Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Local Eco-Studio Love: ALL YOGA

As prices for yoga are skyrocketing I was surprised and excited to learn that a fabulous yoga studio across the harbour in Dartmouth was promoting the opposite: a lower price for yoga. Since it spread it's pretty yoga wings a few years ago, ALL YOGA has been one of the most supportive and truly community based studios in HRM. Truly listening to it's student base and initiating an open communication with other yogis in the community. Recently they've begun offering not only karma classes, but seva classes- FREE, no donation accepted.

To top it all off, one of the pioneers of having their electricity from Bullfrog Power in Nova Scotia, this studio was constructed with environmental materials, from the paint to the non-toxic glue in the flooring this studio is easy on the toxins and the planet.

ALL YOGA's Mandate: "We honour the tradition of Yoga and offer sanctuary for ALL people to develop a personal practice for the health of their body, their mind and their spirit." I love the inclusivity and acceptance.

It only took me a whole year to get my butt over to the studio (it's a bit of a drive from my downtown Halifax apartment) but the experience was worth it! After a fabulous class with the owner, Kim, she kindly agreed to share a few more pieces of her Story with you!

1. Owning and running a yoga studio is a big step in a person's life. What brought you to this decision in your Yoga Life?

 I was originally asked to open a studio by a friend who had a yoga franchise.  I wasn't even a yoga teacher yet but she needed someone to open in Dartmouth.  I originally said no as I found out I was pregnant but when I went to my teacher training program (with my 3 week old in tow), I was asked again if I was interested.  I thought that working for myself would really suit my life with 3 kids and a husband to care for.   I love Yoga so it was a natural transition.

2. While building your studio, you made the decision to invest in environmentally-friendly and non-toxic materials. What prompted that decision? Were there challenging aspects to eco-building?

It was important to me to be true to what I believe and as sincerely as possible to practice what I preach.  Simple as that.  How can I ask people to take care of the environment and then use paint and floor glue that is bad for them and for the earth?  Just doesn't work for me.  Thou shalt not lie.

3. Recently your studio has announced some fairly drastic changes in pricing. Free classes, significantly lower pass and monthly/yearly pass prices. We, as students, are often told that high prices of yoga classes reflect the true cost of running a studio and can't be helped. What prompted you to make these changes? 

Because I originally started as something else my prices reflected that.  I have no business training but when I looked at the prices of yoga passes and memberships at my studio and realized that I couldn't afford to practice here it was a rude awakening.  Just because everyone else is doing something a certain way doesn't mean that I have to.  I am very interested in more people, just like me, coming to my studio.  If that means that I need to lower my prices so that they can come then that is what is necessary to continue to breathe life into my space.
I do have to make a living and pay the bills and it is VERY expensive to run a studio,  The way I see it,  if I only have a handful of people paying A LOT we will not survive as a studio, if I have many people paying less, then we have a fighting chance in the world of international franchises moving into town.  Price does not reflect quality, it reflects value and exhibits concerns for the budgets of our clients.  

4. With the recent drama surrounding the Western Yoga community on the blogosphere (commercialization of yoga, the Equinox video and NYT article) how are you finding the balance between living and Living Yoga?

Nothing has changed for me.  There is and always will be drama in life and ALL life is YOGA as our motto says.  My practice allows me to view what is going on in the world from a place of equanimity and interest.  I don't see it as two things, "living and Living Yoga"...I just live.

(Kim- center with short black hair and beige scarf- and her lovely teacher peeps!)

Thank you very much Kim for sharing your thoughts and Journey! If you live or are visiting the Halifax-Dartmouth area, ALL YOGA is a fantastic space to practice. 

article copyright of EcoYogini at


  1. In the group picture, the teacher on the far left in red and white with the blue scarf - she was my first yoga teacher when she lived in Clare and I love her to pieces.

  2. Hi Vickie,
    That is Jeannine Saulnier, she is indeed lovely :) LOVE her and ALL of the ALL YOGA team.


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