A yoga studio in Sykesville is reaching out to local veterans and first-responders with a special promotion.
Stacey Swierzbinski, the owner of Branches of Yoga at 7526 Main St., Unit A, said she has been wanting to offer the 20%-off special on her classes to veterans and first-responders for a while but couldn’t quite afford it financially until recently.
“I think we can now place this offer out there just as a way to give back to the community that really gives to us and risk their lives and takes a lot of risks to support and protect the community,” she said. “And I’m hoping that takes off.”
Along with the discount, the studio will be offering a workshop designed for first-responders and veterans on April 25 from 6-7:30 p.m.
Swierzbinski has been at Branches of Yoga in Sykesville for about four years and has been teaching yoga for eight. What originally started as something small that she did with some friends eventually sprouted into a business in her hometown, she said.
“When I was growing up, there wasn’t a lot, especially in downtown Sykesville, and I was actually down there about five years ago, just walking the street and just noticed how all the cute shops are now in that area,” Swierzbinski said. “It just had me think ever since I graduated from teacher training, I always had a dream of like eventually opening up a studio.”
She found her first studio four years ago when she discovered an open space — on a day when she wasn’t looking for one — then she relocated to a bigger space about a year later. According to her, business has grown since that move to her current space, which is not far from her former space but is more visible on Main Street.
Through this promotion and her classes, Swierzbinski said she is hoping to have a big effect on the local community for first-responders and veterans.
“The impact I’m hoping that it has is just that they can come and can find us, find a way to come into a safe space, that they know this is a safe space and they can come. They can practice, they can meditate, they can release and kind of let go any stress in their life or anything they’re holding onto just be able to come take advantage of the discount.”
Kristin Cook, an instructor at Branches of Yoga, said she wants everyone, including first-responders and veterans, to understand and enjoy the rewards that yoga offers.
“Everybody can benefit from yoga. All of the benefits stretch across all demographics, all groups, but the main reason we’re offering the promotion is a way to give back to people who serve," Cook said. "When you break it down, and you look at the first-responders and veterans, you have people who have physically demanding jobs, the physical aspect of it, so focusing on stretches that would help them.
“Then you have this emotional mental component ... you have that part of it becoming more mindful and breathing and connecting with your breath and when you’re in a stressful situation, such as first-responders especially being on the front lines, being able to be mindful, to be present, to come back to your breath — all the things that yoga teaches.”