I just took a class at Franklin Street Yoga with my friend Miranda! I have taken a few classes here in the past, but this was my first opportunity to take a class with Lori Burgwyn, the owner. It was one of the best classes I have ever taken.
It was an intermediate level Vinyasa class. Which means it is a “flow” class where the yogi (aka me) inhales into one pose, and then exhales into the next. It was a pretty intense class, with a lot of core work! It was definitely warm in the studio.. maybe 80 degrees? But nowhere close to the 108 degrees most Hot Studios have. I prefer "warm" to "hot" yoga. But everyone has their preference!
The yoga studio room was packed from wall to wall with yogis, but no one seemed uncomfortable. In fact, it seemed like most of the people knew each other. My suspicion is that most of them did. They all seemed genuinely happy to see each other and all were pleasant and relaxed. This is not always the case in yoga studios. In many that I've been too, people appear tense, they are usually quiet before class and keep to themselves. Most just sit on their mat, waiting for the yoga class to begin. This is not the case at Franklin Street Yoga, while there I felt like I was in a room full of friends.
There were people of all ages and sizes, from a very pregnant woman, to many older students, with heads of white hair. There were also many college students from UNC Chapel Hill (the sorority and fraternity t-shirts are a dead giveaway). There are yoga mats that yogis may borrow, as well as blocks and stretching straps. I discreetly snapped another picture in the studio room.
The lobby is very welcoming, with comfortable chairs and light reading materials such as Yoga magazines and coffee table books on meditation.
The comfy couches and coffee table magazines made me feel like I was in someone's very clean and zen like home. There is not very much here for retail, which is different from what I've seen at most studios in the Triangle. Other than a few Franklin Street Yoga Shirts, the only thing participants may purchase is classes. This was refreshing for me. It helped me focus on my yoga practice without allowing my mind to wander to whether or not they had a cute tank top in my size during class. But here was most important difference for me: I noticed when I first walked into the lobby an enormous Community Bulletin Board. It was filled with pictures form Franklin Street Yoga's events as well as the schedule for some of UNC's athletic teams. There were flyers for 5k races and pamphlets about fun events in the Triangle.
Franklin Street Yoga really makes an effort of building a community within, and outside of the studio walls. One of the most impressive events they facilitate is Yoga in the Forest. This is a donation class (free, but donations are recommended) held twice a year in Forest Theater on UNC's Campus. I attended the last Spring Yoga in the Forest Class and it was so much fun! See pictures below. All proceeds benefit Susie's Miracle Fund and the United Animal Coalition. Other than Yoga In the Forest, Franklin Street Yoga plans many other events throughout the year including Mala to Mantra workshops, fundraising events for the Africa Yoga Project, teacher trainings for aspiring Yoga Teachers and Meditation Classes.
The studio is the most university-student friendly health club I have yet to visit. It offers lots of student rates and discounts. Lori also works with some of UNC's Athletic Club teams for their training (for example our Women's Crew team and our Men's Rugby). In fact, Lori was wearing a UNC Women's Crew team shirt during class! The young women at the front desk, and assisting with class were also UNC Chapel Hill students.
I couldn't help but notice how people in class looked to Lori with more reverence than I have ever seen in a yoga studio. They absolutely adore her. I can’t help but feel the same way about her. She is a petite little woman with a great sense of humor and an even bigger heart.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!