Longtime Tahoe resident opening much-awaited The Yoga Room | SierraSun.com

Longtime Tahoe resident opening much-awaited The Yoga Room

Tim Hauserman
Special to the Sun

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — The grand opening celebration of The Yoga Room in Tahoe City's Cobblestone Center is set for Friday, Feb. 13.

Jenna Minnes is owner of the recently opened studio where the Tahoe Yoga Institute used to be.

Minnes has been an active part of the Tahoe City yoga and body-work community for more than 10 years, and for much of that time, her dream has been to run a place for yoga.

Minnes grew up living the outdoor lifestyle in Vermont. Eventually she found herself in Ithaca, N.Y., being trained as a massage therapist, and then moved to Lake Tahoe.

While she ran a successful massage business, she also did what lots of young Tahoe folks do to get by: worked at Syd's Bagelry, The River Grill, Blue Onion, Alpine Meadows, and Tahoe Dave's, while also climbing, hiking and skiing.

And she practiced yoga. First as a student, to help her keep her body in shape for the rigors of kneading out the tight muscles of Tahoe athletes, and then as her love grew for yoga, she became a teacher.

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'IT HAS FINALLY HAPPENED'

Like lots of other independent people who have gravitated to Tahoe, Minnes decided she wanted to run her own business.

"I went to Sierra Nevada College to get a business degree," she said. "I've been wanting to do this for awhile, something in the wellness field. I've been talking about the idea for years, and now it has finally happened."

The Yoga Room has a quiver of experienced teachers. Some are fresh faces to the community, and others have been teaching yoga around the Tahoe region for years.

No matter who the teacher, Jenna's says, "the goal is to make yoga approachable, creating a space that isn't competitive. Where everything is accessible to everyone, no matter your shape, size or age. In classes that means teachers who are aware of their students needs and are actually teaching."

Another primary goal for Jenna is to connect with the community and make it a place where people feel comfortable.

"My whole idea is to invite people in who are not already in the yoga scene," she said. "It's not just about asana or doing the fancy yoga or looking good in fancy yoga pants. It's about lifestyle and connecting with the community and giving and getting support."

EMBRACING THE OUTDOORS

Minnes is especially interested in bringing into the studio those who have never practiced yoga, as well as those who used to practice but "fell off the wagon" and don't practice anymore.

She believes that in a community full of outdoor athletes, yoga is an essential part of feeling healthy.

"There is a misunderstanding that yoga is about stretching — it's also about strengthening," she says.

Both stretching and strengthening are a necessary part of keeping tight-muscled Tahoe people from getting injured.

Deborah Lapkin, who has been teaching the Iyengar style yoga for years in Tahoe City, says Jenna, "has a lot of enthusiasm to make the space the best that it can be. She is awesome to work with, kind, sweet and open."

Minnes adds, "ever since I've taken over the studio things are falling into place. I'm feeling the support of the community. People want to be a part of it. They feel invested in it. They want me to succeed."

Tim Hauserman, a nearly lifelong resident of Tahoe City, is a freelance author and cross-country ski instructor. He may be reached at writeonrex@yahoo.com.

Upcoming events

Feb. 13: Yoga Room Grand Opening. 5-7 p.m. Grab some goodies from Bela bucha and Sugar Pine Cakery. Enjoy Kirtan with Orenda Blue and meditation with a singing crystal bowl.

Feb. 27: Yoga and a movie. Begin with Jenna’s yoga class at 5:30, followed by the movie “Awake: The Life of Yogananda” at the Tahoe Art Haus Cinema at 7:15.

Special: There is a $30 for 30-day special happening right now at The Yoga Room.

Learn more: yogaroomtahoe.com