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Pippi’s Healing Garden soothes the mind, body, and spirit

Studio offers alternative exercises for seniors, the disabled, and children

Vicky Hilleges stands in the spa room at Pippi's Healing Garden in Fayetteville.

Vicky Hilleges stands in the spa room at Pippi's Healing Garden in Fayetteville. Allie Wenner

— "One woman called me recently to tell me how she passed out and was picked up by an ambulance. While she was in the ambulance she was practicing the breathing techniques we talked about in class and they really helped her to relax."

Hilleges said most of her clients come in about once a week, but that doesn't stop her from creating a little community inside the studio walls.

"People come in every week, see each other and get to know each other's names. The yoga studio is small enough where I have people give their names so when they see each other they can greet each other. That's the kind of community I'm trying to build," she said

A big reason why Hilleges started yoga in the first place had to do with her own hesitation towards the use of prescription drugs. She believes there is a place for doctors, but she personally doesn't want to take prescription drugs unless she has to.

Hilleges mentioned that her in-house nutritionist isn't drug based and usually won't suggest taking supplements. Instead, she starts by looking at the emotional connection that people have with food and goes from there. Hilleges explained that at Pippi's they don't push products, they push self-improvement.

Additionally, they offer play therapy for children with autism and ADHD as an alternative to prescription drugs. She says that through play and reading, children can be taught techniques such as breathing and meditation to deal with their anxieties.

Looking to the future, Hilleges said she'll be talking with more groups such as Hospice and various senior centers to educate more people about the benefits of yoga. She's also hoping to add even more classes and hire an acupunturist.

"You can look at the statistics [about yoga] in books and online, but I just really hope that people come out and experience it," she said.

Pippi's Healing Garden offers everything from massages, to dance therapy, to reiki sessions, to different kinds of yoga. For a complete list, visit pippis.net or call 632-4541.

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