Hot yoga studio opening in Skillville’s former spot in Johnson City | News

Before opening their own studio in Kingsport, Ashley and Nate Davis were doing the trek to Asheville, North Carolina, to participate in hot yoga classes.

“We were just like, ‘Why not just put one here so we can enjoy it?'” Said Ashley Davis. “We love doing yoga.”

Already operating an anesthesia business in the city, the couple opened the Kingsport location of what’s now Vidya Yoga & Fitness in August 2017. Now, the couple plans to expand to downtown Johnson City, moving into the building at 224 W. Market St. formerly occupied by Skillville.

Although there’s been some supply line and workforce issues caused by the pandemic, the couple hopes to open the yoga studio sometime later this year.

“Hot yoga” is an intensive form of yoga done in a warm studio. The heat, Davis explained, makes muscles more pliable, allowing for freer movement.

“The biggest barrier to hot yoga from a business standpoint is getting people in the door,” Davis said. “Because people think they need to be flexible when they come in, and that’s not the case at all. We’ll get you there eventually. ”

The owners will be putting in a room for high-intensity interval training and will have Concept 2 Rowers, heavy bags for boxing, kettlebells and TRX equipment.

There will also be a large yoga studio – bigger than the one they have in Kingsport – that will feature infrared heat. The location in Johnson City will also offer Barre classes and will sell athletic and yoga apparel.

A building permit issued by the city indicates that upfitting the building at 224 W. Market St. will cost about $ 730,000.

Ashley Davis said she and Nate were originally looking at opening their second yoga studio in Knoxville or Asheville.

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“After COVID, Tennessee just seemed a lot more favorable than North Carolina for small businesses with some of the restrictions,” Davis said.

Many of the studio’s instructors also live in Johnson City, which made it a more convenient place to expand.

“We’re in downtown Kingsport, and we just really love that downtown vibe,” Davis said. “Johnson City seemed like a right choice because of all the stuff they’re doing to enhance the downtown area and entice small business owners.”

Davis said the studio offers multiple types of yoga, but its signature class is based on ashtanga yoga.

Skillville, a community art space, announced last year that it would be closing after business evaporated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Co-owner Leah Lobe told the Press in August 2020 that Gov. Bill Lee’s order to shut down non-essential businesses in March and April forced it to cancel a full calendar of classes in March, April and May. She added that safety regulations, although important, were tough on small businesses.

Skillville is one of several downtown businesses, including Silverball City and the Willow Tree, that closed during the outbreak.

Davis grew up in Kingsport and attended Dobyns-Bennett High School. She worked as an ICU nurse and lived in Johnson City for several years.

“I just see the growth that’s going on there, and you just can’t help wanting to be a part of that and see your business grow,” she said.

Press Staff Writer Jonathan Roberts contributed to this story.

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