWERK, a newest dance fitness routine.

“Our upbeat routines are paired with the hottest pop and hip hop songs to make you sweat, work, and twerk your way to weight loss and toned bodies,” says Mozel. “SWERK focuses on slimming your core and rounding your glutes while building your confidence and self-esteem!”

The two were inspired to launch SWERK through their love of dance and hip hop music. “We channeled our inner college club nights and feelings of letting loose and really getting down in a format that is easy and fun to follow,” explains Vickhouse.

The routines include a hint of high intensity interval training that’s developed into the playlists they use in order to help maximize your workout experience and burn calories.

SWERK isn’t just any group fitness class, the duo says, adding that it is an experience. “It’s an hour of kid-free, judgement-free, me time while reliving the glory days,” says Mozel. “We pride ourselves on providing an environment that will make you feel good about working out, and make you excited to keep doing it!”

The two say their ultimate goal is to help you build your confidence while building and shaping your booty as well.

SWERK classes vary by price depending on where you are attending, with most drop-in rates ranging between $5 and $10. To sign up or find a class near you, visit www.sweatworktwerk.com.

When you attend a SWERK class, you’ll sweat, laugh, and shake things you’ve never shaken before. Vickhouse says that students will get a high cardio workout without realizing how many calories they burn. She also prides SWERK as a place where everyone is welcome. “You will never feel out of place and you will make new friends,” she says. “It’s honestly booty-ful!”

SWERK is currently located in six different cities around the Dayton and Cincinnati areas, with the main hub being located at MVP Dance Fit in Kettering.

Vickhouse and Mozel hope to continue expanding SWERK throughout 2017. They’re currently certifying new instructors in order to offer SWERK at gyms, studios, events, and fundraisers throughout the area. “We are working hard to build our SWERK Squad so we can deliver the exact same sweaty, awesome experience all over the world,” says Mozel.

You can learn more about SWERK on their website or by checking them out on Facebook. Interested in learning more about SWERK or ready to start building booties in your town? Send Vickhouse and Mozel an email at swerk@sweatworktwerk.com.

 

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Learn about a new play cafe soon coming to downtown Cincinnati that will teach your kiddos how to live healthier while having fun.

 

Wish there was a place for your kids to play and learn about being healthy? Then your wish has been granted: Green Elephant, a soon-to-open café and indoor play place for children, is set to launch in 2018 in downtown Cincinnati.

“My mission is to bring play time back to its natural state by combining wholesome foods and organic play in a relaxing atmosphere that parents and children can enjoy together. We will focus on green living, minimizing the use of plastics and chemicals,” says Renee Laguna, founder of Green Elephant. “Green Elephant will include an indoor play area, a café that serves fresh, organic baked items from Nay Mama’s Sweet Treats, natural and healthy foods from other local eateries and retail items related to natural food and parenting sourced from local and global natural retailers.”

The “green” part of the business name comes from experiencing her son be diagnosed with ADHD in 2010 was prescribed narcotic medicine. “After researching the harsh side effects of this medication and the causes of ADHD, I found that many childhood ailments, including ADHD, were linked to preservatives, artificial colorings, flavorings, and other chemicals that are found in the foods they eat, as well as many childhood toys,” Laguna says. “From then on, it became my mission to change the foods that I was putting into my son and to change the toys that were brought into our home. As I began seeing the benefits that these changes were having on him, I wanted to be able to offer healthy foods and treats, as well as healthy play to other children as well.”

Also, Laguna says, an elephant is a symbol of her business. “Elephants are such smart, strong and loving creatures. I love them so much that I had an elephant tattooed on my upper arm, so it was natural for me to use elephant in my business name,” says Laguna. “The green part is simply that. My company is focused on providing clean, green play; straying away from plastics and chemicals, things that can harm our children as well as Mother Nature.”

Laguna says she will bring her love and experience with kids to Green Elephants. “I have been a preschool teacher and a nanny for many years. Helping to shape the lives of kids makes me happy,” she says.

Success, for Laguna, is seeing the joy in the children with which she comes in contact. “[I love] seeing them have fun in a place that going to add more chemicals to their little bodies, seeing them enjoy foods and treats that are good for them,” Laguna says. “It’s also seeing moms, dads and other caregivers breathe a little easier, knowing that their loved ones are a little safer.”

She also loves to plan. “I can hardly wait until I see all my dreams actually functioning fully,” she says.

To stay updated, and learn more about Green Elephant, visit them on Facebook.

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Ready to change your life for the better? A local gym is focused on inspiring a positive lifestyle change while you work on your fitness.

 

Transform U Fitness inspires you to change your lifestyle for the better through group and semi-private training.

Mike Seta has spent the last decade building an understanding and love for the fitness industry.

“Healthy living has always been exceedingly important to me personally,” he says.

That’s why he launched Transform U Fitness, a gym that aims to create an environment of acceptance and encouragement. “I want our clients to come into Transform U Fitness and feel understood and supported so they feel prepared to run confidently toward their goals,” he says.

Seta says that launching Transform U Fitness has not only allowed him to share his knowledge of health and fitness with clients, but it has allowed him to take his passion to the next level and pursue his calling as both an instructor and a motivator.

“My main focus is inspiring a positive lifestyle change in my clients and working with them to develop real world skills to sustain their success, whether it be in body building, weight loss, or overall health,” he says. “I love what I do and I feel grateful to be in a profession that allows me to help people on their journey toward fitness and strength.”

At Transform U Fitness, clients can choose from team training and semi-private personal training.

Team training is ideal for clients who have always wanted their own personal trainer but didn’t want to have to confront the costs of it. The fitness program at Transform U can be adapted to all shapes, sizes, and fitness levels. “By delivering our distinctive personal training program in a group, we help our clients do complete transformations ranging from weight loss to wedding day makeovers,” says Seta.

If you’re looking for a more personal approach to your fitness regimen, you may want to consider the semi-private training sessions. These 60-minute sessions are built custom to fit each individual’s needs. “You will get a program created for your personal goals while training within a small group of 1-3 clients,” says Seta. “By training with a friend or in a group, you will push and motivate each other to get the most out of each quality workout, plus you’ll have lots of fun!”

For those who are dedicated to changing their lifestyle and fitness, Transform U Fitness offers a free 14-day trial, which you can sign up for here. According to Seta, the program includes personal training and help with accountability, daily nutrition guidance, goal setting, measurement racking, and overall lifestyle changing.

To learn more about Transform U Fitness, visit http://www.transformufitness.com/. You can also like them on Facebook.

 

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Helping with everything from stress relief to allergies, a new massage and salt therapy center is here to serve you. Click for more details.

 

Sweet Serenity Massage and Salt Therapy aims to de-stress you with spa services.

Do you want to find a place to relax in the midst of the everyday stress of life? Sweet Serenity Massage and Salt Therapy, celebrated a grand opening was on April 6, at their new location in Florence. Fran Hasekoester, licensed Massage Therapist, and her husband brought her vision for the business to life in just two months. “My husband was my contractor and he did an amazing job bringing my dream to life,” she says.

Hasekoester’s inspiration behind starting the salt room is family. “I have some family members who have health issues, which could be helped by salt therapy – also called Halotherapy,” Hasekoester says. “By bringing this amazing treatment to the area, I will be able to help my family members, as well as other people in this area with various health issues.” She named the business Sweet Serenity because it reflects the way she wants her customers to feel when they leave her facility.

Sweet Serenity Massage and Salt Therapy is located in Florence, Kentucky.

The salt rooms replicate the environment of a salt cave. “A Halogenerator crushes warm pharmaceutical salt into fine microscopic particles that are diffused into the air. Individuals relax in the room and breathe in the salty air, much like sitting on the beach,” she says. “When it enters the respiratory tract, it helps to break down the mucus and eliminate toxins. Salt has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties.” Salt therapy is able to help people who are suffering from sinus congestion, allergies, bronchitis, asthma, as well as the early stages of COPD and children with cystic fibrosis. “It is also helpful for skin conditions, such as eczema, dermatitis, acne, and psoriasis. “Salt therapy is safe for both children and adults,” Hasekoester says.

Along with salt therapy, they offer massage services, which include: therapeutic, hot stone, bamboo, and prenatal massage. There is also a cold stone massage offered, which focuses on the sinus congestion and migraines. “This service, when combined with a salt room visit, provides exceptional relief from the sinus congestion and headaches that affect many of us,” she says. Sweet Serenity offers packages that make the services affordable for all their clients. Hasekoester is currently the only full-time therapist there, but Regina Bach is available by scheduling an appointment. “I am currently looking for additional therapists to join me,” she says.

Hasekoester is excited and nervous about starting her new business venture. “My goal is to create an environment of relaxation and serenity. I want it to be a place which provides my clients with a method to relieve their stress and anxiety,” she says. “My slogan is ‘A way to good health and wellness.’”

Sweet Serenity Massage and Salt Therapy is located at 9910 C. Berberich Drive in Florence. To learn more, visit https://www.sweetserenitysalt.com.

 

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A new Beyoncé-inspired exercise concept is dancing its way into Cincinnati soon. Keep reading to learn more about it.

 

Beyfit is a pop-up workout event being held at Mt. Healthy City Park April 22.

Do you love Beyoncé and want to get a great workout? Beyfit is a pop up workout event that started in Columbus, Ohio. “We pop up in different parks in Columbus,” Victoria Strickland, co-founder of Beyfit. However, Beyfit will be leading their first workout in Cincinnati.  “Our first Cincinnati Beyfit is in City Park, Mount Healthy on April 22,” she says. The events are fun, energetic, inclusive workouts all to the beat of Beyoncé. “Beyfit is an unintimidating collaborative, supportive space in your individual fitness goals and wellness – because everyone there just wants you to slay all day to the fullest,” Strickland says.

Beyfit is for everyone. “We have men and women, we have parents, grandparents and children, we have college students and high school students, we have adults and teens, we have all shapes, sizes, fitness levels and goals all in one space that just want to have fun working out,” she says. “So the audience is if you can get there, we want you there.”

Our workouts are all HIIT style, but specifically we have a Boot(y), No. 1 HIITS workout, hip hop dance, full body cardio workout. “We even get upper body into it in some of our workouts, and once a year, we host a NamaSlay Yoga + Brunch workout,” Stickland says. “Fitness can be overwhelming and intimidating, so we try to incorporate different workouts that are adaptable to your fitness level and what you want to get out of it, but that also encourages you to push yourself and be strong and fierce.”

The inspiration behind starting the event was channeling the inspiration you feel listening to Beyoncé and give people a safe place to have a workout. “It is about the inner Beyoncé meeting the outer Sasha Fierce-it’s about feeling strong and like you can do anything because you can. Beyoncé isn’t the only one who can get in formation, we all can and we wanted to create a space that mimics all of that,” she says. “Plus we love working out and what’s even better is with friends and one of those friends happens to be Beyoncé.”

Beyfit isn’t about the amount of people that come, it’s about having fun, having a good workout, and having people feel good afterwards. “Smiles are success. Laughter is success. If you stayed the whole workout whether you did the moves I gave you to adjust – you stayed and moved your body – that’s success,” Strickland says. “People could be anywhere in the world, but choose to spend an hour of their morning or afternoon with us- that’s success.”

If you want to learn more about what Beyfit is doing, check out their Facebook and Instagram.

 

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A local yoga studio specializes in helping people feel better - body and mind - through five unique types of yoga classes.

 

Sharon Byrnes, Owner of The Yoga Groove (left).

Want a yoga studio that’ll help you find your groove? The Yoga Groove may be just the place you’re looking for.

“The goal of Gentle/Therapeutic yoga is to educate and empower people to help – even heal – themselves through optimal self-care,” Sharon Byrnes, owner of The Yoga Groove says. “Some students prefer private sessions tailored specifically to their needs or goals.”

Byrnes says they’ve been helping clients for nearly three years now, and that’s cause for celebration. “Our third year anniversary is set for July 15,” she says. “Our celebration includes free classes followed by speaker, Patricia Faust titled ‘My Boomer Brain.’ Other students benefit from one to three group classes per week. Still others do both private and group classes.“

There are a variety of different types of yoga that The Yoga Groove:

  • Gentle Yoga Flow: For people at the beginner and intermediate level.
  • Chair Assisted Yoga: For people who have knee, shoulder, or joint problems.
  • Curvy Fit 3D: Utilizes interval training modified to fit each individual.
  • Adaptive Yoga: Classes through LADD (Living Arrangements for the Developmentally Disabled)
  • Private Classes: May be scheduled 6 days a week with one Sunday workshop each month

The business started because of the students she taught at the Body of Eden Healing Center in Eden Park. “This location provided space for private sessions, but it could not accommodate group classes nor the workshops I was passionate about,” she says.

Byrnes has past work experience that has helped her learn about sales, marketing and sales management as well. Additionally, she is a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapy, as well as being a teacher at Svastha Yoga Therapy. “Svastha is an international school of yoga from the lineage of Krishnamcharia and we have members in 13 countries,” she says.

Being involved with these yoga organizations allows her to have a strong network. “All those hats must be worn simultaneously as a studio owner and yoga teacher.

For Byrnes, this is her dream job. “I get to meet interesting people who wish to learn yoga or to use yogic practices for their optimal self-care,” Byrnes says. What could feel better or be better than that?” Her favorite part of working at The Yoga Groove is “helping people to not only feel better in their body, but to feel successful and fulfilled, mentally and spiritually,” she says.

The Yoga Groove is located in the Lunken Executive Building at 4242 Airport Road, Cincinnati, Ohio. To learn more, visit www.theyogagroove.com, email Sharon Byrnes at Sharon@theyogagroove.com, or call 513-658-1952.