Built by a yogi for the yogi
We all have visions and aspirations – The Yogi Coach Studio is just that. The time had come to expand my yoga practice and find a home for it. During the past 18 months my search has taken me to all parts of the community – visiting old and new structures, existing studios, rental spaces in strip malls and even previewing empty lots. Unfortunately, it was either the locality, the cost of the rent, parking issues, or just not having that right feeling about the space. Then finally I was fortunate enough to find a location that satisfied most of my needs. As with all endeavors – I compromised on a few items on my “want list.” My motto was “I am going to make this space work for me.”
What does one do with a rectangle? The interior walls layered with a stucco design from the 1960’s and the dark colors of the entire facility created a dark and gloomy setting like the show, ” The Twilight Zone.” In addition, the painted concrete slab was uneven like the rolling hills in Onondaga Hill. Not one window was to be seen. And the ceiling had more lights of
different sizes and shapes than NYC Times Square. Even though this was a discouraging reality, I stayed focused on the vision and saw beyond the colors, lights and coldness of the space knowing I could transform it into a warm and welcoming yoga studio.
Determining a color scheme that depicts the proper ambiance and transforming the space using all natural materials was the next stage. The studio is designed with an earth tone effect combining wood, stone, bamboo and warm colors creating a durable, clean and yet refreshing look. Lighting is extremely important to me. Too much light is a distraction while too little light can create a cold feeling. Creating the right balance is the key. The studio lighting is designed with a combination of both natural diffused light and indirect lighting creating a soft and mellow atmosphere.
BUILDING INCH BY INCH
In order to make this vision reality, the 90 day, 7 day a week project required controlling costs. Thus the only labor costs incurred was my time and the abuse put on my two hands. But because the ceilings are over 9ft high, the legs also gained their fair share of a workout spending literally weeks working on the ladder. The project also allowed me to pick up a few more tools and
bolts for my next endeavor too! The first task at hand was building a new outside entryway into the studio. Luckily, I had very mild temperatures in November which allowed for great working conditions. Setting posts in a paved driveway is no fun task. So pounding the pavement with a 30lb bar to break the pavement up was my way of beginning my new endeavor. Reminder Jeff, next time rent a jack hammer! One day to set posts, two days to build the landing and one more day to build the railings. And in between loading and unloading the materials.
With the outside entryway completed it was time for some demolition. One 20 ft. partition that separated the space in half needed to be removed and a 40 foot wall of sheet rock needed to be replaced with new. As with all adventures, some excitement is always just around the corner. While removing the sheet rock from the 40 ft wall, I decided to cut the wall with a saw. After carefully determining the depth of the blade so I thought, I made one full cut. What a breeze I said. Just one more cut to go – so away I go and then BAM! I hit a water line and it came pouring out like a fire hydrant exploding. The water literally was spraying 16ft in the air before it found the ground. At least there was good water pressure here. As the water poured onto me I just said “hmmm. “ So thinking in between deep breaths I stepped into the van with soaking wet jeans and walked into a nearby hardware store like a wet mop head saying HELP. I knew I needed a quick fix since I did not have access to the shut off valve. So the good ole handyman found a fix to the situation and stopped the flood. That was the first surprise and I can say the last too!
Demolition took several weeks, and re-wiring the electrical and framing another 10 days. In the meantime, I wanted to add a special diffused window to bring natural light into the space. A weekend was dedicated cutting thru cinder blocks with the help of a retired mason to create this special design and look. As the weeks progressed it was 3 steps forward and 2 steps back.
Several things were done then re-done and re-done again, like the dear ceiling I came to know so well. Stone and bamboo needed to be ordered and wood was needed for the custom wall units. But I only had so much space and needed to have a strict time-line in order to coordinate the handling and storage of the different materials.
During this time frame, when folks asked me about my status, my reply simply was “inch by inch”. And I can say that I visited every inch of the studio 100 times if not more.
At the end of December, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. The final phase included building custom wall units, custom trim for new window, installing the stone and the bamboo floor. This phase took about a month but the transformation was exciting as each new material installed. The space was taking shape with a whole new perspective and I could see the vision becoming reality.
The final stage was installing a state of the art sound system and then turning it on for the first time like a child with a new toy – it was like watching a colorful summer sunset. Every low and mid-range sound was heard with clarity and crispness that immediately enhanced the ambiance of the studio.
In conclusion, I feel a soothing calmness and peacefulness in the studio. It is now time to share the passion and perseverance I have had for many months with others. Hopefully, all will enjoy the calming ambiance and have a wonderful yoga experience.