It was a little over a year ago when Elizabeth and I bundled up the girls and took our dog Speck up into the woods of Lanesville. We walked up past Steel Derrick and down to the end of Bearskin Neck. We stopped at Brothers’ Brew for coffee and doughnuts before heading back up into the woods and to our home in Downtown Lanesville. As often as we can we like to take a walk like this – stretch our legs, exercise the dogs, and expose our daughters to the beauty that surrounds us. (Brothers’ doughnuts are a nice bonus, too)
Something was different about this walk though. As I stepped out onto the sidewalk Elizabeth let me know, “David, It’s time for us to open our own yoga studio.”
We had been talking about it for years. In fact, our very first conversation the night we met at the Madfish years ago we learned that we had three things in common. We both worked in the horse industry, our lives had both been transformed through yoga, and if we weren’t at the barn or in the studio – the only place in the world we wanted to be was on the water. You could say that it was fate, and I believe it was.
Now back to our walk in the woods. We talked about everything that we wanted in our studio. From class times, teachers, building materials to workshops, training, our role in our community here on Cape Ann and also in the greater yoga community at large. For the first time we had a crystal clear picture of what we were looking to create. There were a few important things that we took away from that long walk on a warm January day.
We needed to create a clean, beautiful, and simple space. The type of space where we would want to practice that’s free from distractions, making it easier for students to turn their attention inward.
We wanted to be in the heart of Downtown Gloucester. Lore has it that one time someone asked Gandhi why he wasn’t up in the mountains praying and being with God. He replied, “God is here, in the City, in the people.” What good is enlightenment if you keep it to yourself up in the hills? We wanted to be in the heart of the city, the excitement, and the bustle – that’s where the people are, and that’s where we wanted to be.
Finally after some back and forth we determined that we would do everything in our power to make every class just $10 all the time.We would rather strive to reach more people and make a little less money than keep our community limited to those who have an extra $200 a month to spend on yoga.
We got home and started searching for a place to open our new studio. We looked at everything that was available or about to become available in Gloucester. We looked high and low, from finished studio spaces, to restaurants with kitchens, and everything in between before finally one frigid afternoon we walked into what had been an accountants office in Brown’s Mall.
It had desks and carpets, a drop ceiling above it, and didn’t look anything like a yoga studio.
But it had giant windows to let in natural light and heat with a view of the Paint Factory. It had high finished ceilings up above the hideous drop ceiling, a location right in the heart of downtown, and an airy atrium that would allow people to meet, chat, and easily segue with a new friend from the studio and into a coffee shop or restaurant. Most exciting was the fact that while the heat wasn’t even on and while the temperature outside was 14°, it was lovely and in the 70’s inside the sunlit unit. We really liked that : )
We took the leap and signed a lease. Almost every night for a whole summer when Elizabeth got home from teaching the four of us (Fletcher and Hunter too!) would head in to the studio to demolish, build, bless, and clean our space. There is blood, sweat, and tears from every one of us in this studio. It was worth every Redbull, every missed perfect day on the boat, and every lost hour of sleep.
It was well worth the effort.
At first we were a little concerned that we didn’t have a parking lot and people might not like that. But for the most part people are happy to find and pay for a spot downtown if it means that they can take great yoga class for just $10. Plus – if you walk or bike to class, why should you have to pay a high price for class to subsidize parking for people who do drive to class?
Every 10x you walk, bike, or carpool to class you get a free class!
It’s like seventy five cents to park for most of our classes between 9 and 5 Monday through Saturday which is only about half of the classes on our schedule anyway. So yea if you have to pay to park it really costs you $10.75 or $11 to practice. Still a lot less expensive than almost every yoga class anywhere.
If you don’t have change in your car we always have a change bowl on the desk that we’re happy to let you borrow from.
We didn’t spring for the parking lot however we do know that it is extremely important to have a nice floor. You spend a lot of time in contact with the floor in a yoga class – so for us that meant we had to have a real solid wood floor. You’ll notice that we picked a light blonde color for the floor so that you can see any grossness that collects on it. A darker floor hides the dirt, hair, and grime that can accumulate if you don’t wash every square inch of it multiple times every day like we do. We didn’t want that. We have light colors so you can see just how clean our studio is. Go ahead – take a close look at at our floor and let us know if you see any filth. According to some surveys the most important attribute people are looking for in a yoga studio is cleanliness – and we strive for that at every opportunity. Plus, it’s just the right thing to do.
The room is free of furniture and props, piles or places for dust. It is a clean, open, airy, sunlit space – the type of space where you can do some serious work.
We’ve been open for six months now. Every day more people are taking a leap of faith and trying the power yoga that Elizabeth and I so sincerely believe in. More people are coming back and making a regular habit of this life changing practice.
Our students aren’t just losing weight, but worries, ailments, and all types of things that aren’t suiting them anymore.
Our students aren’t just gaining flexibility, but confidence, poise, strength and a connection to their own inherent wisdom.
Our students aren’t just making do. They are making changes, making friends, making habits, and making space for possibilities.
Come and join us. We didn’t haphazardly open “another yoga studio in an already saturated market”. In fact with the continual growing popularity of yoga and people realizing how easy it is to incorporate a regular yoga practice into your life – we believe the market is ripe. We intentionally created a space to meet the unmet needs of the hardworking people of Gloucester. A clean space for learning, growth, community, and fun – affordable and accessible to all.
Give us a try – I’m confident that even if you discover that hot power yoga isn’t for you, your time in class will be well spent in the company of healthy people who are actively working to make themselves feel and be better.
What have you got to lose?
It’s just ten bucks.
And who knows what’s possible…
Email us anytime with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org