Well Sonoma | Press Democrat – Oct 2015
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Press Democrat – Oct 2015

About This Project

New owner, new focus at Santa Rosa Yoga One


The Yoga One Studio in Santa Rosa has a few things you would expect to see at a yoga studio: a Zen sand garden, a Buddha head statue and two beautiful wood-floored, light-filled studio spaces. But there are also some surprises.


“I like to put things in places people don’t expect to see them,” says Deacon Carpenter, Yoga One’s new owner as of July 9.


The native of Southampton, England, arrived in Santa Rosa via Newport, Rhode Island and New York City and brought big-city sensibilities with him. The Santa Rosa studio showcases local art, including a meticulously painted “ghost bike” that was rescued from a nearby dumpster. Two couch pillows in the living-room-like lobby declare Carpenter’s philosophies; one reads “New York State of Mind,” the other “Be Nice or Leave.” The monthly First Friday Open Houses with local food and live music are testament to his vision of a place that is more than just a place to do yoga.


“Yoga is just one sliver of a whole body of knowledge,” Carpenter says.


Yoga One offers the full gamut of yoga classes (Hatha, vinyasa, yin, restorative), but also has courses and client services in Pilates, Reiki, massage, meditation, belly dance, yoga therapy and Ayurvedic medicine. Carpenter, who is an Ayurvedic practitioner, runs studios in Santa Rosa and Petaluma with a cadre of yoga teachers and the support of his director of education, Dr. Ginger Schechter, and Shane A. Davis, director of studies.


All three found eastern medicine and yoga to be the antidote to their experiences in traditional western medicine. Schechter is an internist and worked for 16 years for the Veterans Administration. She and Carpenter treat clients in tandem with western and Ayurvedic medicine. Davis, a senior yoga instructor and yoga therapy practitioner, is also a former telemetry technician at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. And Carpenter worked for 17 years as a global advertising and branding professional for pharmaceutical companies.


Injuries, illness and a desire to escape the “frenetic” pace of their respective professions brought them together to create Yoga One, a community-oriented home for wellness and healing that opens its doors to everyone.


“You don’t have to wear Lululemon or know what ‘prana’ means to do yoga,” says Carpenter. In fact, his goal is to welcome the “other 75 percent” of North Bay residents who have never stepped into a yoga studio.


As Davis says, the instructors at Yoga One are not “lifelong hippies.” They understand the barriers that keep people away from eastern practices (i.e. the religious aspects, the financial components and the fear of not having adequate flexibility) and make a point to keep things practical and safe on the mat.


“We meet the people where THEY are on the mat, not where the teacher is,” Schechter explains.


While the Santa Rosa location is consciously a wellness center, the Petaluma studio is the “gateway drug” that offers classes and products to support a yogic lifestyle. Carpenter hopes it will draw people in to “de-stress” and explore how they can care for their bodies and minds. As Davis explains, three words they don’t say at Yoga One are “should, don’t or change.” You are welcome to take what you want from their offerings and still eat an occasional chocolate or have a cocktail.