Lancaster yoga studio is called Praisewellness – Worcester Telegram

LANCASTER – Lydia Vazquez believes the path she’s on is all part of her yoga journey..
Recently, Vazquez opened her own yoga studio on 131 Main St., offering a variety of services including yoga classes for adults and children, salt baths, reiki and crystal and sound healing.
“I believe I was meant to be in this space. About 25 years ago, I worked as a hairdresser and nail technician at Curley’s HideAway in this same exact space,” she explained. 
When she started looking for a storefront for yoga, she was told about a “for lease” sign in front of the plaza.  When she was shown the space, she said “I could not believe it, it was the same exact spot. It was like the universe wanted me there.”
Vazquez got into yoga after a bad injury in 2009.  She was no longer able to take “pounding on her body” from high-impact exercises like circuit training and tough mudders after spending most of a year in a wheelchair. But even after recovery, she was still “not feeling quite right.”
Vaquez took her first yoga class at the prompting of her friend, Julianna Record-Massalski. 
Now Vazquez has been doing yoga for 12 years, obtaining her teacher training through Record-Massalski’s Wachusett Wellness studio in Clinton. She has a 500 RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) certification with the Yoga Alliance and is a master of Reiki teacher.
“Yoga added the balance I needed in my life with a fast-paced lifestyle,” she said, helping deal with the anxiety and stress of work and being a single mom.  “Through yoga (and my faith in God), I have found inner peace. I have learned to love myself and to hold no judgments. I learned that I was my own worst critic and learning the practice of letting go and having faith in the God/Universe has helped me in ways I never thought possible.”
Vazquez was raised Catholic and considers herself Christian, bringing prayer and setting intentions to Jesus during her personal practice. 
This is part of what PraiseWellness means, but it’s also secular, just “about giving thanks and having gratitude.”  No faith is required to attend her classes.
As a teacher, Vazquez said she loves being a witness to the journeys of her students and seeing the changes in the mind, body, and soul. 
“What was impossible becomes possible,” she said, adding, “I believe we all have the power to heal ourselves through breathing, meditation and our daily practice of self-love. I constantly tell my students that they cannot pour from an empty cup and that they need to fill their cup first before taking care of others.”
Vazquez said she teaches “a mix of kundalini, yin and restorative yoga,” which she calls “lazy yoga.”  No sweating or crazy poses, she focuses on “breath, meditation, flexibility and learning to create a practice that is sustainable for you” as a lifelong practice.
Her daughter, Jessica Kennedy, is also teaching at PraiseWellness, doing “a Vinyasa type yoga that includes components of ballet and dance” and is currently also offering a class to pre-teens and teens on yoga and mindfulness, which includes discussion, journaling, and art.
Vazquez has two other daughters, Haley Long and Annah Long, who have also helped her business get up and running. 
“They have been instrumental in being part of this journey, from shopping for our retail section to social media and interior design,” she said. Her boyfriend Daniel Berube and his children, Emmy and Danny, have also helped, she said, making it “a family affair” and “a dream come true.”
Vazquez decided to open her studio not only for yoga, but for other alternative modalities — including needing a place to store all of her equipment for sound baths, which she said is “is a meditative experience where those in attendance are “bathed” in sound waves. These waves are produced by various sources… It’s an immersive experience,” she said.
Vazquez is a 1994 graduate of Clinton High School, living in Lancaster.  Her yoga studio is not (yet) her full-time job; she’s a financial executive, working as a senior vice president at Align Credit Union in Leominster.  Vaquez is completing a bachelor’s degree in business management from the New England College of Business in 2022.
“This practice and this studio is the yin to my yang,” she said.
Her goal is to share her studio space with “other like-minded practitioners to offer healing-type services and all types of classes. I am looking for teachers interested in holding space and offering other styles of yoga,” she said.
She said for those who want to become a teacher – or even those who want to try yoga for the first time – should find a teacher they resonate with.  She still takes classes from her favorite mentors weekly.
PraiseWellness is located in the basement unit under the dentist’s office; her door is in the back. The studio offers a main yoga room, a salt room, and a treatment room. 
Vazquez is bilingual, and can help clients who speak either English or Spanish.
Vasquez is providing needs-based scholarships (via request to [email protected]) for local children to attend their back-to-classes in August and the fall. 
“These are tools that we want all kids to have so this is our way of making it accessible for all,” she said.
The studio will also be hosting some events for children so parents can have a night out, youth movie nights and the space can be rented for small functions like birthday parties and meetings.
Find Vazquez and PraiseWellness online at praisewellness.com, email [email protected] or call (508) 414-7421. She has Instagram and Facebook pages @praisewellness.

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