November 14, 2018

Theresa Java/Free Press
Engaged couple Carrlee Pinder and Christopher Denault are offering yoga and other healing therapies beyond the mat, including Pinder's mental health counseling.

Theresa Java/Free Press Engaged couple Carrlee Pinder and Christopher Denault are offering yoga and other healing therapies beyond the mat, including Pinder's mental health counseling.

KEY LARGO — Change can be overwhelming to many and downright scary to some, according to Carrlee Pinder, a mental health counselor and yoga instructor helping those seeking relief from mental trauma and anxiety.

She and fiancé Christopher Denault have aligned mental health and the practice of yoga in their communal space and are offering both to the community at Abundant Life Therapy and CMD Yoga Studio.

Denault is training to become a master yoga instructor, while Pinder, a national certified counselor, is just beginning to teach yoga.

Their big, lofty space is designed for different modalities of healing and, according to Pinder, encourages vulnerability and openness during the healing process.

“We will be a full holistic healing center. We want to be a collective of greater good and bring peace where we really need it right now,” she said. Denault says his aim is to build a community for vibrant people in a sober and healthy environment.

Pinder graduated from Island Christian School in 2008 and the University of North Texas in 2016, and Denault left Key Largo during middle school but has since moved back.

They feel their collaboration is a way for them to give back to the community they’re rooted in.

The studio will offer monthly spiritual discussions and meditation classes beyond its yoga schedule and counseling sessions.

Research has long supported yoga’s mental health benefits, especially when the physical and meditative exercise is intertwined with counseling therapies.

“Yoga has a lot of mental health benefits. It gives us coping skills and relieves anxiety. We’re here as a collaborative effort as a place to seek betterment for the community,” Pinder said.

The yoga studio opened as a natural progression in Denault’s timeline, he said. He had been teaching the practice to others for a few years, and after taking time to self-assess, he knew he wanted to be his own boss.

He offers vinyassa, hatha and gentle flow classes, and implements sound-bowl healing during classes. Tibetans believe the healing process works by training the brain waves to synch to the sounds made by the bowl.

“The healing bowl’s reverberation that you can feel on the floor heals through its different frequencies,” Denault said. “The idea is that our bodies resonate with different frequencies.”

“The space is a little further removed from the outside world and it has a different feel to it,” Pinder said.

The drop-in rate for classes is $15, with punch cards available.

Pinder keeps affirmation cards as a way to encourage positive thoughts. A randomly chosen card reveals an inspirational saying, such as “I choose love no matter what.”

For more information about Abundant Life Therapy, call Pinder at 305-908-2448 or visit abundantlifetherapy.me. For CMD Yoga’s schedule, visit cmdyoga.com or call Denault at 305-923-7206.

Abundant Life Therapy and CMD Yoga Studio is located on the second floor of the Wyland mural building in the median at 99222 Overseas Highway. It is accessible from the external staircase on the building’s eastern side.

A Bhakti, Kirtan & Potluck Dinner event is planned from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18.

tjava@keysnews.com