Article Credit: Voyage Dallas
Today we’d like to introduce you to Allison Ellis.
Hi Allison, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I loved yoga as an athlete at a gym after a good workout. I loved the way it made me feel and I didn’t know why. I just kept going back every week to my mat. When I was 40, I went through a painful divorce and my life turned upside down. I had a lot of grief and sorrow and I didn’t have anywhere for it to go. It just was sitting inside of me. I turned to yoga even more and found it as a refuge and sanctuary for my soul. It was the only place I felt like I could breathe and find peace. As I began filling my life up with the healing power of intention setting and breathing, my friends began asking me to teach them. We started in my garage and I soon had 15 classes a week. After three years, I had a close friend take a chance on me and financially support me opening up a space in Southlake. I chose the name Sanara which means “to heal” in Spanish. I knew that if I could benefit from aligning spiritually, emotionally, and physically in yoga, others could hopefully find peace in it too. We opened three years ago and we continue to thrive in our beautiful and deeply connected community that shares light and love daily. Every time I walk through the doors of Sanara, I feel loved, accepted, and part of something special. Life is not always easy and I have learned that we are definitely stronger together.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
One year after we opened, we were affected by the worldwide pandemic. This was a tragedy for many businesses including ours. I prayed about what to do and felt strongly that we needed to stay with our vision and continue to support the community through this stressful and trying time. We created an online program and many of our teachers taught for free from their homes as we provided free yoga and meditation classes to anyone that wanted it. We had people logging in from all over the world. It made the world feel not quite so big as we united together.
Covid has continued to be a challenge in the yoga industry. We have watched other studios close and for a long time, we were unsure of what our fate would be. We kept doing the next thing that felt right and stayed true to the vision of the company which was giving anyone and everyone a safe and loving place to practice.
I am happy to say that we just signed a lease for another three years and our studio is building strength every day. I know that it is through our trials that we become stronger. Our sweet studio that began in my garage is now thriving today because of the support of our phenomenal teachers and loyal members.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Sanara specializes in yoga for the heart. We have a variety of classes including hatha (stretching & strengthening), vinyasa flow, sculpt, yin, restorative, aerial (hammocks), heated sequence & flow, and many types of meditation. It is truly a yoga studio that has something for everybody with no need to go anywhere else.
The thing that sets us apart from other studios is the feeling of warmth and love you get when you walk in the front door. Usually, somebody is there to greet you and welcome you in, but even if the front space is empty, the studio is full of a beautiful energy that you just want to melt into.
Can you share something surprising about yourself?
Sanara is a complete mind, body, soul re-alignment. I recently received a double master’s in Counseling and my office is inside the Sanara space. I see people in off-hours to help them cope and learn life skills to manage daily stress. When you combine yoga, breathing, meditation, and talk therapy… you have a strong combination for change. I love watching people transform and receive the joy and happiness that is waiting for them on the other side of their trial. It is from my own personal heartache and challenge that Sanara was born. Now it is a place of peace, forgiveness, love, and acceptance.