Day 70: Just B Yoga

Courtesy of Just B Yoga.
[box size=”large” border=”full”]Why it is awesome: it is a yoga studio which caters to individual needs and encourages a strong sense of community. Owner Belinda Thurston offers classes all over Lansing, some of which are on a donation basis, leaving no one with an excuse not to go.[/box]Just B Yogagoes by the motto “Donation-based, Community-driven.” It is located in REO Town, Lansing and has become quite the community space. Contrary to the status qou, there is a growing population of men attending classes, kids are welcome, and they even offer doga (yoga with your dog)! This blend of participants generates many networking opportunities which in turn, strengthen community bonds. For those that claim they can’t afford a yoga class, there are donation based classes. Belinda says her reason for offering this type of class is, “What’s your excuse now for not getting up and doing something healthy for your body?!”

Photo by McShane Photography.

There are several different classes that are offered for the well versed yogie at Just B Yoga. There is the challenging Empower Yoga, the Hip Hop Power Hour (which is a high-energy class that is used to start off the weekend), a 40+ class because yoga is for any age, a 2XL class because yoga is for any body, and several Tai Chi classes as well. The donation based class is called “Yoga Around Town” and is offered at several different locations. Since these locations do change, be sure to watch the site to see where they are that week.

Belinda Thurston started Just B Yoga in April 2010 and the studio itself will have it’s one year anniversary in October. It all started in 2000 when Thurston was living and working in Texas. Along with another yoga instructor, she worked in an underground yoga scene where every class was donation based.  Before Belinda moved to Lansing, she traveled a lot. When she settled in Lansing she just wanted to sit still. “I was done being an professional nomad,” Thurston says, “There is such a spirit here; like the puppy you fed that keeps coming back for more.” Belinda wanted to bring the concept of donation based yoga to Lansing, and since there was nothing like it in the Lansing area, it was the perfect time for her to open her own studio.

Photo courtesy of Just B Yoga.

Every year Just B Yoga also tries to put on 3 or 4 special events from which benefits are given to charities. On April 13 they did Solstice in the Alley, where the studio offered yoga, a DJ, and delicious catered food in Art Alley gallery. Half of those proceeds went to the Shabazz Academy, one of the locations for “Yoga Around Town”. Another event hosted by Just B Yoga this year involved participants doing108 Sun Salutations (a common yoga move) to benefit The “Garden Project” of the Greater Lansing Food Bank.

Yoga means to “create union” and that is exactly what Belinda Thurston’s goal is. The yoga community is growing, but not only that, the Lansing community is growing because of Just B Yoga. If you are an avid yogie then Lansing is the place to be! If you are new to the yoga experience you are most definitely welcome to join but word of warning: these classes are intense classes so if you are interested in attending contact Just B Yoga first to find what is right for you! ~Leighanna Whiting, Regional Director

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The Awesome Mitten was born when I moved back to Michigan from Nashville, TN in September 2010. Almost immediately, I became frustrated. I couldn’t figure out why there weren’t more Michigan residents singing our states praises! I was so irritated, I wrote a Letter to the Editor. Three weeks later, I had started a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and a landing page for the website, determined to do something to make Michigan residents aware of all the cool things going on in their own state. Email me: alex@awesomemitten.com