Center for Vital Living yoga center thrives in Cotati
Owner Yvette Racines pleased with progress of her new venture
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By Mira Brody  July 31, 2014 10:22 am

The foundation of practicing yoga developed from the belief that at different times in your life, your body requires different things, which is why there are so many different styles – strength, therapy, healing.

To Yvette Racines, practicing Yoga and teaching it to others was a calling hard to ignore. Having been a student of the practice for more than seven years and a teacher for almost three, she now has her own Yoga Studio across from La Plaza Park called The Center for Vital Living.

“I started studying yoga two years after I started practicing really for my own personal knowledge,” says Racines, attributing the training to her improved health, happiness and relationships. “I quickly realized it was something I should not keep to myself, something I should definitely pass along.”

While pregnant with her son, she began teaching prenatal yoga at a studio in Petaluma and found the experience of sharing a common journey with other women inspiring. Shortly after her son was born, she began teaching at the Stress Management Center in Larkspur and got into a type of yoga called Yoga Therapy, which is similar to Vinyasa yoga. 

Vinyasa yoga is yoga fueled by the student’s own breathing patterns and focuses on moving the body through different poses in a natural flow. In business since June 16, Racines is extremely happy with her space in Cotati; she was originally attracted to the town’s quaint liveliness and hopes to bring the energy Cotati possesses in its nightlife to the daytime as well.

“I absolutely love it,” Racines says of the Cotati community. “There’s so many yoga studios down in Petaluma, and Cotati has The Songbird Center, but I feel like mine is different in that I offer prenatal yoga and yoga therapy. I don’t want people to feel like they have to drive elsewhere to practice.”

When you teach yoga, Racines explains, the main idea is to make sure the students feel safe when transitioning in and out of various poses. If not taught properly, certain yoga poses can prove serious danger to anyone whose body is not yet ready to make that leap. While one move may be perfect for one person, another can prove extremely dangerous for another. Yet, the practice is healthy for everyone eager to try.

“Yoga is great for anyone who is willing to have an open mind,” she says. “I think that anyone who just feels like there is something more that they need in life, whether they have a lot of stress, or they don’t get enough sleep, or it is someone who has injuries, or someone who is relatively healthy…yoga is great for everyone.” 

Racines says her yoga studio is “like a dream come true” and attributes the positive energy in the space to her impassioned students as well as the inspiration and help of her son, now 4, and husband.

She is located at 1818 La Plaza in Cotati and has a variety of classes at different times ranging from $10 to $14. She provides discounts to students and seniors as well as offers a first class free of charge. 

You can find out more by visiting her studio or going to

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