In a brightly colored room offset with faux-wood floors and walls and a bright orange accent wall opposite mirrors, a class of 30 students flow in unison to the Bikram yoga practiced in the Isaac Staples Mill building for the past seven years.
“Stillwater is my community, it’s my home,” co-owner Sarah Moslemi says. “We were driving 45 minutes to find a yoga environment that was controlled (music-controlled, heat-controlled) and with good instructors.”
At the time it opened in 2011, Studio One Yoga (S1) was the only studio in the Valley that offered the yoga style that owner Sarah Moslemi first embraced. “I began practicing while in massage school, and I found the hot Bikram style at age 19,” Moslemi says, but she put the practice on hold as she raised her first four children.
Then, after a divorce and subsequently meeting her second husband, Dariush, she threw herself back into the practice, becoming ERYT certified. (Dariush, too, became a teacher in 2010). The Moslemis are now business partners in all things, and in the past year have opened two new S1 locations in neighboring White Bear Lake and Roseville, Minn.
Yoga for All
Studio One Yoga offers “yoga for everyone,” Dariush Moslemi says. “We are about the community of students and instructors, both.” Each studio has its own personality that the community not only embraces, but helps define. “When I got back into yoga, I don’t want to sound cliché ... but my heart just opened,” Sarah says. “I recognized the community that held me up when I needed them. The more you practice, the more you are filled, and you want to share that.”
As such, the spirit of cleansing and openness prevalent inside the studio walls comes out onto the streets of Stillwater with regularity. “We want to offer our help and philosophy of love more, help more, be kind, watch our words and spread cleanliness,” she says, offering a couple of examples. “We are the ones picking up cigarette butts after Lumberjack Days. We open up our doors to different groups from schools: gym classes, Girl Scouts in the summer, Pony Pride,” in which athletes are taught at the high school to do yoga, "teaching them about their bodies and expanding their understanding of fitness.” Studio One also makes donations to local charitable organizations, often through on-site community yoga classes.
The Moslemis employ a large staff at each of their three locations, which allows them to specialize in a diverse range of classes that include beginner sessions, advanced positions, hot yoga and even inversion focus sessions (to get you more confident when you’re upside down).
“The vision has definitely changed to ‘How impactful can we be?’ ” Sarah says. “I’m not the one supporting all the students in the room as much anymore, but instead am taking a step back to support the instructors supporting the students.” This decrease in their own classes frees up the Moslemis to focus on the future. “We’re growing and want to keep growing into these smaller communities that don’t have a strong yoga presence,” she says, noting there are many in the Valley she sees as great fits for another space.
With classes seven days a week, at all times of the day, there’s sure to be yoga for everyone. Intro packages are the best deal in town, starting with a $15 three-pack, $19 unlimited one week or $39 unlimited one month for all first-time customers. Beyond that first month, drop-in classes are $15.