Phil Castle, The Business Times
Linda Toth combines ancient practices and modern technology in her yoga studio in Grand Junction.
Along with classes that promote physical and mental well-being through postures and breathing techniques, Half Moon Yoga uses an infrared heating system Toth said offers additional health benefits.
The result, she said, is a place where people of all abilities and backgrounds are welcome to gather to improve their lives — both on and off the yoga mat. “It’s not just about the workout.”
Toth opened Half Moon Yoga in the Cottonwood Mall at the beginning of the year. She brings to the operation not only her training in yoga, but also her varied experiences running a dance studio and working as a fitness instructor, massage therapist and group fitness manager.
Toth works at Half Moon Yoga with a manager Elise Cunningham and assistant manager Ali Hatch as well as additional instructors.
Toth started out as a dancer who trained for 16 years with the Philadelphia Civic Ballet Company and later the College Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati. She used her knowledge of dancing and choreography to open a group exercise studio. After moving to Grand Junction, Toth worked as a massage therapist, fitness instructor and group fitness manager.
Toth subsequently left the gym industry to pursue her passion for yoga. She became a certified instructor in the Baptiste style of yoga developed by Baron Baptiste and received additional advanced training. She also completed training with Zeek Vincent in ZFlow Power Yoga.
Half Moon Yoga offers classes in Baptiste, ZFlow and Power Flow as well as a foundational class that helps students develop the fundamentals of postures, breathing and alignment. Cunningham said different instructors bring their own backgrounds and teaching styles to classes, as do visiting teachers and other guests.
Half Moon Studio is the only yoga studio in Western Colorado to use an infrared system for heating, Toth said. “It’s a game changer.”
Unlike traditional systems that heat air, 12 panels in the studio radiate energy and transfer heat to objects, she said. The panels emit a penetrating and therapeutic heat that reduces fatigue and stress. Infrared heat also has been shown to remove toxins from tissues, ease pain and improve the cardiovascular and immune systems, she said.
The infrared heating system adds to what Toth said are already the substantial physical and mental benefits associated with yoga.
Along with increasing strength and flexibility, yoga decreases anxiety and stress by clearing the mind of clutter, Toth said. There’s also an opportunity for self-inquiry and the realization of what’s authentic, a process that can be life-changing, she said.
While drop-in rates are available for one class or a group of classes, Half Moon Yoga offers what Toth said is a better deal in memberships with no limits on how many classes students take. Memberships also come with a 10 percent discount on merchandise sold at the studio, including mats, water bottles and clothing.
Toth said she hopes to create at Half Moon Yoga a community for people to not only practice yoga, but also recharge and live their lives more authentically. Cunningham said she was looking for just such a community when she relocated from Virginia to the Grand Valley last year.
At the same time, though, Toth said she hopes to reach out and benefit the larger community. It’s part of a mission to transform individuals and in turn the world. “We can make a difference.”
Half Moon Yoga is located in the Cottonwood Mall at 2493 U.S. Highway 6 & 50, Unit 3 in Grand Junction. For more information, call 985-4401 or visit www.halfmoonyogagj.com.