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Davis Journal

Yoga heals both body and soul

Dec 09, 2022 12:48PM ● By Kerry Angelbuer

Pat Rhodes, a mother and grandmother, teaches a Wisdom Warrior class at Simply Yoga that allows less-mobile seniors to do a wide variety of healthful exercises while seated. Photo by Kerry Angelbuer

WOODS CROSS—Fitness seekers can choose to go to the beaches and learn mindfulness with Pat Rhodes or go to the top of a mountain to work on core strength with another fitness coach at Simply Yoga. The fitness room features a large projection on the rear wall of destinations throughout the world which are reflected in the mirrors in the front of the studio. The effect is magical making an immersive environment to work toward fitness goals. One client suffering from long-COVID was able to move into better health at the studio. Others feel a relief from persistent anxiety or depression as they strive to be able to live their best life and show up for family.

Mirella Petersen and her husband are the founders of Simply Yoga and opened their doors over six months ago. Mirella once tried to maintain fitness by running two miles a day hating the exercise but feeling compelled to burn the calories. She traveled a lot because of her advocacy work eventually succeeding in getting autism services covered by insurance in all 50 states. While traveling she would often visit boutique, exercise studios with a local vibe. Once while lobbying legislators in Washington, D.C., she visited a yoga studio in nearby Crystal City, Virginia. At the end of the class, she realized that she felt good physically and was in a positive place mentally as well. She felt ready to take on the rest of the challenges of the day. Her exercise watch indicated that she had burned the same calories as running. Inspired, Mirella took the best of her traveling fitness experiences and used them to create an ideal place to work toward health honoring each person’s unique body type and fitness level to develop a wellness experience.

Although Simply Yoga offers classes that challenge an athlete, each class offers adjustments with simple blocks, balls or straps that make the stretches, balance, and strengthening poses accessible to beginners or physically challenged. This way different generations can participate in the same class, for example, the grandfather with his granddaughter. Pat Rhodes, a mature instructor with impressive credentials, teaches a Wisdom Warrior class that allows less-mobile seniors to do a wide variety of healthful exercises while seated.

Pat Rhodes took up yoga when she was retired, and her children gave her a year-long gift of health to a yoga studio in Ogden. She disliked the first hot yoga class that left her feeling exhausted. She gave the classes another chance though, taking them at her own pace until she was hooked. She started to love it as her whole body began to transform and she felt good. As an instructor at Simply Yoga she has clients that are in their 80s fighting to keep mobile and fit. She has a soothing voice that invites them to work at their level and share in her whole-soul fitness.

The studio also offers special classes on the weekends such as doing yoga with small goats or experiencing a sound bath, practicing mindfulness while chimes, sounding bowls, rain sticks and drums are played. A book club is also organized where participants read a book like, “Fierce, Self-compassion” and a class in a matching venue is offered. A neurodiversity class is held on Wednesdays for clients with autism, Down syndrome or other neurological difficulty. 

Simply Yoga is located at located 2453 Wildcat Way (Suite C) in Woods Cross. For more information on the studio and pricing visit