Up in the air

(First published in the September 6, 2018 issue of City Pages)

Croi Croga yoga expands with aerial arts and a Stevens Point studio


Celine Kline at her Croi Croga yoga studio in Wausau. Her new Stevens Point location opened this week.

Celine Kline has learned that what works best in her life is going with the flow, falling into things and trusting where she’s headed. That’s why, when happening on the chance to open her second yoga studio in Stevens Point, she dove right in.

Kline, originally from Long Island, New York, has been teaching group exercise for decades and yoga for the past 15 years. When she moved to Wausau 13 years ago, she started teaching group exercise at the Woodson YMCA.

She opened Croi Croga studio in 2013, after many years of working full time as a professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point and wishing for a studio of her own. That first location was on the corner of Thomas and Prospect Streets in Wausau. “I called it a test prototype. That was like putting my big toe in the water,” she says.

Kline blends her study of psychology with the movement of our bodies when teaching classes. She also tries to make her studio comfortable for all levels and abilities. “I’ve been to enough studios that say ‘no judgment’ and it’s just not true. And I want to live it… “I don’t care what size you are, I don’t care what you look like. I don’t care what you can do,” she says about how she runs her studio.

Her first studio grew, evolved and then moved to its present home on Seventh Street, with Kline adding more classes like hot yoga, barre, and cardio sculpt. In June 2017, she decided to go all in and left her job at the university to pursue her passion for teaching yoga.

In December, a former UWSP student and his girlfriend attended Kline’s New Year’s Eve hot yoga class. That woman, Sophia Wonser, was at the time teaching aerial arts in Stevens Point. “During the entire class she was staring up at the beams in the studio wondering why we didn’t have aerial yoga,” says Kline.

It was a good question and Kline added it into her mix. “The response to aerial has been overwhelming,” she says.

Soon after, the Stevens Point aerial studio where Wonser taught closed and she threw out the idea to Kline to open one. So Kline again plunged into the new venture. She found a warehouse-style building in Stevens Point and remodeled it to house a wellness center, hot and regular yoga studio and aerial arts center.

Wonser now is Kline’s studio director of Croi Croga Yoga & Aerial Arts in Stevens Point. Aerial yoga uses a hammock or swing to allow for postures students might not ordinarily be able to attempt on the floor. It combines traditional yoga with moves inspired by Pilates, dance and acrobatics.

Wonser has been practicing aerial yoga and arts for over three years. Wonser enjoys it because poses become more accessible, she says. “I can’t do handstands yet, but with the help of the [aerial] hammock I can be in a handstand to practice my posture and get all the benefits of inversions,” she says. “It allows me to get deeper into lunges, and hold balancing poses longer.”

Aerial hammocks are just like any other prop in yoga, Wonser says. “It’s there to help you and be your support.”

The Stevens Point studio will offer aerial fitness classes (think TRX-style circuit training but in the air) and aerial arts classes for kids and adults. The studio will feature aerial silks, slings, and apparatuses, plus offer yoga and pilates.

“I can’t tell you how lucky I am,” says Kline of her new path in life. “If only people would not fight the current, you might end up exactly where you need to be.”

Croi Croga Yoga & Aerial Arts opened Tuesday, Sept. 4 at 1909 Wood St. in Stevens Point. For more information visit croicroga.com or wausauyoga.com.