Good for Every Body!
SANTOSHA YOGA has a long history in Ottawa the Nation’s Capital. It was originally established as a Sivananda Yoga Center in the late 90’s. By the year 2000, various styles of yoga where being introduced from India, besides the traditional Hatha asana practice.
The practice of yoga was still not a mainstream activity like it is today. Madonna and Sting where just about to find their yoga mat and the whole marketing of this eastern ancient practice had not yet spread like it has today. In particular, Ashtanga Yoga, using the Vinyasa flow format as taught by India’s great teacher Pattabhi Jois, began to be practiced.
The SANTOSHA YOGA center back then was located on Catherine Street, close to the Voyageur Bus terminal. Many of the teachers at SANTOSHA YOGA at the time took their teachers training and direction from prolific Ashtanga teacher Richard Freeman who lived and still lives in Boulder Colorado. Original owners Marcia Solomon and Barry Gillespie followed their teacher Richard Freeman to the US. They eventually gave their beloved studio to David Jewitt, a devoted teacher and then soon vibrant follower of Ashtanga yoga style. Soon the downtown SANTOSHA YOGA center became the place to be and where to study Ashtanga Yoga. Many of our existing teachers are still from that original group.
In 2006, David Jewitt opened another yoga studio near his home, in Westboro. For the next 4 years, the two Santosha Yoga Centers welcomed all practitioners, beginner and advanced students with the slogan “Yoga For Every Body.”
In 2009, as the business of yoga began to take-off all over North America, Ottawa also began to experience yoga studio growth. In less than 3 years, many new studios opened their doors on the Ottawa scene as well, offering everything from Hot Yoga to various forms of Hatha and meditation practices.
That year David Jewitt and Margaret Konopacki met and decided to join forces in re-structuring the company to better serve the community, which included closing the old downtown location and opening up a new one in a more visible and vibrant area on Elgin Street, at the corner of Elgin and Gilmour Street, in the heart of downtown Ottawa.
The vision for the NEW SANTOSHA YOGA & MEDITATION CENTER, which is what the downtown center is now called, is to continue the practice of yoga in a modern and beautiful downtown practice studio which continues to spread the proven health benefits of yoga and stilling the mind. We honour our rich Ottawa history that includes many people who have learned the practice in this amazing company.
The new SANTOSHA YOGA Center opened its doors on Oct. 1st. 2009, and has been going strong ever since. At this time, the traditional Hatha yoga styles have evolved to include Ashtanga Yoga, Hot Yoga, Yin Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Power Yoga, Meditation classes, and traditional Mysore classes which are an Ashtanga practice early in the day.
Margaret spent many years in the upper Sonoran desert in Arizona teaching yoga and continues to run EVOLVE, a yoga/meditation center in Wickenburg, Arizona which is dedicated to helping young people struggling with mental issues including drug and alcohol addiction (www.yogaevolve.com). Part of the new vision for the SANTOSHA YOGA is to continue to work with this demographic using the power of the practice of yoga and meditation in healing. (www.strugglingyoungadults.com).
Another important aspect of the SANTOSHA YOGA business is to continue the ongoing teacher trainings in various forms of yoga, including for advanced practitioners. We believe in bringing our teacher training graduates back into the business to teach in our mentoring program. The quality of the instruction at SANTOSHA YOGA for new Yoga teachers is a very important part of what we do.
SANTOSHA YOGA recognizes the great honour it is to be teachers in this or any community, and to keep introducing the healing practice of Yoga to the beginner. To us the beginner is extremely important. With the ongoing many offerings of specialty workshops and courses in both yoga and meditation, more and more students are reaping the benefits of this new experience that has been around for so long.
“Yoga for Every Body” has continued at SANTOSHA YOGA and the mantra will always be about doing — “the practice.”
The quiet success of the company SANTOSHA YOGA which relies on a family style awareness and attitude has to be credited in part to the high quality and dedication of each and every one of our yoga teachers.[SinglePic not found]
Thank you and let’s journey into SANTOSHA on the mat!
Margaret Konopacki and David Jewitt
Owners Santosha Yoga
Santosha means Contentment or Non-attachment. It is one of the recommended attitudes that we, as students, hope to cultivate in our practice of Yoga. It is really astounding to watch how this simple practice of working with our bodies, breath and mind leaves us feeling more content with many other parts of our lives. It is our sincere wish that all of our students find the time for themselves, to continue their journey into Contentment, Santosha, on and off the mat.