KENILWORTH, NJ- House Yoga is a boutique and intimate yoga studio that has been in business for five years. All levels and ages are encouraged to try a class and there are no judgements here. Christa Lapinig Recio is the owner of House Yoga and also a military veteran. Recio sat down with TAPinto Kenilworth to speak about her studio how it all started.
What was your motivation to open House Yoga and how did it begin?
Well...long story short!!! I watched the 911 attacks from my high school window in Jersey City and decided to join the Army thereafter. I served for 9 life-changing years from 2003-2012. I was deployed to Iraq from 2004-2005.
I had my first son in 2008 and moved to Kenilworth in 2012 to raise him in a better community. I decided to get out of the Army that year because I wanted to be with my son and not have to leave him for training or anymore future deployments since my unit went back to Iraq a second time. But I sorely missed the camaraderie, friendships, and values the Army gave me. I couldn't find that type of loyalty and mutual understanding anywhere. In 2014 I decide to complete my yoga teacher training in Garwood and it was the closest thing I could find to camaraderie in the civilian world, albeit it's not the same, but it was close. I opened House Yoga that same year in the hopes of building a strong yoga community in Kenilworth based from my background of having strong yet flexible mental aptitude, bodies, and souls.
My mission for House Yoga is a place where every person regardless of age, weight, height, any physical stature/ailment/injury can feel comfortable to practice and where they don't find yoga intimidating, but welcoming. We strive to teach students to be comfortable in their own skin and to modify postures so that it is either easier or more challenging for them. The teacher is merely a guide to their practice. As they practice more and more, they will realize that they can always tone it down or tone it up. They begin to trust in themselves as they grow body and mental awareness.
How long have you been teaching and practicing yoga?
I've been teaching yoga for a solid 5 years. Yoga was an on and off thing before I became a teacher because I couldn't find the right studio or teacher for me to be consistent. I also wasn't personally ready to commit to a practice. So, it was on and off since I came back from Iraq in 2005. My life was just a constant transition at that point, (adapting from war, having a baby/raising a child, graduating college, and moving to a new town).
What inspires you about yoga what is your goal for each class you teach?
What inspires me about yoga is you make it whatever you want. Each practice you do continues to evolve you as a person, little by little on every level. I can choose if I want my butt kicked one day, if I need to stretch and have a more mellow practice the next, and if my life is stressing me out, I meditate. The teachings never end, it's an adventure that continues to develop and unfold and I can't get enough of it.
My goal for every class I teach is to empower every student to be strong, flexible, open-minded and to never stop learning. I want them to listen to their bodies. To really listen so closely that they truly begin to understand their bodies and minds. Once they can achieve a level of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual awareness, then the yoga is lived and not just practiced.
Is there anything else you would like our readers to know?
There's a stigma about yoga that you have to be a certain way to practice successfully. But it's simply not true. Find the right class, a teacher you enjoy, and keep practicing until it just becomes habit like brushing your teeth. Yoga can be just a form of exercise and that's OK. But it can be so much more if the student chooses. Simply getting started may take courage. If that's the case, be courageous and do something healthy for yourself.
House Yoga is located at 144 N. 14th Street and open seven days a week with classes available in the mornings and evenings.