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Family pet inspiration behind business


NORTH SYDNEY — If you're feeling down or stressed, watch one of our canine friends.

A little downward facing dog might provide just the relief you need.

Dogs are the ultimate yogis who for the most part live in the moment, know how to stretch and never hold a grudge.

Buddy, a 12-year-old Yellow Lab is the inspiration behind Yellow Dog Yoga Studio, 258 Commercial Street  in North Sydney.

“He is a rescue dog that came to us in 2005,” said studio owner Sherry Finney. “Buddy is a pretty special dog and we wouldn’t trade him for the world. Pretty much everything you need to know about living, you can learn from watching dogs.”

Finney, her daughter Megan Finney and Geri Pero-Fraser are all certified yoga teachers.

"Geri was giving yoga classes in a space in the back of our store Escape Outdoors, just a few blocks down the street," Finney explained. "She offered one night with a maximum of 10 people and that filled up in 30 minutes. By the next morning there were three classes and by the end of the week there were classes four days a week. It was obvious people wanted yoga classes."

During the time that Finney and her daughter were doing their training, the decision was made to renovate a space the Finneys own that had been formerly occupied by Ollie Around Skate Snow Surf Shop, which is now located in Sydney River.

"The interest continued to grow, we had this empty space down the street that seemed ideal for a yoga studio and it has worked out very well," Finney said. "We  renovated the space; fortunately the work was mostly cosmetic. The studio is an open concept and and classes are going really well."

She added that yoga is for people of all ages and that the classes offered at Yellow Dog studio are co-ed.

"Along with regular yoga classes, we offer gentle yoga classes. I find that once people start doing yoga, it isn't long before they move on," said registered yoga teacher Geri-Pero-Fraser. "There are no limitations; the more you practice yoga, the more it becomes a part of  you."

Pero-Fraser added that an important part of yoga is teaching people to breath properly, and to move with their breath.

"Something we tell our students is when you feel you've gone as far as you can go, you will go further - there's always a step beyond in yoga," Pero-Fraser said. "There is no ego on the mat.  Your practice is unique to you and you alone."

All three yoga teachers are quick to stress that yoga is not about weight loss.

"We invite anyone interested to come and try a class," Finney said. "Everyone can do yoga to a certain degree.  It is about living in the moment. Don't worry what happened yesterday or what may or may not happen tomorrow; yoga teaches you how to better cope with life."

As yoga teachers, they believe in the importance of giving back to the community.

To that end, this  year's black light yoga event in May was in support of Feed Nova Scotia and attracted 55 participants. Plans are in the works for an event this fall in support of health care.

On Sept.  21 at 9:30 a.m., Yellow Dog studio will open its doors to yogis setting intentions by performing 108 sun salutations. This event coincides with Yoga Malas taking place around the world in support of global peace.

"Along with helping people live healthy, our goal is to be more than a yoga studio. So when we can, we will open our space to other events," Finney said.

Visit www.yellowdogyogastudio.wordpress.com for information on class schedules.

jcollins@cbpost.com

A little downward facing dog might provide just the relief you need.

Dogs are the ultimate yogis who for the most part live in the moment, know how to stretch and never hold a grudge.

Buddy, a 12-year-old Yellow Lab is the inspiration behind Yellow Dog Yoga Studio, 258 Commercial Street  in North Sydney.

“He is a rescue dog that came to us in 2005,” said studio owner Sherry Finney. “Buddy is a pretty special dog and we wouldn’t trade him for the world. Pretty much everything you need to know about living, you can learn from watching dogs.”

Finney, her daughter Megan Finney and Geri Pero-Fraser are all certified yoga teachers.

"Geri was giving yoga classes in a space in the back of our store Escape Outdoors, just a few blocks down the street," Finney explained. "She offered one night with a maximum of 10 people and that filled up in 30 minutes. By the next morning there were three classes and by the end of the week there were classes four days a week. It was obvious people wanted yoga classes."

During the time that Finney and her daughter were doing their training, the decision was made to renovate a space the Finneys own that had been formerly occupied by Ollie Around Skate Snow Surf Shop, which is now located in Sydney River.

"The interest continued to grow, we had this empty space down the street that seemed ideal for a yoga studio and it has worked out very well," Finney said. "We  renovated the space; fortunately the work was mostly cosmetic. The studio is an open concept and and classes are going really well."

She added that yoga is for people of all ages and that the classes offered at Yellow Dog studio are co-ed.

"Along with regular yoga classes, we offer gentle yoga classes. I find that once people start doing yoga, it isn't long before they move on," said registered yoga teacher Geri-Pero-Fraser. "There are no limitations; the more you practice yoga, the more it becomes a part of  you."

Pero-Fraser added that an important part of yoga is teaching people to breath properly, and to move with their breath.

"Something we tell our students is when you feel you've gone as far as you can go, you will go further - there's always a step beyond in yoga," Pero-Fraser said. "There is no ego on the mat.  Your practice is unique to you and you alone."

All three yoga teachers are quick to stress that yoga is not about weight loss.

"We invite anyone interested to come and try a class," Finney said. "Everyone can do yoga to a certain degree.  It is about living in the moment. Don't worry what happened yesterday or what may or may not happen tomorrow; yoga teaches you how to better cope with life."

As yoga teachers, they believe in the importance of giving back to the community.

To that end, this  year's black light yoga event in May was in support of Feed Nova Scotia and attracted 55 participants. Plans are in the works for an event this fall in support of health care.

On Sept.  21 at 9:30 a.m., Yellow Dog studio will open its doors to yogis setting intentions by performing 108 sun salutations. This event coincides with Yoga Malas taking place around the world in support of global peace.

"Along with helping people live healthy, our goal is to be more than a yoga studio. So when we can, we will open our space to other events," Finney said.

Visit www.yellowdogyogastudio.wordpress.com for information on class schedules.

jcollins@cbpost.com

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