Marthasville Fitness Instructor Leads Sunrise Yoga at Katy Trail
By Karen Cernich Dickhut
The Katy Trail is a go-to location for anyone looking for fitness opportunities. It draws cyclists, runners, walkers and now yogis.
Holly Harris, who in March opened Holly’s Full Circle GX Fitness inside of Dobsch Chiropractic and Family Wellness at 2 South Two Street in downtown Marthasville, just a stone’s throw from the Katy Trail, hosted a free Sunrise Yoga class in late July on the lawn area of the KT Caboose alongside the trail. Participants laid their mats on the grass in the space between young trees planted by Magnificent Missouri in recent years and practiced basic standing poses focused on strength and balance. After class, they were treated to breakfast at the KT Caboose, which aims to serve healthy foods and affordable prices.
“It’s our gift to the community,” Holly said, of why she and KT Caboose owner Jon Koresko wanted offer the free event. “It’s a way to let people know that both Jon and I are passionate about offering healthy choices in Marthasville and nurturing our community with wellness options.”
Only a couple of residents showed up for the 6 a.m. Introduction to Yoga class that Holly led July 23, but she said she is willing to offer more sunrise outdoor sessions to help capture the community’s attention.
“Outdoor yoga is fun,” Holly said, noting that the exercise naturally lends itself to being outdoors, getting in touch with nature and yourself. “It’s grounding to be outside, to touch the grass or just to watch the sun rise.”
Yoga & Cycling: A Good Fitness Duo
Yoga isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Katy Trail — it’s primarily a destination for cyclists — but there’s a symbiotic relationship between yoga and cycling. Doing yoga will benefit your cycling, and cycling will improve your yoga. They both build up strength, stamina and endurance in ways that will improve performance in the other sport.
Holly enjoys riding her bike on the Katy. “It’s really the only place I’ve chosen to ride my bicycle. It’s nice, the trail is well kept, and I feel safe.”
She also takes advantage of having the Katy so close to her studio. As part of the Boot Camp Challenge class that she offers, she has students head outside to the trail to run or walk a fast mile for their warm up.
Group Fitness Instructor Since 2014
Holly, who has been a group fitness instructor since 2014, has worked at Gold’s Gym, Club Fitness and Four Rivers YMCA in Washington, and she has taught Les Mills classes. She has a personal training certification with ACE and a group fitness certification with NASM.
After the fitness industry was so disrupted during the pandemic, Holly decided she didn’t want to employed by someone else anymore. She wanted to be the one designing the schedule and deciding what classes would be available.
Her friend, Dr. Samamtha Dobsch, who was relocating her chiropractic and wellness practice into the former Loretta’s Place diner building, approached Holly about sharing the space. “She had been wanting to have fitness classes offered in her practice, so I rent the space from her.”
She is very familiar with the community, having lived there for 10 years. “It’s a hidden gem, a hidden treasure, because it’s not on the way to a lot of things, but it’s very near to things.”
Having a location adjacent to the Katy Trail has been ideal. Business has been growing at a steady pace. While most gyms experience attendance drops in July and August, she experienced an increase of two to three new members every few weeks. “I’m excited to see what’s going to happen in September if I’ve been growing like that through the hot summer.”
Her clients are primarily Marthasville area residents, although some are driving in from further north.
“I am so tremendously grateful to have the opportunity to bring fitness opportunities to the Marthasville area, people who are fitness minded, give them another outlet,” Holly remarked.