For Linda Toth at Half Moon Yoga, the body is the pathway to the mind. She follows a longstanding tradition under the teaching of world-renowned yoga instructor Baron Baptiste, bringing his methodologies and her own passion and warmth to the Grand Valley.
“The methodology will change your life,” Toth says. Although the philosophies are simple, dealing with topics such as fear, identity, and resilience, she says it is the authenticity of Baptiste’s methods that keeps her practicing and teaching. “Life isn’t bliss,” she explains. “There are going to be times that things won’t go your way – your body won’t go your way, a relationship won’t go your way – and what do you do with the anger, the fear, the anxiety, the depression?”
At Half Moon Yoga, participants are taught how to use the body as an outlet. Classes take place in an infrared heated yoga studio where temperatures range anywhere from 85 -104 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on outside temperatures. The entire studio was designed around the therapeutic benefits of infrared heat and incorporates a state-of-the-art heating system that directly heats the body, not the air, so the benefits continue long after the practice ends.
Physical movement in this kind of heat allows the body to become more malleable and open, and even though discomfort may arise, the student is able to witness what is “actually under the hood of the car – the body,” Toth says. “It’s a valuable, real, meat-and-potatoes skill set; it’s not saying suffer, go to pain, but it’s about putting a pause between your reactions.”
Although Toth has worked in the fitness industry for most of her career, she finds a particular usefulness and peace in the practice of yoga that surpasses her previous experience with dance and other fitness routines. “Yoga rinses me out in a way that leaves my mind clear for many hours after the practice. All of a sudden, I start becoming aware of my breath when driving, doing the dishes or during conversations. The past and the present slip away and I actually become absorbed in the moment.”
Teens in particular have been a recent focus of Toth’s work at Half Moon Yoga. Relaunching September 1, 2018 are free workshops designed exclusively for teens in the Grand Valley. The workshops, scheduled for Saturdays from 3-4 p.m. focuses on meditation, asana, self-inquiry, and peer discussion and is meant to be a place where young people can learn the skills they need to thrive in a world where depression, anxiety, and suicide exist in unprecedented numbers. In addition to the workshops, teens can access unlimited yoga classes for $25 per month.
Toth also works with youth in Punta Gorda, Belize in a yoga training program funded partially by the Baptiste Institute and partially by Grand Junction community members.
“I’m passionate about bringing training to young kids because I have faith that they’ll do something with it,” Toth says. She has an innate zeal for teaching those who will turn and teach others, and she believes that bringing the 200-hour registered yoga teacher trainings to the youth of Punta Gorda and the Grand Valley will not only rewire their minds and help them to better cope with stress, but also help them become leaders in their communities.
As would be expected, high-quality teacher training at Half Moon Yoga is also deeply valued.
Half Moon has a lot to offer the Grand Valley – registered yoga teachers who go through 200 hours of training; a leading-edge infrared heating system; Baptiste as a mentor and coach; and a vision to help young people calm the “constant chatter of the mind.”
The studio offers reasonable starting prices for community members, allows memberships to be cancelled without additional fees, and multiclass passes that never expire. For Toth, it is just important that people come.
“I don’t care if you come back in a year. Just come back,” she urges. “Yoga will change your life – on and off the mat.”
Half Moon Yoga is located at 2943 U.S. Highways 6 and 50, Unit 3. Toth can be reached at 970-985-4401.