One Tree Yoga’s passionate teachers bring out yoga’s many flavors
Hanging from a wall rope, yoga students at One Tree Yoga exhale and deeply stretch. Yoga Karunta, as this new class is called, literally means “puppet yoga.” The wall ropes simulate the sense of being a suspended puppet, allowing students to refine their alignment, enjoy a more intense stretch, and tap into deeper benefits for the mind and body.
“I love expanding what I call the ‘realm of possibility,’” said CeCe Carson, who teaches the class. “When a student sees that they can achieve something they once thought impossible, the universe expands.”
Yoga Karunta is one of many flavors of yoga offered at One Tree Yoga’s two Omaha locations. Just as a student’s journey with yoga changes over time, so has One Tree Yoga evolved to meet the needs of the Omaha yoga community. When the studio opened more than 15 years ago, it offered just one form of yoga. Today, the studio thrives with classes in over a dozen different styles of yoga, taught by more than 20 passionate teachers.
While each class may have a different focus, instructors share a common view of yoga as a lifetime path and practice — not a fad, not just a physical exercise, but a way of living.
“One Tree sees yoga in its full totality — a practice and way of life for the body, mind, and soul,” said Alison King Tigges, general manager.
Students and instructors tout yoga’s mental and physical benefits. Tim Streff began practicing yoga at One Tree about eight years ago; today, he attends class three to four times a week. “The most obvious benefits are core strength, flexibility, balance and overall strength,” Streff said. “However, the benefits go far beyond that in terms of a feeling of peace and overall well-being.”
Student Lindsay Beck improved her flexibility and strength. But over time, she experienced deeper benefits. “The greatest benefit of a regular yoga practice, for me, has been developing acceptance — of people who get under my skin, of circumstances that are out of my control, and most importantly, acceptance of myself and all of my perceived flaws,” she said.
One Tree Yoga Owner Jamie Rye began practicing at the studio over a decade ago. Through the years, the studio became like a second home. She first became a teacher, and in 2010 she left her job at a Fortune 500 company to lead the studio she had grown to love.
Many of One Tree Yoga’s instructors share similar stories of starting as students and progressing to become teachers. The studios dozens of teachers bring a diversity of ages, education, work experience, and interests to the table. With staff members ranging from their 20s to 60s, clients of all ages feel comfortable in One Tree Yoga’s doorways. “You’ll never walk in the door and think, ‘I don’t fit in here,’” Rye said.
As One Tree Yoga has added instructors, its classes have also diversified to include styles like mom and baby yoga, candlelight yoga, senior’s yoga, and many others. Class offerings grow organically depending on an instructor’s passion, Rye said.
“We are unique because we literally have something for everyone,” Tigges said. “We offer yoga for kids, seniors, athletes, non-athletes, addicts, and everyone in between. Our teachers are diverse and our student body is diverse.”
Even as classes change, Rye said One Tree Yoga continues to focus on creating a place for people to experience a sustainable, long-term yoga practice. One of the many trickle-down effects of yoga, Rye says, is increased awareness — both on the mat and in other areas of life. That awareness can prove transformative in a yogi’s life.
“Achieving a fancy pose is nice and exciting, but when I see a student more committed to her practice or more patient in his daily life, more willing to tolerate discomfort or inconvenience or more accepting of change, that makes my heart sing,” instructor Carson said.