2 Rivers Yoga Studio Renovation in Woodstock, NB
Part of the demo consists of uncovering an antique brick wall and restoring the massive original windows
When a passionate yoga teacher, small business enthusiast and lover of all things vintage come together, opening a brand new yoga studio 2 Rivers Yoga seems inevitable. “As soon as I saw this space, I knew it had to happen” Erin Behl studio founder states. “I love this little town, and I feel fortunate to have moved here with my family. It has so much potential”. Erin Behl & husband Aaron Speciale along with their 4 kids and 4 dogs made the move to Atlantic Canada at the height of the pandemic. “Many people are curious, to what brought us here, but honestly, it was in the works for sometime. We loved the idea of being closer to nature, in a small community closer to the water. I’ve always dreamed of living in an old historic home, so when Aaron found this one, we instantly knew it was the one. We put in an offer sight unseen.” Erin & Aaron are not intimidated about starting a new venture. Erin’s previous businesses include a women’s wear clothing and accessory line, a successful small dog clothing brand (Pet it Dog Apparel which is still active today), and a yoga clothing brand. In addition her experience as a retail store manager for Starbucks (Yes, that means coffee at the studio!) and of course yoga. Aaron has a passion for all things health and wellness, and a natural ability make friends where ever he goes. He has been fortunate to help start up a global hair care brand with Estee Lauder and travel the world promoting it on television. He has also built a salon of his own and have helped numerous salons build and grow their businesses to profitability, and retain their clientele.
Erin has been fortunate to practice with and befriend some amazing students and teachers over the last 12 years. Teaching numerous classes a week including hot yoga, power yoga and Anti-Gravity (suspended hammock yoga) across Ontario. When asked “Why open a physical brick and motor location during this unpredictable economy and when the trend is to push everything online?” Her response: “There’s a sense of community that can’t be duplicated online. Nothing will ever replace the energy, experience and connection of being in a physical space, with positive, like minded individuals.” Erin says. “I love technology, and my current business venture [Pet it Dog Apparel] is a solely on-line store. Virtual, online businesses are booming like never before and there is so much opportunity as boundaries to entry are much more accessible and less risky, however myself like many others are craving real-life experiences again. We need to remember that Zoom is just an option, but not the only option!” Erin says. “I love yoga, design, old buildings and small towns, there’s also something so nostalgic (and contagious!) about having a beautiful little shops, small businesses and historic homes in a town that is well cared for. I think that deep down, we all crave that to some extent. I am willing to take the risk to make it happen.”
Opening a Yoga Studio for Erin has been a goal and placed on the back burner for many years. “I actually found a location in Galt, ON 8 years ago, but it never materialized. Our family had a lot going on at the time, so I took another path.” Erin describes. “When I saw the 2nd floor unit at Main and Water, I there was no question it was the right location. Yoga teaches us to appreciate, and live in the present moment, and that moment told me “OK, you are doing this!!”.”
But the historic 2nd floor space comes with its challenges. The commercial space has sat unoccupied for 10 years, and needs a lot of work to make it functional. It is ooozing with some jaw dropping historical features such as century old red brick, and massive 10ft. windows that would rival any New York City loft. Luckily, Aaron, Erin’s husband is handy and is tackling the demo portion. “There is a lot of work that we can do ourselves before our contractors come in with their expertise.” Aaron says. “We just went through an extensive first floor renovation on our old home and we are in awe of how a space can so dramatically transform!” Aaron & Erin were fortunate to have local contractor Chris Lanto’s help transform their kitchen and to get to know him and his Wife Karen during the process. “Chris’ optimism of “anything’s possible” really resonates with us!” says Aaron & Erin. “We love supporting other small local businesses, there are so many skilled people in this town!” 2 Rivers studio’s boutique will eventually be stocked with Canadian & locally made brands including yoga mats, yoga apparel, gift ware and more. “We believe investing in, and caring for our community is a movement that is contagious and only results in a happier, more beautiful place to live.” Yes, things can be hard, but not impossible! Enjoy the journey!
2 Rivers Yoga is targeted to open early 2023 at 611 Main Street in Woodstock, NB. The studio will be offering a full schedule of yoga, hot yoga, aerial yoga and fitness classes. For more information please visit their Website www.2riversyogs.com & sign up for their mailing list for all the news first! You can also follow along on their reno journey on Instagram @2riversyoga and on Facebook 2 Rivers Yoga