I found yoga as a young adult after an injury (from being a thought-I-was-invincible kid). Like many of life’s downfalls, the challenge of an injury became a blessing for me when yoga became a lifestyle. Yoga taught me to love myself in wholeness, the practice made me stronger than ever and teaching taught me that I really did have a voice and what I said mattered. I knew my path was to design the ultimate place for others to create, play, heal and thrive.
In November of 2009, my family and I moved to Lafayette and my intention was to open a Yoga Studio here. We had family here, there was not a Yoga studio, and everything fell into place for us to land here.
I got the keys to Simpson on January 5, 2010. At that point, all I had was my game-like business plan. (You see, when i was a child I was always making up new games, which my step father graciously and patiently played with me!) We spent all of our time remodeling, interviewing teachers, making a schedule, designing a logo and website, ordering props and retail items, and integrating all the other details of running a studio. All this was done with the help of my 2-1/2-year-old son, Bodhi.
Three weeks after receiving the keys, we opened our doors. We accomplished all of this not through invincibility, but from a passion and love to create, play, and grow. On January 31, 2010, I dreamt of a yoga studio that was affordable and welcoming—a true community. Thanks to my family, the community of Lafayette, and all of our teachers, this dream has manifested beyond my wildest imagination.
Our logo came to me before the name! So I sat and stared at that logo until Soul Tree Studio came to fruition. About a year after we opened, we went into the cellar at Simpson and found a box of shoes with 99¢ stickers along with a sign: “The Hub.” I knew by the plaque on the outside of the building how special our building and tribe was—it was the hub of Lafayette so many years ago. The word studio did not seem to fit anymore since we are so much more than a studio. Our name honors our roots and what we truly are: a hub of mind, body, spirit, and community.
The mural at Simpson (what is now the East Simpson Coffee patio) is an incredible honor brought to us in collaboration with Alley Art Amazin’. I had a vision of this mural being a representation of what happens within the walls at Soul Tree, as well as within each of us! We are each a mini universe made up of the elements; earth, water, fire, air and space. The earth is our structure/foundation, the water keeps us flowing, the fire is our passion which ultimately becomes the air of pure love in the heart.
To me the word Empowered means to make someone stronger and more confident in claiming who they truly are.
I believe in doing our inner work towards letting down any barriers we have around love. When you find self love, are able to give and receive love of others, and love that you are part of something greater you will be empowered.
Yoga taught me to love myself and to trust who I am. In turn, my love of yoga is what empowered me to have the courage to open Soul Tree so many years ago.
We are Empowered by Love!
5 years later we opened the South location, on 1/15/15 (my Birthday!!). With the help of our friends and tribe, we turned a concrete box into that beautiful space in a month. Everyone always says how happy it feels in there, and I truly believe that it was the love infused in building that space. It could have a bit to do with that fact it used to be a Dairy Queen too!
I know deep in my heart and soul that we are right where we need to be.
Sarah Woods E-RYT 500, YACEP
Owner, Soul Tree Yoga