top of page

Mindful Healing: One Woman’s Story of Overcoming Anxiety & Loss

Yoga in the Loft & Rainbow Baby Boutique | County of Northern Lights, AB

Kendell Vreeling

When adversity or tragedy strikes, navigating a healthy path forward can be overwhelming, even paralyzing.

For Kendell Vreeling, 32, of Manning, building a support network in her community has helped immensely. And, she does it all with her two home-based businesses—Yoga in the Loft and Rainbow Baby Boutique.

Vreeling found yoga early in her adult life, and her passion for the practice has only intensified.

“When I left home to attend university in Edmonton, I started to feel incredibly stressed and anxious. I consciously needed to develop tools to manage my stress,” said Vreeling.

“That’s when I decided to give yoga a try.”

Vreeling signed up for a 10-week program and quickly saw how transformational yoga could be for a person. As time went on, she noticed the powerful lasting effects it can have.

“I felt grounded and at peace. A spark was lit. I was excited to continue exploring the emotional, physical and spiritual benefits yoga was having on my life,” said Vreeling.

Naturally compassionate and caring, Vreeling started her post-secondary education by obtaining her Holistic Health Practitioner Diploma and completed her 200-hour Yoga Instructor Certificate. Later she became a registered nurse and started teaching yoga.

“Because I’m a yoga instructor, people often think I’m a chill, easy-going person, but I’m the opposite,” said Vreeling. “Teaching is a beautiful way to remind myself of the principles and techniques I need to self regulate and allow my mind to stay calm.”

After eight years of city life, Vreeling moved back to the Manning area and married her now husband, Michael.

She wanted to share the benefits of yoga with her community, so Vreeling started offering yoga classes from a little cottage in her yard.

“Back then it was known as ‘Yoga in the Cottage.’ I was nervous about teaching yoga in Manning versus the big city,” said Vreeling. “There can be stigma around yoga in more rural areas, but I wanted to help change that.”

In 2020, Vreeling and her husband built a house and incorporated a yoga studio above the garage, so she re-named her studio Yoga in the Loft. Since then, her classes have grown in popularity.

Suitable for all fitness levels, Vreeling has worked to build an accepting, judgement-free space—a hub for self-care.

“I enjoy sharing how yoga can help us slow down and be more present in our lives. Yoga encompasses the whole concept of self-care, and my studio is a place to come to find peace and quiet,” said Vreeling.

In addition to Yoga in the Loft, Vreeling also runs Rainbow Baby Boutique, an online baby boutique offering infant clothing and accessories while promoting awareness of miscarriages, loss and infertility.

A “rainbow baby” is a term for a healthy baby born following infant loss or pregnancy loss.

“I want more people to feel heard, validated and connected when navigating difficult times in their family planning,” said Vreeling.

After experiencing a miscarriage, Vreeling felt there should be more support for parents going through this type of loss.

“I felt like my pain of loss wasn’t valid, and nobody knew what to say or do,” said Vreeling. “I didn’t have any close friends who had gone through a similar experience, so it was a very isolating and challenging time in my life.”

Starting a family can be challenging. After experiencing in vitro fertilization treatments, Vreeling sought to find purpose and meaning behind what she was going through.

“I did a lot of soul searching. I knew I wanted to take my experience from the miscarriage and my fertility journey to create something positive for my community,” said Vreeling.

After the birth of her daughter, Blaire, Vreeling set out to connect with others and offer support, especially for those in rural areas. Shortly after, the concept of Rainbow Baby Boutique was born.

Rainbow Baby Boutique offers unique gifts and apparel, often modelled by Vreeling’s younger daughter, Saige.

The boutique recently partnered with a candle maker in Grimshaw who helped Vreeling create “Conversation of Loss” candles. These candles include special messages meant to help those who don’t know what to say or do when someone close to them is going through a hard time.

“Our candles are a beautiful way to honour a loved one who is no longer here and share some kindness to someone you know who is grieving,” said Vreeling.

Since launching Rainbow Baby Boutique, Vreeling has found that many people have gone through similar circumstances, and she has been able to create a hub of support for those in need.

“I’ve had many people from across the country reach out and share their stories,” said Vreeling. “I have such a deep desire to be an advocate and create a safe place for those who need it.”

Rainbow Baby Boutique gifts a portion of its annual proceeds to a mother of a rainbow baby and works to illuminate other people’s stories and experiences.

By Laura Hanna | Photography by Samantha Rose Photography

202 views0 comments


bottom of page