After year of community building, Asteya yoga studio opens its doors
With light and love and a focus on community, the new Asteya Collective yoga studio has opened in the Encinitas Wellness Center. The new studio on Westlake Street officially opened on Dec. 1 offering hot yoga, sculpt yoga, strength training and kids yoga classes. Asteya’s intention for anyone entering their sanctuary for movement and meditation: “Lose your mind, find your soul.”
Co-owner and manager Christina Daley has practiced yoga since she was 18. A teacher for many years and a local yoga studio manager, she was laid off in April 2020 due to the pandemic.
“I couldn’t sit idle,” said the 40-year-old mother of two. She started Asteya as an online studio in May 2020 as a way to reunite and stay connected with all of her students and yoga community. In the beginning, it was just herself and then she brought on 20 former employees to teach classes on Zoom, Facebook and Instagram Live, connecting not just minds and bodies but local businesses and locals during the pandemic.
In August 2020, she partnered with former student Mumtaz Schneider and her husband Kevin to help bring Asteya to a physical location. Erika Soares and Matt Herring are also Asteya investors.
At first it was hard for them to find a space—many prices were “astronomical” despite the pandemic unknowns. When Daley found Encinitas Wellness Center, it felt like everything fell into place. Owned by real estate firm RAF Pacifica Group, inside the completely remodeled building former racquetball courts were given new life and the exterior was updated with modern, colorful murals by artist Skye Walker. The center is now home to a vibrant mix of tenants like Encinitas Boxing and Fitness gym, RISE Physical Therapy, Gracie Barra jiu-jitsu and a new tanning salon, Bronzed Bums.
Asteya takes up 6,000 square feet on two levels with three indoor studios. Daley hadn’t intended on taking the upstairs spot but the space featured a large outdoor deck and she couldn’t pass up the opportunity for outside space should there be any further COVID restrictions (not to mention the ocean view). The studio’s first classes were held on the patio while the building was under construction.
“We were lucky that so many students followed us,” said Daley. Faithful yogis followed her to the online portal, stuck with them through outdoor classes and now are part of the growing community at the brick and mortar Asteya.
The two studios downstairs are reserved for hot yoga and sculpt sessions, upstairs is where they do their 45-minute HIIT (high intensity interval training) class called “Lunch Crunch” and kids yoga classes, which are Daley’s favorite.
The classes for kids ages 3-10 touch on five key components: gratitude, affirmations, movement, breathwork and stillness.
Kids pick an affirmation for the day and do movements—yoga primarily but sometimes it’s a dance party or they play a game rolling the dice to create movements like kicks or crab walk, keeping the heart-elevated. When teaching, Daley gives the kids an opportunity to talk about what’s going on in their lives.
“It’s been very well received. One of the things that we missed during the pandemic was a sense of community,” Daley said, recognizing the importance of mental health and helping youngsters who are struggling with confidence and anxiety. “This instills them with tools to empower themselves when they are out in the world.”
Daley has a lot of big ideas for building community at Asteya: once a month they plan to do a charity class and she is also exploring offering a yoga class in Spanish—she learned language was a barrier for some at a recent wellness event.
The name Asteya is a sanskrit word meaning non-stealing.
“I believe that every person has a very unique light or gift within them and it’s easy to be dimmed due to our insecurities. When we’re not shining our light, we’re stealing from ourselves and from the world,” Daley said. “The goal is create a safe and inclusive space…to create that mind, body and heart connection so when people leave here, they can shine their light.”
It’s a goal close to her heart, as she has used yoga on her own journey to heal during life’s challenges. She knows that yoga practice offers an opportunity to let go of the outside world, to move with intention and just sit with yourself: “I don’t think as adults we have a lot of outlets to heal,” she said.
Daley has poured her heart and soul into opening the new studio to uplift others. In a quiet moment of gratitude last week, she let herself cry for her ability to bend not break, to see a dream realized and what a blessing it is to let her light shine.
Asteya offers memberships, class packages and drop-in sessions. Learn more at asteya.live. The studio is located at 613 Westlake Street, Encinitas.
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