IDAHO FALLS – Nicole Packer is eagerly anticipating the opening of her new yoga and wellness center in Idaho Falls.

The Yoga Wellness Connection will open on June 20 inside Eagle Rock Station at 451 River Parkway. The community is invited to celebrate with a week of unlimited free classes through June 26 and a ribbon-cutting will be held on June 21.

Packer tells the business will offer a wide variety of classes for patrons and will be so much more than a yoga studio.

“We’re going to have all kinds of natural wellness modalities that are featured as part of the regular membership. Yoga is one of the types of movement classes that we’ll have,” Packer says.

Upbeat barre and high fitness classes with a cardio element will also be available, along with meditation, mindfulness practices, sound baths, drumming, Ayurveda and monthly Latin, swing dances and retreats.

The goal is to cater to people of all fitness levels and have something for everyone under one roof. Packer wants it to be a gathering place that’s not intimidating and provides wellness resources for people to connect with themselves and others.

“We’re going to have monthly mindful dinners, where we feature an organization or business in the community that will make the food. We’ll have some kind of a gratitude or mindfulness meditation with the meal and then afterward, people hang out or play games,” says Packer. “We’ll also have a lot of workshops, bringing in people who are specialists in nutrition or acupressure.”

Charissa VanderSloot is a member of the management team and will also be a class instructor. As they’ve worked to get this venture off the ground, VanderSloot says there’s been a lot of positive feedback from people in the community.

“We’ve heard things like, ‘The west side really needs this,’ so it has us all the more anxious to have it open,” she says.

Nicole Packer
Nicole Packer is the owner of The Yoga Wellness Connection | Nicole Packer

Packer has worked as a behavioral therapist for more than 20 years and she says these types of activities are proven to help people. Having a place that offers all of these things in this way has never been available and she sees a great need for a center like this.

“The most important thing about this center is the togetherness, the unity. Some of our deepest healing happens through those connections,” Packer explains.

And having a building across from the falls for meditation, mindfulness and similar activities seemed liked an ideal location to Packer.

Packer’s long-term vision is to have a community center where people can come on an ongoing basis to improve their body and mind and form lasting connections with others in the community.

“We want to bring in more things all the time. This natural wellness field is exploding. (Experts) are finding out different things with light therapy and sound and different modalities that are available to people that many people don’t even know about. One of the things I work in is amino acid therapy, which helps treat addictions without the person going through all the withdrawals,” says Packer.

The Yoga Wellness Connection will be open seven days a week. Visit the Facebook page to learn more. You can also sign up for free classes by clicking here.