A new stretch for Dawson yogis

Meg Walker Special to the News Fitness options in Dawson City have long included yoga classes, but as of this month, the town has its first yoga-dedicated space. 

Meg Walker

Special to the News

Fitness options in Dawson City have long included yoga classes, but as of this month, the town has its first yoga-dedicated space. Soulstice Yoga Studio opened on Sunday, May 8. About 30 visitors came by the modest-sized space to enjoy snacks, ask questions about class levels, and join a free 20-minute hatha yoga session.

The enterprise came together very quickly, says owner Sandy McClintock. From October to April, she and three others were taking a yoga instructor class with Joanne Van Nostrand, one of Dawson’s longtime yoga teachers.

“The business plan began because the four of us were graduating and none of us had anywhere to work. And we all wanted to continue teaching,” McClintock says. “So we had to come up with a plan as to where we were going to go come April after the school was done.”

McClintock took on the task of finding a suitable location. Dawson has a notoriously tight residential rental market, but some commercial places have been empty for years. One was the storefront side of the Aurora Office’s two-part retail space on Second Avenue. It was unrented from November 2013 until April 10 this year, when McClintock and her team moved in.

Until now, yoga classes in Dawson have been taught at the Downtown Hotel, the Yukon School of Visual Arts, the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture and the Alchemy Cafe, to name a few places. The advantage to gathering in one location is that classes can be scheduled without competition from other rental needs.

Soulstice started with seven instructors who have taken yoga teacher training through Van Nostrand’s Midnight Sun Yoga Studio (a business since 2008 that holds classes locally but does not have a proprietary space). McClintock began contacting other yoga instructors in town to see if they’d like to use the studio. Then more people began phoning her to describe their credentials.

“We’re slowly bringing everybody into the one space,” McClintock explains. “Different teachers mean different styles and different types of yoga. I like that everybody’s all together.”

A registered massage therapist, McClintock has been running her own massage and rehabilitation practice since 1998, frequently as the only RMT in town. She co-owns Pan of Gold, a pizza and sub restaurant with her husband (since 2013) and now owns Soulstice, where she also teaches.

“In the massage place, I teach rehab almost every single day,” McClintock notes. “In the last five years at least, when I teach rehab in the massage place, I will teach a flow sort of series, because it’s easier for people to repeat that than a series of single movements.”

There’s a tie-in to her personal health, too. “I run a lot, but I admittedly am terrible at going home and doing stretches. So a few years ago I would leave work, go out for my run and then run straight to the Downtown and take a yoga class. That was the perfect way to make sure I did proper stretching.

“So it seemed like a logical transition. I do yoga, I could teach people yoga, it would be a perfect additive. But I didn’t know how. So I decided to take the course. And it’s been awesome.”

For now, teachers at Soulstice have offered to waive their income until rent is covered. “I didn’t go into the business expecting that by any means,” McClintock says. “It was a voluntary thing from their side, and I’m grateful.”

In these early days, studio details are available only online, through a Facebook page. It’s co-administered by Krissy Fraughton, another newly-minted yoga instructor from Van Nostrand’s winter course.

“I am more than happy to work for free,” Fraughton states, pointing out that McClintock covers any shortfall on rent and all the other expenses of running a business.

“Yoga is a passion of mine and has helped me recover from a serious back injury almost 15 years ago,” Fraughton says. “Going to classes previously helped my injury, but I would still feel aches and pains. My back has not hurt since starting the program last October.”

Fraughton’s enthusiasm is measurable: she teaches three 6 a.m. classes a week at the studio.

“I really want the studio to be successful, Sandy’s success is all of our success, teachers and students alike. I just feel grateful that we have this wonderful space solely dedicated to yoga where everyone is welcome.”

Meg Walker is a freelance writer based in Dawson City.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fourth person recovers from COVID-19

No new cases in the territory.

Wyatt’s World

John Hopkins-Hill News Reporter… Continue reading

New measures make previous COVID-19 orders enforceable

Violators could face a fine, up to six months in jail or both

Owner of Whitehorse home targeted in police raid wants more communication between cops, landlords

Marie-Pierre Leblanc Demers is the owner of 5051 Fifth Ave. in downtown Whitehorse

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World

Carcross/Tagish First Nation postpones general election

Carcross/Tagish First Nation has postponed its general election for chief until further… Continue reading

Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in postpones election of chief

Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in has postponed its election for chief after all three candidates… Continue reading

Organizers continue to plan for Reckless Raven

Significant changes or eventual cancellation not ruled out

City readies for another food truck season

Physical distance will be encouraged

Comprehensive Review of HSS report extended 30 days

The Yukon government has given the independent expert panel, charged with the… Continue reading

Yukon government announces supports for businesses forced to cancel events, clarifies precautions for mining industry

Temporary funding program passed to help businesses and NGOs who lost money on cancelled events.

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week. Formalizing… Continue reading

Air North not informed by officials of COVID-19 case, president says

Joe Sparling says Air North learned via social media that passenger on flight had COVID-19

Most Read