“I bungee jumped off a cliff the other day. I was terrified. As the eight-year-old daredevil next to me went down, then back up, he turned towards me and said, ‘this is exciting!’ so I jumped – and it was exciting.”
“I just had to let the fear go,” Kasey Sorensen explains as we tour her beautiful space, The Studio, in downtown Heber City.
Sorensen is no stranger to jumping in with both feet; she was a hairstylist for twenty years before opening The Studio. During this time, she realized most of her clients lacked the same thing in their lives — movement. “I would wake my husband up at night and say, something is supposed to be happening, I just don’t know what it is. [One night] I woke him up at 12:30, and I knew exactly what we were doing.”
An athlete since she was 19, Sorensen used movement to battle postpartum depression and many other challenges in her life. She ran marathons, was certified as a spin instructor and used yoga to supplement her heavier workouts.
Kasey is one of those people who lights up and fills the room with enthusiasm as she talks. When asked what fuels her passion, Sorensen cheerfully stated, “I am passionate about people and enjoy seeing them happy. Life has so much to offer you when you are happy. This community has also allowed me to grow; I was kind of in a box doing hair, loved every minute of it until I was done. This is new! I’m 40 years old, how great it is that I can just pick something up and do it? And that’s what I want people to know; you can do whatever you want. If I show them how to use a kettlebell, I promise they’ll take that with them to use in their life”.
The Studio offers Barre, Yoga, Hot Yoga, Spin, and coming this Fall — personal training. Initially, she wanted to focus on teens, inspired by her daughter. “What I realized was that teens are amazing! Parenting these days is great. We teach our kids to love themselves; we teach them what self-love is. It’s effortless to say, ‘oh, you’ve got to love yourself through it,’ but no one really gets that. It turns out that our teens in this community understand it — it was the parents who didn’t. Moms would come in like I expected the teens to — excited. It was very apparent that our adult community was missing connection. Heber was missing that fitness community bond because, in the past, we would have to travel to Park City or Provo or Orem or even Salt Lake to find a location to work out. People were saying, ‘I don’t have friends here. I don’t work out here. I don’t shop here.’ That seemed to be a consistent theme.”
Since The Studio opened two years ago, organic friendships have formed. Sorensen recalls, in the beginning, everyone faced their bikes toward the mirror and stared straight ahead. Now, clients group together, text each other, and spend time together outside of The Studio. According to staff and clients, “there’s a real sense of family here.”
One of Sorensen’s lifetime goals is to be a super-centenarian, and she plans to achieve this by functional movement. “We tend to want to get beat up in our workouts, but it’s not needed.” That by no means implies that workouts are easy at The Studio, I attended quite the vigorous Studio Dance class that brought the heat. Kasey explains that “[Many] people correlate being sore with a good workout and rely solely on the instructor, but you can take a stretch class and feel results. It’s all about intention and showing up for yourself. Functional movement is about making and keeping yourself strong and fit.”
Leslie Nease manages and instructs at The Studio, she’s worked out most of her life and has found a perfect fit working closely with Kasey. Nease adds to Sorensen’s sentiment by saying, “We want to help people soar, not just make them sore. Fitness has been my life; if I don’t have fitness and community, I’m lost. That’s why I’m so passionate about helping Kasey with her passion.”
When it comes to fear, whether it be from today’s uncertain times or just anxiety about working out, Sorensen and Nease are again on the same page. Nease shares, “Sometimes, fear can help us grow; it may push us to do something great.” Sorensen adds, “That embarrassing feeling you have- switch it. Every feeling you have can be named something else. Excitement and fear feel the exact same way. Call it [fear] excitement. Those goosebumps, welcome them. Just let yourself relax.”
To quickly deal with anxiety and switching fear to excitement, Kasey recommends embracing your breath: “sit or stand up with your hand on your heart and the other on your belly and just feel that movement. Let your body sway from front to back or side to side and find your balance; notice your imbalances. Breathe through it”.
The Studio provides classes for all skill levels, from the adrenaline junkie to the novice who’s never worked out before. The team is very excited to begin their “101” series in September. These small classes will cover the very basics of yoga, spin, and working out so that when someone new to exercise takes their first full class, they have a solid foundation. Also new to The Studio is personal training; either individual or small groups up to four can enjoy the private weight room that was recently remodeled. For those who are socially distancing, The Studio has ten 60 minute classes available on their website, and spin bikes are available for rental.
Whether in the privacy of your home or with a small group of friends, Kasey and her crew at The Studio are here to help you switch your fear to excitement, and embrace your breath.
What are you waiting for? Visit 55 E Center Street, Heber or thestudioheber.com.
“It’s all about intention and showing up for yourself.”