As you all know by now, I am very inspired by entrepreneurs (#obviously) and I am always aware that there is a story behind their journey to opening for business. And when someone is willing to open up about their ups and downs, it means a lot to me. It means that someone else may learn about the struggles and fears associated with being your own boss….but that they will also see the successes and feel validated in their own desires for something more. I could tell Rebecca Prentiss “got” my vision with Arrow It Forward right from the start and was ready to hop on board. I have been watching (from the sidelines until this point), the importance and value of having a place like The Ledger Room right in the heart of the community I love so much and was honoured to collaborate with her.
When did you first dream of owning a yoga studio?
It was during my first teacher training. Going into my 200hr teacher training, I had expectations. I expected to quite literally learn how to become a teacher, little did I know there would be a crap ton of self learning, healing, and exploration.
There was a lot of learning and understanding about my personal struggles…like a lot. I discovered some pretty not so shiny things about myself and worked through a lot of, well, trauma. I learned tools to make life brighter, less angry and more calm. With tools like variations of pranayama, yoga continued to help me let go of things that are simply too heavy to carry for any longer.
I pretty much thought these yoga tools were magical, that I had a duty as a practitioner to share what I had been taught and help people unravel and begin to heal their own “dark sides.” It was in that realization that I knew I wanted to own a space that could help people heal, a community to explore and let go. A sanctuary, if you will.
What type of journey did you have leading up to making your dream a reality?
Full disclosure? It was difficult and complicated, but then all at once things fell into place and I was exactly where I was (am) supposed to be.
I struggled for a long time with a severe eating disorder and high anxiety, so my journey started with healing. I found Bikram Yoga and unfortunately, it became almost like an addiction. I practiced once or twice daily and neglected to feed my body what it craved, what it wanted. I started to slide down a slippery slope of anorexia. I had some pretty rock bottom moments before yoga saved me.
I found a yoga teacher training in Toronto, at Octopus Garden (I had been in Toronto for several years for University on and off). It was almost immediately that yoga stopped being an addiction and started becoming a way to heal myself, to find my way back to myself. I found a space that felt like home. I cried, I yelled, I healed and finally I figured out who I was and what my values were (are). I dropped out of university, and moved home to Gananoque.
I started living honestly, in harmony with mother earth and what my heart wanted…and then things just fell into place.
I began teaching at The Ledger Room a few times a week. I always was so grateful for Shannon who opened the space up for me to self-practice. When I moved back, I always had that fear of losing my practice, but Shannon and Zach created something magical and I felt the same love and safeness as I felt walking into my YTT. She had known it had been part of my “plan,” owning a yoga studio. About a year and a half ago we chatted and, well…it just sorta happened!
Tell us a bit about the building, about the space that so many from the community feel so welcomed in.
Honestly, I don’t know why it has such a welcoming and loving feel to it. I put my heart into this space and would like to believe that that has a lot to do with it. But I 100% know that it is the community…the people coming in and out, buzzing with life and stories who make it what it is. Without the community, it is simply four walls and some pretty plants….yogis bring in the love, the smiles and the chocolaty treats.
The building is filled with talented women and men hustling day in and day out, doing amazing things for this town. Just look at Steel Style Garage, or The Socialist Pig…you just know blood, sweat, tears, and a hell of a lot of heart were poured out and these thriving businesses are the outcome.
History wise, I am certainly not an expert, but I know the Axleworks vision has come into fruition, and it’s fucking incredible. To be among these entrepreneurs, is an honour, to be a part of this historical building is a privilege.
What types of classes do you offer?
All of our classes are designed for ALL Levels of practice. Beginners, Intermediate + Advanced. Our classes are labeled All Levels with the exception of Thursday morning which we have newly named Flow + Restore. It’s a gentle combo of Vinyasa and Restorative Yoga-it’s lovely and just so relaxing. We move through some gentle sun salutations and end with some slow supportive postures. All Level classes are just that. They are perfect for those who have little to no experience with yoga and also a great challenge for more seasoned practitioners. Our goal is to create accessible yoga, a space for beginners, and a safe community to grow and explore your mind, body + soul.
Introduce us to some of the instructors!
Our schedule is made up of five talented ladies. Carolyn, Christine, Shannon, Lisa and Kelly. But there are also many talented ladies on our sub-list that you will find teaching every now and then.
Carolyn has a unique style of teaching, which I love. She utilizes every edge of the mat, using each side as a new beginning, a starting point. She is fantastic with inversions and we are super stoked with the potential of Carolyn running an inversion workshop.
Christine has taught me so much already. She is one of our newer instructors to have joined the fam and we are so lucky she picked us. Her classes are relaxing, yet challenging, with sequencing that I have never experienced. She keeps you on your toes and learning every step of the way.
Shannon, owner of the building and previous owner of The Ledger Room, is fabulous with beginners. She has a way of making yoga less intimidating to newcomers, and making it all around more accessible. She has this sort of no frills kinda class, it’s simple, peaceful, and you will certainly float out of there with the ‘yoga high.’
Lisa has brought her own soothing flare to the practice, making it authentic and true, but not without its challenges. I see it in her classes, how much love she has for the practice of yoga. It shows in her sequencing and teachings.
Kelly is methodical, which makes her teaching so yummy. She plans and practices and practices again, each class she prepares. She goes the extra mile to assist and create variations for yogis. She is so caring and brings that energy to the space each day.
If someone has never tried yoga or they feel intimidated joining a group class, how would you set them at ease?
Keep an open mind and move at your own pace, take breaks when you need to. Taking breaks is a big one.
We all (generalizing here because I’m pretty sure we, yogis or not, have all experienced this at one point or another) push ourselves past our limits, either because we want to keep up with the class, don’t want look silly or incapable, or if you are like me (a perfectionist), do it all and do it right or not at all-no matter what.
I think the biggest learning curve of yoga is knowing when to slow down, find child’s pose and breathe. That’s where true breakthroughs happen. That’s yoga.
What is your favourite thing to do after a full day of work?
This is a tough one. I don’t think of my Monday-Friday as a work week. My son and I spend the day playing, exploring, and doing simple tasks for the studio; cleaning, plant shopping, etc. When he naps I take on business.
My favourite things to do after a full day are moving my body in a simple yoga practice, ending with a little singing bowl action, then I Netflix + Chill with my partner.
My other favourite thing to do is read. I’m currently reading this pretty rad book that was recommended to me to help deepen my knowledge of sound healing. It is titled “The Healing Power of Sound” by Mitchell L. Gaynor, M.D. I typically have a glass of red alongside me while I read…a pretty relaxing way to end a day, if I do say so myself!
What would you say to someone who is not passionate about the job they are in?
Do what makes your heart sing. If you are unhappy, leave. Your health and wellbeing are far more important than say making a butt load of money or having a high social status. I found that my vibrations began to align with the universe and life became much more enjoyable and more loving when I finally followed my heart.
What does the Ledger Room have on the horizon that you are really excited about?
We have a few exciting things coming in the next few months, along with a few groovy long term tidbits.
We are adding more classes! Keep your eyes peeled for a lunchtime power party, and maybe a class cradling you in sound.
Come fall/winter you will be seeing a little merchandise floating around the studio (hint: think water bottles + bling).
We also have a Yoga Teacher Training happening in September held by Dallas Delahunt. If you have ever thought about deepening your practice, learning a little more about yoga or becoming a teacher, Dallas is your gal. She is all about the love and it shines through all of her teachings.
(All the details are on our website www.theledgerroom.com)
Our most exciting upcoming event is the Afternoon Retreat with Dallas Delahunt on September 23rd 1pm-6pm. This groovy retreat is a balance of everything. The afternoon includes a guided walk, yoga, meditation, journaling, yoga Q+A, and some really good eats + wine…all for only 150$+HST. It’s the perfect way to embrace the fall.
I have tons of ideas floating around just waiting to come to life-I am so excited to share with the community, more events and more yoga love.
I must admit…I had a hidden agenda with some of the questions I asked Rebecca, I wanted to be convinced to get rid of my fear of going into a yoga studio. I’ve tried to do it at home, but know that I need guidance…as well as a dedicated time where I will actually DO IT. For some reason I have never tried a class. When she talked about being a perfectionist and how this can lead to fear of seeming silly or incapable, it went right to my heart. I know that I have found the right place to start my journey with yoga. Featuring The Ledger Room has me very excited, because I knew it will motivate others to take the leap, myself included. I am ready…..are you?