Shala, in Sanskrit, means home. As many of us feel disconnected right now, Ridgway Yoga Shala is a much needed home for anyone looking to reconnect and heal through community, nourishment and yoga.
Ridgway Yoga Shala is a healing space dedicated to curating “a conscious lifestyle of living yoga,” with a focus on their philosophy of Shala living. The Shala was founded by owner Katie Graves to serve as a sanctuary for its guests. Even though the current times call for many doors to remain closed, the spirit of Ridgway Yoga Shala remains open.
“It has been one year, two weeks and three days since we closed the doors at Ridgway Yoga Shala,” says Graves. “As yogis, we are taught the art of letting go; yet deep within us all, we knew that the space, in the heart of our small community, with its slanted floors, poor insulation and barred windows was worth fighting for.”
Ridgway Yoga Shala’s team is dedicated to keeping the studio and its community alive during these unique times. Members and guests alike can join the Shala in online classes, hosted via Zoom, as well as limited in-person classes in the Shala space. With courses ranging from gentle yoga and gentle flow to more specialized workshops that change with the seasons, the Shala has something to offer everyone who is looking to grow, practice, learn, and heal.
“Our aim is to re-open our doors to daily yoga classes starting in May. We will start slow and allow for guidance to be spoken from the teachers, students, community and from the deep inward listening. Holding space for our foundation is essential, but allowing the development of the new will be embraced,” shares Graves. “I do not hold all the answers for what is next for Ridgway Yoga Shala, as the greatest lesson we all have been given this past year is to evolve with change and live in the flow.”
Ridgway Yoga Shala’s efforts to sustain their community roots don’t stop at their classes. The studio has also opened its doors as a personal sanctuary for anyone interested in renting the space.
Personal and small groups can rent out the Shala community spaces to use for their spiritual or physical practices for just $10 an hour. Both the movement studio and office space are available, so renters can use the Shala for anything they need, whether that’s a meditation sanctuary, a work space, a place to run private lessons, host your own virtual courses, or even a nook to host a weekly book club. Regardless of what it’s used for, the Shala is a space for the Ridgway community to feel at home.
Graves longs for nothing more than to reopen the studio’s doors for good and bring a living energy back into the Shala, but acknowledges that the future of her yoga practice is ever-changing, and she has learned to let her practice transcend the physical.
“Pressing rewind and going back to the way things were is not an option. For the yoga teachers and studios that have survived, I believe our dharma is forever transformed. Our degrees of separation got infinitely smaller this past year,” she says. “We are so much more aware that we are all one. One with each other. One with our bodies. One with our communities. One with our neighbor. One with our planet. And one with the divine. I look forward to meeting you all here.”
Ridgway Yoga Shala is committed to creating a world in which ahimsa reigns and our ability to live in harmony with each other and the planet is exemplified through wisdom, acceptance, love, peace, compassion and inclusion.
Originally published in the Summer + Fall 2021 issue.
Claire Kiewatt is is a recent graduate from the University of Colorado Boulder and a former editorial intern for YOGA + Life and Spoke+Blossom magazines. Claire studied Media Production and Design and is passionate about art, storytelling and digital media.