Almost a year ago we held one of our 8 Limbs Teacher Meetings. I asked our teachers “what makes 8 Limbs special? Why do people choose 8 Limbs?” In a city FULL of terrific yoga, it’s important for us to know what makes 8 Limbs stand out, what makes us worth the walk/drive/bike/bus, and why people would choose to practice with us.
There were as many reasons as there were people. And that’s the foundation of our mission:
“We recognize that each individual is unique and has a different approach to life. Thankfully there are many ways to practice yoga. At 8 Limbs we embrace diversity over dogma.”
The power of that meeting lingered. This fall we decided this fall to take all of the teacher’s comments and choose 8 (for obvious reasons) to shout out to the world. We have a great thing going on in our neighborhood studios, and we want to make sure everyone knows it!
Every month I’ll blog about one of the 8 Reasons, to tell you more about why we chose it and the story behind the reason.
Reason 1: 4 convenient Seattle Locations
8 Limbs opened in October of 1996 on the second floor of 500 E. Pike St. I discovered the sunlit former tuxedo repair room through a synchronistic phone call and sweetly pestered owners of Brocklind’s Formalwear and the building for over six months until they agreed to lease the 1200 square foot corner room. Ever since the Surya (Sun) studio has been a solid home for yoga in the Pike/Pine corridor, with students coming from near and far for their favorite yoga teachers. We later expanded to the current office and second studio, Chandra (Moon).
In 1999 I moved to Ravenna and fell in love with the NE area of Seattle. When a rectangular storefront space on 35th Ave E opened up I quickly envisioned a second 8 Limbs location. Thus 8 Limbs Wedgwood was born, opening in December. The studio quickly became a hub for the strong community in the area, full of families and university students and employees.
That, and my first child Lily, kept me busy for the next few years. But I continued to clarify my interest in and commitment to making our inclusive and welcoming approach to yoga accessible to more people. As a bicycle commuter that meant neighborhood studios that served the immediate population. And in 2004 that meant West Seattle.
West Seattle was a neighborhood I knew very little about. It was an altogether different city from the Seattle I’d known since moving here in 1996, but I charged ahead, somewhat naively assuming the same success and reception we’d had with Capitol Hill and Wedgwood. We went big (two studios, huge bathrooms) and underwent an enormous remodel.
A year after our opening in May of 2005 I realized that we’d taken on too much and need to grow our roots in this very locally committed neighborhood. We downsized and made a commitment to hiring local staff and teachers to build the sense of community. The studio is now a thriving beehive of enthusiasm and loyalty, an oasis in the West Seattle Junction with like-minded businesses down the hallway.
The fourth 8 Limbs came to be in the fall of 2009. This time the entire admin staff was involved in the decision to expand. We had the capacity, we studied the options, and found a storefront space in the heart of Phinney Ridge on the street I first called home in Seattle back in 1993. The studio opening on Thanksgiving Day with a 70+ person Benefit Class. Ever since the two cork-floored rooms have been full of local yogis drawn to the modern space and experienced instructors.
8 Limbs can now be found in the four quadrants of Seattle, making our passes and memberships convenient for locals all over our fine city. Our neighborhoods are so unique and distinct, so wonderful to support, why go far when you don’t have to?
But if you’re ready for adventure, visit another neighborhood to feel the different personalities of each neighborhood and studio. It’s like a road trip to another town!
8 Limbs 8 Reasons
- 4 convenient Seattle Locations
- 300+ collective years of instructor experience
- 135+ classes per week
- Locally owned since 1996
- Welcoming and non-conformist culture
- Instruction that meets you at your level
- Inspiring community of practitioners
- More than just a workout
Next month I’ll write about #2!
Posted by: Anne Phyfe Palmer, 8 Limbs Owner & Education Director