Vida Studio is a holistic yoga studio with a trauma-informed practice, creating a safe and accessible space that is inclusive to all.
“Yoga is for every body. If you need things adjusted or adapted to meet your needs, we’ll do that. If you just want to learn breathing techniques or come in and have tea and a conversation to make yourself feel safer, we want to support our community,” said Jessica Tome, co-owner of Vida Studio and one of the yoga instructors.
Tome became a certified yoga instructor in 2007. She was introduced to the practice while playing soccer in Portugal, where she realized how important mobility and strength training was.
After returning to Kitimat, her daughter was born with disabilities in 2012. During this time, Tome dived deeper into her yoga practice to help her deal with some of the new challenges she faced. Additionally, she began taking courses to help support her daughter and realized how beneficial things like yoga, sound healing and Reiki could impact the community.
After someone suggested Tome check out a vacant space, she stopped by and signed the lease that same day, only later calling her sister Oliveira to inform her of what she had done.
Thankfully, Oliveira was immediately in for the adventure – the two sisters had dreamed about opening a yoga studio together for years. With Oliveira’s background as an interior decorator, they turned the space into a beautiful yoga boutique. “She has a really good eye, great taste and puts things together so lovely … [She finds] beauty in the mundane,” said Thom.
The sisters – best friends – live a couple of houses down from one another and hang out every day. While Tome handles the yoga side of the business, Oliveira runs the store side, where they sell things like yoga gear and essential oils. They also feature the work of local potters, photographers and artisans.
The sun-filled studio offers a variety of yoga classes, tailoring their classes to the individual needs of their clients, including one-on-one classes and compassionate pricing for those in need. They also give students cards that specify whether or not they are okay with being touched.
“We work with people who have experienced PTSD, who have survived a lot of different forms of abuse, and we really want to be gentle and sensitive to that,“ explained Thom.
By popular request, they’ll offer a men’s only yoga class starting in the spring.
“We had so many men reach out saying they’d be more comfortable in a men’s specific class … [We want to] engineer an environment for their success,” said Tome. The class is available to all male-identifying individuals.
All of the yoga classes activate the sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (rest and recover) nervous systems, allowing people to reach greater flexibility and strength, but also relaxation and healing, creating happier and more rewarding lives.
See an e-edition of PROGRESS 2023 here.