Sojourn Studios: Begin your journey to fitness

Sojourn Suspension classes are aerial yoga workouts

It’s immediately apparent Sojourn Studios is unlike most fitness centers.

From the warm wood floors to the soft, rich colors on the walls, and from the soothing music to the yoga hammocks suspended from the ceiling, it’s clear owner Jodi Strevel wants to create an atmosphere of contentment and relaxation as her clients move toward their fitness goals.

“I love to help people, to make them feel happy and strong,” Strevel said.

“My theory, from all the research I’ve done over my career, helped me decide I wanted to have a wellness center that touches on the mind, body and spirit,” she continued.

Her new fitness studio is located upstairs at Bayview Corner, in the former offices of the South Whidbey Record. Walls were removed to leave plenty of space in the main studio for Strevel’s classes on aerial yoga, kickboxing and dance aerobics, to name a few. Off the main studio there’s a weight room, a Pilates room and a room with a Gyrotonic Cobra machine. (Gyrotonic machine workouts use a series of flowing, circular movements and breathing techniques to stimulate the cardiovascular system while strengthening and toning core muscles.)

“It can be very rehabilitating,” said Strevel.

A life-long Whidbey Island resident, Strevel has had an interest in physical fitness since she was a teenager. She became a personal trainer at age 18 and has always been involved in the fitness industry. Most recently, Strevel was working for a physical therapist on the mainland. She began studying aerial yoga and decided the time was right to fulfill her own personal journey and open a fitness center on Whidbey Island. She calls her aerial yoga classes “Sojourn Suspension” and says it is a form of yoga anyone can do.

“It caters to everyone’s needs. Everyone can do it,” she said. “Plus, it’s beautiful to watch and it’s fun.”

Sojourn Suspension, according to Strevel, is the practice of some forms of Hatha yoga and other movement techniques while using a soft, fabric hammock, which is intended to help achieve proper posture and alignment through relaxation. The hammocks support up to 1,000 pounds.

“The hammock supports you,” Strevel reassured. “There are tons of benefits to aerial yoga.”

Sojourn Studios offers a variety of fitness classes for different levels. Strevel hopes to be able to concentrate more of her time on the suspension classes as she grows her business.

“I’m working on getting more instructors so I can focus my time on the suspension,” she said.

“I want every class to be a quality, welcoming experience for people,” she continued. “I want people to associate exercise as being fun, something they can enjoy.”

Perhaps a unique aspect to Strevel’s fitness studio is her desire to focus on more than just the physical.

“It’s an emotional journey, too,” she said. “People need a boost. They need to feel recharged, even if it’s just for an hour. My goal is to make Whidbey Island happy.”

Strevel feels her background as a personal trainer will help her succeed in her new venture. She said her expertise lies in designing specific, individual exercise or personal training programs for people to help them attain their fitness goals. She plans to cater to people at all fitness levels, including those who are preparing for or have had surgery; before, during and after pregnancy; or those being treated for disease or injury — all with their physician’s consent, of course.

Her journey has led her here, Strevel said, and now she looks forward to helping others find their own path to fitness.

“It’s hard for people sometimes,” she said. “Everyone has a different journey.”

Where to find them:

Sojourn Studios is located at 5603 Bayview Road, No. 13, in Langley. Call Strevel at 221-6543 for information or for an appointment or email Class times are subject to change.

Class Schedule:

Sojourn Suspension I – 9 a.m. Monday; 6:15 p.m. Wednesday; 9:45 a.m. Saturday

Sojourn Suspension II – 6:15 p.m. Monday; 9 a.m. Wednesday; 8:30 a.m. Saturday

Sojourn Suspension III – 6:15 p.m. Monday; 9 a.m. Friday

Stability Ball Challenge – 5 p.m. Monday

Barre Fitness/Gyrokenisis Chair Combo – 5 p.m. Tuesday

Variety Club – 5 p.m. Wednesday

Pilates Mat – 10:45 a.m. Saturday