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Buzz, Generated — Lindsay Henry (Yoga Spot Meadville)

Lindsay Henry joins the podcast to discuss her business: Yoga Spot Meadville. The studio brings a variety of classes for all skill levels to the Meadville community, along with seasonal programming and the belief “that everyone can benefit from the practice of yoga."

In this conversation, she discusses how her sports background inspired her to get into Yoga and eventually open her own studio, plus how the Edinboro Beehive assisted in some apparel design. Finally, the talk moves to how the business community in Meadville supports locally-owned businesses.

Sponsored by: Erie Regional Chamber & Growth Partnership

This podcast is a product of the NWPA Innovation Beehive Network. Most guests are clients that have used our services.

Music: Kevin Macleod’s "pamgaea" available via Creative Commons Attribution-International 4.0. License:, No changes were made.

Music by Audionautix's "Roboskater" by Jason Shaw available via Creative Commons Attribution-International 4.0. License:, No changes were made.


LINDSAY HENRY: From the spiritual, mindfulness component, it's one of those things, where we move through our day and we never really slow down and think about the breath and how we're breathing. And in the world we live in, it's high stress, it's we want it now, everything's immediate. And with yoga, I just think it's something where you're stepping back to your roots.

You get a chance to really turn inward and center your awareness around how you're feeling physically, emotionally. A lot of times you step on the mat, you'll have a million different things running through your head. But when you come back to that breath, it's easier to let those things go.

NARRATOR: That's Lindsay Henry, owner of Yoga Spot Meadville. She's our guest on this episode of Buzz, Generated, a show that introduces listeners to businesses and community leaders to collaborate with the Northwest Pennsylvania Innovation Beehive Network. Through our conversation, you'll hear about how a sports injury inspired Henry, a former college athlete herself, to open her own yoga studio.

You'll then discover what newcomers can expect when they join a class. Finally, she'll discuss upcoming seasonal programs and how the business community in Meadville offers a supportive network for locally owned businesses. Join host Tony Peyronel, the executive director of entrepreneurial development for Edinboro's Center for Branding and Strategic Communication as he sits down with our guest. Together, let's discover what the buzz is all about.

TONY PEYRONEL: We're joined on the podcast today by Lindsay Henry, owner of Yoga Spot Meadville. A new yoga studio located on Chestnut Street in Meadville. Lindsay, it's a pleasure to have you on the show and welcome.

LINDSAY HENRY: Thanks, Tony. Happy to be here.

TONY PEYRONEL: As I said in that short open, Yoga Spot is a relatively new business. Let's begin by having you tell our listeners what motivated you to launch it and how things have gone so far.

LINDSAY HENRY: Sure. Thanks for that. So basically my motivation for opening yoga spot was, I guess, a personal story. I started practicing yoga in 2018 down at Meadville Yoga, which is just down the street from where we're located now and was practicing there for about three years. Got really into it, really passionate about it, and honestly, can't imagine my day without yoga now that I've been practicing for the last four years.

But with the pandemic and the shutdown and everything, that really hurt their business and they were forced to shut their doors. So with a little bit of extra time on my hands and this new passion for yoga, I really got into learning more about the practice and decided get my teacher certification. And then the more I got to thinking about it and talking to some people, some of the teachers that inspired and influenced me, I decided, well, hey, let's give this a shot.

We have the community in Meadville. There's the drive that people want to do yoga, so we started looking for spaces and things fell into place. We were able to find this space on Chestnut Street, and we have a great landlord there, and we opened September 9, so we've been open for just under six months now.

TONY PEYRONEL: Yeah, that is still pretty new. I lost track, but you just opened this fall. So definitely still your opening season here.

LINDSAY HENRY: Yeah, next month on the 9th will be six months from the date of opening. So still fairly new, still trying to get some new interest, generate some new buzz, get membership. We have lots of different membership options. You can drop into a class, so yeah, it's been going great.

TONY PEYRONEL: Great. Great. Now, I won't pretend to be an expert on yoga, but I know there's a spiritual dimension to it as well as a physical one. Now, you touched on this starting to practice yoga in 2018, but I know you had an athletic background that preceded that as an athlete separate from yoga. So we'll start with the physical component since you have an athletics background. Did your sports background, did that actually help lead you to explore yoga?

LINDSAY HENRY: That's a funny question. So I always had the stereotypical assumption of yoga, right? People wearing yoga pants, there's not much movement, it's not much of a challenge. I didn't really see it as something athletic until after a reconstructive ankle surgery, that's what brought me into the studio back at Meadville Yoga, and I thought, oh, I'll get some flexibility back in my ankle, rehab it, it never was meant to be a long term thing.

But the more I practice, the more I realized, depending on what you're looking to get out of it, it can be a lot of different things, right? So there's definitely more physical components of a more flow-based practice. So like your Vinyasa, your Ashtanga. There's a lot of different challenging poses that you can incorporate, and I was very attracted to that.

I love that component of the practice, but at the same time, it does so much for your mind and your stress level, and that was something I never really got from my experience with sports and athletics. As a former college athlete, you were in and out of the gym, hitting the weights, doing your cardio. There was never really this body awareness component of it or mindfulness aspect, and that was another thing that really sparked my interest with yoga that was something different than I had ever experienced before.

So I guess to answer your question, it was both the physical component and also the mindfulness component. For me, it did a lot to calm me down. It was the first time, I guess, in my day, where I could step on the mat, set everything else aside, put my phone away, and not have any distractions. I could just focus on my breath and my movement and tying those two things together, and I think it did a lot for my mental health as well as my physical well-being. So a two-edged sword there as far as what drew me into the practice.

TONY PEYRONEL: So you started yoga thinking it was a short term PT to rehab surgery from an injury, and it's essentially become a career and lifestyle, apparently.

LINDSAY HENRY: Yeah, I mean, like I said, I practice daily now, and at first, it was just-- I was basically relearning how to walk because I was on crutches and a boot for months and months. I was frustrated because I couldn't get back in the gym and run on the treadmill and do some of the things that I was used to doing every day. So I had dabbled with yoga little bit prior to my surgery, but I thought oh, this will be good for my balance. A lot of the things I was incorporating in my physical therapy I thought it would go hand in hand as far as getting more mobility to that ankle joint, and it did that.

I mean, I attribute a lot of my rehab to yoga as well, but along the way, I just fell in love with the practice and the other aspects that it benefited my body, both physically and mentally.

TONY PEYRONEL: Now, aside from the physical component, you touched on the mindfulness aspect. Do you want to expand on that a little bit and maybe talk about additional benefits that a person can derive from practicing yoga?

LINDSAY HENRY: Yeah, so I guess from the spiritual like mindfulness component, it's one of those things where we move through our day, and we never really slow down and think about the breath and how we're breathing, and in the world we live in, its high stress, it's we want it now. Everything's immediate. And with yoga, I just think it's something where you kind of stepping back to your roots, you get a chance to really turn inward and center your awareness around how you're feeling physically, emotionally. A lot of times, you step on the mat, you'll have a million different things running through your head.

But when you come back to that breath, it's easier to let those things go and set them aside. So in that aspect, I think it can be very calming, and people are drawn to the practice for different reasons. For some people, it is simply just a workout and that's fine. And then for other folks, it is a very spiritual, can be therapeutic in many ways, as far as mental health, emotional well-being.

So it also ties into what you're looking to get out of it, I guess, if that makes sense.

TONY PEYRONEL: OK, it does. It does. Now, I know your studio prides itself as being welcoming to all but many people who practice yoga, they seem to bring a level of intensity that might be intimidating to someone that's just starting out. Even a little bit just the way you say you can't imagine going through a day without yoga. I'm just wondering, when you welcome your beginner into this climate where those who are practicing are really into it, how do you reconcile that?

LINDSAY HENRY: That's a great question. So yeah, a lot of folks are very intimidated by walking into a studio, and we pride ourselves on trying to be very accepting. So one of the biggest things is, unlike any other sport or activity where you have someone at the front of the room teaching a class, there's nothing that's mandatory. There's modifications that we offer.

We have all sorts of different props in the studio or if there's something that's not feeling good on your body or isn't accessible for your body then or maybe ever, there's ways to modify and make that accessible so it feels good and that you're still getting the same benefits of the posture. And with that being said, we also offer a wide breadth of classes. So for beginners, we would often encourage them to come to like a yoga for all or a gentle class that's going to be a little bit less intense than a flow-based class, where you're moving up and down a lot.

So we kind of pride ourselves on having something for everybody, depending on what you're looking for. We have a restorative and singing bowls class, where if you're just looking to get your zen on and relax and really calm down, a good stress reliever, we have those sorts of classes as well. So yeah, to circle it back to your question, we try to take the time with each person that comes in the door. If they say, hey, I'm new to yoga, we give them the grand tour, ask them if they have injuries, and then kind of talk to them about their experience.

If they've had any experience with yoga, we explained to them throughout the practice what the different postures are. A lot of times, it can be confusing when you come in and you hear some of the words are in Sanskrit or English or a combination of the two. But we try to be very deliberate. We have hands on adjustments as well with some of our instructors which can be very helpful.

And we're always open to questions. After class, people will come up to us and say, hey, can you go through this Sun Salutation again,. What did you mean when you said Chaturanga or Vinyasa, and we're always happy to take the time and break that down with people as much as needed.

NARRATOR: This episode of Buzz, Generated is sponsored by the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership, the voice of the business community in the Erie region. The Chamber provides advocacy and access to people, education, and information so the businesses have the leadership, resources, and expertise needed for continued prosperity throughout the region. Schedule a time to meet with the business action team and learn more about how the chamber can help or visit the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership online at

The growth of our vibrant community in Erie Pa depends on a dynamic business environment. The Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership aims to provide just that. Let's get back to the episode.  

TONY PEYRONEL: You have a lot of classes, and the next point I wanted to make is that another thing that surprised me about your studio is you have a fairly large staff of instructors. Most people I know who have started their own-- I mean, I don't know anyone who started a yoga studio, but I'll compare it to a fitness studio. I know several people who have done that, who started a fitness studio with different components and exercise. Most people I know who've started out that kind of a business, they usually start out by teaching almost all of the sessions themselves.

You teach you teach sessions at your shop, but you also have this additional team of instructors. Is that unique, and do you think that having multiple instructors is an advantage? I definitely think it's an advantage. I think it's unique for our size, being that we're a boutique studio on a smaller scale. We're not an overly large space. Pretty intimate, hands on experience, so I think it's unique in that way.

But I definitely think it's an advantage, because just personally through my yoga practice, one of the things I love so much is you learn different things from different teachers because everyone brings a different kind of flair and spice to the practice. Their personality shines through in the way they instruct, the way they offer adjustments, and just the overall style and arc of the practice that they're going to offer in every class. So I do love teaching, that's my favorite part of running Yoga Spot is stepping on the mat and getting in front of a room and offering this amazing practice to our clients, so that's my favorite part.

So if I could just solely focus on that, that would be great. But at the same time, I understand that maybe my class isn't always going to speak in the same volume as another class that one of my other instructors is going to offer. So different students are drawn to different styles. One class might be a little bit more focused on subtle energy, whereas another class might be focused on more of that get the heart pumping, Power Yoga type aspect.

So I think it's important to have teachers that complement those different parts of the practice, and I think that we do that really well at Yoga Spot. Like I said, offering everything from Power Yoga down to gentle and everything in between. And I think that the instructors that we have teaching each of those individual classes really take pride in making that their own and throwing their personality in and flavor in there with it.

TONY PEYRONEL: Another thing that's impressive about yoga spot is over and above the ambitious regular class schedule you just mentioned, you often have a lot of special programs going on. It seems like you're always trying to do different things. Whether it's couples yoga or some kind of seasonal offering, can you tell our listeners about any special programs that are coming up in the near future?

LINDSAY HENRY: Yeah, absolutely. So we just did a partner yoga last month, and we're planning to offer another one at the end of March on Saturday the 26th at 11 AM. So details will be up on our website shortly about that, and then one of the things that my partner and myself love is incorporating yoga with the outdoors.

So one of the things before the studio opened, how we got ourself out there and built up the energy for the studio was offering outdoor yoga sessions and we did that three times a week at HP Way Park. So I guess to go along with that, we also haven't been incorporating hike yoga's, which are essentially just what it sounds like. It's about an hour, hour and a half, you hike, you do a little bit of yoga. You stop at different parts of the trail to do quick meditations and just appreciate being one with nature and moving the body and breathing similar to the way we do in the studio.

But the nice thing about that is, Tony, you mentioned how it's intimidating to walk into a studio if you're a beginner. So something like hike yoga or even the outdoor sessions are a little bit less intimidating for some of those folks that don't want to walk into a studio, they don't want that to be their first impression of yoga. So we like to offer different opportunities for people to explore yoga and have a different introduction to it. And then as far as other things we have going on in February, we're always offering different promotions or ways to attract people to the studio.

We are doing bring a friend for free all February long, so any of our members can bring a friend or a family member to class for free, and then we've also partnered with French Creek Coffee and Tea, which is just down Chestnut Street. So for all of our weekend Saturday and Sunday morning 9 AM classes, if you come to class you get a drink chip for a free coffee or tea right after class. So we try to do different things like that to make it fun and enjoyable for people.

You can make a morning out of it on the weekend. So we have those things going on in February. We'll have a lot more coming up in March. We've done some Back to Basics workshops as well in the past for some beginners or people that are new to the studio, so we'll be looking to incorporate those things in the future as well.

TONY PEYRONEL: Now, if someone were to try to drag me onto one of these hiking yoga things, is it chill enough that a person could just like just do the hiking and while the little yoga broke out just like maybe sit in a stump or a stone and chill or would that be seen as like an alien invasion of the spirit of the trip?

LINDSAY HENRY: No, no, that wouldn't be an alien invasion at all. One of the things we pride ourselves on is it's a no judgment free zone. Whether you're in the studio or on a hike yoga adventure with us, you can do as much or as little as you want. So just like in the studio, we tell people, if you're feeling drawn, if you're feeling fatigued, take Child's Pose, which if you don't know what Child's Pose is, it's just a resting position on your mat.

You take a moment to gather yourself and rest. So just like that in hike yoga, if there's something that isn't calling to you or it doesn't feel right. If you want to sit on a stump and hang out, that's fine. But with a hike yoga, the yoga portion of our hike yoga's isn't super intense, so it's not going to be-- we're not going to be asking you to get on the ground and get dirty.

It's mostly standing positions that are very accessible for most of our clientele or anyone who comes, and that's another cool thing to see too with the hike yoga's is we have all age ranges. So people over the summer, when we did some up at Erie Bluffs, they brought their kids. We had people all the way up to in their 70s coming, so that's really cool is that community aspect of it. Bringing people in from different backgrounds, and people you might not otherwise have met.

That's a really nice component, and people get to chatting and get to know each other throughout these hikes, which is also something that we really enjoy.

TONY PEYRONEL: Now, our regular listeners know that as part of the Northwest PA Innovation Beehive Network, Edinboro's Center for Branding and Strategic Communication provides free branding and public relations services to new businesses. We had the pleasure of designing some merchandise for you as well as a flyer. How did that project work out and would you recommend our services to others?

LINDSAY HENRY: That project went awesome for us. I was so appreciative of the work that our Beehive team did for us. We basically had them working on some apparel ideas. We wanted to modernize it. We told them exactly what we were looking for as far as like sleek, minimal, hit on different keywords that we thought represented our brand and our philosophy over at Yoga Spot, and they did an amazing job at capturing that.

They made multiple different designs. They incorporated our logo, and we're really excited to roll some of that stuff out here in the spring and the summer. We're going to be doing a sale to get rid of our current inventory and then bring in some new things. So they were awesome to work with. They also made some fliers in different marketing materials for us that we hope to use for special events and to get around the town to help get our name out there.

So I would absolutely recommend it to any small business owners or entrepreneurs that are needing help with-- whether it's graphic design or marketing, they were absolutely phenomenal.

TONY PEYRONEL: Cool. And so that's another thing to look forward to. There may be a spring debut of some of the Beehive's swag work.

LINDSAY HENRY: Definitely. Yeah, we haven't rolled it out quite yet, but we're going to our next apparel order, we're going to be looking to incorporate some of the designs that they worked on for us and different slogans that we thought were really clever and captured what we represent over at Yoga Spot.

TONY PEYRONEL: Cool. Now, initially, most of the Beehive Network's work was based in Erie County, but we've since expanded to a number of counties in Northwest Pennsylvania and beyond, really. We're now doing more work in Crawford County, and since that, I've noticed there seems to be I guess I'll call it a movement in the Meadville community in particular towards small businesses supporting one another.

I think you've touched on this with the French Creek Coffee thing, but as a new business owner in Meadville, do you feel that sense of togetherness?

LINDSAY HENRY: Absolutely. One of the cool things about Meadville is we have an independent business alliance called MIBA that Yoga Spot is a part of. And we meet monthly. All the small business owners, we chat about different community events coming up. Like we just had the cookie walk down in Meadville. I know in the warmer months, they do the catwalk on Chestnut.

So all these different community events, businesses work together and partner to help support each other and bolster the local economy. So just attracting people downtown in general. If we can attract them down with small events, it helps everybody, it gets more foot traffic in all of the shops in the stores, which is great. So I think Meadville does a really good job of having these small businesses partner with each other, and you mentioned French Creek Coffee.

They've been a huge supporter of us and we've enjoyed partnering with them. Even before the studio opened, that was one of the things we did was we offered community pop ups upstairs in one of their spaces, which was great as far as helping us get our name out there and let people know that the studio was coming right down the street.

TONY PEYRONEL: And did they-- I know, we're not going to focus on this in the podcast, but you've been dealing with a lot of like building issues and heating issues and maybe had to close for a day or two here or there, and did they offer up? You said you did pop up stuff there as a temporary place to do some yoga if you do have to close down for a day or two?

LINDSAY HENRY: Yeah, yeah, so we're having some work done next week, and they were gracious enough to offer their upstairs conference room, which is luckily similar in space to our studio floor, so we're going to be operating our classes out of there next Tuesday and Wednesday, which is awesome because we don't have to shut down operations completely. So it's just that really small mom and pop shop vibes. People really willing to reach out and lend a hand when one business might be struggling or going through something, there's always those other small businesses that are looking to help people out and make sure everyone's taken care of.

TONY PEYRONEL: Right, that's fantastic. And so we'll end the podcast with the question I ask of all of our guests, and that's the universal, is there anything else you would like to share with our listeners?

LINDSAY HENRY: I guess the biggest thing is give it a shot. Give yoga a shot. We hear so often-- I guess the most common thing we hear is, oh, I'm not flexible enough to do yoga. Well, that's the point. That's why you come to yoga.

Nobody comes to yoga looking like Gumby, right? I mean, some people do. You just have genetically gifted flexibility, but you don't need to be flexible to do yoga. There's so many other benefits, health benefits, physically, mentally. You'll feel better after the class, I promise.

But even if you drop in, come see us. February is a great month to do it. First class is free. You might surprise yourself. Thank you so much for having us, Tony. Really appreciate it.

TONY PEYRONEL: You're welcome. Thanks for making the trip up.

LINDSAY HENRY: All right.  

NARRATOR: You can find the NWPA Innovation Beehive Network on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn by searching and NWPA Beehive. The Beehive is made up of five grant funded centers that collaborate to encourage business growth in the Erie area and beyond. The center's worked together to form the hive network, while each location operates in its own specialized area of expertise.

The Erie County Public Library, Penn State Behrend, Edinboro University, Gannon University, and Mercyhurst University are each responsible for a specific service. You can contact any of us at You've been listening to Buzz, Generated. This podcast was released through Edinboro University's Center for Branding and Strategic Communication.

It's produced by Chris [INAUDIBLE] and Thomas Taylor. Thank you to our guest for their insight and to you, our listeners, for taking the time to experience innovation alongside us. Consider subscribing if you like this episode to get more as soon as they drop, and if you really enjoyed it, jump over to Apple Podcasts for a five star review. We'll see you next time.