‘Mindful Movement’ Studio Turns Five
Years ago, when Reneé Tillotson’s son was going through a period of teenage rebellion, she turned to fitness as a way to relieve stress.
She’d been a gymnast through her early 20s — even becoming captain of the gymnastics team in college — but hadn’t remained active throughout most of her adulthood. But when she started taking classes in nia — a combination of a cardio workout, dance, martial arts and yoga — she found that it worked wonders.
“There is this meditative quality to it that when I do it, I just feel at peace with myself and so much of a happier person. I am so much nicer to be around — just ask my husband,” Tillotson says with a laugh.
“It just brought me so much joy,” she adds.
It’s that type of effect that Tillotson now hopes to have on others at her Kaka‘ako fitness studio Still & Moving Center. The center, which celebrates its fifth anniversary today (March 18), offers a range of classes that all share an emphasis on what Tillotson calls “mindful movement.”
“I wanted a place … that was a safe, sacred space different from a gym where all these various mindful movement practices could occur,” Tillotson explains. “There is also very much a healing component to (our classes). I wanted to provide people with different opportunities to move to heal.”
Classes include yoga and aerial yoga, dance, martial arts and Pilates, as well as Tillotson’s favorite, nia. All age groups are covered, with offerings like Siting Baby Hula for its youngest members and Tai Chi for Better Balance for seniors. For those who are looking to expand their practices, Still & Moving Center also features extensive teacher training programs and certifications in its various modalities.
In addition to the physical benefits, Tillotson believes that these types of classes also can relieve tension and anxiety.
“It’s amazing how much having a healthy movement practice can just work out so much of the junk in our lives,” she says.
“That is what I really want for people,” she continues, “I want them to find that still center, find that joy and find healing, find a way to live in your body that just feels better.”
In celebration of its five-year anniversary, Still & Moving Center has performances and demonstrations — in areas including hula, aerial yoga, kung fu and yoga — for free from 7 to 8:30 p.m. March 18.
For Tillotson, the last five years have been filled with good memories — growing her business, seeing clients visit the center from all over the world. But her favorite part, she says, has been watching the impact on individual members. There have been clients who have improved their health, as well as those who have become teachers themselves and opened their own studios.
“Every time I see Still & Moving Center helping somebody else bring their dreams to life, it’s very gratifying to me,” she says.
Still & Moving Center is located at 1024 Queen St. Membership starts at $145 per month. Class packages also are available. For more information, call 397-7678 or visit stillandmovingcenter.com.