Hey, Yogis: Callowhill Just Got a New Yoga Studio 

roots philly yoga project

Roots Philly Yoga Project | Photo via Erik Burling

What used to be a party store at 9th and Spring Garden Streets is now a yoga studio, thanks to Erik Burling and Lauren Burling, the husband and wife duo who just opened Roots Philly Yoga Project at 925 Spring Garden Street. And the story behind the studio is sweet enough to make you gag — in a good way.

As Erik says, “Lauren and I met practicing yoga together. We’ve been together almost three years, and opening a studio is something we always thought we wanted to do.” The couple moved to the Callowhill neighborhood and, he says, “We were like, ‘There needs to be a yoga studio here.’ We wanted to make an impact on the people we’re living with and surrounded by.” That’s where the whole “Roots” part of the studio’s name comes in, by the way. “We came across the space and we watched it for, like, six to twelve months, but it was never really the right time,” he says.

Eventually, a good enough time rolled around and the space — which sits in a yoga desert of sorts — was still there, sitting vacant, so the couple jumped on it. “We just got married, and four months later we say ‘we had a baby’ because we opened our yoga studio,” he says. A yoga studio baby, you guys! See? Aren’t you just gagging/crying happy tears in your desk chair right now?

The studio, which hosted its first class on July 4th, is an Ashtanga Vinyasa studio with one classroom that fits between 20 and 25 yogis. As Erik, who spent the past few years teaching full-time at Dhyana Yoga, explains, the classes will have a repetitive nature to them with a guideline of poses and areas to hit throughout each class, so students can expect a similar experience every time they hit the studio. Because, as he says, “It’s a bummer when a student goes to a class and expects to get one thing and get another and then feels let down.”

And here’s where the “Philly Yoga Project” part of the name comes in: Starting on a monthly basis, the studio will host an outreach yoga class for anyone around Philly who is in recovery — and recovery applies to everything from substance abuse, domestic abuse, homelessness, and so on. Before Erik became a yogi, he ran a homeless shelter, and along with being a yoga instructor, Lauren works as medical social worker. As Erik says, “We want to invite people in and give them an environment that is healing, give them an opportunity to cope with whatever challenges they’re dealing with.” Hear, hear.

You can check out the studio’s website and schedule here. And mark your calendars: On Saturday, July 18th, the studio will be hosting their grand opening (though they are offering classes now) where folks can stop in to meet the instructors and get their brunch on.

Like what you’re reading? Stay in touch with Be Well Philly—here’s how: