Marketplace: New meditation studio hopes to strengthen community
Cindy Hallows still pinches herself whenever she walks into the meditation studio she built. After 10 years of dreaming, it is hard for her to believe it is real.
Hallows is the co-founder of Haum Meditation, a studio on Kearns Avenue that offers guided meditation, mindfulness and yoga classes. She and Casey Sowul, her friend and business partner, opened the studio on Feb. 3.
Hallows first considered opening a meditation and yoga studio after she became a certified yoga instructor in 2008. She had just moved back to Utah permanently after switching between Western states for several years. She found a job in Park City and thought a yoga studio would be a good way to give back to its residents. That same year, she met Sowul while both of them were working in the hospitality industry. Hallows sat on her idea as she continued to learn more about meditation and yoga. She went through a yoga therapy training, which uses yoga as a therapeutic tool, and she worked with people in mental health care facilities.
“I wanted to not only learn more to help take care of myself, but also to help others to find ways to find that healing within themselves,” she said.
About two years ago, Hallows told Sowul about her plans to build a meditation studio in Park City. Sowul, who had practiced meditation since her father introduced her to it as a kid, was intrigued by the idea. She also had experience starting two other companies.
She was eager to jump into a new project that she felt would benefit the community that helped raise her. She was born in Park City and has spent her life here.
“Having a business here, particularly that gives back to the community, is super meaningful,” Sowul said. Sowul and Hallows toured studios in different states last spring, and they decided to ease into starting a new business by hosting a few classes in studios in Salt Lake City.
They planned on eventually opening a full-time studio, but when an ideal space opened in Park City in November, they knew it was time to make the leap. They signed the lease and started renovating in January.
Hallows and Sowul, along with their families and friends, redid the floors, painted the walls and built shelves. They opened Haum Meditation on Feb. 3.
Haum Meditation offers more than 30 group classes a week. Hallows, who teaches all the classes except the kids meditation class taught by Sowul, incorporates techniques such as positive affirmations, breath awareness, sensory awareness, yoga and qigong in her classes. At the end of the class, she answers questions about the meditation methods she used.
The studio hosts guest teachers as well, and it currently offers a prenatal and postnatal yoga class on Saturdays. On Sundays, Hallows hosts a free event called a satsang, or spiritual gathering. She reads from religious texts from different religions and attendees discuss spiritual topics.
Haum Meditation also offers corporate wellness plans.
Hallows said she is ecstatic to see the studio up and running, and she wants to keep expanding the services and classes offered. She and Sowul plan to teach a meditation teaching training program in November, and they also want to start hosting yoga retreats so people can meditate in nature.
“It’s been such a long time coming to actually see the fruits of my labor come to life, to actually see my visions and dreams and all of the things that I’ve been learning and all of the knowledge I’ve been gaining,” she said. “Everytime someone comes in, it is so beautiful.”
Whenever someone tells Sowul and Hallows that they had an enlightening experience in the class, they know they made the right decision. They hope to keep fostering meaningful experiences and building a healthy, connected community.
Haum Meditation 1500 Kearns Blvd Suite AL-100 435-565-1739 http://www.haummeditation.com
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The Park City Chamber/Bureau on Tuesday honored Bob Wheaton, the longtime leader of Deer Valley Resort, with its annual Myles Rademan Spirit of Hospitality Award. Wheaton joins a long list of prominent Park City figures who have won the award.