“I keep thinking it’s all a joke, the world will go back to normal and I can keep living my dream.”
For Tracy Fitzpatrick Gonzalez, going back to normal can’t come soon enough.
Opening a new business at any time is stressful, but starting one just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit has been especially hard.
Gonzalez opened Yoga in the Pines, at 802 N. Beeline Highway, on Jan. 13.
“Heck yes, it’s scary,” she said. “I invested so much into this, and I do not want it to fail. I would not survive long without revenue.”
Fortunately, yoga is the perfect treatment for a variety of conditions, including stress.
“After having two children and wanting my body to be normal again, I found yoga,” said Gonzalez, a 2006 Payson High School graduate. Readers may recognize her from the years she spent managing in her family’s restaurant, Miss Fitz 260 Café.
“Yoga helped my body and mind. I learned to slow down, to breathe, and to be present in the moment. It changed everything. I practiced everywhere and with anyone I could.
“After completing my certification and having access to yoga in a studio setting, I knew I had to bring that feeling and environment to Payson.”
The business is off to a strong start.
“My husband (Joshua Gonzalez) found a corner office we could afford,” she said. “We painted and redid the floors. I opened the next week.
“Classes grew, so we grew. Renting the next-door office, we knocked a wall down and grew into a real small yoga studio.”
The space can fit 12 students. Yoga in the Pines offers a variety of yoga styles at an affordable price. The rate is $9 per session. Mats, blocks, blankets and water bottles are all offered at no additional cost.
“The room is warm for stretching and relaxation,” Gonzalez said. “We offer a variety of yoga: vinyasa, astanga/mysore, flow, power, gentle, nidra/meditation, and restorative.”
Fitzpatrick Gonzalez is one of three teachers. Tina Terry and Kelli Waters are others. “We are looking to add more,” she said.
The studio has undergone deep cleaning and classes are continuing.
“My regulars are still showing,” she said. “Classes have been four or five people. Morning classes have always been small. The average morning class is two or three people.
Her most popular class is at 6 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday.
“I usually had 10-12 people in those,” she said.
And she said smaller classes are what’s needed these days.
“I’d like to keep them at seven or eight people to make people feel comfortable,” she said. “But I will not turn people away.”