River Bend Yoga expands to a new site

ALTON – River Bend Yoga is moving to a bigger location in April.

Currently at 202 State St., it will be moving to 100 W. 3rd St. in Tony’s former banquet center at the corner of Piasa and 3rd. The move will allow River Bend Yoga to have three rooms to hold three classes at once, providing more space for the popular 6:30 p.m. time slot.

Owner and certified yoga instructor Vicky Delaney will also relocate her River Bend Yoga School, now to rented space at Mineral Springs Mall in the 3rd Street space. Delaney, 60, of Godfrey, opened River Bend Yoga in 2014 thanks to a surprise from his son, Mike Weller, owner of AP Cigar Co. at 501 E. Airline Drive in East Alton.

Weller’s help also enabled her mother to move River Bend Yoga to her new 4,700 square foot space. Delaney got her yoga certification in 2012. She has taught here and there, working as a yoga teacher in various places.

“My son, who bought the building from the studio’s current location, had walked by, saw it was for rent, called, walked in, took pictures, sent them to me, and said, ‘ Mom, this is your yoga studio,'” she said. “He had rented the space and paid the first six months’ rent.”

A manager at an industrial repair plant, Delaney had planned to open a yoga studio as she neared retirement from her day job. But she found help in the studio during the day and opened in June 2014. She taught, independently, various types of yoga once she was certified – including goat yoga in a Brighton Farm and paddleboard yoga at Alton’s Ellis Bay.

“I’ve done so many different things trying to keep things fresh and new. But some don’t want that,” she said. .”

River Bend Yoga has no set times; a class schedule is pinned to the top of his Facebook page. People can enter, but reservations are recommended for all classes; use private messaging on the River Bend Yoga Facebook page which is overseen by Delaney and her granddaughter, Emily Weller. .

Originally from Alton, Delaney moved to Godfrey in 2016 and graduated from Marquette Catholic High School. She grew up in Fieldon and attended Jersey Community High School.

“I will be 61 this year, and it has made a small difference to me since I started yoga in my 40s,” she said. “It gives balance and everything we really need as aging Americans.

“I was able to grow and thrive with a wide variety of classes and instructors, all Yoga Alliance certified by at least 200 hours,” she said. “Many of our instructors have 500 hours and I have a wide variety of classes ranging from beginner yoga, yen yoga, tribal dance, called buti, and power yoga.”

River Bend yoga offers a comprehensive list of classes and employs three buti yoga teachers. Yoga for beginners is at 10 a.m. on Saturdays and 5 p.m. on Wednesdays.

The word “yoga” means “to unite” and refers to the merging of body, mind, and spirit through meditation, breathwork, and physical postures. The postures were developed to strengthen the body, improve health and prepare for meditation.

“No one ever said they wished they hadn’t gone to a yoga class,” Delaney said.

At its new location, River Bend Yoga will occupy the entire first floor of the former Tony’s Restaurant Banquet Center. Weller also purchased the building.

“He knew I needed more space, so he bought the building,” Delaney said. “I also have the River Bend School of Yoga and have rented space in Mineral Springs so that I don’t have the studio on State Street closed for a week during these teaching classes during teaching hours.”

Weller has been rehabilitating the site at 100 West 3rd St. for a year.

“He finished the build,” Delaney said. “We had no toilets or water on our side. It’s been a long rehab and it’s almost over now.

The new location will also have comprehensive Ayurvedic cuisine, a yoga-related science of nutrition based on an individual’s dominant dosha, consumption of specific foods, which includes dietary changes and yoga classes.

“It’s preventative health care, like if the wheat affects you, you learn how to cut the wheat,” Delaney said. “Cooking is only part of that and the Ayurveda classes go hand in hand with our yoga teacher training program. We have always had an Ayurveda class on the weekends.

Delaney’s yoga teacher training consists of a 200-hour program sanctioned as a law school by the Department of Higher Education; tuition fees are tax deductible. The training is accredited by Yoga Alliance, considered the governing body of the yoga industry with over 7,000 registered yoga schools and over 100,000 registered yoga teachers.

“We will be working on our 300-hour certification very soon,” Delaney said. “Five hundred hours is optimal, 200 hours hits all the bases, and 300 hours is advanced; 500 hours is considered very well educated.

River Bend Yoga also offers aerial yoga and aerial certification for 200-hour certified teachers, which requires approximately 40-60 hours of additional certification. Aerial fitness and aerial yoga classes use fabric, rigging and safety precautions to strengthen and stretch the lower body for a much better workout, Delaney explained.

“We do yoga poses with aerial silks,” she said. “Aerial yoga helps build lower body strength, especially in women, which you can’t get from pulling down. Most women lack lower body strength, and aerial yoga completes the whole body yoga experience.

Amanda and Jeff Alred of White Hall swear by River Bend Yoga, and Delaney in particular. Jeff Alred, now retired, had four back surgeries and started doing yoga on the recommendation of a physical therapist.

“There is no judgment when you do yoga at River Bend Yoga. No judgment,” said Amanda Alred, a special education teacher. “They don’t care what anyone can do. It changed our life. We drive an hour to get here, and I’ve set up an entire yoga room in my house since coming to River Bend Yoga, with Vicky Delaney.”

Paper brochures about River Bend Yoga sit in the studio box outside its bay window at 202 State St. in Alton. Visit the River Bend Yoga Facebook page for more information.