By Aimee Woodley
Walking into All Life is Yoga, you might not think that once upon a time its owner, Mary McCormick, was the youngest buyer for fast-paced, high-class Nordstrom company. While Mary ran, participated in triathlons, and did many other things, one thing she neglected was stretching and focusing on what her body needed. When her husband brought home a yoga video one day, Mary thought she’d give it a try and soon ventured out to attend a class in person. To say that class was life-changing is an understatement. By the end of the class, Mary was moved to tears by the powerful experience and knew this was exactly what had been missing in her life.
Shortly thereafter, Mary realized that retail was not where she wanted to be. In 1998, she went back to UAA to get certified as a fitness instructor and personal trainer. She taught fitness classes at the Alaska Club but wanted to keep yoga to herself. While teaching at the Alaska Club, the company allowed for continuing education/training and she ended up going through the process to certify as a yoga instructor. After teaching her first class, she was hooked.
In 2005, Mary started teaching classes for a local moms’ club in her garage. Like Steve Jobs, her business quickly outgrew the garage. Mary refers to All Life is Yoga as the “Apple of yoga” because she moved from space to space, renting various locations as she expanded. 2011 brought along a new opportunity. Mary teamed up with Alice Bassler Sullivan from Eagle River Ballet, and they bought, gutted, and renovated their current studio behind the Eagle River DMV.
All Life is Yoga offers classes for everyone.
People of all ages, from children to seniors, have a safe place for breathing, stretching, and self-awareness. Mary likes to offer a variety of classes including restorative yoga, gentle yoga, yin, active hot yoga, Tai Chi, and even weights! She strives to offer a little bit of everything in her weekly schedule.
There are a lot of misconceptions about yoga. Before opening the studio, Mary also worked as a pharmacy technician, so she holds an appreciation of both Eastern and Western medicine. She strives to remind us that yoga is a science, not a religion. As a science of exercise, yoga helps educate us about our bodies, creating a union between our mind, body, and breath. Walking into All Life is Yoga, you will notice a lot of laughing and learning. Mary is building a community, hoping to make a difference, one person at a time, and working to help make Eagle River the healthiest place in the world.
If you would like to learn more about her special upcoming events for Thanksgiving weekend and the Winter Solstice, check out her website at www.alllifeisyoga.org.