The moment you step into the Mind, Body and Yoga studio, a sense of calmness is in the air. It might be the mural of Mount Fuji on one of the walls or it might be the period of relaxation that awaits.
This has been Baker City resident Mae Corwin’s mission — to be able to teach this craft that helped get her through some of the biggest trials of her life.
“I think the main thing you get in my studio is the whole experience, it’s the most beautiful, tranquil, peaceful place,” Corwin said. “When you walk in that studio, you exhale, and your shoulders drop down.”
Mind, Body, Yoga, like so many businesses, has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Corwin closed her studio on March 15. Over the next 3 months she missed her regular routine with her students.
“I was going down a rabbit hole, I needed a life back,” Corwin said. “I needed a schedule.”
After months of teaching sporadic Zoom classes, Corwin felt comfortable enough to re-open her doors on June 29.
Corwin has been practicing yoga for many years. Formerly an avid runner, she used yoga to help recover from injuries, but yoga also played a part in helping her maintain sobriety after she struggled with drugs and alcohol.
Yoga had had a powerful positive effect on Corwin’s life.
“I just found myself more and more drawn to it,” she said. “When I was starting my recovery, it was the most important thing to me. It was the most peaceful part of my day.”
Corwin decided to pursue yoga professionally.
After getting the proper certifications, Corwin and her husband found a location at 1923 Court Ave., and after a year of preparation, opened the doors of her studio — Mind, Body, Yoga — in January 2016.
“At the beginning I offered three different classes, a hapa yoga class which is very basic yoga, an aerial yoga class that has fabric hammocks and I also do restorative yoga, which is very relaxed and really great for people who want something soothing,” Corwin said.
As business continued to pick up over the years, so did the responsibilities. So almost a year ago, Corwin asked fellow yoga instructor Danika Sinram to assist in the teaching after meeting her at Sinram’s own studio. Corwin has enjoyed working with Sinram from the moment they started to work together.
“It’s wonderful to work with Danika,” Corwin said. “She has now taken over aerial yoga, so she teaches it twice a week.”
As the business grew, Corwin’s passion for yoga exceeded the four walls of her studio. She has taught yoga for people around the community, including MayDay, the nonprofit that helps victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence, and Baker House, the treatment center for mental health and substance abuse operated by New Directions Northwest.
“There are so many different things that it (yoga) can offer,” Corwin said. “I have an interest in people that are addicts and people that have received domestic violence issues.”
Although she’s confident she can comply with social distancing and otherwise keep her students safe, Corwin said she wants clients to return only when they are ready.
“I don’t want people to come until they feel safe, and that it is OK to be there,” Corwin said.
As uncertainty continues to loom for the future with the pandemic, Corwin wants to extend her teaching online for her students who feel safer at home.
“How can I serve these people that can’t come in yet, I don’t have things set up to do that yet, I’m sure it’s not that hard,” Corwin said.
Most importantly, Corwin wants Baker City to know that her work is far from over, and she has no intention of stopping soon.
“Pandemic or no pandemic, I’m not going anywhere anytime soon,” Corwin said. “This is where I live, and this is what I do.”