CH native owns home-based yoga and Reiki center
Judith Eugene opened Loving Hands Yoga and Reiki in her house at 2959 Hampshire Road in Cleveland Heights in January 2011. Since then, the yoga studio and Reiki center has become very successful. Last year it won the Best of the Heights Award for Best Home-Based Business.
Eugene, 52, is a Cleveland Heights native. She grew up on Kenilworth Road and attended Coventry Elementary School, Roxboro Middle School and Heights High. She then went to Kent State University, where she majored in architecture. After graduating, she could not find a job in the Cleveland area, so she wound up moving to New York City and, later, northern Virginia.
“I always felt like Cleveland was my home,” she said. “And I kept coming back to visit.” She moved back to Cleveland Heights in 2010. Meanwhile, she had suffered some difficult emotional problems. “My mother died, and I got divorced,” she said. She also had some physical issues with her neck. “There was a compression of the discs in my neck, and it was pinching the nerves,” she explained. “And I did not want to get surgery on my neck.”
As a result of those difficulties, Eugene started practicing yoga and getting Reiki treatments. “Yoga is a physical practice that is holistic. It balances us mentally and emotionally. In the American culture, we are programmed to feel that we have to be the best and the fastest, and yoga teaches us that we don’t have to get there overnight,” Eugene explained. “And Reiki is a hands-on healing technique that is done in an environment that is similar to massage, but the hand positions are stationary. You hold them in the same position for four or five minutes, and it helps to balance the energy flow.”
Developed in Tibet thousands of years ago, Reiki came to the U.S. in the 1920s. “When your energy is unbalanced or blocked or stagnant, it can manifest itself in physical symptoms or mental and emotional symptoms,” Eugene said. “Reiki provides an alternative to medicine or surgery for people who have aches or pains, recent injuries or chronic pains. There’s also a gamut of mental and emotional things that Reiki can help with. It can raise someone’s energy and help them get clearer thinking in their life.” Eugene did stress, however, that people should always talk to their doctors first if they are suffering physical pain.
Eugene limits the size of her classes to a maximum of four people. “I keep the classes small. That way I feel like I can give my students individual attention and help them progress along their yoga path.” She offers yoga classes on Monday and Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings. The cost is $15 per class, with a 10-percent discount for new students. Classes are one hour and run in 12-week sessions. Reiki training has three levels of classes, priced from $125 to $300. Reiki treatments cost $60 an hour. To sign up for classes or treatment, contact Eugene by phone at 216-408-5578 or check out her website at www.lovinghandsyoga.com.
Eugene also offers Reiki treatments for pets. She said she has seen five or six dogs over the years, as well as some cats.
Asked why she decided to open the yoga and Reiki studio in her home, Eugene said, “There was no overhead, and my yoga instructor taught at home. It brings a lot of positive energy to my house, and I think it makes the classes a lot friendlier.” Her house was on the Heights Heritage Home Tour in 2011. And last November, she had six Tibetan Buddhist monks spend four days at her house. “They come to the U.S. every year to raise money, and I learned so much from watching them. They taught me a lot about Buddhism, and they were truly kind, compassionate, caring and giving.” During their visit, the monks gave two talks in her living room, attracting around 30 people each night.
As for her Best of the Heights award, Eugene said “I was really honored. I love Cleveland Heights and this community, and I love providing a service that people find helpful.”
James Henke, a Cleveland Heights resident, was a writer and editor at Rolling Stone magazine for 15 years. He is also the author of several books, including biographies of Jim Morrison, John Lennon and Bob Marley.