From Waynesville Yoga Center to the Yoga and Bodywork Collective
In 2017, my husband and I heard through the grapevine that the former Prospect Hill Bed and Breakfast was coming back on the market after a sale had fallen through. We had always loved the house and property as it was a gorgeous older home that we had driven by countless times and talked about how much we loved it. It was built in 1902 by Charles and Ann Quinlan and had also been a beloved Bed and Breakfast with a restaurant that many people in Waynesville still remembered as an inviting and warm atmosphere in its day. The house was constructed on the high point at the edge of town which was originally known as Mount Prospect. This home has beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and an inviting front porch with rocking chairs to enjoy the scenery.
My husband was looking for office space for his software company and we ended up buying the former Prospect Hill Bed and Breakfast property at 274 South Main St.. We were trying to decide what to do with the lower level because he would not need that much space for his business and considered a cafe, but the renovation to bring the commercial kitchen up to current codes felt overwhelming. My husband looked at me one day and said, “ You should open a yoga studio in this space.” I had been teaching yoga at the Haywood Regional Fitness Center for 14 years and said, “I am not ready to do that and I did not really ever see myself owning a yoga studio.” But alas, the seed was planted and it started to germinate and grow in my mind.
I started to feel pulled and called in the direction of opening a studio more and more as the idea and vision started to form in my mind of what I wanted to create in terms of the culture and environment of my ideal yoga studio. First, I reached out to a former coworker who I knew had management experience and asked her if she was interested in helping me open a yoga studio. Then I started to assemble a team of amazing administrative staffers and yoga instructors who were all hungry for a studio community in Waynesville. We all wanted to create a warm and inviting space for our community to practice and learn about the transformative practice of yoga and its healing benefits.
On Christmas eve of 2022, during the arctic cold snap that hit western North Carolina, a pipe burst on the top floor of the building causing significant damage as water poured down three floors into the prop room at the studio. Fortunately, an instructor and several studio members came into the building shortly after and started putting trash cans under the water and throwing out towels and anything else that we could find to soak up the water.
Candra, owner of Maggie Valley Wellness, was one of the first instructors we hired as she brought extensive knowledge and experience of Yoga and Ayurveda with her to our studio. I texted her about the pipe burst and she sent me lots of sympathy and well wishes as we shared our mutual shock at what had happened. Two days later she would walk into catastrophic flooding in her own space. We offered our space for Candra and her team to work out of while the renovations were underway at the wellness center, and began seeing a path as a partnership.
Our new name, Yoga and Bodywork Collective, better illustrates the wide variety of wellness services we offer, in addition to the extensive range of healing modalities that Sundarah (formerly Maggie Valley Wellness) offers, including massage therapies, various bodywork options, and Ayurveda consultations and treatments.