NAMASTE YOGA + WELLNESS The Berkeley studio of Namaste Yoga + Wellness is closing. Owner/entrepreneur Kimberly Leo opened her first of three studios in Rockridge in 2003, added a second in the Grand Lake neighborhood where she grew up in January 2011. Leo then took over the former 7th Heaven Yoga space in Berkeley in November 2012. In a newsletter to the yoga community, Leo stated that the reason for closing is primarily due to the stresses and increased costs of running a small business in the Bay Area. The changing landscape of the yoga industry is also a factor, she said. “There is a bevy of boutique fitness centers opening up, charging $30 and up for classes. Yet yoga classes and studios are pressured for charging too much as it is, quite frankly, not valued,” Leo said. She added that she thinks that the principles of yoga do not sync up with western business standards. “We can’t pay our staff and teachers well and keep pricing low with rising costs. We need to change the value paradigm and the industry. A sustainable model needs to grow to support the financial end of the business accordingly.” Leo said.
The space in West Berkeley has been a place where many yogis and movement practitioners have come for wellness and healing for the past 20 years. Leo said it will be difficult to leave the Berkeley location as the city holds a special place in her heart. Her family goes back over 100 years in the area. “My grandparents owned a laundry on Alcatraz and Adeline and my mom went to Berkeley High. I started my yoga practice here at the Berkeley space almost 20 years ago,” Leo said. The Namaste studio in Berkeley will close on Aug. 18. A special closing ceremony is in the works with date and time to be determined later. The remaining two studios in Oakland will remain open and Leo hopes to integrate Berkeley students into classes provided at those locations and continue to serve the East Bay yoga community. Visit the website for more information including class schedules, workshops, events and contact and location information for all studios. Namaste Yoga + Wellness, 2820 7th St. (near Grayson), Berkeley 94710. Tel: 510-665-4300. Follow Namaste Yoga + Wellness on Facebook and Instagram.
TURTLE ISLAND BOOK SHOP The longtime bookseller on Claremont Avenue has closed its doors after three decades. The bookstore opened in 1989 in its current space as a vendor of antiquarian and out-of-print and rare books. Owner Roger Wicker, who has been in the book business since 1978, has retired and closed the store on June 30. Moe’s Books, whose owners were long time friends with Wicker, will host a one-time pop-up event at the store July 17-21, selling the remaining stock of books and posters. “As a bookseller in Berkeley for 30 years, he not only ran his own lovely rare book shop in the Elmwood, but has been a long term friend, customer, and even an employee of Moe’s. His presence in the book world will be missed by many,” said Doris Moskowitz, owner of Moe’s Books. Turtle Island Book Shop, 3032 Claremont Ave. (at Prince), Berkeley 94705. Pop-up event is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., July 17-20.
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