Angela Koppens may be a chartered accountant by day, but her life coaching and yoga teaching are starting a small movement in Sault Ste. Marie.
Her business, KoppensFit, was started in 2016 and offers online, 30-minute yoga classes.
“It’s an all-levels power yoga class via Zoom,” Koppens said. “So I offer different options in the class – so everyone from a beginner to a seasoned yogi can participate at his or her level.” The classes are free and happen every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.
While she usually hosts small groups in the studio at her home, COVID-19 changed the landscape and required an online presence instead.
“Most of the participants follow me on Facebook and come from all different backgrounds,” Koppens said.
However, beyond basic yoga, she offers a host of other services, including four-week intensive stress management workshops that teach participants about self-care, breathing techniques, mindfulness, and meditation.
“I also like to bring these elements into my yoga class with essential oils, some massage, and just general talking about self-care and mindfulness,” she said. “They really are all connected.”
This August, KoppensFit will be moving beyond the screen to in-person, outdoor classes.
“They will happen between the two driveways at White Pines CVS,” she said. “It’s ideal because the space is large, there’s a lot of parking, and just an unused green space for everyone to still social distance.”
The sessions are "pay what you can”, though Koppens says she will use any funds to purchase a new speaker system for the outdoor sessions.
“I decided on the location because there are already quite a few classes operating in the west end of Sault Ste. Marie – and not a lot in the east,” she said. “People were requesting yoga services in this area – something convenient and close to home.”
Koppens also offers “trauma-informed” yoga, a unique restructured yoga with a focus on safety. “Trauma-centred yoga would contain a lot of talk about grounding, the music might be different, and we would take out any features of yoga that might trigger. For example, we would rename certain postures such as ‘child’s pose’ or ‘corpse pose’ and some of the moves are different as well to focus on those parts of the body that typically store trauma – such as the hips and psoas muscles," she said.