Kirsten Holmson shift yoga wausau

Shift Yoga Studio has been a homecoming for former students of Community Soul Yoga

Kirsten Holmson shift yoga wausau

By B.C. Kowalski

It didn’t take long for word to start going around on Facebook, much to the delight of many who read it. 

Kirsten’s back. 

Kirsten Holmson opened Shift Yoga Studio on March 5, right in the same spot that her previous yoga studio, Community Soul Yoga, existed prior to the pandemic. 

And folks that were part of Community Soul Yoga couldn’t be more excited. 

Holmson opened Community Soul Yoga in 2011, selling it to three of her students at the end of 2018. Her three students ran the studio on the fourth floor of the Third Street Lifestyle Center until the pandemic hit in 2020. The space sat empty since then. 

When Holmson left, in 2018, Wausau was in peak yoga mode. Studios abound, and there were all manner of yoga events taking place. Bars held “Pints and Poses” style events, and yoga events with all manner of animals involved were available on any given weekend. 

After the pandemic, much of that seemed to disappear. “There’s definitely been a shift in the yoga space,” Holmson says. “COVID had an impact on a lot of studios.” 

Holmson left the yoga world behind before COVID. She went back to school and earned her master’s degree in nutrition (Holmson already held a master’s in psychology). She began a nutrition counseling business called Shift Holistic Health which is focuses on using nutrition to increase health outcomes. 

Holmson, who has been practicing yoga since the late 90s and started teaching in the early 2000s, says yoga fits in well with that business and after discussing the possibility with her husband Eric, decided it was time for the studio to come back. 

Holmson says she made an intentional choice to come back with a new name, so people understand it’s a new business. 

What’s different from the Community Soul days? Right now, Holmson is teaching all the classes, six days per week. And, now practitioners are bringing their own mats for class. And the green scheme of the former studio has been replaced by light pastels. Also, the doors are locked from the outside once class starts for added security. 

What’s similar? For one, Holmson’s Baron Baptiste-style power yoga — that’s the style she teaches and it’s an at-times challenging practice. And Holmson’s authentic, straightforward style of teaching resonates with many. 

Many missed that style. Classes so far have been a healthy mix of former students of Community Soul Yoga and new students checking out the practice. Many of those former students have expressed joy at seeing each other again after a long absence. “They love the space, they love the practice,” Holmson says of her former students returning. “So it’s like coming home for them. There’s been a lot of people returning, but there’s been a lot of new people, just by word of mouth, by people wanting to try something different.” 

Ultimately, Holmson encourages people to come give her style of yoga a try. Power yoga can be intimidating to some people, she says, but there are always modifications. “What we learn from the poses is a lot more than just perfecting the poses,” Holmson says. “Yes, it’s great for the body, it’s great for the mind, it’s great for the soul. But it’s also great for personal introspection; of learning, who am I?” 

Shift Yoga Studio is located on the fourth floor of the Third Street Lifestyle Center. There are morning and evening classes Sunday through Friday. Learn more and see the schedule at