One day a few months ago, Wishing Tree Studio co-owners Jo Temte and Kelly Scholz sauntered out of the now closed yoga studio, The Inspired Mat, LLC, gazing at their own new location across the street.
In front of the 121 N. Main St. building was a tree, the co-owners noticed, which helped them not only name their new yoga studio, but shape its mission of community and connection.
Scholz told the Observer that wishing trees are found in various cultures across the world. The concept, she said, is to write a wish or an intention onto a ribbon and tie it to one of the tree’s branches.
“When the ribbon disintegrates and floats off, your wish has been heard by the universe,” Scholz said.
That’s how the co-owners want yogi’s who take classes at Wishing Tree Studio to feel, Temte said – like their well-being intentions are being heard by those around them.
People crave connection nowadays, Scholz concurred, and Wishing Tree Studio is a place for people to get to know one another, in addition to practicing yoga and meditation.
Eventually, the studio will offer Reiki energy therapy healing sessions, Scholz said. She said Reiki is a form of alternative medicine that uses light touch on areas of the body that might need a boost of positive energy, encouraging physical and mental well-being.
“When the dust settles, I’ll be offering Reiki classes (for clients to) practice on themselves,” she said.
Temte said the studio will also hold puppy yoga sessions every few months as a part of its partnership with The Puppy Den in Fitchburg. Next summer, a farmer in Brooklyn will help the studio hold goat yoga classes.
An oil diffuser fills the space’s entrance room with the aroma of patchouli as clients flock to the studio Thursday, Nov. 7, for an afternoon yoga session. As they enter, to their left is a small changing room with a curtain and a white, stylish ottoman and Wishing Tree Studio merchandise. To the right sits a desk and a couch near the window with a coffee table. On the table is a pitcher and tea cups.
The co-owners said the building had been transformed from its former pool and landscaping company, Recreational Concepts, identity — the company operated in Oregon for around 15 years before closing.
Through some white sliding doors with windows is now a spacious and open studio where the yogis start to gather. An instructor closes the doors once they are set up with their mats and blocks and in a soothing voice, tells yogis to let go of their days troubles and to focus only on their breathing.
Before the class began, Scholz and Temte visited with their clients, asking them how their day went and about their lives.
Yogis can choose from 35 classes per week, taught by 13 instructors the studio hired as independent contractors, Scholz said. There are classes of varying levels, from gentle to vigorous — from “restorative flow” to “athletic flow,” Temte said. There are also courses geared toward mental wellness, including meditation, mindfulness and balance.
"It helps you connect with yourself and the community," she said.