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“Green” yoga blooms at blue lotus, a Raleigh first

New downtown yoga studio practices what it preaches

RALEIGH, N.C. (February 12, 2007) — When it opened its doors to local yoga aficionados and neophytes on February 4, 2007, blue lotus was not only the first yoga and movement arts studio to open in downtown Raleigh, but it also is the area’s first “green” yoga studio, as recognized by the California-based Green Yoga Association.

The association fosters ecological consciousness, reverence and action in the yoga community, and recognizes studios that minimize their environmental impact.

Jill Sockman, director of blue lotus, who has been practicing yoga for more than a decade, sees it as a natural extension of the yoga practice. “A central teaching of yoga is ‘ahimsa,’ or practicing non-violence—doing the least amount of harm. To me, this also means treading lightly on the Earth,” she explains. “Stepping out from the start and identifying ourselves as a green studio is an organic part of the practice.

If any business should be doing it, it should be a yoga business. We need to be the change, culturally speaking, and to lead by example the much-needed paradigm shift toward environmental sensitivity.”

One of four association member studios in North Carolina, with the others in Asheville, Durham and Greensboro, blue lotus is also a member of the association’s Green Studios Program Pilot.

Together with 25 other studios across the country, blue lotus contributes to the association’s efforts to create a Green Studios Handbook and to guide other yoga studios to implement green business practices and increase environmental awareness in their students and communities.

In the creation of blue lotus, Sockman’s dream became a reality without having to make what others generally would assume to be sacrifices to “go green.” She explains, “We want to help other studios and businesses move away from the notion that you have to make significant trade-offs to get what you want when you’re building green. The whole process has been a win-win.

We’ve done the research and taken the time to make informed choices that in many cases cost about the same as those that are not environmentally friendly, and the bonus is that they save us money in the long run by conserving energy. And we feel great about inhabiting such a healthy space.”

For its part, blue lotus has focused on four areas: water conservation, energy conservation, renewable resources and nature-friendly materials, and social responsibility. The low-flow plumbing conserves water use, while an HVAC system with an “economizer cycle” and no fax payday loans direct lenders energy-saving lighting reduces energy consumption.

In time, Sockman hopes to treat the 12-foot windows along the building’s exterior for energy efficiency. For now, they allow abundant natural light, which reduces the need for electric-powered lighting.

“When we could, we opted for the most environmentally friendly solutions,” Sockman says, “such as low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints and nontoxic finishes, and all-natural flooring, including a glueless cork floor for the practice space.”

Other environmentally friendly choices include: a welcome desk and retail space crafted from Lyptus® hardwood, sustainably harvested eucalyptus trees; a natural fiber sisal carpet for the reception area; and in the bathroom, 100 percent biodegradeable Marmoleum®, an ecologically produced, natural linoleum flooring.

blue lotus also takes its beliefs and practices right down to “you are what you wear,” by offering yoga clothing and props made by earth-friendly, socially responsible, community-oriented businesses, like Inner Waves Organics, Mission Playground, Verve, and Yoga Tribe and Culture.

“We’ll also use other green solutions that may not be as obvious,” Sockman explains, “like cleaning with non-chemical supplies and non-toxic soaps, printing on recycled bleach-free paper, using non-petroleum soy candles, recycling all recyclable goods and providing filtered water instead of selling bottles of water.”

She adds that blue lotus is located on a public bus route, and the studio will encourage cycling or walking to class, all of which reduce fuel consumption and related air pollution.

“It all adds up,” she says. “And every decision counts. We created this healthy, sacred space for our student community, and we also want to educate them, so that the small things we do to reduce our footprint on the planet can influence others to make better choices, which eventually add up to big changes and a greater awareness in the broader community.”

About blue lotus

Established in 2007, blue lotus is downtown Raleigh’s yoga & movement arts studio, offering a range of classes for all levels of students. In our urban sanctuary, we challenge each individual to be fully present, with an invitation to uncover a new way of being in his or her body and in the world.

The studio, founded on the principles of community, innovation and inspiration, also offers workshops and yoga instructor trainings, as well as a full line of unique yoga clothing and props for men and women from innovative, socially conscious businesses.

A member of the Green Yoga Association, blue lotus works to minimize its environmental impact and educate its students and community about ecological consciousness, reverence and action. Visit us on Facebook!