Yoga on the Ridge has successfully made itself a new home at 493 Domino Lane across from the Ivy Ridge shopping center. Originally hidden behind 7-Eleven on Conarroe Street, the Roxborough yoga studio now enjoys a visible location that owner Theresa Conroy says carries with it plenty of new perquisites.
“I wanted a more visible location and more practice space. However, my biggest motivation was to have a place more inviting and easier to find, park and get to for a lot of my clients with movement disorders,” says owner Conroy, a resident of Roxborough and former journalist for the Philadelphia Daily News.
Yoga on the Ridge opened for classes on Saturday, May 13, and celebrated with a grand opening party of around 45 friends on Friday night.
“I’m seeing new people. What’s cool is that I have all these people who are just poking their head in and saying ‘I’ve always wanted to try yoga.'”
Ms. Conroy tells a story of a new client who recently snuck her head in the door while holding a cigarette outside—reminding Conroy of how she got into yoga herself: “I used to smoke and yoga’s what got me to finally quit. Now my studio is visible to people who never thought they’d give it a try—it’s been really cool so far.”
Conroy specializes in a type of therapeutic yoga for clients with neurological movement disorders like multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.
“It all started when I had a private client who I thought I could help by offering to teach him yoga. He improved so much that during his next doctor’s appointment, the neurologist was shocked to see the progress—I’ve been getting constant referrals from that neurologist ever since.”
Conroy went on from there to train with an adaptive yoga teacher in Minnesota, Matthew Sanford, who was paralyzed from the chest down. Ever since, Conroy has been offering yoga to clients of all physical conditions.
“You can be overweight, you can have diabetes, you can have two hip replacements, and you can not have use of your arms and legs—it doesn’t matter—anyone can benefit from the practice of yoga. I love teaching healthy 32-year old women—don’t get me wrong—but therapy really feels like important work to me. It’s almost selfish because I get so much out of it personally.”
Jim Reilly has been a student of Conroy’s for over one and a half years and calls Theresa’s work, “Absolutely wonderful.” Reilly is a veteran of the Gulf War who suffers from MS and paralysis on the left side of his body, which he attributes to chemical exposure during the war. After being referred to Conroy, Reilly has gone from struggling to walk to a point where, “A stranger probably couldn’t see anything wrong with me walking down the street.”
Reilly lends Conroy’s articulate instruction and great sense of humor to her former work as a journalist: “She describes everything in a wonderful way that makes exercises much easier to do properly. My balance is improved, my lower back pain is gone, I’m stronger and more flexible—the list goes on. My wife and I have so much respect for her.”
Yoga on the Ridge is open from Monday to Sunday with the exception of Friday. The studio is hosting a special class on Memorial Day, May 28, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. for a price of $10.