Eight instructors work between Richland, Kennewick studios
The owner of Steel 3 Yoga plans to open a third studio to eager Tri-City yoga enthusiasts for “workshops, training and some classes to come” this month.
Brenda Steel, an ex-corporate worker turned yogi, took over 11Exhale Yoga’s two existing studios in Richland and Kennewick in August.
“It’s mainstream, but still soulful yoga,” she said. “We’ve got your yoga — that’s our tagline.”
There is a yoga practice for everyone.Martina Butler, yoga instructor
Eight instructors work between the Richland and Kennewick studios, collectively teaching 40 classes per week.
“I’m really happy to be right where we are,” said Steel, though she admitted the path to owning the studios has not been without its strife.
She took over the business after a partnership didn’t pan out.
Steel said she felt fortunate to have a business background as she navigated management of the two studios solo.
Steel said she built upon the foundation and environment established by 11Exhale.
“They’re amazing studios now and built on a culture that’s all about love and true foundation,” she said.
The Richland studio is at 140 Gage Blvd. in suite 104 and the Kennewick studio is at 4528 W. 26th Ave. in suite 140.
The third studio is just down from the Richland one in suite 100. It’s used for special classes and trainings not on the regular class schedule. As Steel 3 continue to grow, regular classes may end up being scheduled in there.
Steel 3’s studios feature a warm, welcoming, modern vibe that’s tastefully eclectic. Multiple sources of lighting and soft, meditative music provide a relaxing ambience as the pleasant smell of woody incense and sage permeate the air.
The studios’ shelves also are well stocked. Clothing and yoga accessories from leading brands are available for purchase.
“They have the right lighting, are always clean — I do all the cleaning, including all the props. … You feel the love when you walk in. That is success, and that is healing — that peace of mind. … At the end of the day it’s all about yoga, and I’ve got the yoga,” Steel said.
Yesenia Lopez of Kennewick, a second-grade teacher for the Kennewick School District, has been attending class at Steel 3’s studios for almost nine months.
“I feel the difference,” she said.
“In my mind and body … if I go a few days without doing yoga, I notice. It makes you feel good, lighter and looser. And they’re skills you take with you; you can do yoga anywhere — at your desk, at the airport …”
Lopez said in the past it was difficult to stay committed to traditional gym routines.
“With yoga, you’re always moving and it actually feels good. Plus, you always get to choose your experience, like, if want your practice to be more restorative, or if you want to push your limits,” she said.
Lopez’s favorite instructor, Martina Butler, found yoga 10 years ago after suffering injuries related to a career in pre-professional ballet. “So much pain was eased,” she said.
“The benefits (of yoga) are endless … some are in it just for the physical benefits, but there are spiritual and mental benefits as well. It 90 percent cured my anxiety disorder, and others have told me how it helped them recover from (post-traumatic stress disorder).
“There is a yoga practice for everyone. People from all walks of life, professions, body types, age and so on,” Butler said.
Butler said that since the studios’ transition to Brenda Steel’s ownership, “It’s only gotten better,” explaining there is more freedom for the instructors’ creative expression.
“(Steel 3) offers a lot of different options, a little bit of everything,” Butler said.
In addition to more physically intensive classes such as vinyasa and hatha, Steel 3 also offers restorative sessions, such as yin yoga, and hybridized classes that combine the two called yinyasa, as well as contact yoga, also known as partner, or acro yoga.
Butler will be offering a beginner’s class in January intended for those beginning their practice and those seeking a refresher.
Specialized workshops and classes also are held throughout the year.
Joseph Castro, another of Steel 3’s instructors, taught a restorative winter solstice class Dec. 21 to usher in the official start of winter.
“My purpose as a yoga instructor and inquiry life coach is to be a catalyst and guide for others to be able to reveal the many benefits of yoga available to them in their own unique way,” Castro said.
Like Butler, Castro considers yoga a holistic practice benefiting not only the physical body, but mental, emotional and spiritual health.
“I have experienced incredible personal healing and transformation, profound connectedness to others in yoga communities, and a way of life rich with hope and love toward creating value on and off the mat,” he said.
Steel looks forward to adding more special trainings and workshops. In February, Steel 3 will be hosting San Francisco-based teacher Sean Haleen. Yoga Journal has called Haleen one of the next generation’s top yoga teachers.
“There are lots of opportunity and growth that’s going to come and it’s going to be real positive and forward moving,” she said. “(The Tri-Cities has) needed this; when I was looking for yoga, this is what I was looking for.”
The unlimited monthly option, which allows members to attend as many regular class offerings at either studio as they’d like in a given month, is currently $80, or an annual pass, which offers unlimited access, is currently $820. Drop-ins are welcome for $15.
New members can take advantage of Steel 3’s “two weeks for $25” deal throughout the year.
“I go to yoga every single day … it makes a huge impact,” Steel said. “Yoga is so needed and so personally impactful for your health. People need to wake up and take better care of themselves.
“(Yoga is) the best bang for your buck for busy people … we’ve got to breathe. People have got to breathe and relax. … You get a full breath, and it calms … Mind, body, spirit. You get healthier, plain and simple.
Yoga saved my life. I got better almost instantly … it’s been quite the little journey.”