New yoga studio opens in downtown Niles

NILES — To Meghan Engledow, yoga is not just a workout. When she began her personal practice in 2015, it was a way to cope with depression and anxiety.

On Monday, she opened Wrapped in Light LLC’s doors to help others find the light that she did after she started her journey.

Engledow’s studio is located at 226 ½ E. Main St. in downtown Niles. The entrance is a common entry, where patrons will walk up the stairs, down a hall and find a restroom. Up just a few more steps, they will find the door to the studio. Entering the studio, there are windows high up on one wall letting in some natural light, ]a large wood floor and mirrors along one wall.

After her first three days of classes, Engledow is excited to be able to bring yoga for all skill levels to the community. Right now, she is teaching a gentle, vinyasa-style of yoga.

“It is more of a flowing style of yoga,” Engledow said. “We spend a good amount of time on the floor before we get up and move around. As of right now, we are not doing power yoga one day, or gentle yoga the next. The hardest thing is the stairs.”

She said she has already taught first timers in her studio, and they have returned for another class. She hosted a class on Wednesday that included a 6-year-old and a 74-year-old practicing together.

Engledow has taught yoga in other venues around the Niles area, including at the Niles-Buchanan YMCA and in the parks. One of her students, a 68-year-old Vietnam veteran, continues to attend her courses.

“Yoga has really helped him to destress,” she said. “I let people know I do make it for all levels. During any challenging parts, you can relax in a pose, watch or work on a different modification.”

Engledow herself began her yoga journey at home, and attended her first in-person class nervous about the experience. She was stressed and experiencing anxiety and depression in ways that negatively impacted her life.

“I was on multiple medications and getting injections in my back. I said, ‘ok, this is only going to get worse,’” Engledow said.

Only 26 years old, and with two small children to take care of, she sat down and found a YouTube video that taught “yoga for depression.”

“I started there, and I never looked back,” she said.

One of her favorite in-person classes to attend starting out was the senior chair yoga at the YMCA.

For Engledow, the yoga was key for her quality of life. She said she stopped experiencing the anxiety and depression as much.

“I was having natural energy. I was yelling at my kids less. I had a better connection with my husband. It gave me time for ‘me’ time,” she said. “It was good for control. I’m a control-freak, but now I know you can control your body.”

Engledow’s schedule for yoga classes is posted on the Wrapped in Light LLC Facebook page. Her schedule alternates between morning and evening classes. The classes cost $10 per session. She has yoga mats available for a $5 donation for those that may not have their own mat yet. She is also available for private yoga sessions and yoga parties.

Engledow said her classes are all mat work that can be done without the use of props, as props are difficult to sanitize. She hopes to be able to incorporate props after COVID-19 concerns subside.

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