You may not have seen her, but you’ve surely spotted her "Champagne Yoga" sign outside of Highland Park Market.
Laura Champagne is the woman behind the Power Vinyasa Yoga studio under the arch. In the small, warm and easy room she leads clients through a series of flowing movements and poses. It’s her second "job" of the day, after working as the general manager of a car dealership. But it’s far from work.
"[Yoga] helps create order out of chaos," she explained.
In 2007, Champagne "literally woke up one morning and thought: 'I've got to try yoga!'... I needed to take some time for myself."
She began taking classes then moved onto a training program, aligning herself with Baron Baptiste, a well-known teacher in the yoga community. A little more than a year ago she set up a studio in Suffield. Because she grew up in here, Champagne felt the location was perfect for family and friends who take her classes.
It could be considered an unusual leap for the bio-chemistry major from Trinity College.
"When I graduated college nothing really spoke to me... But when I found yoga it was fitting," she explained.
Champagne said she always loved the teaching aspect of her jobs over the years and this is a natural progression. From beginners to enthusiasts to children, she finds teaching therapeutic.
Leading children in yoga, as she did with a local girl scout troop this year, can be challenging, particularly in regards to keeping a child’s attention.
"You have be present," she said.
She also teaches children during her work as a show skier with the Holland Aqua Riders in Massachusetts. She participates in water-skiing shows, competitions and teaching programs in her spare time.
Champagne categorizes herself as an "over-signer-upper."
"Yoga has helped me learn to say no to things," she said.
Champagne lives in Simsbury with her husband Eric, who also is in yoga training. They are often together at the studio, along with their dog, Casey, a German Shepherd who likes to greet guests before class.
Champagne Yoga classes are Mondays and Wednesdays at 6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 8 a.m.