Local business offers opportunity to improve mental and physical health through exercise


Instagram of Brown Dog Yoga

Brown Dog Yoga offers classes in basic yoga, heated flow, restorative yoga, barre, fusion, cycling, TRX (Total Body Resistance Exercise) and more and has locations in Huntington and Barboursvile, West Virginia and Ashland, Kentucky.

Statistics show that as many as one in three college students struggle with poor mental health, but one local business is focusing on improving the mind, as well as the body, through yoga.

“A lot of people get into yoga for the workout benefits, but the more often a person comes, the more they realize that for an hour a day their mind can forget about the rest of the world and just be present in the moment,” said Makenzie Calicoat, an instructor at Brown Dog Yoga and senior psychology and dietetics major at Marshall University. 

Brown Dog Yoga offers Marshall students a 20% membership discount and unlimited access to any of the classes that Brown Dog offers, such as basic yoga, heated flow, restorative yoga and other classes that are more focused on weights and cardio, such as barre, fusion, cycling, TRX (Total Body Resistance Exercise), HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) and more. New students get two weeks of unlimited classes of their choice for $20, which allows those who may be unfamiliar with Brown Dog, or yoga in general, an opportunity to try out a variety of different forms of wellness.

“The Brown Dog community is one big family; the new students catch on quick, and there is a sense of group motivation and support for everyone to be their best self,” Calicoat said. “The instructors are there to make sure the classes are effective, so it’s like each person gets their own personal trainer every session.”

“I started my first semester of grad school, and as a result, my mental health suffered a lot,” Samantha Wyatt, a graduate student majoring in communication disorders, said. “I can get really overwhelmed with school but a quick workout at Brown Dog Yoga really gets my mind right. There is so much versatility offered in the classes, and they have events such as the Yoga Motive that allow you to make connections within the Huntington community, which I love.”

The name Brown Dog Yoga originated with owner Katrina Mailloux’s dog Lucy, who regularly visits and offers her own personal comfort and support to those in class or just dropping by. 

Mailloux began teaching classes out of her garage, previously known as “the Nest,” which became so successful that she moved her business to Heritage Station, according to Mailloux. Starting off in a one-room studio, Brown Dog Yoga has since expanded along the boardwalk at Heritage Station and to two additional locations in Ashland, Kentucky and Barboursville, West Virginia.  

Sarah Rowe can be contacted at [email protected].