If you don’t, don’t worry… you’ll still love and feel welcome at Lucky Cat Yoga. “All ages, all levels and all locations” is the mantra, owners Erin and Eric Wheeler came up with. This mantra has propelled their yoga practice and business since 2010.
Eric and Erin started as independent contractors where they offered yoga classes at a variety of studios and other locations such as the library, the Dali Museum, Next Gen Ballet/The Straz, Tempest Project and Tampa Preparatory. They also were some of the first yogis in Tampa to offer children’s yoga and chair yoga for the elderly. After building a good group of clientele they were able to open their now brick and mortar business in Tampa Heights.
The Quiet Storm
Many people practice yoga as a way to find some inner peace and tranquility. Ironically, the light and airy studio opened this past September, the week of Hurricane Irma. The storm didn’t get them down though, this synchronized couple took their momentum, and ran through the storm with it.
Erin and Eric met each other in 1987. But although they are a charming couple now, their romance didn’t start for 5 years. They remained in the friend zone until a camping trip brought them closer. (Nights under the stars… pretty romantic!)
During their 20 years of marriage life happened, and Erin and Eric wanted a way to live a more healthy life. Erin was looking to slim down after gastric bypass surgery and Eric was looking for a way to overcome smoking cigarettes and drinking. They turned to Yoga and haven’t looked back.
While teaching wasn’t originally in the cards for Erin, Eric quickly became very interested in becoming a Yogi. He poured himself into his practice and became very involved into learning as much as he could about Yoga. Erin soon caught Eric’s passion for teaching.
Balanced Yoga Classes
Eric and Erin have purposefully created a yoga schedule to be balanced for their students. They provide a schedule that ebbs and flows from difficult intense classes to the more flowy classes that gear towards beginners. All the classes are vinyasa yoga which is simply yoga that concentrates on the breath.
While the theme is vinyasa throughout, sometimes the music takes on a mind of its own. This is particularly true in their Dark Wave Yoga class. During Dark Wave Yoga, the music breaks from the traditional music you might associate with yoga. In addition, you’ll also hear an assortment of post punk, new wave, & alternative music. To help you feel the vibe, the class is also practiced in candle light.
In addition to the Dark Wave Yoga, Lucky Cat Yoga also offers Children’s Yoga, Chair Yoga (once a month), House of Yoga and more. I went to a House of Yoga night and had an absolute blast. The music for the evening was all Madonna. It was a packed house, which made it even more fun. I never would have put Madonna and Yoga together, but it worked seamlessly. I was dancing and stretching at the same time.
For those who want to feel a sense of their own power, another great class to take is “Root to Rise.” I learned how to do a head stand during the class, which I have been bragging to my husband about ever since.
Everyone is Welcome
Erin and Eric have this very inclusive feeling to them. They are very welcoming and kind. When I interviewed them about what they wanted for their clients Erin said this. “I want people of all shapes, sizes, abilities, flexibility, orientation and creed to feel welcome and that Yoga is for everyone.” That is one of the reasons they have such a diverse schedule that has something for everyone.
At Lucky Cat Yoga, kids are welcome to. If kids are well behaved, then they can join their parents in a yoga session. Erin and Eric speak highly of their clients saying that “they are all very kind people, even the ones who are struggling know that yoga will make things a little better in their struggle.”
Coming up for all Lucky Cat Yogis are some classes with live music. Mountain Howler, the musician will be playing live April 6th from 7:30-8:45. Also, Erin and Eric are going to be hosting different presenters and different classes to inspire more people to practice yoga.