Vail Daily Bizwatch: First Ray Yoga benefits ‘every body’ |

Vail Daily Bizwatch: First Ray Yoga benefits ‘every body’

Jamie Elmer

Business name: First Ray Yoga.

Location: 164 Railroad Avenue, Minturn.

Date opened: We’ve been in business since 2002 in Santa Monica, Calif. Our location in Minturn opens Dec. 15.

Owners: Jamie Elmer and Tobin Kohlhepp.

Contact info: Go to, or e-mail

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What goods or services do you provide? Yoga for “every body”! We offer classes, private sessions, workshops, trainings, and continuing education for teachers.

What’s new or exciting at your place? Everything!

What strategy do you use to differentiate your business from your competition? Nearly unmatched experience through 10 years of full-time teaching with an emphasis on safety, alignment, strength, and fun for beginners and experts alike. Jamie’s background in dance, pilates, yoga therapy, and extensive training and teaching experience put her among a very small number of teachers nationwide.

What philosophy do you follow in dealing with your customers? What can your customers expect from you? First would be that we don’t “deal” with our customers. We have students that are learning to take better care of themselves, both physically and mentally. We know that many folks are afraid of yoga – the tight clothes, the bare feet, the chanting, etc. Frankly, I practice in cargo shorts or jeans, we rarely chant or do any of the “weird” things that people seem to think goes on in a yoga studio.

In short, we’re yoga for everyone. I’m a retired carpenter and have friends that do yoga who are tradesmen, doctors, teachers, bartenders – some are thin, some aren’t, some are old, some aren’t, some are flexible, most aren’t. You don’t have to be flexible to do yoga! It’s truly for anyone who wants to feel better about their bodies, their minds, and their capacity to live life as hard as they want!

Tell us a little about your background, education and experience: Through 10 years as a full-time yoga teacher, Jamie has grown her craft and developed a special style of teaching that focuses on safety, strength, and healing. Jamie’s life-long study of movement and the human body has taken her from dance, to pilates, and full circle to yoga. Jamie’s experience includes six years full-time at Exhale: Center for Sacred Movement in Venice, Calif., and continued workshops and trainings at Exhale; involvement in Yoga Alliance Teacher Trainings; and development of nationally renowned workshop series – How to Teach Beginners, and Applied Anatomy for Yoga. Jamie travels internationally to studios and retreat centers from Los Angeles to the Adirondacks, and from Mexico to London, teaching workshops, classes, and trainings.

Jamie holds a bachelor’s degree from California Institute of the Arts, pilates teacher certification from Long Beach Dance Conditioning, yoga teacher training with Max Strom, Shiva Rea, Erich Schiffmann, Saul David Raye and Annie Carpenter; “Walk Well” practitioner from Brourman Gait Therapy and the designation of E-RYT 500 from Yoga Alliance.

Jamie most recently has received a certification from Duke University in Therapeutic Yoga for Seniors. For a complete list of Jamie’s credentials and affiliations, go to

What is the most humorous thing that has happened at your business since you opened? We’ll have to see what happens at our Dec. 15 open house. We’ll have beer from Crazy Mountain and food from Sticky Fingers. Join us from 1 – 4 p.m. after visiting the Minturn Winter Market. See you then!

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