Prairie Wife of the Week: Alaina Binfet of Om on the Range Yoga and Massage #Giveaway
Posted February 29, 2016 by Prairie Wife - 10 comments
When you first walk into Om on the Range Yoga and Massage you are immediately surrounded by a deeply calming vibe. Light and airy colors, an open concept, and a delicate combination of scented oils offer a treat for all the senses. Alaina met my smile with an equally large one of her own, and a firm handshake that gave me a glimpse into the strength and control that she possesses in both mind and body. As I watched her go through a few yoga poses for the pictures below I was struck not only by the smoothness of her transitions (a tell tale sign of a true yoga master) but, by the calm that took over her as she moved more deeply into her practice. Just take a second to watch her in this Yoga video and you’ll see exactly what I mean! Alaina truly believes in the benefits of Yoga, and practices what she preaches. Starting a new business in a small town can be hard, but I can tell you that Om on the Range is destined for greatness. Alaina has all the Prairie Wife grit and grace she needs to make this amazing venture take off…I can’t wait to say “I knew her when!”
Make sure you stop by at the end of the interview to enter to win one free yoga session of your choice at Om on the Range Yoga!
Prairie Wife (PW): First tell us a little bit about you and your family.
Alaina Binfet (AB): Born in Utah, but raised in Casper, I am a Wyoming girl all the way. My parents have both worked hard all of their adult lives to provide a great life for me and my sister. I attended NC High School and Casper College and at the age of 20 moved to Missoula, MT to attend Massage Therapy school. In 2004 after graduating and living the poor student life for a while, I moved back home to Casper where I planned to stay only temporarily. I had huge plans to travel the world as I worked as a massage therapist on a cruise ship – well, as life will have it, that summer, I met a boy and decided to stay. One year melted into another (the boy was long out of the picture at this point but many others had come in and out of my life), and I kept saying I was going to leave this town, until the day when I met “the one” and realized I was rooted in Casper for good. Since then I have been back to college to finish my degree in Health Science, worked as a Vet Tech, managed a retail store, and all the while continued to practice massage therapy. My now husband and I enjoy traveling, spending as much time as possible in the outdoors, and playing with our dogs.
PW: You are a certified Masseuse and Yoga Instructor, what led you to these professions?
AB: I have always been interested in science, health, and the human body. Anatomy/Physiology/Biology were all favorite subjects of mine in school, yet I never had the desire to go into the medical field to be a nurse. It just didn’t appeal to me. But I was drawn to the idea of helping people. When I was 18 I started looking into massage therapy school (at this point in my life, I had never had a massage other than when my mom would massage the growing pains out of my legs or rub my head when I was trying to fall asleep) but it was calling to me – it was something I just felt like I needed to do. While in massage school they required us to practice yoga – at first, I hated it. It was too slow, I thought it was all Eastern mumbo jumbo and I my science based mind found it hard to accept. This went with massage as well; all massage therapy did was manipulate muscles and rub out “knots”. It wasn’t until many years later, I realized there was a lot of energy involved in massaging, and I had a gift of being able to transfer that energy with my massages. I now massage with the intention of not only getting those pesky knots out of muscles, but calming and healing the body. About 10 years ago, I decided to try yoga again, and found a new appreciation for it.
PW: You’ve referred to Yoga as “A Way of Life” what does this mean to you?
AB: I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had people tell me “I can’t do yoga – I’m not flexible enough”. It actually drives me crazy to hear this. If you can breathe, you can practice yoga. Yoga is NOT about touching your toes, or doing some crazy backbend; it’s not about wearing cute yoga clothes (although, I’m loving the fact that I’m able to wear comfy yoga pants for work every day), in fact, the poses or asanas are only one small portion of practicing yoga. Yoga is a vast system for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health & well-being. It’s an exploration of ourselves on all of these levels. It teaches us how to proceed in life with wisdom, awareness, and true understanding.
PW: Recently you opened Om on the Range, a Yoga studio. Why did you begin this business venture?
AB: I decided to open this business a few years back when I was searching for a studio in town that focused solely on yoga. All of the places I found were in gyms or fitness centers and offered classes that were more cardio and workout based. Things like “power yoga” or “hot yoga” or “yoga sculpt” are great for what they are, but they don’t focus on the core practice of yoga. Plus with a lot of those fitness centers, you had to be a member to attend the classes. To me those environments seemed intimidating – you see these ultra fit people going into a class and busting out handstands. That is so off-putting for so many people. It makes yoga inclusive to only the people willing to enter those environments. I wanted something all-inclusive; a place where absolutely everyone, every shape, every age, every gender, every size, could come to participate and not feel intimidated. There is only one other studio like that in town, and as they are great, there was just a need for more. Then the idea of incorporating my other profession of massage therapy seemed like a no-brainer. When I am massaging people, I’ll ask if they do any kind of stretching or physical exercise to help ease certain pains, and 80% of the time, the answer is no. I ALWAYS recommend yoga. The two go hand in hand!
PW: What types of classes do you offer and how did you pick what choices to offer your clients?
AB: We offer a variety of classes built for every level. We often will teach classes to a less experienced level and then offer variations on poses to either make them easier or more challenging. All of the instructors at Om on the Range have a similar background and belief when it comes to practicing yoga, so even though each class will be different, you will still get the same core benefits. We offer a lot of “flow” classes which really just means that the poses are connected to the breath and the sequences flow from one pose to another in a fluid seamless fashion. We also offer Yin and Restorative which are much more stationary classes that focus more on stillness; Yin is primarily to help stretch the body and Restorative is more relaxing. We have classes that focus more on meditation and then some that focus more on breathing. Then as mentioned above, we do offer one mat Pilates class. Pilates and yoga are very different; Pilates mostly focuses on core strengthening.
PW: When you design a class what goes into the planning?
AB: Each instructor will have a different technique for planning their classes. Some will take an idea, or “theme” and build a sequence around that. Others will choose a “peak pose” and design their class to work up to achieving that pose. Some are more structured, like Ashtanga, and don’t change the sequence much at all. You just practice at a more advanced level as you go on.
PW: What advice do you have for people that are interested in beginning Yoga?
AB: Come try a class! Look at the schedule, read about each instructor and choose a class that interests you. You can always call and tell us what your goals are and we can help you choose a class that seems like a good fit for you. But mostly, DON’T BE SCARED! Try new things, if you fall, no big deal – instructors fall all the time. If you fart, no big deal – yoga is designed to squeeze our organs and get things moving in our body, so farts just mean that it’s working! Don’t be intimidated by other people in class – it’s YOUR practice. You do what feels good for your body and you’re the one reaping the benefits, so no judgement on yourself or others. Our goal is for everyone to practice and get the most out of each class.
PW: The health benefits of massage have been in the news a lot lately, what benefits for your clients have you seen in your years of practice?
AB: I’ve seen it all. I’ve helped people that are suffering from chronic pain, I’ve helped people reduce the stress in their life, I’ve helped people protect their bodies from injury. Again, massage is much more than just manipulating the muscles; the effect it has on our whole body is priceless. It helps calm the mind, lower blood pressure, reduce fatigue, rejuvenates the body, and so much more. I have one client that I see multiple times a month that has recently told me he’s certain regular massage has added years onto his life. He says his body feels better now in his 50’s than it did when he was in his 20s. That’s pretty amazing!
PW: Where do you hope to see yourself and Om on the Range in the next few years?
AB: I would love to see Om on the Range become a staple business in the community. I would love to get to a point where we can offer retreats, and workshops, and find a way to incorporate yoga into schools and businesses. I want to be able to have Om on the Range sponsoring events and promoting the practice of yoga in all aspects of life.
PW: Any last Prairie Wife words of wisdom?
AB: Be yourself – and love yourself for who you are. Love others and accept them for who they are.
Live in the present moment – yesterday is gone and tomorrow doesn’t even exist.
Our last giveaway for our WE LOVE OUR READERS month of giveaways is a great one! Alaina is giving one lucky reader a chance to enter to win one free yoga session of your choice at Om on the Rang Yoga! All you HAVE to do is comment below and tell us why you want to try a Yoga class at Om on the Range Yoga! You can earn more points by following us on social media. Please be honest, we will be checking.
Tags: , benifits of massage, benifits of yoga, Giveaway, interview, massage, om on the range yoga, Prairie Wife of the Week, small buisness, women buisness owners, wyoming yoga studios, yoga, yoga practice
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