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Root Yoga business growing

Uptown yoga studio to consider Lululemon merchandise

By Elizabeth Jacobs, For The Miami Student

Since its opening in August, Root Yoga provided Oxford with a variety of yoga classes. Located Uptown, the studio has shown significant growth since its opening.

Miami students and Oxford residents enjoy a variety of class times, a calming environment and the studio's mobile app, which allows users to schedule classes or register for membership from their homes or on the go.

Owner Steve Thomas said Oxford has been a great place to open a business, and that Root Yoga has been thriving since its opening.

"It has been awesome, we've had a wonderful start," Thomas said. "We've seen growth every week with more and more people taking classes or becoming members."

In addition to providing yoga classes in Oxford, Root Yoga is also a means by which the athletic clothing brand Lululemon can be sold in Oxford.

Since the company only allows the sale of its merchandise in stores closely associated with yoga or fitness, it hasn't been able to make an entrance into Oxford. As the first established yoga studio Uptown, Root Yoga may be an opportunity for Lululemon.

Root Yoga will host a trunk show for Lululemon on Oct. 22 to showcase some of its products. If the trunk show goes well, Thomas said the company will likely be able to sell the merchandise in its store, along with its own product brand.

"Lulu is a driving force for merchandise sales," Thomas said.

But selling merchandise is only one of the many services Root Yoga offers. The variety of classes and time slots are what allow the business to prosper. While the majority of Root's customers are Miami students, a number of Oxford residents also take advantage of the studio.

"We've had a really good response from the community," Thomas said. "It's a community-centered place. People at the studio are there for many different reasons."

Sophomore Kirsten Eissman thinks Root Yoga is a better option than the Rec Center's yoga classes.

"The Rec is just more expensive for what you're getting, and I'd rather go to a real studio," Eissman said. "They just have more options for how often you want to go, what kind of classes they offer and how much you want to pay."

Even with the Rec Center's more convenient location, Root Yoga is still the preferred option for Eissman, who lives on campus.

"I'd say it's pretty popular, even without a big opening," Eismann said. "Every class I go to is full, there are always a lot of students there."

Senior Sam Bettinger is a yoga instructor at Root and has already grown to love her place of employment.

"Root is the perfect place to come if you are trying to unwind and de-stress, and it is a completely judge-free environment," Sam said. "We're happy to have people join of all levels, from total beginner to experienced yogis."

Root Yoga was designed not to compete with other businesses Uptown, but to complement them. Thomas said he thinks Root is an asset to Oxford, and is the first business in its industry to start up in the college town.

"It's something Oxford has needed for a long time, and is a selling point for Oxford," Thomas said. "It's its own category and is not going to step on any other business' toes."