Kane bets you didn’t know that he practices yoga! In fact, he is a 5-year member of Sutra Studio. Why Sutra, well it appeals to everyone, and everyone is welcome. In class Kane is surrounded by a diverse community of kind people of every age and gender.
The studio is beautifully calm, peaceful, and inviting. Kane also goes to the studio to think and make decisions during meditation.
“ It’s ok to close your eyes here even as a rescue dog, it’s safe and inviting,” Kane said. Also, there are plenty of other men in the class, it isn’t a traditional class attractive only to woman. Kane wonders how does Sutra Studio owner Jennifer Howell create an environment so welcoming, well the answer is this is truly Jen’s vision and she breath’s life into the philosophy of coming together as one.
She has created a space with the common purpose of learning about yourself and growing into different spaces of your life and practice, next to members of your community. You see Jen taught Kane that yoga is a simulation of what we do, we work through life’s ups, downs, and challenges on the mat.
Kane was nervous the first day he went to yoga. Physically he enjoys zoomies, but he doesn’t really like fetch like most dogs, so he doubted his ability to “ fit in.’ What if he could do the poses – would everyone stare at him.? He was used to not wearing shoes, but he needed to remember not to chew on the mat and to sit on his own mat. The first thing he noticed was how friendly the staff was, and he sat in a beautifully decorated room in Mill Number 5 in Lowell with stars on the wood ceiling, a brick wall, listening to all different types of music. The energy was palpable with a positive high energy vibe.
What made him most comfortable was the philosophy of trying different poses and seeing how they felt in your body. If you liked one you could stay there or experiment with a different version of the same pose. Although Kane was part of the class community each person was practicing at their own pace and the way that made sense in their body. Kane could feel the comfort of the traditional yoga philosophy with a contemporary twist. He liked the music and keep repeating to himself what Jennifer Howell said, “don’t take yourself too seriously” In fact Jen told some funny jokes during the class that helped Kane relax and snort through my nose (how embarrassing)’Although Kane could not do many of the poses he learned to regard this with curiosity of what was next instead of judgement. We were invited to ask any questions to Jen when we were leaving in fact she said she enjoyed discussing music, tattoos, and dogs. “See I knew I was in the right place. Needless to say, I was hooked.” said Kane.
Next, I became a regular at the studio and felt curious about how the Studio came to be. I was excited for the opportunity to interview founder Jennifer Howell. Although she is quite humble, she is an extraordinary instructor, yoga practitioner and business person. At times, our classes had 50 people in it with an exhilarating vibe, but somehow you still felt unique and supported by your work on the mat and the community.
Kane learned that Jennifer Howell had a highly successful career in the entertainment industry in Production Design where she traveled all over the world. Although this career was satisfying, she was passionately engaged in practicing and instructing yoga in the Boston area logging 15-hour days between two jobs. In 2013 while in a meditation class she put out to the universe her desire to end her long commute and be able to settle into the community she enjoyed. Her desires were answered by an opportunity and invitation to open a studio by the creative director at Mill number 5. Although starting a studio was something she had originally intended, Jen was brave enough and flexible enough to have the courage to follow her passion. She explained to Kane that passion and positive energy are contagious, so it attracted other like-minded Instructors with a similar positive vibe and community members.
Kane knows it has been a hard two years for people and small businesses. He has been grateful that sutra studio has weathered the storm by being flexible in offering outdoor classes and virtual classes. Yoga is one of the few practices that benefit the body, mind, and soul . Kane has found he leaves class feeling calmer and more centered. He is even patient with his new sister Ruby that sometimes sings in the car.
Kane thought about the courageous move Jennifer Howell made when she opened the studio and asked her why she left a well-established job. She said , “I followed my passion of providing people with tools to live a happier life. What you learn in yoga doesn’t stop on the mat it provides people with long lasting change. This provides me with so much joy. “Often Jen says at the end of class the work you have done today on your mat doesn’t only benefit you; it benefits everyone you come in contact with. Kane is grateful Jen made this move so the Community at Sutra Studio can benefit from her and fellow practitioners’ passion and philosophy to spread happiness, kindness, and love. Come take a class, you will be amazed!
250 Jackson Street, #505,
Lowell, MA 01852
Kane Peaslee in Downward Dog ◊