Business blends tea with yoga

Laifong Ng and student Richard Fort reach into a yoga pose. - Liz Burlingame/Whidbey News-Times
Laifong Ng and student Richard Fort reach into a yoga pose.
— image credit: Liz Burlingame/Whidbey News-Times

In the summer, it’s easy to find ways to get a workout in; biking, hiking or anything outdoors is available.

For those who aren’t self-described “gym rats,” and don’t like treadmills, there’s a new option to shed pounds this December. It’s called Hatha yoga.

A new studio has opened in downtown Oak Harbor that combines the healthy benefits of tea and activity-based yoga exercise.

The Lotus Tea Bar and Studio is owned by Maria McGee and Laifong Ng, in the former Electric Beach Tanning building.

The space, now completely refurbished, reflects a calming environment. A sign reads “Shh...” as you enter a soft-blue painted studio. Bamboo curtains keep the place dim.

“The idea is to make you relaxed and it’s a supportive atmosphere. You let go of competition and judgement; you’re there for you,” Ng said.

McGee is a full-time regular and beginner yoga instructor at Skagit Valley College and Ng is her substitute.

Ng is also a tea connoisseur, and has researched ways that tea can do the body good, such as enhancing the immune system.

“Being Chinese, tea was a part of our family meals,” Ng said. “I’m really good at blending.”

She knows, for instance, that peppermint tea can help clear acne and a certain South African tea relieves a hangover.

The tea bar will serve healthy and unique sandwiches which are named after yoga poses.

‘Lotus’ will offer classes five times a week, Tuesday through Saturday for adults and teens. Hatha yoga is described as a workout mixed with stretching, and less emphasis on meditation.

Classes are offered for all ages and abilities. They include one-on-one yoga, 55 and older, prenatal yoga, yoga for beginners and big body yoga.

The studio will have a formal grand opening this Saturday, from 5 to 8 p.m. at 710 SE Fidalgo Road, and a casual opening from 12 to 3 p.m. They will serve red and white wine, sandwiches and appetizers.

For more information call 360-672-1781.

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