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Tenth Gate Yoga Makes the Ancient Practice Accessible To All

By Pamela Sosnowski

Early in her holistic healing career, Reinette Fournier learned that many people had a limiting perception about yoga. As a Reiki expert and reflexologist she saw many clients that were under stress, and she would often recommend yoga and meditation to them.

"Many had never tried it, were interested, but felt uncomfortable about walking into a studio," she said. "The general perception was that yoga was for flexible thin people and that meditation meant completely stopping their thoughts, which was an impossible idea to them. It was obvious that education was needed."

So Fournier and her husband set out to introduce yoga to their local community and change the reputation the ancient practice seemed to evoke. After the couple completed their teacher training programs for Kundalini yoga they opened their own studio, Tenth Gate Yoga, in Portsmouth in 2008. After just two years, they expanded their space by moving into their current location in a circa 1800 post-and-beam structure featuring plenty of natural light, shiny hardwood floors, and on-site parking.

At Tenth Gate Yoga Fournier, her husband, and other instructors lead members through a variety of yoga classes from Gentle Haha (great for beginners) to the sweat inducing Heated Power Yoga and some that incorporate meditation. No matter a person's preference, Fournier says all forms of yoga deliver the same general benefits.

"The practice can improve and strengthen the body systems: circulatory, glandular, nervous, respiratory, etc. to promote optimum physical and emotional health," she said. "Yoga can also improve flexibility, vitality and stamina. Yoga, however, encompasses so much more. In addition to the physical postures, called asana, the entire yogic system includes breathing techniques (pranayama), which can assist a person in processing emotions and feelings, controlling moods, and developing concentration."

Tenth Gate is open seven days a week to accommodate busy schedules. Students need to bring their own mat, water bottle, and towel (for heated classes) but the studio provides supports and props for the classes that use them. There are currently 18 different classes available, so there's a yoga variety for everybody, and the studio offers workshops and special events that dive into even more diverse options. Many of these sell out ahead of time, such as the upcoming Detoxing Mind, Body, and Consciousness workshop that helps eliminate limiting beliefs present since childhood.

"At Tenth Gate we welcome all who want to learn, whether new to yoga or a longtime student," Fournier said. "Our hope is that you find a practice that particularly appeals to you. If curious, but a little shy, we also offer private classes to help you navigate your way."

The drop-in fee for an individual class is $16. Several memberships and class card packages are available, and Tenth Gate offers a 10 percent discount on any class card for seniors, students, and active military personnel. For those that want to pursue a yoga career, the studio's 200 hour Kundalini Yoga teacher training program will earn a student certification through The Tenth Gate School for Yoga and Energy Healing.

Fournier's advice for new yoga students is simple. "Try many different styles and determine what resonates with you," she said. "Make certain the class you choose can accommodate beginners. Most of our classes at Tenth Gate welcome beginning students."

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