Jaime Moar leading a yoga class at The Well in Knowlton, Quebec. Photo by Megan Hlusko.
Health, Home, Wellness

The Well: Cultivating Community & Connection Through Yoga

It’s 10 a.m. on a warm and bright Saturday. You’re grounded in Tadasana (mountain pose) with your hands in a prayer position. Closing your eyes, you soften your gaze as you connect with your breath, before inhaling and sweeping your arms up above your head. A rush of energy begins to flow through your body, from head to toe. Before transitioning to the next pose, you open your eyes and take a minute to observe the lush, green scenery of surrounding tree plants, all bathed in a luminous sunlit glow.

This peaceful spot is The Well, a safe gathering space for yoga, meditation, sound baths and wellness workshops, located in the close-knit community of Knowlton, Quebec. Founded by Jaime Moar and Valérie Vincent, two women passionate about community and movement, the studio officially opened its doors in October 2022.

Since then, The Well has become a beloved local hub for bringing people together. Its ethos goes beyond movement: Take any class at The Well and you’ll see for yourself how Moar and Vincent have cultivated a growing, devoted community of people seeking tranquility, connection and empowerment. The classes are fun and authentic, allowing you to be 100% yourself on the mat.

Read on for our chat with Jaime and Valérie, as they share the story behind The Well, the power of community, and their advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Meet the owners of The Well, Jaime Moar and Valérie Vincent

Valérie Vincent and Jaime Moar, owners of The Well in Knowlton, Quebec. Photo by Megan Hlusko
Valérie Vincent and Jaime Moar, pictured at The Well in Knowlton, Quebec. Photo by Megan Hlusko.

How did the idea for The Well come about?

Jaime: It was all thanks to Valérie that The Well came to be! Our mutual friend told me about Val’s idea to open a yoga studio and said I should talk to her. We planned to meet for coffee – in my mind, I was happy to have the conversation, but at the time I had no intention of getting involved in opening a space. Fast forward to meeting Val: thirty minutes into our conversation I was in. I had been building a yoga community online and I had also been teaching at Marina Knowlton (my family’s business), but all of a sudden the idea of having a space in the village, specifically for yoga, made so much sense.  

Valérie: Moving back to the Townships in 2021, after being in Montreal for many years, I was worried about one thing: being away from the yoga studio I loved and its community I felt connected to. So when I saw a “for rent” sign in the window of 102 Chemin Lakeside, I peered through the window and immediately thought, this space was made to be a beautiful yoga studio, and then I continued my walk.

Over the next few days, I kept thinking about how wonderful it would be if someone were to open a yoga studio in this space. I talked to friends and family about my vision of a yoga studio, but always with the perspective of someone else opening one. It took a few people and conversations to finally consider why not me?. After a few business plan drafts and conversations with friends in the community, I knew I wanted to speak with Jaime. From our first conversation, we just knew: We wanted to be equal partners, both of us being similar and different at the same time. We just felt like a natural duo. We visited the space together, talked more about the details, reviewed the business plan together, and the rest is history!

What inspires the classes and programming at The Well? 

Jaime: I love that Valérie and I both have different teaching styles. It allows our community to benefit from knowing that “yoga” isn’t one cookie-cutter style but rather a whole variety. I create a weekly theme for my classes that help guide the practice. One week it may be curiosity, another week it will be transition. Ideally, these life themes can be practiced and embodied on the mat so that they can also be incorporated into your everyday life. 

Valérie: When planning our schedule, we focus on offering a variety of classes that are accessible for all. Our yoga backgrounds are different, and so we teach authentically to the yoga styles that we practice and that we resonate with the most. The same goes for the teachers that we bring onboard! We want them to think of The Well as a place for the community to gather and move in a safe environment and to teach what they practice. When we plan workshops, we look for things that serve the community and that have the potential to light a spark in people and open new horizons in their wellness journey.

What does wellness mean to you?

Jaime: To me, wellness is all about finding what fills your cup. What do you look forward to or get excited about? What recharges and re-energizes you? It’s about finding those moments in your day where you are so present with what’s going on. The beauty is, wellness looks different for everyone. 

Valérie: To me, wellness means finding balance in our everyday life. It’s also about finding balance in the amount of time we sleep and are “up and at it”, balance in how we care for ourselves and for others, giving and receiving love, and finding balance in how often we connect with our body, mind and the outside world.

What’s your go-to morning ritual? 

Jaime: My morning routine tends to vary. I used to think that it needed to look a certain way and be set in stone. I’ve since let go of that idea and now I let my mood and energy guide me. Sometimes I take an online movement class or read a book. Other days I pull oracle cards and spend time writing, and some days I hop on my computer and get some work done. No matter how it begins, coffee is always involved (specifically Virgin Hill Coffee!).

Valérie: I’m a morning person (at least my pets trained me to be!), so I wake up at the first sign of sunrise and take my dog out for a walk to start my day. Out in nature with this precious soul is the best way to wake up. When I get back home, it’s coffee time, and then I hop onto my mat for my yoga practice. In the Ashtanga Yoga system, yoga is practiced on our own five to six times a week at the break of dawn, following the sequence given by your teacher.

Valérie Vincent leading a yoga class in Knowlton.
Photo by Megan Hlusko

Your secret weapons for getting it all done in a day? 

Jaime: Knowing that it doesn’t need to all get done today. I’ve learned to release the grip on the idea that we need to cram it all in. Or that productivity needs to look a certain way. If three things on your list get done, great! Everything else is a bonus. 

Valérie: My Ashtanga and Pranayama (breath) practice are the foundations for my day. But also, I’m not getting it all done in a day! I cut out what is unnecessary, say “no”, and reaffirm boundaries when I need to, plus I delegate what does not bring me joy! I fully recognize this comes from a place of privilege, as not everyone gets to do that. So, if I were to say one thing, it would be to review what’s on your plate and remove what does not serve you, bring you joy, nor contribute to your growth.

Favourite affirmation of late? 

Jaime: Everything will be OK. Dealing with health issues lately, this simple statement has allowed me to feel at peace. Because I truly believe that at the end of the day, everything will be OK. 

Valérie: Every challenge is an opportunity.

Valérie Vincent and Jaime Moar, owners of The Well in Knowlton, Quebec. Photo by Megan Hlusko.
Photo by Megan Hlusko.

What is your favourite way to unwind after a long day?

Jaime: I’m not going to lie, I love a good reality TV show. Cooking and reading are a close second and third. 

Valérie: A nice, long walk with my dog in nature.

If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring young entrepreneurs, what would it be?

Jaime: That your magic and what you have to bring to the world is unique. And, that it needs to be brought to life because there is someone out there who needs what you have to offer. 

Valérie: Not to be boring, but do the work and plan! Build and evolve your business plan, look at the risks and come up with mitigation tactics to reduce or remove as many risks as you can, and then go for it.

How do you envision The Well evolving in the next couple of years?

Valérie: Year 2025: The Well’s community has grown slowly but steadily. People come to class early to catch up with their friends from The Well. There is such demand that we now offer two to three classes per day of various styles taught by different teachers. Jaime and I continue be a strong duo, voice messaging daily to ensure The Well runs like a well-oiled machine.

Jaime: I couldn’t have said it better myself! 

What’s coming up at The Well this summer? 

Jaime: We are excited to encourage people to stick to their practice in the summer months when it may feel a little harder. An hour of movement, breath and taking time for yourself is always worth it!

Valérie: A steady amount of yoga classes, yoga on the docks at Marina Knowlton, workshops, our monthly sound bath, and a monthly contest to keep people dedicated to their practice.

Jaime and Valérie inside The Well's studio space in Knowlton. Photo by Megan Hlusko.
Photo by Megan Hlusko

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