BUTTE — In Uptown Butte, Alyssa Hartson and Elaine Mele are creating a mindful community through yoga.
So what is the yoga cooperative? Where did this idea come from?
"Whenever we’d get together and talk about yoga, we would talk about how great it would be to have a studio where people can experience the benefits of yoga.' said Elaine Mele, co-founder of the Yoga Cooperative.
"When we would talk about it, the passion for it just ignited. It was energizing and we would come up with a vision of what it could be; the energy was palatable," said Alyssa Hartson, co-founder of Yoga Cooperative.
Hartson and Mele traveled the country and saw how yoga had become synonymous with the wealthy and fit culture of the United States and wanted to change that.
"I think a lot of people are sometimes intimidated and they see the skinny, real fit, leg-behind-my-ear kind of poses in yoga, like, who can do that? I can’t," said Mele.
Yoga Cooperative offers 12 classes that range from rest and rejuvenation to more intense yoga. Donation-based classes and an online yoga library are available to those who would like to dip their toes into yoga. Beginner workshops are held every month.
Mele is excited about starting chair yoga classes in November which she had introduced to the community a few years back when she traveled as a physical therapist.
"I did a class for a small group of individuals who had a varied amount of disabilities and I really enjoyed providing that kind of framework for them," said Mele.
Hartson and Mele say that the core mission of the Yoga Cooperative is that no matter your skill level, everyone can do yoga.
"Regardless of your abilities, regardless of your experience, and regardless of other factors you can come into this space and make decisions and make decisions that are best for you," said Hartson.