By Starrla Cray
DELANO, MN There’s something to be said for taking life one breath at a time.
Room to Breathe, Delano’s newest yoga and massage therapy studio, helps people embrace a healthy, relaxed way of life.
Owner Clare Ochry first opened her business, located at 121 Bridge Avenue East, during Delano’s old-fashioned Christmas celebration in December. She’s already started doing massage therapy, and plans to start yoga classes the end of January.
“I think I’ve wanted to do this my whole life, but it really came into focus when I went to massage school,” said Ochry, who trained at CenterPoint Massage & Shiatsu School & Clinic in Minneapolis.
Ochry is also certified through the Yoga Center of Minneapolis, which requires 230 hours of teaching before graduation.
Ochry first fell in love with yoga eight years ago. She was employed at The Marsh, a cutting-edge wellness center in Minnetonka, and decided to try a class.
“I got on the mat and automatically felt at home,” Ochry said, explaining that yoga helped her learn to slow down, relax, and enjoy life more.
“I began to learn how to breathe,” Ochry said. “I decided I wanted to share this with everyone I possibly could.”
Ochry said she enjoys gaining strength and balance through yoga.
“For me, I think it has been extremely beneficial,” she said.
People practice yoga for a number of different reasons. Some of Ochry’s clients come to her if they have low back pain or other chronic issues.
“Yoga can help a broad spectrum of muscular and skeletal issues,” Ochry said. Many people also do yoga to relax and learn to manage anxiety levels, she added.
One of Ochry’s elderly clients told her that she learned more about her body in the last year than in her first 70 years, Ochry said.
“She does yoga every day,” Ochry said. “It just really shows that anybody can start yoga, no matter what age they are, and where they are at physically.”
Helping people improve their daily functioning has been very rewarding for Ochry.
“It’s not just a quick fix,” she said. “It’s giving people the tools to make a change in their lives.”
So far, Ochry said there has been an almost “overwhelming” interest in yoga in Delano.
“There seems to be an explosion of people who want to do yoga,” she said.
One of the attractive aspects of yoga is that it can be done in a variety of locations, at a variety of skill levels, Ochry said.
“You can do it anywhere,” she said. “You can be in a chair; you can be lying down.”
Yoga is a mindful practice as well as a physical one, Ochry said. Even just visualizing the poses can be beneficial.
Yoga and massage naturally go together, Ochry said, because both deal with relaxation and improving overall health.
When she gives massages, Ochry said she starts off by teaching clients how to utilize their respiratory muscles.
“I would just like to teach everybody to breathe,” she said.
In addition to her massage sessions and yoga classes, Ochry also plans to have workshops and speakers come to her studio.
“One of my goals is to be part of the energy in downtown Delano,” she said. “I hope to be a catalyst contributing to new growth.”
Local art is also on display and for sale at Room to Breathe.
“The space is so pretty,” Ochry said.
More about Ochry
Ochry and her husband, Steve, both grew up in Detroit Lakes. Steve works as a software engineer at Shavlik Technologies in Roseville.
The couple has two children, Thomas, 10, and Emma, 7.
To learn more about Room to Breathe, call (612) 916-4488.