PROFILE: Mind, body and spirit

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 28, 2022

Khounlavong offers instruction in fitness and yoga

Viviane Khounlavong been bringing her expertise on healthy living to others for some time. “I’ve been a trainer and instructor for over 10 years in fitness and nutrition,” she said.

Khounlavong, an Ashland native who lives in Ironton, works as an instructor at Preferred Fitness, located at 711 S. 3rd St., where she teaches fitness through personal training, strength and conditioning. “And, for me, it’s really not about just fitness,” she said. “I also help them practice mindfulness — learning to treat their selves better and learning to be healthy of mind.”

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Khounlavong spoke of what drew her to the field. “I’ve always enjoyed helping others and empowering others,” she said. “And this was a first step to an outlet for that.”

Khounlavong, who also serves as a mediation guide, Reiki master and health coach, operates Studio Dara, which offers online classes. “I do live yoga practices and workouts with them,” she said. “And meet their needs and things are tailored for the individual.”

She said she has been doing yoga all of her life, learning it from her grandmother, who was a refugee from Laos. She said she has fond memories of her getting up and doing poses, and her nightly yoga.

Khounlavong also recently began teaching Heated Yoga Flow at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays at Eternal Yoga, located at 1512 Greenup Ave. in Ashland.

She says she offers boot camp, at 9 a.m. on Saturdays, followed by yoga at 10 a.m.

Khounlavong said she has 30 clients online for fitness and also teaches yoga to Marshall University athletics students. “Football, baseball, softball and tennis,” she said. “It is specific and tailored to the sport.”

She has also worked, before the COVID-19 pandemic, with Ironton schools, where she would instruct students in yoga to help them relieve stress before things such as a big test. She also made regular visits to Ironton Elementary School, where she taught groups of children in the gym.

She said the biggest benefit to her work is “seeing my clients succeed and reach their goals.”

“It’s really all about empowerment and gaining confidence in all aspects of their life,” she said.