Photos and Story by Gareth Vieira
Spraoi Yoga, located at 110 Walton Street, in our Historic Port Hope, opened its doors on January 9, 2017. “The reception from the town has been welcoming”, said Tania Ring, proprietor and Yoga instructor.
At Spraoi, the focus is on inspiring others and sharing a love of yoga. Classes are available for students of all ages and levels of experience.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” Ring said. “We held our grand opening in January and it was an absolute success. My goal in the first year was to have 100 members by year’s end, which we surpassed in the first four weeks.”
The name, Spraoi Yoga, (pronounced “Spree”) reflects Ring’s Irish heritage. The word means to play, in Gaelic. The studio and a mural that adorns one of the walls, (painted by local artist Becky Shields), takes as its inspiration the Spraoi Festival in Waterford Ireland.
Ring made the move to Port Hope, just over a year ago. She didn’t initially plan to open a yoga studio, but the idea began to form during her many strolls through Port Hope’s downtown.
“On one of my walks, I noticed that the Pay Day Plus was moving and there was a sign posted saying, we’re moving. I felt a surge of possibilities, in that moment, as I looked through the window.” said Ring. “I knew what I wanted to do.”
Ring has been practicing Yoga for the past thirteen years, receiving her training at ‘Balance Life Yoga’, under the instruction Shasta Townsend, in Ajax, Ontario.
“Spraoi Yoga is Port Hope’s first hot Yoga studio” says Ring.
It features a radiant heating system providing unmatched climate control combined with an HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator) to bring oxygenated air to ensure a fresh air flow through the studio at all times.
“Some of the benefits of hot yoga is that is provides a thorough detox with flushing toxins from the skin as our bodies heat up producing a good sweat.,” said Ring. “The heat allows for a deeper practice as you warm the muscles, but also allows you to reach the pose safely. Hot yoga helps to develop strength and flexibility and can provide a cardiovascular workout. Hot yoga is extremely therapeutic for the body and has been known to reduce symptoms of certain conditions and illnesses including diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, depression, arthritis and obesity.”
Ring has hired ten teachers, all from Port Hope and the surrounding area. Each teacher brings their own approach, which allows students to find a teacher that relates with their specific needs.
Instructor, Bobbi-Jo Ketcheson said “I first met with Tania at a meeting at Queenies. “We had an instant connection over our mutual passion for yoga and teaching; I have now known Tania for over three months and have come to recognize her kindness and conviction for people. I feel blessed to teach alongside her, as well as the incredibly talented list of teachers assembled.”
Jen Apple Pridham, who also teaches at Spraoi Yoga, reiterates these sentiments, adding that “Tania has put so much devotion and care into every detail of the studio space”.
“Teaching at Spraoi, feels like a homecoming,” Pridham said “It is more than just a job; our sessions are an opportunity to practice side by side. Being an instructor amidst this environment is a real honour.”
The location has seen quite the overhaul from its Pay Day Loan days. The studio décor is remarkable. In addition to the mirrored walls, a Mandala, (a complex abstract design that is usually circular in form) painted by local artist Larissa Clayton, showcases Spraoi Yoga’s logo in its natural form.
“The support has been overwhelming, in the best possible way,” said Ring. “I just can’t seem to stop blushing from gratitude. People are loving it and spreading the word and returning with friends and everyone is commenting how warm and inviting the space is.”
Spraoi Yoga is located at 110 Walton Street; you can contact them through their website or Facebook page.