By: Alison Andrews
Josh and Jill Nelson opened Asana Yoga and Sole in 2011. Their decision was based on a vision resulting from decades of combined experience with athletics, outdoor retail, and a gradual evolution of appreciation for the practice of yoga. They are dedicated to the community and find satisfaction in helping others achieve their goals in outdoor adventuring, as well as yoga. Josh has found yoga to be highly beneficial to many types of athletes, especially those who participate in sports that keep the body in a linear motion (i.e. cycling and running). Yoga involves movements that don't occur in those sports, improving stability, strength, flexibility, and balance. In addition to the physical benefits, Josh saw it as a way improve mental focus, as well as manage stress, anxiety, and depression.
Jill grew up in Brazil until her family moved back to the United States, when she was in her teens. She went to Brazilian schools and learned to speak Portuguese outside the home. She graduated college with a degree in graphic design. After moving to Klamath Falls and having difficulty finding employment, Jill found her calling to teach yoga and opened up the studio. Jill is truly passionate about yoga and is a skilled teacher. She finds her yoga classes to be a way to satisfy her desire to help and inspire others. Jill is also a doTERRA Wellness Educator and supports others through essential oils and other natural options.
Josh's path started with being raised by parents who understood the benefits of "free-range parenting". "I was always encouraged to be outside," said Josh. His father, Jack, exposed him and his brother to a wide variety of outdoor activities from a very young age. "I went backpacking with my dad before I could carry a pack", recalled Josh. He started skiing and mountain biking early. Jack and his teacher friends were avid mountain bikers where they lived south of Tahoe, before mountain biking was cool. Josh was introduced to duathlons and won the US National Championship at age 15. He credits his parents as his most cherished sponsors, who would drive him to distant competitions.
Several years after graduating high school, Josh moved to Alaska and worked for several years in Denali National Park. He soon found himself managing a large outdoor store and learning all he could about business and the outdoor retail industry. Josh also grew to love technical ice climbing, and assisted a side business as a mountaineering guide. In his spare time, Josh spent time mountain running and adventure racing. He and his friends trained by running up mountains, where only bits of trail made by wildlife existed. They figured it would be the ultimate training, and it turns out they were right. Josh holds the Strava (a popular training app that allows tracking, analysis, and sharing of activities) record for fastest time to the top of Mount McLoughlin and Hogback.
After sustaining an injury in 2014 that was difficult to rehabilitate, Josh returned to cycling. "There are so many things to love about our little town. Just like our trails, the road riding is spectacular! It is still not quite the same as the pure experience of running through the forest and summiting a peak...but it is a very close second!", according to Josh. He recently place 3rd at the Chico Stage Race. Josh has realized over the course of his athletic career that sharing in the success of others, and doing his personal best, are more important than any title. He felt successful in achieving those goals in Chico this year. In addition to several KOM (King of the Mountain) goals, the next major race on the docket for Josh, is the Baker City Cycling Classic, in June.
The Nelsons are also fondly known as The Incredibles: two daughters, Cadence and Tenaya, and a son named Jasper! Josh and Jill feel that Klamath is an amazing spot to raise a family.
Asana supports trail users and the Klamath Trails Alliance (KTA) in multiple ways. They sell a variety of trail shoes and other running gear. They offer the Linkville Lopers, who start their trail runs from Asana on Wednesday nights at 6pm, a discount at the store and 1 week of free yoga. They provide prizes for the Moore Mountain Trail Festival and the Spence Mountain Run. Josh has co-hosted the Moore Mountain Trail Festival in the past. Jill continues to use her degree as a freelance designer and creates materials for KTA, the Linkville Lopers, and other organizations. They have supported KTA financially and done trail maintenance, over the years. Josh continues to maintain a portion of the Nature Trail in Moore Park. Josh says it is inspiring to see the culture of running grow in our community, and he is happy that Asana can maintain a key role.