By Julia Jones, Correspondent
To start the new year on the right foot, downtown event venue Tirzah hosted a free “New Year, New Start, New You!” yoga class on Saturday morning. Newly-certified yoga teacher Alexa Mathews led a small group of participants in exercises to strengthen the bond between their physical and spiritual selves. Tirzah owner Diana Arldt-Roberts said she wanted to help Belton stay healthy during the winter.
“I thought it would be a great health benefit for the community so we decided to offer a free community event,” she said. “I started doing some research on it and there’s a lot of health benefits.”
These benefits can include increased flexibility, strength and energy, according to the American Osteopathic Association. Along with physical benefits, yoga can offer spiritual and mental benefits like stress reduction and focus, Mathews said.
“It’s about connecting the mind, body and spirit together and finding that balance, and being more compassionate to not only others, but to yourself,” Mathews said.
Mathews plans to become a full-time yoga teacher in the future to provide a space for locals to learn to relax. Her class at Tirzah was the first class she led since she graduated in December.
Kim Albree moved to the area with her husband who is stationed at Fort Hood. She came to the yoga class with a friend who knows Mathews and was grateful to have somewhere to go to get back into yoga, if only for the morning.
“I used to do a lot of yoga in college and I haven’t really found somewhere here yet,” Albree said. “I’m still kind of new to the area.”
Tirzah has been open for a year as of Jan. 7, and Arldt-Roberts has been very pleased with how much business she’s gotten. When she bought the building at auction in 2014, it had been condemned because the exterior walls in the back had caved in. Now, the event venue has hosted bridal showers, baby showers, weddings and other gatherings.
Arldt-Roberts was introduced to Mathews through another downtown business owner, and she wanted to help her start off her yoga teaching career. Mathews said that she felt called to work as a yoga teacher and help people align their bodies and minds.
“After I had my daughter last year, I noticed that there was an opportunity to go to yoga teacher training school,” Mathews said. “It felt like a calling, so I just went for it.”