The popularity of yoga has exploded over the last few years, and to remain competitive many studios have expanded their class repertoires, offering everything from hot yoga, to goat yoga, to beer yoga and more. But for local studio The Bindu, the best way to stay competitive has been, in many ways, to transcend the trends.
“We’ve stayed pretty much fad-free,” owner Sally Ann Frank said, keeping the focus on their mission: to encourage, guide and support people of all backgrounds and experience levels as they learn to breathe, stretch, and become the best versions of themselves.
“We asked ourselves, ‘what is it we’re doing really well? What is our mission?’ and we stuck with that,” studio manager Sari Weston said.
The Bindu first opened in fall 2009 in the building that now houses D9 Brewing Company, and moved to its Old Town Cornelius location, 20100 Zion Avenue, about three years ago. Weston and Frank believe the new location is a wonderful fit for the business, especially with the robust movement led by local organizations Bella Love and the Cornelius Cultural Arts Group to transform the area into an arts and cultural hub for the region.
“The explosion of the arts scene is really exciting to us,” Weston said. “Yoga and art go well together,” and it presents new opportunities to get involved with the community – something that is an important part of the Bindu mission.
The studio already gives back in many ways, including teaching chair yoga to adults with traumatic brain injuries at Hinds Feet Farm; supporting the Veterans Yoga Project; and hosting a monthly “Equality Yoga” class for queer and transgender individuals and allies that is donations-based, with all proceeds going to support local nonprofit organizations that work for the betterment of LGBTQIA+ lives.
Also, starting this week, the studio will participate in OTC’s 2nd Fridays events, offering free yoga at 6:15 and 7:15 p.m. In doing so, they hope to bring yoga to more members of the community – including those who may be hesitant to try.
“There’s a perception of yoga being weird, out there, mystical,” Weston said, and she and her colleagues are looking to combat misconceptions about what yogis do, and who can do it.
“You see images of yoga everywhere now,” Weston said, “and on the one hand, that’s exciting – that it’s out there more – but on the other hand, it creates an unrealistic expectation of what people should look like or be able to do.”
“We want to give everybody the chance to feel how yoga is relevant to them, how it can make their own daily lives better,” Frank said.
With classes for all levels and instructors experienced in working with diverse students, the Bindu is a safe space to learn and explore. The studio offers gentle, mixed-level, flexibility-oriented and meditation classes, among others, as well as an “introduction to yoga” series that takes beginners from the ground up.
“In all of our work, we place emphasis on the teaching,” Weston said. “We show people at every level how to get the most out of their poses.”
There’s no one particular type of student at the Bindu, she says, which is just how they like it.
“Students will often say, ‘it feels so different here,’” Weston said, and that’s the hope for the Bindu team: to stay true to their core values and goals, to keep doing what they do best, and in staying the same, to offer something truly different.
Interested in learning more about the Bindu? The studio will host an Open House June 17 from 2-6 p.m. with three free yoga classes.
About the contributor:
Christina is a local multimedia content producer and digital strategist. Formerly the editor of CorneliusNews.net, she is thrilled to work with the OTC team to once again help tell the ever-evolving Cornelius story. She lives nearby with her husband, Nate, and a small menagerie of 2- and 4-legged beasties.