Garrigus opens East Alton yoga studio

EAST ALTON — Certified yoga instructor Heather Garrigus decided now was the time to open her first studio.

“I told myself I had to be a little crazy to open a yoga studio in the middle of a pandemic, but I think it’s necessary, considering what’s going on in the world,” she said. “If you can get away from the stress and do yoga for an hour, then the studio has served its purpose. Just to get out of the house for an hour is good, so many are working from home and kids are doing virtual learning.”

Heather’s Zen Den Yoga Studio, 95 Eastgate Plaza Shopping Center, in East Alton, will debut with an open house from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, with free yoga instruction all day. The opening is free to attend and open to the public. Heather’s Zen Den Yoga Studio will hold a grand opening at the 1,500-square-foot studio next summer.

Other small businesses have helped out Garrigus, first-time owner of a small business, by donating open-house items for raffles, door prizes and giveaways.

Heather’s Zen Den Yoga Studio will have yoga classes for chair; restorative, which is a comfortable format on the ground; gentle; beginners; yin; wall; Buti, which is more cardio intensive; and, rise-and-stretch class on Saturday mornings. Class times are to be announced. Garrigus’ specialties include beginners yoga, and yin yoga, which gets into deep muscle tissue and deep fascia with longer position holds and in which she recently became certified.

“I want everyone to be comfortable. Typically with new clientele, I like to say, ‘This is yoga class, it’s not that serious,’ and keep it upbeat, fun and lighthearted,” said Garrigus, of Godfrey, who became a certified yoga instructor in 2016.

“I basically fell in love with it as a student for approximately two years, and I’ve been teaching ever since,” she said. “I wanted to share my love of yoga with the community, and teaching at different spaces,” she recalled. “I came across this place and it was the perfect location.”