On Main Street, in the heart of Orono, Ontario, nestled amid the tranquility of nature, lies a place that transcends the conventional boundaries of yoga studios. Here, Jessi Hoey, the founder of Nirmana School of Yoga, envisioned a sanctuary that would offer more than just physical postures. It was a dream born of a deep desire to create a space for personal inquiry, reflection, and transformation; a place where yoga would be a profound spiritual journey.

Nirmana School of Yoga stands out for its commitment to ancient yogic traditions. It’s not merely a studio; it’s a haven where a wide array of practices unfolds. From asana practice to meditation, breathwork to philosophy classes, sacred mantra and chanting, and Yoga Teacher Training, the range of offerings is as diverse as the roots of yoga itself.

“I was inspired to create a space that supported students in moving deeper into the practice of yoga beyond just the physical poses,” Jessi says. “…to create a safe space for personal inquiry, practices of reflection & contemplation, and deeply transformative experience.” Her vision was to make yoga accessible, both physically and financially, to all, guiding students to discover a profound connection with their body, mind, and spirit.

Located in an old bank on Main Street, the studio is surrounded by the natural beauty of Orono, with crown lands, forests, and a spring-fed river gracing its doorstep. Jessi explains, “We chose this location for a number of reasons: having our own building and being close to nature was important to us. The township of Orono provides free street parking to all guests, and we’ve positioned ourselves to be more accessible for those coming from surrounding areas to take trainings and courses with us.” Indeed, people travel from as far east as Cobourg, as far north as Lindsay and Peterborough, as far west as Toronto, and, of course, the local surrounding areas, making Nirmana a true hub for yoga enthusiasts.

What sets Nirmana apart from other studios in the region is its unique approach. Jessi points out, “We are more focused on the deeper teachings of yoga beyond the postures and the body-centric approach that is most common.” Here, yoga isn’t merely a form of fitness; it’s a path of total transformation. The studio’s community is a testament to its distinctiveness. It draws individuals who are not just seeking physical movement but are intrigued by yoga philosophy and the deeper practices of healing and self-mastery that the science of yoga presents.

Jessi adds, “People often tell us that they feel seen and heard in our space and safe to express themselves fully without fear of judgment.”

As a new business, Nirmana School of Yoga is dedicated to giving back to the community. They frequently contribute by giving away class passes for fundraisers, such as their recent partnership with The Bethesda House in Bowmanville, a shelter for women, children, and pets seeking support and safety from domestic violence.

“Our core values and guiding principles are centred around the core values of yoga which include; unity and inclusion, kindness and compassion towards all, truthfulness and integrity, respect an equality, self-reflection and personal accountability.”

What truly defines the success of Nirmana School of Yoga is the stories of transformation that emanate from its sacred space. Jessi and her team often receive heartfelt expressions of gratitude from students who have found a deeper connection with themselves through yoga. These stories inspire students to embrace the teachings of yoga on a deeper level and make positive changes in their day-to-day lives. Jessi believes that the most radical transformations are the ones that occur gradually over time, leading to a life filled with more love, compassion, kindness, and a deepening sense of awareness and equanimity.

The team at Nirmana School of Yoga is not just a group of instructors; they are a community devoted to living a yogic life both on and off the mat. Jessi notes, “Our teachers do not teach classes simply as a way of making a living, but because they are passionate to share the practice that has supported the deepest transformations in their own personal lives.” Their commitment extends beyond financial gain; they aim to foster a sense of community and personal relationships with everyone who walks through the studio’s doors.

Nirmana School of Yoga sees itself as a community more than a business, where future plans are determined by the needs of the whole. They continuously listen and learn from their community to meet them where they are on their journey. The studio has expanded its offerings to include practices like chanting, philosophy, community circles, meditation, and self-inquiry. Future plans include deeper yogic training programs to accommodate those who wish to deepen their personal practice but have no interest in taking a yoga teacher training program. They also plan to offer a 300-hour Yoga Teacher Training and continuing education for yoga teachers.

Nirmana School of Yoga, born as an experiment, is a testament to Jessi’s unwavering commitment. She faced resistance from many quarters in her quest to provide a deeper, more spiritual approach to yoga. However, the studio emerged from her determination and the desire of her students to delve into the depths of yoga as a spiritual practice. Jessi’s journey began without any long-term commitment; it was a pilot program, a trial that exceeded expectations and has since grown into a vibrant community. She acknowledges, “It has taken on a life of its own with an incredible community of teachers and students that really and truly are the heartbeat of the entire operation.”

As for what the future holds, Nirmana School of Yoga is not just about achieving personal milestones; it’s about growing with the community. They plan to continue their mission of offering a transformative yoga experience, ever attentive to the evolving needs of their students.

If you’re interested in immersing yourself in this transformative experience, Nirmana School of Yoga is taking a group to Costa Rica in May 2024 for a Yoga & Meditation retreat called Embodied Presence. Spaces are available for those who seek to deepen their personal practice while connecting with like-minded individuals in the heart of the jungle.

To learn more and connect with Nirmana School of Yoga, you can reach out to Jessi Hoey at 289-893-0183 or weareone@nirmanayoga.ca. You can also find them on Instagram at @nirmana.school.of.yoga and on the web at https://www.nirmanayoga.ca/.

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