Ekam Yoga Center opened its doors in late January and owner Maggie Grueskin now wants to give something back to the community. She wants to share her “green” yoga studio with those who are less fortunate in this time of financial instability for so many people. Grueskin is offering a free weekly yoga and discussion class for area residents who were laid off from work recently. The free yoga classes are also open to military families. The free Mind, Body and Soul yoga class is held each Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. After the yoga class, they are invited to stay for life coaching, positive networking and job search support groups. “I feel that yoga and a sense of community can be an integral part of healing the mind and body during periods of high stress. I want to provide a space where people who cannot afford yoga classes can come and join together to rid themselves of mental toxins and stress, thus building up their vital energies for a renewed sense of hope by learning ways to achieve total life balance. It’s my donation to the community – community, health and green living are the combined focus of the center,” said Grueskin. Grueskin has a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning and is certified in Economic Development, a distinction shared by less than 1,000 people in the country, so when plans to develop the Ekam Yoga studio and wellness center first began, Grueskin found builders in the area did not know a lot about building “green.” Grueskin said they found their way bit by bit, such as going to Historic Houston to purchase 100-year-old doors. Focusing on going green as much as possible, Grueskin chose bamboo flooring, recycled denim insulation, dual-flush toilets, American Clay paint, recycled carpet squares and all-natural yoga mats. She is enthused about the American clay product the builders applied to the walls, which promotes healthier and cleaner air inside the studio. “It’s like an external lung,” Grueskin said. “The walls absorb extra heat, moisture and carbon dioxide then convert it releasing negative ions into the environment. It’s like when you step out of your cabin to breathe in the fresh mountain air. It’s very healthy,” she said. The schedule for classes at Ekam Yoga Center includes Yoga 101; group classes in a variety of styles of hatha yoga; introduction to belly dancing; partner yoga; Dosha consultations; Zumba, a bookstore and eco-retail boutique. Discounts are offered for teachers. Grueskin is planning a teen yoga class this summer, where she envisions blending yoga with life strategy coaching. For more information about the Ekam Yoga Center located at Atascocita Plaza, 7036B, FM 1960 E., call 281-38-9642; or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.ekamyoga.com. Photos: (Top) Ekam Yoga Center owner Maggie Grueskin opens free yoga classes to recently unemployed and military families – her way of giving back to the community. (Bottom) Yoga students Cathy Greer, Jon Peterson and Melinda Pettey enjoy the tranquility offered at the “green” Ekam Yoga Center located at Atascocita Plaza, 7036B, FM 1960 E. Photos by Trilla Cook

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