By Kristin Boza
Carly Crone is recognized as one of the yoga pioneers in Beverly/Morgan Park; for many years she owned and operated the Beverly Yoga Center on 103rd Street. The Covid-19 pandemic restrictions were incredibly difficult for Crone and her business, so she did what she does best: with grit and determination, she transformed her business into another successful entity focused on the mind-body connection.
Her new entity, Mind | Body | Heart Yoga & Wellness, is located in Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 9401 S. Oakley Ave., is focused on helping people expand their strength in physical, emotional, and spiritual ways.
“The pandemic forced me into a time of deep reflection about where I was going in life. The Beverly Yoga Center was always a reflection of my changes and growth; for the past several years, I knew that just being a yoga studio was limiting because there was so much more to us and so much more to what I contemplated and hoped to share and represent in our community,” Crone said.
Crone always wanted people to feel that her space could be a place of healing and allowing every issue in life to settle. She never wanted her clients to focus on how their bodies look, and went so far as to not even include photos of people doing yoga on her website.
“It means more to me to be about how people feel and how they connect to themselves. When we feel connected, peaceful, and joyful that ultimately radiates out to others and our greater community,” she said.
Even before the pandemic began, Crone committed to herself to go back to graduate school and become a therapist, and she took that leap once it was clear that Beverly Yoga Center would never be the same.
“I wanted to become a therapist so I could integrate the past 20 years of yoga, meditation, Buddhist psychology, and spiritual inquiry into a more traditional line of work that made it accessible to people through their health insurance,” she said. “As the pandemic was happening, I really started trusting and hearing this inner longing and knowing to make some changes outside of the traditional yoga studio. It wasn’t easy and a total leap of faith into the unknown.”
Now, through Mind | Body | Heart, Crone can offer her clients more advanced practices in a larger field of mind/body connection. Her services include Internal Family Systems, EMDR, Polyvagal Theory, Somatic Yoga Therapy, and Relational Life Therapy, all of which have a body-based aspect.
“The body is the entry point rather than traditional talk therapy, where we just ‘talk’ about problems or how to solve them,” she said. “The deeper healing doesn’t happen because not everything can be solved through just thinking our way through; sometimes, we have to move toward those places in our body that are uncomfortable. Something as simple as anxiety can be a great messenger from our body about what is happening in our lives and what needs attention.”
Crone recognizes that the body and mind influence one another. “I trust in the great wisdom in our body and I wish that was honored more than our minds. When we turn toward what is uncomfortable, we see there are often gifts and wisdom and a path to healing,” she said. “I’ve seen how our past, our wounds, our stress, and our fears show up in our body. The places that don’t get attention is the energy influencing how we think and feel in our mind and body.”
Mini retreats help people to be intentional about their mind/body practices. Crone says mini retreats are an opportunity to have the time to settle in, reflect, move slower, and pause. Themes for 2023 so far are “Challenging Thoughts & Feelings,” “Intentions for the New Year,” and “Anxiety and Grief.”
“One of the things I truly love about our space is that it’s so quiet. You can see the sky and trees from our windows. It’s like a little piece of heaven in the middle of the city,” she said.
Above all, Crone wants her clients and potential clients to know that they are welcome to come as they are; there’s no need to look a certain way.
“You are welcome with all of your humanness. You’re one of us!” she said. “We are a collection of yoga teachers and we are real human beings just like you. We are devoted to finding peace within ourselves in a complicated world and a complex predicament of being human.”
Creating a refuge for people to experience their mind/body connection is one of Crone’s greatest joys.
“I’ve needed lots of support and love along the way in my life, especially in the hardest of times. It is a great gift to be able to be a companion to others,” she said. “We are all doing the best that we can. If we could do better, we would. Sometimes, we need another person in the boat with us rather than doing it alone.”
To find out more about Mind | Body | Heart Yoga & Wellness, visit MBHYogaWellness.com.