Locating the Latitude
downtown EC yoga studio will offer diverse classes
In the fall of 2003, Amy Erickson traveled from her hometown of St. Francis, Minn., and arrived on the UW-Eau Claire campus sight unseen. Going on the friendly reputation of the school and the Chippewa Valley, the eager undergrad fell in love with the community. Twelve years on she is eager to make a contribution as owner and director of Latitude 44 Yoga Studio, which opened its doors Aug. 17. “I love Eau Claire because it has an impossibly perfect mix of big and small town,” she says. “Plenty to do, endless opportunities to capitalize on, but yet a tight-knit community that is supportive and looks after their neighbors.”
“We will provide means for daily challenge to bring yourself and your practice to the next level in order to deepen your connection to mind, body, and soul.” – Amy Erickson, owner, Latitude 44 Yoga Studio
Applying the business skills gained from her eight years of employment with Moen Incorporated as a senior business analyst, Amy has a comprehensive plan on how to launch this downtown yoga studio into a successful community space. She completed 200 hours of yoga teacher training through Yandara Yoga Institute in Todos Santos, Mexico, and a prenatal certification through 8 Limbs Yoga Centers in Seattle.
With a prime location, snug between Caffe Tempo and A Fun Dye Factory on Madison Street, this storefront yoga studio glows with a checkered window, each colorful square representative of chakra colors. The eye-catching design inside and out exhibits her thorough expertise in creating a yoga space – it’s an attractive, clean and warm environment for both beginners and seasoned practitioners to dive into a deep, enriching practice.
The west wall is flanked with sheet metal painted a dusty midnight blue and adorned with the studio’s emblem – two crossed arrows – mounted on reclaimed barnwood.
“I love the natural rustic atmosphere the materials create: raw, yet inviting,” she explains. “The crossed arrow emblem provides a visual of our slogan – ‘Find Your Strength’ – which is referencing not just physical strength, but also spiritual and personal strength. The map theme overall represents personal interests of traveling and backpacking as well as the intended reminder that we are one (small) community in a vast world of so many cultures. I think the acceptance, understanding, and awareness of different ways of life is a beautiful thing.”
Latitude 44 will have diverse class offerings ranging from “Mindful Basics” to “From the Beginning,” and more intense, heated classes like “Heated Power Yoga” and “Iron-Yasa Yoga” (yoga incorporating light free weights), both of which have the room heated to 90 degrees using state-of-the-art infrared heat panels. The inaugural roster of teachers includes Amy Erickson, Jillian Kemmet, Misty Ross, and this writer.
All teachers will infuse their classes with the mission that Amy is putting forth: “A yoga studio must be supportive, inspirational, and fun! We will provide means for daily challenge to bring yourself and your practice to the next level in order to deepen your connection to mind, body, and soul. All with hopes that you will sincerely enjoy the journey.”
Private and community events will be part of their offerings as well. This October, Amy and Latitude 44 are collaborating on Hope in the Valley, organized by Angelus Salon & Spa with proceeds going to the American Cancer Society. Amy’s father is a recent cancer survivor and this has emboldened her to share wellness activities with those living with or recovering from cancer. Activities will include yoga, chiropractic, massage, physical therapy, and much more.
Latitude 44 will be a great catalyst for the Chippewa Valley population moving toward mental and physical well-being. With their offerings in studio and forthcoming “Karma Yoga” volunteer events, Amy and team will strengthen our community through shared good intentions.