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Expanded yoga practice comes to Wales Street

Courtesy Liz Patnode

Liz Patnode expands yoga business to Rutland.

By Curt Peterson

RUTLAND— The popular Bikram Yoga in Mendon is moving to the former Salvation Army building at 22 Wales St. and changing its name to True Yoga Rutland.

The grand opening is scheduled for, Friday, March 22, and business owner Liz Patnode is confident the deadline will be met.

The big first day will start with regular yoga classes all day until 4:30 p.m., followed by a party from 5:30-7:30 p.m., to which the public is invited.

The True Yoga Rutland activity list will include Bikram yoga, Pilates, Baptiste Power Flow yoga, and Yin yoga. The space will be kept warm, Patnode said, to “inspire perspiration and to ease stretching.”

Parenting two children, teaching yoga classes, running multiple enterprises and managing renovation of the new studio seems like a punishing combination of challenges Patnode said the city of Rutland, Mayor Allaire, and the Rutland Economic Development Corporation were among several strong supporters of what she is trying to do.

“Rutland is an amazing town,” she said. “And it’s headed in the right direction. Officials actually called to tell me when financing and other opportunities became available.”

True Yoga will focus on the “five branches of health.”

“The physical aspect involves the yoga activity itself,” Patnode said. “Then there is meditation, positive thinking and speaking, and mindfulness for mental health.”

She said 80 percent of the effect from the physical and mental exercises reflects the participant’s diet.

“To focus on what we’re eating, we practice diet ‘resets’ and provide education,” she said.

Environmental aspects of health include clothing, a “green” home and workplace, and removal of anything toxic or allergenic.

Patnode has also developed a network to assist with what she calls “cellular health” – chiropractors and other professionals who can advise participants.

Patnode, who said she just turned 50, moved to Vermont from San Francisco to help her cousin create a destination wedding and convention resort on his 500-acre farm. She lives in Pittsfield with her two children, 10 and 12.

“I originally planned to stay six weeks,” she said, “but I fell in love with Vermont and decided to stay and build a career here.”

Her first yoga venture was Bikram Yoga Pittsfield, with two other teachers. Tropical Storm Irene wiped out the studio, and she moved her practice to its current location in Mendon.

“Participation doubled in Mendon,” she said.

The Washington state native told the Mountain Times she is reorganizing multiple business interests under the “True” masthead to simplify her life.

In addition to her yoga practice, Patnode operates True North Retreats, a kind of intensified summer yoga camp during five weeks at the studio and for three weeks in Hawaii, and True North Juice Co., which produces and sells cold-pressed fruit-based drinks.

She also organizes dinner events, sometimes at the top of Killington mountain, where healthy food is served.

“I hope to at least double participation at the new location,” Patnode said. “We want to become a beacon for downtown revitalization, and a place where people can gather, hang out, get healthy, and have fun.”

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