When it comes to yoga, the three ‘S’s’ are strength, sweat, and stretch. That’s exactly the MO at Yoga Pose’s favorite yoga studio in Richmond, Virginia in 2021. 3S Yoga has evolved under the guidance of owner Nadeya Ward to be an all-inclusive space for play and purpose. Most impressive is this studio’s unique embrace of the pandemic and dedication to making yoga possible, whether you are in-studio or at home.
Here is the story behind 3S Yoga.
“The Spirit Plays” is inscribed on the wall by the large front windows of 3S Yoga, and the reason is obvious in the practice and teachings here. When Ward first set out on her yoga journey, becoming a yoga studio owner was never on her radar, instead, she dreamed of the bright lights and big screen in Los Angeles, CA. After years of acting, practicing improv, and waiting tables, she admits, “I was chasing the habit of wanting a dream that no longer inspired me.” Ward, who is a fitness addict with a history of long-distance running and CrossFit workouts, turned to yoga as a way to go gently on her body.
“After I took my yoga teacher training, I felt like I had something more to offer,” explains Ward, who shortly thereafter moved from LA to Richmond, VA to be close to her family. By taking a leap of faith, 3S Yoga was introduced to a region of Richmond that lacked a yoga space. “It’s crazy to think where I am and what I am doing, I would have never guessed that this would be my career, and I’m so happy!” says the passionate owner.
Inscribed on the wall of 3S Yoga in small, cursive font is “The Spirit Plays,” and that’s a fine reminder to embrace the playfulness of life and to not drag your feet through the world. Step inside the studio and bright natural light radiates through sheer curtains in the floor-to-ceiling windows. Warm and inviting. “It is simple and clean, and creates a space for a clear, uncluttered mind,” says Ward. Due to COVID-19 precautions, the studio has created “yoga pods,” 6-feet-wide, 8-feet-long, and 7-foot-high pods made of PVC pipe and shower curtains, paired with air purifiers to create the safest indoor yoga practice available. What’s not to love about that innovation?
Patrons of 3S Yoga leave feeling calm and confident. “They should always feel that they accomplished something, even if that is meditative self-care, or a workout, and they can always thank themselves and appreciate their journey,” says Ward of her yogis.
What We Love
Aside from 3S’s evolution and adaptation to current events, we love the fitness aspect of this studio! With a variety of classes from Sound Therapy, Slow Flow, 2S (Vinyasa), Strength and Stretch, and 2S+ (strength, strength, and stretch). The 3S class is what really sets this studio apart though. “We wanted to create a studio that can be your total fitness experience as well as a yoga studio,” explains Ward. That’s exactly what 3S classes provide with HIIT training to increase heart rate and cross-training for a balanced workout. The class is paired with Vinyasa, slow flows, and sound meditation.
Additionally, the instructors here have trained all over the world: Richmond, Los Angeles, Northern California, Costa Rica, New York, and Spain! The teachers themselves have backgrounds in everything from astrology to yoga therapy. “The main qualification for our teachers, other than awesome training and alignment cues, is authenticity. As long as they teach true to themselves, the students will always be able to learn from them.”
Expert Advice for New Yogis
3S Yoga teaches us to not take life too seriously, and that yes — yoga is a workout! We asked Ward what piece of advice she gives to new yogis, and her response was this, “Keep going and don’t take it too seriously. The depth and awareness will come, but can’t be forced. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. We all are on our own journey and no two bodies are the same. Just explore, have fun, and learn about yourself.”