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First Friday Interview: Sheena Ohlig, TORC Yoga Co-Owner & Creator

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With its brand new yoga studio opening in Philadelphia next month, TORC Yoga’s* co-founder, Sheena Ohlig, sat down with us to give us the scoop. We got a look into all of the details on TORC, her background as an athlete and trainer, and what to expect when taking your first TORC class. (Trust us, it’s not what you’d expect!) Learn more about your mind and body through power yoga. Whether you are an experienced yogi or have never been to a yoga class, TORC is definitely a practice worth trying.

PPRG: Congratulations on creating and co-founding TORC Yoga with Kristin Monzo! For those who have never heard of TORC, can you share its mission? What is your practice founded upon?

Sheena: Thanks so much, we’re really excited! TORC Yoga aims to build a community of yogis who are united by their dedication to show up, do the work, and BE authentic. TORC brings a variety of body types, physical abilities, and shapes and sizes together by going back to our primal roots of natural movement. We incorporate them to reawaken our human form and the innate strength inside all of us. TORC Yoga will unite the movers, the shakers and the benders through movement, flow and meditation. Our practice is based on the Baptiste Yoga methodology and is inspired by all forms of movement practice.

PPRG: We love everything TORC represents. Share with us how you and Kristin started working together? Did you meet through yoga?

Sheena: Yes! Kristin and I began working together years ago when we were both just discovering yoga. She was the manager of the studio where I took my first yoga class and where I eventually fell in love with the practice. As our friendship and experience as yogis grew, we were both led to teach and completed our 200-hour yoga teacher training through the same school.

PPRG: That’s amazing you met each other through a strong passion. What makes TORC different than other yoga workouts? What can people expect when attending a class?

Sheena: Our particular approach to the power vinyasa style of yoga integrates cross training, primal movement and form progressions. We call them Torc Tactics, for what I have coined as Tactical Vinyasa™. A tactical vinyasa yoga class will help a student build strength, muscle stamina, and mental/physical endurance, along with a greater understanding of  intrinsic meditative practices and mindfulness. Our practice is appropriate for all levels of experience from beginner to advanced, as you’ll receive assistance to support safe alignment throughout the class. Come prepared to sweat! We utilize a heated studio with moderate humidity levels.

PPRG: We heard TORC’s studio will open next month in Old City. We can’t wait! What details can you share with us? And did we hear there will be a daycare in the studio? Tell us everything.

Sheena: Oh wow, can I say everything?! It’s everything opposite of what you’d expect from a traditional yoga studio. At the same time, it’s authentic to the needs of yoga students, both new and experienced. Regarding the studio daycare, yes, you heard right! We know that making sure the little ones are looked after is a major concern for a lot of men and women with young children. We want to help provide every opportunity to get our students in the door and and on the mat! To reserve a spot, students will need to sign their little ones up ahead of the class. Our kids care staff is background checked and trained to watch over all the little yogis.

We’ll have a soft opening in late August and our grand opening is set for the week after Labor Day. You can find our schedule online now through our website and the Mindbody app.

PPRG: Studio daycare is such a great idea. Although you both are Jersey girls, why did you choose to open your studio in Philadelphia?

Sheena: Kristin hit the nail on the head when she suggested Old City. It was the first place out of her mouth! We’re glad we can bring another resource for fitness and health to this unique and eclectic area. We feel like it will fill a need for the residents and professionals who deserve something close and more easily accessible!

PPRG: Share with us your experience leading up to training star athletes like the NFL’s Hasaan Reddick. Have you always had a passion for yoga and entrepreneurship?

Sheena: I’ve been an athlete all my life, running track and playing basketball since I was 10 years old. I was a state champion in high school and earned a full scholarship to college. Coupled with the fact that I’ve always had a passion for entrepreneurship, I earned my bachelor’s degree in business. Shortly after graduating, I took a career leap and began training people full time. Before making the choice to work for myself, I stayed fit by playing in recreation leagues doing martial arts and coaching high school teams. Working out and lifting weights have been ingrained in me since high school, so the gym is like my second home.

PPRG: What type of people are your clients? How does yoga help athletes, as well as non-athletes?

Sheena: My clients range from the “average Joe,” who is looking to lose a few pounds, as well as student athletes, dancers, competitive cyclists, and even military and police. I discovered my passion for yoga shortly after turning pro in bodybuilding. I’m an IFBB professional women’s physique athlete, and it’s one of my favorite things about myself. Weight training and preparing for a competition definitely require mental and physical focus, so yoga has been immensely helpful for me in that area. As an athlete, yoga helps strengthen concentration, the mind muscle connection, and physical durability. All of these also help avoiding injury and maintaining conditioning during the recovery process. Non-athletes will learn how to connect with their bodies physically and mindfully, improving their sense of positive body image, self confidence and connecting with other yogis for a sense of community.

PPRG: We agree yoga is a great exercise for anyone no matter what your fitness level is. What do you say to those who have never tried yoga before and may be nervous or anxious?

Sheena: Throw out everything you think yoga is. Throw out everything you think you should be. Throw out everything you wish you were. At TORC, we only ask that you show up. Come in exactly as you are and just be in the moment. We will guide you through the practice, from the ground up and in a way that holds space for you to enjoy your very own unique experience. We sweat, we cuss, and we do things our own way! We encourage you to see what happens when you give yourself permission to be messy, to not know, and to let go of being in control.

PPRG: Over the past few months, we saw TORC’s free pop-up yoga classes throughout Philadelphia. Guests not only working out for themselves, but for a good cause through partnering with organizations like Camden Clock Chasers. How does the partnership work?

Sheena: We are looking forward to building these types of community partnerships. Organizations will be able to partner with us to raise awareness for various programs and missions. Fundraising, pledge drives and unity events will be utilized to help promote and build up participating organizations.

PPRG: Where are some of your favorite Philadelphia spots to workout? What could we typically find you doing on a day off?

Sheena: You could usually find me at 12th Street Gym more often than not, but I also really love going outside now that the weather is nice. Some of my favorite Philly spots are the Art Museum steps, Penn’s Landing, and along the Schuylkill for some interval runs and metabolic calisthenics training.

PPRG: As an entrepreneur, what advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs searching for success?

Sheena: Follow your passion! Not to sound cliche, but it’s true that if you do what you love you never feel like you’re working. Find something that lights you up, keeps you curious, and challenges you to continue getting better. I’m thankful to wake up and have the opportunity to motivate others and help people do something they thought would be impossible to accomplish. I want to be my best self, not for a promotion or corporate award, but for the people who depend on me and who I feel responsible to.  When you find that, get around people who have been in the game longer than you. Find a mentor, and others who appreciate and are lit up by the same thing and you will grow, then the opportunities and money will come to you.

For more information about TORC Yoga, visit their website and be sure to like TORC Yoga on Facebook, and follow along on Twitter and Instagram to get the latest up-to-date info. Coming up soon, there will also be a secret yoga #FLASHFLOW location in Old City. Be sure to keep an eye out on social media today to learn the secret location.

Use the official hashtags #TORCYoga, #TORCTheMovement and #BreatheMoveLive to join in on the TORC virtual community.

 

*TORC Yoga is a client of Philly PR Girl.

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