...our Texarkana yoga studio is the place to be.
We are the only yoga studio within a 60 mile radius, so if you want to find your Zen, come visit!
Owner Jen Dierksen was initially a student at the studio but then purchased the business in 2014. Jen has more than 21 years of teaching experience, and she loves introducing people to the practice of yoga.
Jen coaches men and women at every level, and she even offers YTT (Yoga Teacher Training) certification classes.
Check out this article from a specical edition of Four States Living magazine to learn more about why we do what we do:
A Way of Life
by Ellen Orr
TXK Yoga owner Jen Dierksen is an impassioned proselytizer. “If you have a pulse, you should be practicing yoga,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what nationality you are, what religion you are, whether you’re a man or a woman, whether you’re curvy or small. You can do yoga on the ground, in a chair, in a hospital bed. Babies can do mommy-and-me yoga. Kids, adults, seniors—they all can do yoga. Yoga is for everybody.”
It might seem easy for Jen to say these things: she has practiced yoga for 21 years, and, conventionally fit and able, she is an extraordinarily talented yogi and teacher. But Jen isn’t just talk: she walks the walk, having spent the last two years consciously making her studio an inclusive space that serves a huge demographic and has revolutionized the Texarkana yoga culture.
Before Jen bought TXK Yoga, the Texarkana yoga scene was primarily women ages 30 to 45, and it was all about “hot yoga,” a style of yoga that is high-intensity and is completed in a heated room. It was considered primarily as “exercise” or a “workout.” “We don’t call yoga ‘exercise,’ though technically it is like calisthenics with deep breaths,” Jen said. “All of the physical [benefits] you get from yoga are really cool—from [benefitting] the endocrine system, to the reproductive system, to skin, respiratory, lymphatic, you name it—it helps every system that keeps the body running properly. But what you come away with more than anything is this calmness, this equanimity. And that’s what makes it different from other forms of ‘exercise.’”
So, when Jen bought the studio on December 31, 2014, she made it her mission to incorporate other styles of yoga, emphasize the spiritual as well as the physical, and thereby reach a wider range of people. “I wanted to open the studio up to people who didn’t just want to do hot yoga,” she said. “Hot yoga is trendy and fun, and it’s my personal favorite, but not everybody wants to do that. So we’ve added warm- temperature and air-conditioned classes. It’s now really awesome because we have all walks of life: senior citizens, 12-year-olds, teenagers... everybody.”
This major undertaking couldn’t be accomplished overnight. Jen soon found herself overloaded with classes, teaching up to six high-intensity classes a day. Besides exhausting herself, she recognized that she alone couldn’t offer to her students the range of options for which she strove. There just weren’t enough teachers in the area to accommodate her dreams—so she solved that problem by bringing a yoga teacher training program to Texarkana.
Now, thanks in part to the training program, TXK Yoga boasts more than 20 instructors, and there’s a teacher for everybody. “I don’t force any style or plan of instruction on any of the instructors, because I want them all to develop their own styles,” Jen said. “I personally teach hot [yoga], but other teachers do restorative, more of a gentle flow.”
“Build it, and they will come,” and come they did: up to 800 people pass through the studio per month. But Jen had in her heart a specific demographic that wasn’t being reached: the senior citizen community.
“Through my family connection to hospice [at Dierksen Hospice], I’ve seen what terminal illness, end-of-life care, and how disease can cause so much suffering, and disease, and depression. But yoga is something that can alleviate pain, stimulate the lymphatic system and prevent illnesses.” However, Jen found that many senior citizens could not afford classes—so, as she does, she found other ways to achieve her goal. TXK Yoga became a “Silver and Fit” facility, which allows seniors to pay for classes with Medicare supplements. Currently, the oldest yogi at the studio is 93. TXK Yoga also holds free senior classes at the Wadley Senior Center every Monday at 1:30. “Our engagement with the senior community has just gone crazy,” she said, “seeing so many senior citizens come through the door and live like they’ve never lived before.”
TXK Yoga has accomplished much already, and Jen has grand ambition moving forward. “My goal for 2017 is to get yoga everywhere,” she said. That means churches, schools, and parks. It means online classes. And it may mean a second location in Texarkana. Big things are ahead for this local business.
“If you have a pulse” and are interested in trying yoga this new year, TXK Yoga offers an introductory package and allows class drop-ins.