"Stick With What You Love!" 6

Joanie Andrews Offers Advice To Help You Achieve

It’s the New Year, the time of year when people are setting new goals. Of course, common goals for the New Year center around health and wellness. Yay!

When it comes to health and wellness, Joanie Andrews loves to help. Andrews is a familiar face around Medina. Her yoga studio, Half Moon Yoga, is approaching its tenth anniversary—a milestone that makes it Medina’s longest-running studio.  She also manages Second Sole Specialty Running Store. Both are located on the Square in Medina.  

Andrews has always had a passion for athletics, fitness, health and wellness, and good nutrition. A long time runner, Andrews started running at age 13 to get in shape for the summer swim season. It was here that her lifelong passion for health and wellness began.

“I ran in college and did some marathons and triathlons. I guess you could say I was an endurance athlete. In the late 90’s it was time to add something new. I was never a group exercise person,” she chuckles, “but I took to yoga with just one class. I started practicing yoga on a regular basis and quickly noticed how it added to my overall physical and mental fitness. Back then I didn’t know the physiological changes that were happening as a result of my practice. I would say that yoga is magic, I feel so good!”

Andrews graduated from Yoga Teacher Training in 2008 and during that program her plans to open a studio of her own began to solidify. After finding a space in a karate studio on route 42 a few miles from home, she opened Half Moon Yoga just a few days after graduating. This allowed her to further develop her skills as a yoga teacher and begin building a clientele with no pressure. “I still had a full time job,” she explains. “After about a year and half I decided that I needed my own space. I heard a studio was for sale on the square. I bought it and made it my own.”    

Being a long time runner, she was a regular customer at Second Sole in Youngstown where she grew up. “I never bought my shoes anywhere else. Even when I lived in other cities, I’d wait to make my shoe purchases when I was back home or I would have them shipped—at no charge.  Yes, back in the 80’s we did that and we’re still doing it today. So there, internet!”

Her lifelong friend and Second Sole founder, Steve Hixson, was kind enough to support her endeavor (though she admits it was a leap of faith) of quitting her job to be a full-time yoga teacher. Hixson hired Andrews to manage the new Medina location, found today in a building at 122 Public Square. Second Sole has been going strong since 1981 and currently has 11 locations around the state and one in PA.  

So that’s the story. Andrews loves to share her knowledge and passion, no matter where she happens to be working on any given day. Her talented team of sales personnel at Second Sole will help you find the shoe that is right for you. “We have shoes for running and fitness, as well as casual lifestyle shoes, hikers, winter boots, and a huge selection of summer sandals. We start with a chat about your needs so we can better understand why you are in buying shoes. Did you doctor refer you? Are they for work? Do you need an everyday wear-around shoe, or one for running, walking, or working out? We also like to know about any injuries or problems you are having. Then we do a gait analysis, measure your feet, and help you choose the shoe that is just right for you. The process takes 20 to 30 minutes, but is well worth your time spent.  Then we refer you to Yoga… just kidding, but it does often come into the conversation.

“The studio has so much to offer. We have 29 classes led by our team of well-seasoned, diverse teachers. Many of our classes are appropriate for those new to yoga. We offer Intro to Yoga, Slow Flow, Prenatal Yoga, Meditation and Breathing, Yoga for Backs, as well as more advanced classes with lots in-between.”

Andrews takes great pride in her team of teachers.  “One of my favorite aspects of our classes is the diversity. Each of us has something different to offer, whether it’s a breathing practice, a Reiki session, or some crazy advanced posture incorporated into one of our classes. We also offer Thai massage, astrological readings, and private yoga sessions for small groups, families, or those with special needs.”

She also expresses a great pride for the community that she now calls home.

“The studio has a great community feel to it. Our students bring good energy, knowledge and passion, and are excited to share. You will feel welcome the moment you walk in the door. And don’t worry, we’ve all had a first yoga class.”

When asked what her advice is to those looking to improve their health and wellness, Andrews said, “Make gradual lifestyle changes.  Eat fewer processed foods with fewer miles on them—take advantage of Medina’s farmers’ market for sure!—cut back on dining out, and keep moving, walking, running, doing yoga, or lifting. Find something you love and stick to it.”  

For more information on getting started, visit SecondSoleOhio.com 
and HMYoga.org.