Flowing through transition
New Flourish Yoga + Wellbeing owner helps clients find balance
By Beth Taylor
Erin Smith found a yoga community at Flourish Yoga + Wellbeing on the southeast side of Fishers worth the drive from her Noblesville home. Instructor and owner Amy Lin Thomas’ open-hearted nature helped to create a yoga studio where clients became extended family members. When Thomas decided to move to Hawaii to be closer to her mom, she looked to sell to someone who would love the community as much as she did.
With an interest in business ownership and a passion for yoga, Smith knew that this opportunity was the right fit. Thomas embraced the ideas for growth that Smith envisioned for Flourish; transitioning the business between friends was easy.
“I discovered yoga in 2000, and there weren’t as many studios as there are now, said Smith. I didn’t grow up in the yoga culture, but I felt like it was calling me. I started practicing Ashtanga and loved it,” said Erin Smith.
Learning yoga lead to finding balance for Smith. “It just allows me to have the foundation of health to participate in my life to the fullest, whether that be playing with my kids, jumping on a trampoline or running with my dog,” she said.
Smith explained that she feels calm and relaxed yet invigorated after practicing yoga. “I had so much energy that I felt that I could jump on top of a building,” said Smith. After years as a three-sport athlete, she enjoys the fresh feeling of a yoga workout without the abuse on the body. “On a physical level, yoga is a blend of cardiovascular training, strength training and stretching. Yoga is low to no impact, and because you use your own body weight, you can easily add or subtract intensity, reducing risk of injury,” she said.
As her personal journey with yoga continued, she found the benefits helpful in other ways.
“My father-in-law, who was very dear to me, passed almost 3 years ago. What I have learned on my yoga mat helped me through this process and helped me guide my family through in a healthy way. This experience gave me the courage to attend yoga teacher training, hoping to share with others how yoga has helped me through all phases of life,” she said.
Flourish offers several classes, including hot and warm Vinyasa yoga, Ashtanga yoga and gentle Hatha options as well as prenatal classes and yoga classes for kids.
“Many people are intrigued by the hot yoga, but it’s best to work up to it,” Smith said. The studio in the warm class is 85 to 90 degrees and is designed to help students get used to heat. For hot yoga, the room is set to 100 degrees. “Heat makes your more body more flexible and also makes you more mentally flexible, as well,” she said.
Flourish offers a yoga basics class the first Saturday of each month. The introductory class is designed to get new students acquainted with the poses and understand cueing. “We also offer private sessions but our goal is to get everyone in a group setting because that’s where you see the most benefit,” said Smith.
Smith envisions growing Flourish, but she plans to let it happen gradually. “I’m always talking to clients and staff so that they know they have a voice. I value the community here so much, so we’ll be growing together,” said Smith. She plans to grow the teacher training program as space allows.
For more information on Flourish Yoga + Wellbeing, go to www.flourishyoga.biz
Bring the following to hot yoga class:
1. Awareness: Be super aware of your own health. Communicate questions and concerns to your yoga instructor as well as your doctor to see if hot yoga is right for you.
2. Water: Be well hydrated before attending a hot class. After class, drink liters and liters of water.
3. Breath: The added element of heat allows you to easily find your breath, improves your breathing and can even help conditions like asthma.
4. Heart: Literally and figuratively! Get the heart benefits of running a mile with no impact. The heat elevates the heart rate making the body work harder.
5. Embrace: Embracing the sweat is the secret to hot yoga!
Former hockey player finds comfort in yoga
“My husband, Jonathan, played hockey. After much resistance, he now participates in regular practice as his primary form of exercise,” said Erin Smith. Jonathan was diagnosed with a sarcoma in August of 2014. As the family deals with challenges, yoga has remained a constant. “Jonathan’s positive attitude and optimistic outlook on life has never wavered, despite the challenges he faces. He is my hero. Watching him live fearlessly, with an open heart, has given me the courage to find my new role as owner of Flourish,” she said.