It began in the fall of 2019 when both Josie Stokken and Allison Linhart attended a “Yoga in the Loft” session on a Wednesday evening. After introductions, some sun salutations, and savasana, they shared a meal and beer(s) at the brewery, getting to know one another. After that initial meeting, the next two years were filled with two pregnancies (one each), many laughs, physical therapy sessions, mothering tips, support, wine, encouragement, and friendship.
In October of 2021, Josie and Allison attended a “Women Lead Central Montana” one-day workshop together. During the day’s events, one of the sessions was to write down a goal you’ve thought about, thoughtfully considered, but have insistently shied away from. It felt secretive and vulnerable to share such a deep desire. Josie voiced her dream of owning her own Physical Therapy Clinic and specializing in Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation. Allison expressed a desire to further her yoga passion and attain her Yoga Teacher Training Certification. It was one of those sessions that, in the past, one might have rolled their eyes at such a drill; this one, for both of us, was different; it felt genuine and authentic. And nothing like having the support of 100+ women cheerleaders in the room to pump you up to chase such a dream.
By December of 2021, Allison had signed up for a Yoga Teacher Training program, and Josie was beginning the process of looking for a space to start her clinic. Four short months later, Josie had purchased a building with three units (hello landlord) and opened Restorative Physio. Allison graduated with her Yoga Teacher Training 200hr class, registered with Yoga Alliance, and began teaching free classes to friends in the back of Josie’s clinic.
The talk of a studio had been looming. Still, it wasn’t until a standard “Josie; my body hurts; I need a physical therapy session” that Allison said something very opaque regarding the excitement for a studio and wanting to be a part of it. The excitement continued to grow for the next few weeks until late April when they could sit down for coffee and hash out the rough details. From there, Balance Studio was born. A place for women to move mindfully and find community while Balancing the daily chaos of life. The women of Central Montana are yearning for such a place, and even though it’s only a town of 6,000, Lewistown services a 150-mile radius of women.
Josie and Allison are both career-driven mamas and wives who have individually had personal interests in women’s health for many years. Allison worked in a Women’s Wellness gym post-college and is now a Cervical Cancer Specialist for BD, helping spread awareness of PAP and HPV screening. Josie worked in outpatient orthopedic after graduating from PT school but quickly started taking women’s health continuing education classes both for personal and professional growth. Within a year of starting to treat women’s health in the clinic, Josie knew this was her passion and where her long-term career goal was headed.
Together they have a deep passion for women’s physical and mental wellness along with a love of family, and community.
Balance Studio will offer a mixture of fitness classes, including Yoga, Pilates, and Barre, with a strong emphasis on mindfulness and self-care. It will be a space for pre-and post-Natal education with safe movement and support. Mainly, this will be a space for women to build rapport, camaraderie, and friendships with time to self-reflect on their own inner needs.
Our story started at Yoga, was ignited by Central Montana Women, and will be coming full circle by September 2022 when we open Balance Studio and continue our story while holding space for other women to start “their” adventure.