Local Women: Belinda Thurston

When she’s not working in the newsroom at the Lansing State Journal, Belinda Thurston can be found in her yoga studio: Just B Yoga and Tai Chi LLC. She teaches at the studio, and get this — it’s free! The studio, which is located in REO Town, runs off donations. Q: Can you tell me a little bit about your studio and how it came to be? A: We started purely as a free Wednesday class in the gymnasium of the Shabazz Academy Charter School …We were growing a little, but it was just a free thing that I wanted to be able to give to the community. Then I ended up falling into a space opportunity that I really couldn’t turn down. Things just really kind of emerged from there … My thinking is I’m an inner city kid from back in the day, I want to be able to make healthy choices and holistic opportunities affordable as well as accessible. Q: How are you able to run this studio only on donations? A: You know, it really has been working. The people who can afford, really pay. And the people who can’t, they’re being supplemented by people who can. I don’t take a pay. I also work at another yoga studio — Hilltop Yoga in Old Town, and all of the money that I make from the two classes I teach there, I put into this business. Q: How do you find time to do all this teaching when you have a full-time job? A: I don’t know — I think I’m crazy, actually. I’m starting to really explore some innovative multi-tasking. I practice at least four times a week, and right now I’m teaching eight classes a week. I’ve given myself, finally, Tuesday nights off, so I work and then I don’t have to teach. Some days are completely off, where I don’t have to go to my j-o-b unless something big is going off, and I can practice or not practice, but I’m certainly not teaching. I guess some people go and play pick-up-games of basketball, some people go home and watch television, I go home and I teach yoga or I teach tai chi, and it’s absolutely fulfilling, so I guess you could consider it a passion as well as a hobby or a calling. It’s just what I do.

Tags: Just B Yoga, REO Town, Tai Chi LLC

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