Sherwood's 'Everyman's yoga' studio finds new home
Annette Alyssa believes in yoga for all.
"Our approach to yoga is making the benefits of yoga accessible to all types of people," the founder of Escape to Yoga told the Gazette. "That means all ages, all body types, all body conditions. We have yoga for athletes who want to be very fit, and we have classes for older people or healing people that are gentle yoga."
Escape to Yoga moved from its original location at 22520 S.W. Washington St. to a new location at 16067 S.W. 1st St. at the end of June, and will host a grand opening celebration on July 7. Alyssa said that the new location will help her business to reach more people in Sherwood.
The original location, which first opened its doors in April of 2012, was prone to structural issues. Escape to Yoga announced in March that it would be moving to its new location in Old Town's historic Roellich Store building — which previously housed the Painted Plate and Old Town Mercantile.
The new space will give Escape to Yoga more room to introduce new products and services. Alyssa plans to use the front room as a reception area and boutique, which will feature both yoga gear and wares from local artisans sold on consignment.
Alyssa also plans to bring in local physical therapy businesses, including Vertical Wall Physical Therapy, to provide their services in the new space.
"We're using this space to support other 'micropreneurs,'"Alyssa said, using a word that describes people who start very small business, "and to kind of have a larger set of roles in our community. It's not just going to be teachers and students."
But perhaps the biggest change to set Escape to Yoga apart from other yoga studios will be in the yoga room itself. During the move, Alyssa decided to purchase a special cushioned yoga floor — something still relatively uncommon in yoga studios — to make her classes more accessible to all body types.
"Not only will our healing people have a much more stronger experience, but our stronger people who are doing a much more rigorous form of yoga, for the next 15 years with us, will end up having much healthier joints at the end of the road," she said.
And in addition to her existing classes, Alyssa said she soon will introduce an "adaptive yoga" class designed to accommodate people with disabilities.
Alyssa worked with Parrett Mountain Builders to transform the new location into a yoga space, which has windows that let in plenty of natural light throughout the day, and will feature calming sky blue walls. Contractor George Pacanovsky has been a longtime student at Escape to Yoga, and often would lend his services when structural issues came up at the old location.
"He knows exactly what makes a yogi comfortable," Alyssa said about hiring Pacanovsky.
Jennifer Rose Harlow Smith of Blue Plume Studio in Newberg painted a large mural in the original location. Alyssa said that she "cried and cried over that mural" after making the decision to move — but that Harlow Smith is working on a new mural at the Roellich Store building location.
"She's taken the same theme and story of our original mural, and repurposed it to fit our new feel and space," she said.
The same could be said about Alyssa's work in moving Escape to Yoga. The themes are the same, but the business will change and grow in its new location.
And best of all, for Alyssa?
"There's going to be more opportunity," she said, "to welcome people into our little yoga community."
Escape to Yoga will host a grand opening of its new location from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 7, at 16067 S.W. 1st St. All are welcome. There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony at 5 p.m.