What Remains – The Story of Y2
Updated: Aug 1, 2019
I started to practice at Y2 soon after it opened in the Fall of 2009. I was at the end of my 230-hour TT program with Stephanie Keach of Asheville Yoga center and I was looking for a yoga ‘home’. One day, after practicing there for a few weeks, Tanner asked me if I wanted to teach. Thinking he was speaking generally, I replied that I did not yet know. He then clarified and asked if I could teach class for him that coming Sunday. I agreed, having no earthly idea how this would change my life in all the ways.
This was almost 10 years ago, and I have been asked to take a little stroll down memory lane, talk about how much things have changed… and equally important, what remains.
Y2 is a special place, and it was from the very start. A melting pot of people from all backgrounds, socio-economic make-up, ages, experience and personalities. When the studio first opened Tanner taught the lion’s share of classes and in between classes cleaned toilets, touched up the paint, dealt with technology issues, trained employees and acted as head of ‘customer service’. We had one toilet in each bathroom, was a miracle if a shower was free, and during the busiest times you could barely squeeze past one another in the hallway between classes. Students literally stored their shoes and bags up against walls, on counters and under sinks. We were busting at the seams! In order to get the room ‘hot enough’ we had space heaters and students would clamber for the spots nearest them (or if you are Janis Dowd between 2!). Wednesday nights a bunch of students and teachers would regularly hang out after class at the old Table 274 and it was here that the idea of a new studio was planted. Over wine, T painted the picture of what it would encompass and we all (of course) chimed in with our wish items.
(as an aside, when we teachers talk to you about setting an intention for your practice/for your life, this is the thing we are talking about…. dream it up, paint the picture, and make shit happen. the wine is optional)
Y2 Yoga in Charlotte is still a melting pot of beautiful souls. While our client list has most certainly grown, the heart of the people is really the same. Friendships are cultivated with people you might never have otherwise had the chance to meet. Our space is larger, we have plenty of bathrooms and showers, and enough room to host simultaneously two or more classes, teacher trainings and childcare. The heat is aplenty, sweat is a staple and teachers no longer need to shout over the music thanks to microphones… When you walk into the studio, you have the same feeling of being ‘home’ or in a place where you belong. I have heard it described as ‘my happy place’, because even on your worst day a smile from your favorite teacher, a hug from a friend or simply lining your mat up next to a face you see there on the daily, can change your whole perspective. Tanner still tells jokes that only Turkessa laughs at, stories that’ll make a grown man blush, still plays mashups, still packs it out like nobody’s business, still stops you in the hall to show you some funny video on his phone, and still touches up the paint in between classes on occasion…. and still refuses to close when it snows.
Amenities aside, Y2 has grown in a lot of ways but the root of who we were back then remains intact. We have always aimed our approach to being unapologetically authentic. There for sure is a ‘method’ of teaching here, but it is taught by an array of different teaching styles and personalities which gives each class a flair of its own. You go to a Johnna class when you want to dig deep inside of yourself, Shanna if you want no-nonsense with a guarantee of doing some posture no one else will show you, or T, if you just want to get out of your head, sweat and move doing some hot yoga charlotte style.
Rian Harris came up with this little diddy at my house last week; ‘Y2. It’s not pretentious. I mean it is, but also it isn’t.’ That was true then and now. I could go on and on about my love for this place, my co-teachers and staff, our beautiful community of students, how if you let it, Y2 is exactly the place for you, how through your breath and movement you can grow in all aspects of your life….. but I will end here. Thanks for reading.
Dorie Joy, teacher & student since 2009
‘There are too many reasons to list why and how much I love Y2 and all the people that come and the people that make it happen’ ~ Joy Kenefick, student since 2009
‘I always felt excited about the women I knew I’d see (in class) when I saw their stuff on the locker room floor’ ~ Elizabeth Trosch, student since 2010 on what she loved about the old studio.
‘For me, Y2 is like the theme song from Cheers’…. ~ Kati Robinson, student since 2010