Black-owned yoga studio opens in South End with a focus on representation

Black-owned yoga studio opens in South End with a focus on representation

Pranayama House owner Bethany Anderson. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

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Bethany Anderson saw a lack of representation during her years of teaching yoga in Charlotte. Her new yoga studio in South End aims to change that.

What’s happening: The Lexington, North Carolina native, who has taught yoga all over Charlotte, recently opened Pranayama House Healing Center.

Why it matters: Yogis of color have long been underrepresented in Charlotte.

  • Plus, rent has been rapidly rising in South End for years, pushing out local small businesses and making it challenging for others, particularly Black-owned companies, to find a home.

Flashback: Anderson’s journey with yoga began about eight years ago. Her mother, who has diabetes, needed a kidney transplant. Anderson turned to yoga to get into shape in hopes of donating a kidney to her mother. Ultimately, however, she didn’t end up donating one.

  • “The practice really saved my life,” Anderson told me.
  • Her mother, who still lives in Lexington, is currently on dialysis and still waiting for a kidney. She made it to Pranayama House’s grand opening in October.

Details: Pranayama House offers vinyasa yoga, slow flow, deep stretch and sound bath classes. These are not hot yoga classes.

  • A sound bath is what Anderson calls “adult nap time.” Her 12-year-old son uses it to help him sleep.
  • Think of it like sound therapy, bringing your body back to a place of stillness and rest, or “bathing in the frequency” as Anderson describes it.
  • The bowls used in Pranayama House’s sound baths are set to 432HZ, which cultivates a sense of calm and happiness.

Capacity: The studio, which holds up to 30 people, is located at 421 Penman St., near Bhramari Brewing. Students can park in the building’s parking lot, and street parking is also available.

  • Your class registration will include a door code, giving you access to the building.

More than yoga: Pranayama House also offers what Anderson calls the “living room,” an event space for up to 100 people that you can rent for $100 per hour. The living room houses:

Pranayama House is currently leasing space from Caladrius Therapy, whose therapists use the front part of the space. Pranayama House will eventually take over the lease, and Caladrius will still have a presence there, Anderson says. Pranayama House also offers these services:

Prices: The first 80 members will receive the Yama or founder’s membership at $80 per month for the first six months, plus 10% off services like massages.

  • Prana: The pay-it-forward membership is $108 per month. Every four prana memberships will be used to provide a scholarship to someone who cannot afford a yoga membership. This membership also includes 10% off services.
  • House: $88 per month, plus 10% off services.
  • 5-class pack: $70
  • 10-class pack: $140
  • Drop-in class: $15
  • Yoga mat rental: $3 each

What’s next: Victoria Martinez, who also teaches at Pranayama House, will lead BIPOC 200-hour yoga teacher training there Jan. 28-April 30. There’ll be more workshops and learning opportunities going forward.

Take a look around: 

Pranayama House yoga studio

Pranayama House yoga studio. No mirrors. Just your breath and your mat. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

Pranayama House living room. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

Pranayama House living room. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

Pranayama House jewelry

Pranayama House. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

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