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Living Well Studio is relaxing environment for yoga, Pilates and more

The ambiance of the historic old building in the Denham Springs Antique & Arts Village is a perfect fit with the relaxing vibe of the Living Well Health and Wellness Studio.

From the warm hardwood floors, to the vintage tin ceiling, Living Well Studio is the perfect relaxing and welcoming environment for people of all levels to participate in a variety of fitness classes.

Health coach and studio owner Michelle Alello offers more than 20 classes each week in yoga, NIA, tai chi, cardio dance fusion and Pilates.

“Yoga can be beneficial as a total body low-impact workout or as a nice adjunct to other sports and fitness routines, as well as for rehabilitation after an injury,” said Alello. “With its easy-to-learn techniques and numerous health benefits, the different types of yoga classes offer something for everyone.”

Pilates is a great way to stabilize core muscles and create a more toned physique. Designed for all fitness levels, Modifications are given to newbies, special populations, expectant mothers and those in injury rehab so all can benefit.

The staff of Living Well Health & Wellness Studio includes, left to right, Amanda Cockerham, health coach & instructor; Cindy Bischoff, NIA (Neuromuscular Integrative Action) instructor; Michelle Alello, owner/ yoga, Pilates Mat & Pilates Reformer instructor; Tonya Pickett, "Flirty, Fun & Fit" dance instructor; Elan Adams, yoga iinstructor.

NIA dance (Neuromuscular Integrative Action) is a sensory-based movement practice that draws from martial arts, dance and healing arts.

Tai chi is a Chinese martial art practiced for both its defense training and health benefits.

“Flirty, Fun & Fit” is a Cardio Dance Fusion class, with a Pilates and Yoga finale, all set to music for an energetic workout that starts on the feet with fun dance routines. Before the end of class, students are making their way slowly to the mat for a combination Pilates and Yoga workout like no other.

Many of those classes can be attended by people with flexibility or orthopedic issues or other physical limitations. Movements are adapted so the elderly, people who can’t get down on the floor and even people in wheelchairs can still participate.

“There are no age, gender or physical limitations here. All you need to be able to do to attend our classes is breathe,” laughed Alello.

However, there are also advanced classes for those clients who prefer more demanding routines. And in addition to group classes, instructors are available to teach private sessions for all levels of yoga and Pilates.

Alello opened her studio because of her deep desire to share her passion for health and wellness with others.

“Our classes are purposely kept small – usually six to eight persons for yoga, and ten to twelve for dance – so everyone receives individualized attention,” she shared. “I never walk into a class with an agenda; what we do that day depends on who comes to class and what the class needs. Everyone is always free to ask questions here.”

Living Well Studio has built a good clientele because of that willingness to be flexible,

“Another big reason for our success is that all instructors have bachelor’s degrees, specific certification in the class content we instruct and current certification in basic life support,” Alello said. “Our CPR certification is important to those people with health problems. We get many referrals from physicians, chiropractors and physical therapists. When patients leave physical therapy, they often come to us as a transition from therapy to their normal routines.”

The studio’s ambiance is enhanced by the use of dimmed lights and candles to create a tranquil environment. The studio floor is laminated to provide a little “give,” and all classes are done barefoot.

“If someone would like to come try a class, we ask that they call and let us know they’re coming,” said Alello, “but drop-ins are not turned away. People can check our schedule online at our website and show up 10 minutes before class. I greet and meet all newcomers, find out a little about their fitness interests, get some basic health info from them, and we come up with the services they need.”

She added, “Many of the thing we do in our classes, you could do at home. But people come for the discipline, camaraderie, encouragement and the fun! Our clients say our studio is a safe and comforting place which helps them advance their fitness practice.”