Photo by Jay Paul
Among the books in the reading nook of The Yoga Library is The Yoga Sutras of Patañjali. It is the very first sutra in this seminal text, "Atha yoga nushasanam" ("And now, the inquiry of yoga"), that inspired owner Jessica, who prefers to be known only by her first name, to open the Rocketts Landing yoga studio. "I want people to come in and explore," she says. Here, "exploring" could mean cozying up with hot tea or infused water and one of the library's 200-odd books — from Jessica's personal collection — or trying out a yoga class. "Our mission is to give the community the most diverse range of classes for people of all ages and interests," she says, adding that she and the eight teachers can also work with individual students to develop a program that fits their particular needs. There's certainly plenty to choose from — 18 different classes, so far — from Heated Power Vinyasa and Jivamukti, to Yoga for Athletes and Back Care Yoga. There's also early-morning Up With the Sun Salutations, or early-evening Candlelight Vinyasa, as well as a full kids' program for crawlers all the way to 18-year-olds — which Jessica believes is unique in Richmond. "Our little yogis are the cutest things ever," she says. Perched on a hill overlooking the city, the studio also has a lawn area for outdoor classes and a deck for meditation. "Sunsets are phenomenal," Jessica says. "Students have said they feel like they are doing yoga in the treetops." And the books? They really are available for visitors to drop by and read, though to check one out, you'll need a Yoga Library membership. "I don't want people to come in here and just do yoga," Jessica says. "I want to improve their quality of life.