Blissful Beginnings at Yoga Loft Tucson

Christa W
December 7, 2022

Aside from my ten to fifteen-minute walks to and from classes, I would not consider myself an active person. So it was a shock to me that I fell in love with a yoga studio just after a single one-hour session! Although over the past two years, I have implemented meditation into my weekly routine, yoga always seemed just too costly to add. However, after searching all over Downtown Tucson, I finally found the cozy studio at Yoga Loft Tucson.

The Journey to my First-Ever Yoga Session!

As I packed my tote bag with water and a towel, unknowing how much I would appreciate those items later on, I called an Uber and traveled to the studio located in the heart of Downtown Tucson on 6th Avenue and 6th Street. A huge stone complex welcomed me as I crossed the street and in the door next to another workout studio, Let’s Sweat, I followed the hallway until a peaceful hanging sign for Yoga Loft Tucson hung above me.

I chose to attend Yoga Loft Tucson’s Slow Flow Yoga Class, which I thought sounded fitting for my first-ever yoga class. I paid $15 for the single yoga session through their online payment portal which can be found when booking a class on their website and discovered that they have other payment packages as well! 

I cracked the studio ten minutes early and I was welcomed into the high ceiling low-lit studio by the class instructor, Gina Lee. As I confided in her about being a first-timer, she signed me in and immediately comforted me, and told me she would guide me along. And she did just that!

The studio itself is mostly brick and had high ceilings and mirrors lined against the front wall. I honestly felt like I was transported to an old New York City loft! Each corner of the room had something decorative and calming with fake candles scattered around. My favorite corner of the room included a large salt lamp and a painted symbol on the wall that gives the studio a rustic yet spiritual feel. 

While we chatted, I went to the left back corner of the room and grabbed one of their extra black yoga mats, a blanket, and two cork blocks, as depicted above. As a former dancer who can no longer touch her toes, the two cork blocks were essential because they “help you reach what your fingers can not” as Gina described. After two people entered the room and introduced themselves, I began to relax a little at the sight of a smaller class and I sat criss-cross apple sauce ready to start the yoga session!


Slow Flow Yoga and Memorable Poses 

We began the session beginning to focus on our breathing in a reclined butterfly pose also known as Supta Baddha Konasana, in which we lay on our backs with our legs in a flat diamond shape and palms resting up on either side. As soft spiritual music filled the room, we sat in this pose for about three minutes as Gina helped us relax and leave our worries outside of the session. 

We slowly transitioned from supine/resting poses into seated poses focusing on stretching our legs, feet, and back. We moved from the Cat-Cow Stretch where we were in the table-top position into Downward Facing Dog lifting our hips high, feet towards the front of the mat, and sinking our heels into the ground. I had heard of the Downward Facing Dog Pose before but it was a lot more challenging than I imagined. Nonetheless, although my arms were shaking my soul still felt at peace with Gina’s kind guidance and the aura created by the beautiful studio.

About fifteen minutes into the session, we transitioned into standing poses and slowly mixed different balancing poses for the next thirty minutes and also started to make use of the cork blocks.

My favorite pose in this section was the different Warrior Poses. I loved how it evolved into four different types and in the picture below you can see me trying to perform the last form of the pose called the Reverse Warrior Pose alongside instructor Gina.

I’ll Be Back!

As we moved back into resting/supine poses near the last 15 minutes of the session I audibly sighed in relief at the fact that we didn’t do anything quite as challenging as the pose Gina performed in her picture above.

I lost time near the end of the session as we fell into Shavasana, where I rested on the folded blanket, relaxed my muscles, steadied my breath, and listened to Gina’s peaceful advice knowing that we would soon leave the slow flow of the class into our various fast-paced lives. 

After what felt like ten minutes we sat up and held our hands in a prayer-like form at our heart center where Gina’s close words were to “live light” followed by Namaste which I learned can be a salutation or expression of respect and appreciation.

I slowly got up with a smile on my face proud of myself for completing an hour of yoga. With Gina’s instruction and easy adaptations to more challenging beginner moves, I did not give up despite sweating and breathing a lot harder than I usually do on my peaceful class walks! So I rolled back up my yoga mat, put away my cork blocks and blanket, and said my goodbyes knowing I would be back here at 4 pm for next week’s Thursday Slow Flow Yoga class. 

The Owners of Yoga Loft Tucson

A few days after my second session, I was lucky enough to get in contact with the owners of Yoga Loft Tucson, Ashlee and Jackie, who shared with me their story about finding yoga and this studio. 

I learned that Yoga Loft Tucson is a fully female-owned small business and its mission is “to create a safe and diverse environment for you to feel grounded in body and breath”. 

Jackie had started with consistent yoga practice while pregnant with her first child. Hearing her story disapproved of the notion that yoga is for young nimble people or older spiritual yogis that the media often presents.

Ashlee, the founder of the studio, described to me that their studio honors and acknowledges that “the yogic tradition was heavily influenced by Hinduism. We do this by allowing our teachers to share the styles of practice that they feel most inspired by and by making yoga accessible to people from all walks of life. Yoga is a practice that is beneficial for everyone, no matter their background or religion!”


Christa Wanjie is an undergraduate freshman majoring in Psychology and minoring in Anthropology at the University of Arizona!