So, this happened. (Practically all of this is true.)
In 2004, I accidentally opened, I’m pretty sure, the second oldest yoga studio in the area.
After my initial yoga teacher training in Asheville, North Carolina, I was bursting with enthusiasm to share yoga. A decade ago our yoga community was not yet fully fledged and the landscape of opportunities looked very different than today. With only one yoga/massage studio in Lynchburg and a small pool of students, opportunities to teach yoga had to be created. In those early days, I passionately schlepped the tools of my trade to any number of cafeterias, closets and classrooms, country clubs, chiropractic offices and carports to spread the joy of yoga.
Then happily, a friend whose large country estate included an early 20th century country church, offered the space to me to teach a few yoga classes in exchange for being a sort of steward for this historic property. The church had been desanctified and remodeled years before to include modern plumbing. Its Gothic peaked arched windows framed views of centuries old oak trees, pastured cows and horses as well as a seductive view of the Blue Ridge mountains. It was only 1/2 mile down the charming gravel road from my front door. In other words, it was perfect. In all things except that it was out in the boonies. With crossed fingers, I rang up a few folks who also lived out here in the boonies and asked if I were to offer a yoga class or two would they be interested. To my great joy, they certainly were. So it began.
We started “church yoga” with only a few weekly classes and a small but delightful handful of good folks. Then friend told friend and we added a few more classes. In time we even had a small boutique and sold mats and clothing. More classes were added over the years and from time to time we held workshops and hosted guest yoga teachers. As it began to feel like a studio, it was given a new name - Cifax Yoga Studio.
During the nearly four years we were there, my schedule began to fill with other yoga classes too. I began working as a full time yoga instructor at the YMCA and as adjunct faculty at Lynchburg College. The miles on the car started to add up, the wire on the back of my portable CD player was starting to fray from the wear of constant packing and unpacking. A longing formed to have one place where I could teach and good yogic folks came there. It became clear that our thriving yoga studio had outgrown its current space and perhaps we had even overstayed our welcome.
Renting retail or commercial space was a prohibitively expensive option but I still looked and I still dreamed. Then my ever so supportive husband suggested that we renovate and move the studio 1/2 mile down the street to our house. O Lovely Man! We consulted a gifted architect and a local builder whose mandate was to create a separate space for yoga classes that was light and full of windows to frame our views of gardens, woods and the Blue Ridge mountains with enough square footage for 20 yoga mats. The collaboration was thrilling.
The new Cifax Yoga Studio opened in 2009. These photos show the demolition, construction and transformation of a dark, nearly windowless space, into a serene studio for the practice of yoga.
The same beautiful faces continue to show up for classes, workshops and charity events and occasionally fresh young teachers come to share their yoga and gain experience, friends continue to tell friends and together we have created a most welcoming, loving & silly community. There is something very special about this place, these people, and this work that we do to grow ourselves.
In 2014, after 10 years of teaching on the road, I semi-retired to my first love, Cifax Yoga Studio, and her students, whom I consider dear friends. We all heartily invite you to join us on the mat. Namasté.
“Sometimes I need only to stand
1613 Old Cifax Road Goode, VA 24556 540.875.YOGA firstname.lastname@example.org