By Deborah Bostock-Kelley

In 2013, Amy Olshanski founded Hands at Heart Yoga, providing corporate and private yoga instruction. In January 2021, in the heart of the pandemic, she took a giant leap of faith and found a space of her own, a special place where you can forget about the rest of the world and make yourself and your health a priority. 

 She opened her doors, offering hybrid classes, energy healing, yoga teacher training programs, and yoga retreats on top of corporate and private yoga instruction. Where others failed, Hands at Heart Yoga continues to thrive.

 On January 2, 2022, Amy invites the community to celebrate Hands at Heart Yoga’s one-year anniversary celebration. HAHY will offer free 45-minute classes all day, live music by Haley Meehan, food, raffles, and fun.

“Enter our plank contest to try your luck at beating Hands at Heart Yoga Instructor and “plank master” Sarah Sclafani to win an annual paid-in-full yoga membership,” said Amy.

These 45-minute classes will provide the public with an opportunity to meet the dynamic instructors that have made the yoga studio a sanctuary for so many people during these turbulent times.  

 Offering memberships and open seven days a week, the studio features qualified teachers who will facilitate your endeavors whether you’re a beginner or want to deepen your practice or decide to become a Certified Yoga Instructor and share your passion with others.

 In 2012, Amy suffered life-altering traumas, and yoga helped her rebuild.  As a result, Amy wants the rest of the world to know that it’s possible for anybody. 

 Amy’s classes are challenging and inspiring. She understands first-hand that people need a venue to heal the body from the inside out on levels that can only be experienced, not described. This is why she has created the studio and surrounded herself with other skilled professionals in the Yoga community who provide an authentic experience where you learn to breathe. 

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Hands at Heart Yoga’s Winter Solstice event will be 3:30PM – 6:30 PM on December 19 at Veteran’s Memorial Park with a beautiful view of the water to welcome the new year.

“The practice of Sun Salutations symbolizes death and rebirth during this time and the ability to move forward and let go. It’s a time to set intentions for moving into the new year. What better time than the weekend of a full moon to top it off,” said Amy. “We will also be collecting donations for Oldsmar Cares again, as well as selling tickets for amazing raffle prizes and 50/50.”

The practice of Sun Salutations stimulates the metabolism and the digestive, respiratory, circulatory, and reproductive systems. It provides an excellent cardiovascular workout, stretches every part of the body, lubricates and strengthens joints and muscles. This sequence takes your spine through almost every possible range of motion. When integrated with the breath (the pattern in which we inhale and exhale with each pose), it encourages deep and rhythmic breathing, increasing blood to the brain and bringing mental clarity.

“Following our practice will be a 108 mala bead chant,” she said. “Our mantra is Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha – asking to remove obstacles, evils, and struggles from our path.”

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Other exciting events begin January 2022.

On January 13, Hands at Heart Yoga will be offering its next 200HR Yoga Teacher Training Program.

“We offer a convenient program allowing you to graduate in four months. Our streamlined 4-month package is designed to inform, educate and prepare you for graduation by teaching a one-hour class that you design in the manner that suits your unique personality. We also offer a three-part workshop on The Lymphatic System that cannot be found in other local Teacher Training Programs. 

Your lead teacher is Shelly Happel, LMT, RYT, MA. She has been teaching Yoga in Tampa Bay for almost 22 and is a Licensed Massage Therapist with an intimate knowledge of the body,” said Amy. “Whether wanting to become a yoga teacher or deepening personal knowledge, the training will include a variety of practices and allow students to discover the style that most resonates. “From Yin Yoga to a Power Vinyasa Flow, we will work together to find what makes your heart sing and fuel your desire to share your passion with others,” she said.

Michele Nieset, a November 2021 graduate of the program, said on social media, “This training brought a new level of confidence to my typically quiet demeanor and showed me the physical and emotional strength I easily forget I have.”

Amy has an ad for $400 off Yoga Teacher training in this issue.

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In the studio on January 16 is the Full Moon Flow & Art.  Students can join Amy as she leads a full moon flow & full moon guided meditation. She will then help them tap into their creative side with a full moon-inspired painting. Supplies, snacks, wine, and drinks included.

“This falls on the end of our four-day immersion to kick off yoga teacher training. What better time to set intentions and manifest. Students come in exhausted and leave saying, ‘this was so awesome!’” she said, “As people have discovered us, I’m excited for them to trust my beautiful space for their yoga journey.”

Hands at Heart Yoga is located on the southeast corner of Race Track Road and Tampa Road at 13946 West Hillsborough Avenue. To learn more, schedule classes or register for an event or Yoga Teacher Training, visit handsatheartyoga.yoga or like us on Facebook to stay up to date on upcoming events.