Yoga studio offers calm in the storm
Story and photos by Megan Neary
Step through the silky curtain that hangs in Practical Wellness and enter a different world. Here, the lights are dim, the noise from the street is gone, and calming music fills the air. On the floor students lay on yoga mats and breathe deeply — in and out, in and out — while Shannon Jacobs reads to them in her soft, soothing voice. She tells them “the best is yet to come,” she tells them to “cherish the moments, all of them,” and she tells them, “We are balanced, aligned and whole.”
Jacobs is an instructor of yoga and meditation and the owner of Practical Wellness in Washington Court House, which will soon be re-branded Indigo Roots. The business offers a range of yoga classes, workshops dedicated to a variety of mindfulness, health and wellness topics and holistic therapies. It is also home to a small boutique that sells everything from essential oils to jewelry to yoga accessories and apparel.
“We’re, I think, the only yoga studio in Fayette County,” said Jacobs.
She didn’t always intend to open a yoga study. In fact, when Practical Wellness first opened, it was exclusively focused on teaching meditation. But many clients expressed an interest in learning yoga, so Jacobs earned a certification and started teaching. Today, she is one of four instructors at the studio, which now offers nine classes per week.
Jacobs became interested in meditation after the birth of her second child. She was looking for something to help relieve stress and give her a feeling of being grounded. So, she taught herself to meditate then founded a meditation group at her church. When the group met for the first time, the other attendees turned to Jacobs for guidance in learning how to meditate, and she found she enjoyed the teaching experience. After that, she said, “Everything started falling into place,” and Jacobs opened Practical Wellness in March 2015.
She remembers her husband warning her the idea might not work, but “it’s grown so much that I’m shocked. I hope we continue to help as many people in the community as we can.”
Jacobs said her main goal is “to help people find wellness and balance in their lives.” She said her students have seen the benefits of yoga and meditation in many facets of their lives.
“They feel a lot better not only physically, but mentally,” she said, explaining many attend classes weekly or more frequently. Jacobs said they have told her, “I wouldn’t come back if it wasn’t working.”
According to Jacobs, one of the key benefits of yoga, meditation and holistic therapy is they help relieve stress.
“Everyone is stressed out nowadays, so I’m trying to help people find different coping mechanisms,” she said. She hopes to “help people grow,” “find peace in their lives” and “find balance.”
“(Yoga is) so much more than just exercise. … It’s really a way of life,” she said, explaining it’s about “joining together your body, mind and spirit.”
“It’s really about being who you are and how you want to be in the world,” she said.
Practical Wellness offers a variety of classes for a variety of abilities, including gentle classes, chair yoga classes and children’s groups.
Jacobs, who is originally from New Holland, said she is proud to be a part of the Fayette County community. In 2016, she was recognized with an Innovation Award from the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce. In 2017, she won a Small Business Award.
“I’m trying to continually keep learning so I can keep deepening the practice for others,” said Jacobs. “We just try to offer something that everyone can like or can learn from.”
Jacobs’ passion is evident as her voice lights up when she speaks on helping others.
“I love what I do, and I love getting to help people,” she said. “It’s the coolest job ever.”
Downtown Washington Court House
• Grand opening Oct. 13 to celebrate its re-branding as Indigo Roots. With all-day open house, free classes, mini wellness market, refreshments.
• Jones works with Fayette County Memorial Hospital’s Foundation to offer free yoga classes and meditation sessions for those with breast cancer or survivors. She often speaks in the community. For details, call Jacobs at 740-572-0629.