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Winsted’s Blue Dandelion Yoga Offers Classes in Yoga and Massage

New studio opens in Mad River Lofts building

 

By Ruth Melville

On October 1, 2017, Becky Thompson held an open house to inaugurate Blue Dandelion Yoga, her new yoga studio in Winsted’s Mad River Lofts building. To her amazement, 150 people showed up. “It was a beautiful gathering of people. I could see it in their faces, people were just so warm and supportive.”

Thompson, who is both a registered yoga teacher and a licensed massage therapist, had been thinking for some time about opening her own studio. She was teaching yoga in Collinsville and giving massages in Harwinton, but she really wanted to be able to integrate both practices. She happened to see on Facebook a video of the Winsted loft development and said to her husband, “We have to go see this building.” Once she walked into the space, she knew she had found the perfect spot to realize her dream. “It was the right place at the right time,” she says.

She has high praise for the developer of Mad River Lofts, Marty Goldin, who converted two 19th-century mill buildings into office and studio space for artists, small business and other creative industries. Watching that online video about the project, she was impressed by Goldin’s vision for his building, and felt it chimed with her own ambitions.

Thompson particularly likes that her studio space, which has windows overlooking the Mad River and Main Street, is so light and comfortable. “I really didn’t need to add a lot to it,” she says, mostly just a few of her own paintings to add a bit of color. “I had a mindset of what I wanted it to look like—soft, airy, glowing.”

Thompson’s yoga training has been very broad, and she wants to bring that eclectic approach to her classes. She teaches a variety of styles and levels: Vinyasa, gentle, restorative, chair, Yin and prenatal yoga. She has classes for adults, families and children, and some of her classes combine yoga and Pilates, or yoga and Thai massage. There is even an evening candlelight yoga class.

In her first month of business, she’s felt free to experiment. “I’ve had the luxury to play with offering different classes,” Thompson says. “People have been very open to different things. I want to find what fits the groove of this town.”

Although she herself lives in Burlington, Conn., Thompson has family in the Winsted area and knows it well. And she has become a big supporter of the town. She’s excited about the new developments in town—including the cooperative grocery store that coming in down the street (as reported in the November 2017 issue of Norfolk Now) and plans for a brewery. “There’s so much momentum behind revitalizing Winsted,” she says.

Thompson has also held some fundraising events at Blue Dandelion. As part of the open house, she sold jewelry to raise money for the Open Door Soup Kitchen, and participants in one class were invited to give donations to a juvenile diabetes organization in the area. “It’s an opportunity to build up the studio and to support the town. I’ve had so much support from the community that I feel like giving back. It’s the right thing to do.”

She’s still learning how to get the word out about Blue Dandelion Yoga. So far, she’s been relying on word of mouth and flyers, and it seems to be working: two workshops she offered in October—one in yin yoga, another that combined restorative yoga with Thai massage—both sold out. Thompson says, “I definitely feel that people want this here, they want it to stay.”

Blue Dandelion Yoga offers both drop-in rates and class cards. To see a full list of classes, workshops and rates, go to bluedandelionyoga.com.

Photo: Becky Thompson leads a yoga class in her new studio in QWinsted’s newest office and studio space, Mad River Lofts. Photo by Bruce Frisch.

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