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Natural Awakenings South Jersey

The Sanctuary for Yoga

Mar 01, 2012 03:36AM ● By By Linda Sechrist

Tricia Heiser

Longtime Medford resident, Tricia Heiser, owner of The Sanctuary for Yoga, recalls many pleasant memories from her childhood and adolescent years when she enjoyed the creative movement that was part of her life as a gymnast and a dancer. Later, as a young adult, when Heiser enrolled in yoga classes, she was delighted to discover that the discipline offered her body a familiar feeling. “I really enjoyed the way my body moved and responded to yoga, which was why I began taking regular classes.  Early on, I never thought of it as a career, only as something that I truly enjoyed,” she says.

After working in Corporate America for many years as a financial advisor, she began to notice how stress and the pressure to perform and meet quotas were affecting not only her, but also many other individuals in the community.

Heiser’s first experience of motherhood, which allowed her the opportunity to step out of the corporate world, was just what she needed to realize that she would rather pursue a career in yoga.

One day during maternity leave, while Heiser’s newborn was taking a nap, she popped in a yoga video and began to do a sequence of postures. “I hadn’t practiced for awhile but in that short span of time, I felt my interest in yoga being renewed,” she recalls.

By the time her second child was born, Heiser had devoted enough time to her yoga practice to recognize that she wanted a career as a yoga teacher. “When I realized how my yoga practice made me feel, I knew that I wanted to become a teacher with my own studio so that I could offer others a sanctuary where they could learn to ease their stress in the same way.“

Heiser officially launched her yoga career in 2005, upon the completion of a 200-hour yoga certification program.  Since then, she has studied with various teachers and in many locations, such as Mexico, Canada, and California with Erich Schiffmann, to further her understanding of the practice.  Most recently, she studied under the tutelage of Janice Clarfield to become certified in pre-natal yoga.  Heiser’s classes, which are an creative and eclectic blend of her studies, that leave students feeling  stretched and peaceful. 

Since 2009, Heiser has had the pleasure of teaching and observing her students in the studio, which is located in one of Medford’s historic homes on Main Street. “It makes me happy to see my students shed their uptight visible layers and breathe through their tension,” muses Heiser, who isn’t the only teacher at The Sanctuary for Yoga. Eight teachers offer instruction in a variety of yoga styles: hatha and gentle yoga for beginners; energetic vinyasa for those who want more creative movement and flow; pre-natal classes for expectant moms; therapeutic yoga for individuals facing challenging health issues; Yoga Blast-a combination of kickboxing and asana; kids yoga classes for children ages 5 – 10; and mindful movement/meditation classes with a teacher who receives regular guidance and training from Tibetan Buddhist meditation masters. Workshops and specialty classes are also offered. 

Free onsite childcare is available in The Sanctuary for Yoga’s downstairs studio. “This service that we offer is very important to me.  As a mother of three children, ages 10, 8 and 5, I know first-hand how difficult it can be to find time for yourself. I found that my yoga practice allowed me to be a better mother. I am more fulfilled personally, and therefore more patient with my children,” cites Heiser. “I wanted to make this available to other parents who may feel the same way.” The downstairs studio is set up with a play mat and toys. The children are well cared for and have fun in a safe, nurturing environment, while their mom (or dad) is upstairs finding their inner peace.

The Sanctuary for Yoga has truly lived up to Heiser’s dream.  She notices individuals, who visibly relax as they settle into their practice and takes note of the look of contentment on their faces as they leave.  “I always remind people that the peace they are feeling on the mat can be returned to at any point during the day, simply by returning to their breath,” says Heiser. The Sanctuary for Yoga offers a refuge from the fast paced world and is a place where people can come and just breathe. Heiser couldn’t be happier.

Location: Sanctuary for Yoga, 43 S Main Street, Medford. For more information, call 609-953-7800. visit

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