Prodigy Yoga on New Boston Road has finally opened to the public. But for Jessica McCarty, owner and teacher, it did not happen all at once.
"This practice is about walking closer with the Lord," she said. "But my walk, my route to get here was not a short one."
McCarty grew up in a church-going family and says she had a genuine encounter with the Holy Spirit when she was 10.
"But when I turned 17, I walked away from the Lord and went my own way," she said. "But that's the thing. Just as many Bible stories teach, we never can truly get away from God. He's right there the whole time. And when we are ready to turn to him, He's waiting. As He was when I turned 30 and He made it clear to me it was time to come back."
McCarty started her personal yoga practice in college. She quit college and wandered a bit, even eventually had a couple of children.
"When I was pregnant with my second, my doctor advised me to do yoga to help out with the difficulties. I already had a background, so taking up the practice again helped," she said. "It kept the pressure low, kept me even keeled."
Later, McCarty found herself working for TISD. While there, she began teaching a group of women there the practice during lunch.
"I realized that I wanted to do this," she said.
She then began to get the certifications needed to professionally teach yoga. But she realized she did not want to just do any sort of yoga practice.
"Yoga itself is not religious in nature. It is physical, mental, spiritual, yes," she said. "But itself, is not religious. It comes from Eastern culture and is used among religious practitioners in that part of the world, mostly Hindus. But it does not require a particular spiritual orientation. Each practitioner can apply their own."
So when she began her certifications, she looked for schools that taught from a Christian perspective.
"I had returned to the faith, myself, and I wanted a yoga practice that bolstered my faith," she said. "And that was how I wanted to teach it."
In addition, she realized that she wanted to not just be exercise.
"I studied Ayurvedic, a more therapeutic approach," she said. "I wanted it to be restorative, healing, to help people coming out of troubles. And I wanted to do it with a Christian angle."
She eventually began teaching out of a home studio, in addition to being a traveling instructor. She began looking for a place to set up a school, a studio, then COVID-19 hit.
"It was during COVID, shutdown and all, that my teaching really took off," she said. "Then I found that little place on New Boston Road, situated between The Granery and the naturopathic practice of Dr. Phil Burbutes. Robert Worthen, who owns the building where Prodigy Yoga is situated, was very encouraging."
She has officially opened her studio, which is also a boutique featuring clothes for leisure activity, from light athletics to lunch with the girls and family.
"I've started with ladies wear, but do want to have a bit more of a selection for the guys eventually," she said.
The crafting side of the craft, she also emphasizes, complete with a kids class with yoga and crafts on Saturdays.
"The name, Prodigy Yoga, says it all," she said. "A prodigy is a talented person having to find their gifts. It is also a person who has strayed from the family and become estranged and finding their way home. That is my journey and describes how this place came about."
Visit Prodigy Yoga on Facebook. Their studio is located at 3423 New Boston Road, Texarkana, Texas. Drop by their web site at prodigyyoga.com.