• Alyssa Collins

New Yoga Studio Cultivates a Community of Healing and Inspiration

Published in the Lockport Legend

Studio owner, Cher Venhuizen, leading aerial yoga class at grand opening

The Lotus Moon Air Mat Fusion Studio, which celebrated its grand opening on Saturday, Nov. 23, offers customers a unique experience by fusing the practice of traditional and aerial yoga.

Customers who attended the grand opening event located at 123 E. 9th St., enjoyed free classes, free massages and a chance to win raffle prizes. Owner Cher Venhuizen kicked off the event by leading the group in an aerial yoga class. Attendees found a space on the wooden floor and using the silk hammocks secured to the ceiling, began to sway, stretch and unwind in this calming environment.

“A lot of people are actually scared to do aerial yoga but I look at it as just another prop that allows you, if you don’t have a lot of balance, to have support and to get deeper into your pose,” said Venhuizen.

She went on to explain that aerial yoga is very different from traditional yoga and some might even find it a bit easier. For example, if one wanted to move into a handstand yoga pose, the silk hammocks would provide additional support and allow for a deeper stretch that would be more difficult to accomplish in a traditional mat yoga practice, she said. In this case, Venhuizen advises newcomers to trust in themselves and trust in the silks.

“I like yoga and it just sounded like a fun event to try, and I’m really glad I did. It has a lot of good energy and new things to offer than your usual yoga poses,” said Michelle Dewey, who is new to aerial yoga. “It just seems fun and more interactive.”

Lotus Moon offers both traditional mat and aerial classes as well as unique fusion classes that are updated on a weekly basis. The fusion classes allow the individual yoga teachers to bring more personality into their work. For instance, one of the teachers at Lotus Moon is very passionate about pilates, so she created a class called aerial quest, which combines weight, aerial moves, pilate moves and yoga, Venhuizen said.

“The reason for owning the studio is I want to inspire people to get in touch with their passions and to fuse that into their life,” said Venhuizen.

Venhuizen, who graduated from the Temple of Kriya Yoga, is also a full time developer and graphic artist. In creating and designing the space and concept for Lotus Moon, Venhuizen has been able to cultivate many of her passions into this studio in hopes of inspiring others to find their own.

“Everything in my life the yoga, the animation, the web design, the graphics, the love of teaching and the love of sharing has kind of all come together for me into this one space where I am able to bring all of my talents and things that I’ve learned and really share it with others and inspire them to do what they love,” said Venhuizen.

As an avid learner and creative thinker, Venhuizen is constantly coming up with new ideas for her space, she said. One of her missions is to work with local businesses and local animal shelters to host group events. She would also like to host a free class for first responders and continue to provide a healing space for the community.

“It’s pretty, it’s inviting, it’s calming,” said Venhuizen’s friend Maddie Groer. “The first time I came here, I immediately felt so much more relaxed.”

In addition to yoga, the studio offers healing art and massages. Customers can lie down on the crystal infused infrared pad to reduce tension and pain relief. Guests were able to learn more about the range of services at the grand opening and sign up for a complimentary chair massage.

Just like aerial yoga, opening a business can be scary and one needs to be very dedicated to go through with it, Venhuizen explained. In the process, Venhuizen has learned more about herself, she said.

"You have to be brave, and I think aerial yoga actually gave me that braveness to say ‘I can do it. I can overcome and I can succeed,’” said Venhuizen. “I think aerial yoga did help me with that a lot, and I just took the leap of faith and it’s working out beautifully so far.”

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