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Keeping calm . . . Oamaru instructor Jae Omnet is a passionate advocate for the benefits of yoga. PHOTO: EMILY MENKES

Two years after opening her own yoga studio in Oamaru, Jae Omnet says her business continues to “grow and grow”.

Bliss Studio, in Itchen St, now has a dedicated following of yogis of all ages and is expanding the classes it offers.

Ms Omnet said she was most surprised by the community her studio had created.

“I just wanted to share yoga. I didn’t really think about the yoga community in the beginning, but seeing the group grow with people who didn’t know each other beforehand – that’s really special.”

Ms Omnet said Oamaruvians’ response to the studio had been positive from the beginning.

“People are starting to open up to all the different benefits of yoga.

“It’s not just a form of exercise. It doesn’t need to be a super-personal or emotional thing – it can just be finding what their body needs.

“There are also deeper benefits, like releasing anxiety and negative thought patterns or just learning to sleep better.”

After two years, Ms Omnet said her goals for the studio had stayed the same.

“I wanted to create a calm, safe space for people to be able to release anxiety and stress.

“It’s a very personal goal too, as yoga has helped me a lot.”

After being diagnosed with coeliac disease, Ms Omnet spent a long time on the road to recovery.

“There was a lot of healing that I needed to be doing. I needed the slow, soft, mindful healing.

“It really worked for me and I think a lot of other people need that too.”

After working as a personal trainer at a gym, Ms Omnet said her teaching skills came in handy at the studio.

“I knew that the gym wasn’t for me. I still use it and love it but it’s not where I wanted to be as a teacher.”

A variety of international teachers will visit Bliss Studio this year to teach and speak to the budding yogis.

“We’re going to have people from the USA, Canada, Brisbane and Hong Kong come here for a bit of guest teaching and speaking.

“The studio will hopefully become a constantly evolving teaching schedule. Some of them might stay here for a month while I go away.”

Don’t worry, though – she will not be gone for long.

“I absolutely plan to stick around for a few more years.”