September is a month of new beginnings, and for many that could mean picking up a new hobby or exercise routine. We recently spoke with Alix Rodrigues, the owner of Green Room Yoga, who’s been teaching yoga for over fifteen years. Alix has a passion for anatomy and the form and function of the body, and it is deeply reflected in her teaching. Her focus is to educate her students, empowering them to stand with awareness and move with integrity, not just physically but mentally as well. “This all started at my home in 2004, and then in 2008 I got pregnant and it was obvious I could not teach in my home anymore,” Alix tells us. “Two months before having my (baby), I opened a studio in the 2500 block, where there is now a community garden.” “The studio is the same age as my daughter,” Alix laughs. “It seemed like a crazy thing to do, open a studio and have a baby at the same time, but I have 5 teachers who work here and they are fantastic.” For Alix, Yoga is something truly personal, and she says it helps her feel like a nicer person. “I like that it allows me to be in my own little happy place,” she says. “As a teacher, I like sending that out into the world. One thing that I really love about this studio is that it’s community. I want my students to be able to just walk or ride their bike to class. My whole thing is that it’s a community building endeavour; we all want to support the community. I have an amazing collection of people who come here, and they all live in the neighbourhood. We have a very low turnover, people come and they stay here. I have the same students from when I used to teach from home. Our studio is all referral and word of mouth. We do not advertise; we have put out a flyer, but we find that it doesn’t explain what the studio is really like. At the end of the day we’re just here to become better people.” “The yoga that we teach here is about learning self-care,” Alix says. “We’re a small studio so there is a lot of individual attention. We max our classes at 10-12 people, so they get that attention. Some people just like to come so they can come and relax once a week, but others come because they have long term issues that they would like addressed. We have yoga therapists here, and we can bring multiple things to the students to support them. Yoga is not a workout, for me it’s a way of life and that’s what I want to explain to the students too. So we can learn and grow together.” When we ask Alix about the neighborhood, she’s not short on praise. “When I was looking for spaces for my studio originally I knew I needed a location that I could just walk to,” she says. “I already walk to the grocery store, to the bank. Everything I do is on Hastings. I have lived in this area since I turned 28 and now I am turning 50. I moved to Vancouver and moved into this neighbourhood. There has been lots of change of course, but I love everything. I love that you can stay and everything in this neighbourhood – eat, and shop. I also try to hire teachers that are close to the area, so they have the option to bike or walk. I just want everyone to be connected. It’s like a footprint.” For schedule and class information, stay connected with Green Room Yoga through their website, and on Facebook.