Amy Swanson pulled down a pair of bean-bag pillows and folded into a casual sitting positing on the hard floor of her new yoga studio. With restrained excitement, she described her journey from the old studio on Santa Barbara Street to the new studio at 3422 Migelito Ct. in SLO, which she shares with the Academy of Dance. As many people in the yoga community know, the city went through a dry spell during December, when Swanson tried relocating the Yoga Centre into a shared space with Tridosha. With the collapse of Tridosha, however, the arrangement quickly fell apart. Swanson was left without a studio for her 10-year-old practice. And suddenly, the only place to do yoga in SLO was the Bikram studio.
- PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
- BIG STRETCH : Owner Amy Swanson said that The Yoga Centre is celebrating a new home and the month of love--February--with specials, classes, and parties.
# "I don't believe in lessons," Swanson said frankly. "We make choices, and have experience based on those."
Swanson had to scramble through December to find a new studio, eventually landing next to the academy. In the end, the new location--although hard to find--could be advantageous. It's more than twice the size of its former home, with room to grow and the option to borrow space from the dance studio. The move also allows Swanson to hold more workshops, and bring out-of-town guests, such as Yin yoga pioneer Sarah Powers on Feb. 28.
The move reflects a sort of coming of age for the Yoga Centre, a chance for Swanson to reinvent it in her own image. Since Swanson bought the Yoga Centre five years ago, she said it's been sort of like wearing someone else's shoes. The makeover includes several new classes, such as Gyrokinesis, Nia, Pilates, Aikido, Ti Chi, and kids' yoga, in addition to the existing yoga classes.
Admittedly, Swanson takes a casual approach to the practice. Yoga can be too structured, she said, explaining that yoga is more of a necessity than a practice. She has the unruffled demeanor of a yoga teacher, with a tone that betrays trials faced in the last few months, and a black tracksuit that makes her look more like an athlete than a yogi. But her blissed-out self-possession and natural elegance unmistakably belong to someone who devotedly observes the pure joy of movement: a yogi.
"I wish people knew that yoga is not intimidating," Swanson said.
"I just want everyone to do yoga. I want people to know that they can come and stretch, and feel better, sleep better."
February will mark the grand opening of the Yoga Centre, and over the course of a half-hour interview, Swanson "invented" a handful of specials to celebrate.
As a gesture of love, Swanson said, Tridosha disciples can receive $25 off all packages during the month of February. Since February is also the love month, she's offering two-for-one classes during the week of Valentine's Day (Feb. 11 through 17). And on Feb. 23, the Yoga Centre is holding an open house with free classes all day--and a party that night.
The Yoga Centre is located at 3422 Migelito Ct., off of Capitolio Way. For more info, call 549-YOGA (9642) or visit www.yogacentre.com.
Staff Writer Kylie Mendonca compiled this week's Strokes and Plugs. Send your business news to firstname.lastname@example.org.