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Community Spirit: The Apollo Beach Community Welcomes Shore Bliss Yoga | Community Spirit

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Community Spirit: The Apollo Beach Community Welcomes Shore Bliss Yoga
Community Spirit: The Apollo Beach Community Welcomes Shore Bliss Yoga

Located in Apollo Beach, it can be said that Shore Bliss Yoga is in its third reincarnation. Originally Apollo Beach Yoga (2009) and New Thought Yoga (2011), Shore Bliss Yoga was officially opened by Sarah Gauta and Lynne Houshmand this past January. For students and teachers who’ve been at this location since the beginning, they are proud at the way in which the studio has evolved both visually and with its diverse class offerings. While many yoga studios offer a particular family of yoga, Shore Bliss has everything from Vinyasa (Power) and Restorative Yoga to Pre-Natal and Yin Yoga as well as Pilates.

In an interview with Sarah Gauta and Lynne Houshmand, we learned about their vision for the center.

Q: Can you tell people how the two of you came to co-own Shore Bliss Yoga, and what are your hopes for the center?

Sarah: Lynne and I had both been teaching at the studio and in the South Shore area for several years. When we heard this studio was for sale, we felt it had tremendous potential. We decided to partner together on the venture, hoping that having two people at the helm who have the time and desire to dedicate themselves to the studio would help see it to its potential. 

Our vision is for the studio to continue to grow slowly along with the surrounding community; we want to hold a space for the community to practice yoga in a beautiful, serene atmosphere with experienced, caring teachers. We want to provide people with the opportunity to experience the myriad transformational benefits of yoga in a place they can call “home.”

Q: What makes Shore Bliss so Unique?

Sarah: Shore Bliss creates an energy that feels comfortable and warm, and it offers a wide range of classes to suit all levels of experience. Many styles and traditions are represented, and we are seeing an increase in the number of people brand new to yoga thanks to our comprehensive Intro to Yoga Series, a wonderful offering that helps people feel more comfortable and less intimidated with their first studio experience. 

Our monthly Restorative Yoga Feature Class is a unique offering that provides people with an opportunity to invite deep rest and healing into their bodies and minds; each class is tied together with a particular theme. And one of our most unique offerings is our Yoga of Eating & Living class, which offers people the chance to take yoga off their mats and into their daily lives in regards to how they nourish themselves overall. This class isn't just about what to eat and what not to eat; it is about learning how to tune into our own inner wisdom and discover what foods are right for us individually, how to de-mystify the mixed messages of the diet and weight loss industries, how to learn what we're truly hungry for when we feel the urge to eat. This class is chock-full of valuable information, and conducted in a group format it has the amazing ability to transform lives.

Q: What many yoga practitioners appreciate is tying their own spiritual beliefs to their practice. What advice can you give for people who may be interested in learning yoga, but may feel a little intimidated with how it may or may not conflict with their own beliefs?

Lynne: Yoga has given me a heightened sense of connectedness; connectedness to myself, our world, the universe, my Creator. This is expressed through one of my favorite poses, Tree pose. The beautiful expression of this pose has one firmly rooted to the earth, while ever reaching and expanding upward to the heavens. The teaching and practice of yoga is that of self-realization. Becoming truly aware of the Self: physically, emotionally, spiritually and energetically.

Many people start with the physical practice, and often this leads to a natural progression into other areas. It is important to understand that Yoga was always intended to be an individual practice ... even in a group setting, it is an individual experience. As such, students are not obligated to do anything that does not resonate with their individual practice. My recommendation for new students is to visit their local studio to determine what programs are offered there, and determine if the studio fits with their belief/philosophy. It is also helpful to take an introductory class to be informed regarding what to expect in classes. 

Q: How has your yoga practice affected your life for the better?

Lynne: Regularly practicing yoga has – of course – strengthened and toned my body; but beyond that, it has given me a sense of awareness that has really let me take better control of my life, which has led to a higher level of balance and wellness physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Sarah: Yoga has provided me with new levels of strength and confidence I didn't know I had. I grew up shy, overweight and very self-conscious. Even in my twenties I felt big and awkward in the fitness classes at my gym, like I couldn't keep up and didn't belong. But when I tried the yoga class and the teacher wasn't shouting instructions or yelling at us to push harder ... when she was calmly encouraging us to experience the practice from within, my size and physical condition suddenly didn't matter. I remember my body finding its way into Warrior II pose and connecting with a source of strength and power I'd never felt. Now, the girl who always thought she wasn't "good enough" loves to be in front of a group of people, guiding them through this amazing practice.

Shore Bliss Yoga is located at 118 Flamingo Dr., Apollo Beach, FL 33572

Learn more about Shore Bliss at ShoreBlissYoga.com.

Note: This article is re-printed with permission of BirdlandMediaWorks.com.



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