Week 15: Bodhi Tree Yoga Centre


Twenty-five years ago, Gayatri {Gayle} Poapst took her first yoga class, which was offered where she worked at the hospital in Brockville.  She was instantly hooked.  A former dancer, she fell in love with the combination of movement and meditation that yoga offered.  Gayatri continued to practice yoga throughout her nursing career until she decided to follow her growing passion for teaching yoga and open her own yoga centre.  Eight  years ago, the Bodhi Tree Yoga Centre was born.


Unwind with a cup of tea and a chat in the cosy sitting area.

I didn’t know what to expect on my first visit to Bodhi Tree.  My first {and only} yoga experience took place twelve years ago and involved a tumbleweed of cat hair rustling through my instructor’s basement studio.

What I found was a warm and welcoming environment.  Gayatri introduced me to Nicole and Melanie, two of the Centre’s instructors, as well as Melanie’s spirited three-year-old daughter.  They were nestled in the comfortable couches in the community space at the front, where people gather after class to unwind with a cup of tea.  Community is important to Gayatri – both local and international.  Through the not-for-profit organization Helping Hands for India, Gayatri helped build a school in the village of Pittamargh, which is in northern India.

When I asked Gayatri who yoga is best suited for she replied that if one can breathe, one can do yoga.  She says it is appropriate for all physical types and fitness levels.  Teachers recommend modifications to the poses and most of all, “listen to your body and don’t go into anything that doesn’t feel right.”


There is also a small retail section at the front of the store.

Bodhi Tree offers a variety of classes, ranging from Gentle and Back Care to Hatha and Kripalu.  They also offer teacher training and various therapies like reiki and Thai yoga massage.  Earlier this year, Bodhi Tree started offering hot yoga classes, which Gayatri says is a dynamic class.  “It’s physically challenging – you really sweat!” she laughs.  “And the infrared rays penetrate your tissues, which is good for detoxing.”

For a novice like me, however, the introductory yoga class that’s offered on Saturdays is the way to go.  There is no cost to the class and you need to preregister.  During my session, Gayatri and I talked about my goals and needs.  With clear blue eyes and an easy smile, Gayatri is a champion listener and I trusted her immediately.  Talking to her is like a warm hug.  We did a guided meditation, a sun salutation, and another short meditation.  I left the class feeling lighter and refreshed.

“Yoga is what you want it to be,” says Gayatri.  “It’s not about touching your toes.  It’s about what happens on the way down to touching your toes.”

Bodhi Tree Yoga Centre

28 Prescott St., Kemptville, ON K0G 1J0




Check the class schedule for Centre hours.

Showers and change rooms are available to students.


Gayatri likes to keep classes small – 12 students/class is ideal.

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1 Response to Week 15: Bodhi Tree Yoga Centre

  1. sonja Bertram says:

    what a wonderful and informative blog posting…thank you Erika

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