Profile on local business, Mudita Yoga

Profile on local business, Mudita Yoga in the Millcreek Township By George Pence, Constituent Liaison and Special Correspondent to the Office of Township Services

Imagine a woman whose identity is defined by serenity and love. Now imagine the place she would call home.

That woman is Carrie Coppola and her home is Mudita Yoga.

Ten years ago Carrie was engaged in the spiritually demanding profession of addiction education. Unsurprisingly, she sought out a wellspring of wholeness to sustain herself while in relationship with the wounded and the lost. And that wellspring was yoga.

"I needed yoga," she says, "but I didn't find it... it found me."

Carrie describes this eastern practice as a "healing power that calms the mind and allows a person to reconnect with their spirit."

Gradually her devotion to yoga became more than a personal resource, it became a calling. In 2007 she made the transition from a student exclusively, to a student certified as a teacher. Carrie became ever more aware of how distractions and stress take people away from themselves. "We forget who we truly are," she says, "and yoga is a way of coming home to yourself and realizing we are all connected. Finally, it's about love and being grounded."

Surprisingly, that increased sense of centeredness translated well into Carrie's sense of enterprise. "Released from fear I was able to take far greater risks. I was convinced that all possibilities are open to us and that conviction allowed me to grow. It expanded my vision of who I could be in the world."

So three years ago she opened the doors to Mudita Yoga in Millcreek Township. And yes, it is a place devoted to the healing principles of yoga, but Carrie designed this undertaking to be a studio with a difference. She wanted to emphasize not only a sense of interpersonal connection, but a sense of engagement with the larger community.

This form of spiritual activism is something she labels, “Yogis Being Joy!” Carrie says, “It is a forum to step out of me into us and cultivate a greater capacity for compassion, for love, for joy in the world.”

Among the many ways this value has played out at Mudita is a once a month outreach to the Salt Lake Rescue Mission, doing volunteer work at Guadalupe School in Rose Park, and creating a coffee nook for the residents of Palmer Court Transitional Housing.

Carrie says, "We make real on Yoga's promise of membership in the human family. We're all about physical and spiritual exercise opening the heart to healing and peace. But love, in order to live, requires an object to be loved. So our openness to the needs of our community is a necessary complement to the positive energy we generate."

Mudita recently marked its third anniversary with a celebration that looked like a family reunion that had plenty of guests who did not share the same last name. Carrie's studio has become something like Carrie herself, a source of peace and a gift to her community.