After spending the past three years in the Village at Lee Branch, Abundance Yoga will soon be moving into a new space in Bazaar 280.
Nancy Rhodes took over the previous space in Lee Branch from the previous owner in 2017 and went through Create Birmingham’s co-starter program.
“This is the first company I’ve ever owned,” said Rhodes. “They have been incredibly helpful and wonderful people helping small business owners get started on everything from getting a business license to breaking even to providing the resources to grow their business. I completed this program around the same time I signed the rental agreement. “
Rhodes knew she wanted to move after the three-year lease expired. While the business was growing there wasn’t much room for growth in this area, so she planned to finish there when the lease expired in March.
When she started looking for a new room in August, one of her students, Sarah Dunn, asked if she needed a business partner to whom Rhodes said yes.
“Running a yoga studio is a love job,” she said. “Sarah actively jumped in, so we converted the business into co-ownership. She stepped in as a partner. We looked at rooms and settled in the square in bazaar 280. “
During this time, Rhodes also completed the massage therapy school and is pleased to be able to offer this service at the new location.
They originally planned to open in early April, but then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and their plans were pushed back for several months. During that time, they offered courses on their Facebook page. They now hope to open the studio by the end of July.
Rhodes has been teaching yoga for eight years. While she may not fit the stereotypical yoga type, she wanted to create an atmosphere for all body types. She even started teaching a class called Fat Girl Yoga to give women a space for their bodies that feels good to them.
“I was always the largest body in the room when I started practicing yoga,” she said. “You hear yoga and see thin, flexible women. I kept finding women who said they would practice with me but not go to the studio. “
In this class, Dunn met Rhodes for the first time. She has been practicing for more than nine years and weighed 400 points. She said she knew about the loose skin problems after losing weight and what it’s like to be overweight and learn yoga.
“This class was exactly what I needed,” said Dunn. “It gave me my practice back and I really appreciate that.”
Rhodes said her mission is not some type of yoga, but rather to help people find a practice that is comfortable for them. Abundance yoga classes offer a little bit of everything. They offer courses seven days a week. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, class sizes are getting smaller and the space between classes is being thoroughly cleaned.
“In smaller classes, we can pay more attention to people’s needs during class,” said Rhodes. “We have a lot of people who differ in how they practice and what they need. We can tailor the lessons so that they get what they want. “
Dunn added, “In my opinion, yoga has something for everyone: for everyone and of all sizes. We will do everything we can to help someone who is just beginning to find their practice. “
For a while, customers pay per class and can plan on a schedule. Both Rhodes and Dunn look forward to stepping into the new studio and interacting with their customers again. Updates will be posted on their Facebook page at facebook.com/abundanceyogastudiobirmngham.