There’s a yoga studio in Ashland, Ohio?


Five years ago there wasn’t.

But you’ll still hear that tone of surprise when a visitor or new comer moves to town and discovers there’s a yoga studio in Ashland.

Five years ago, Aubrey was just a practitioner. Hopping from town to town and even bopping from class to class in Ashland,  seeking out anywhere and everywhere classes might be offered. At the time, her most consistent class was at 5:45am at the YMCA and when the teacher decided to stop teaching there, she took the first action in the series of actions that would eventually lead to a yoga studio in Ashland.

The conversation went like this, “If I find you a space and a gather a few people, would you teach us?” That’s essentially what a studio is, right? A teacher, a space, and few students for the teacher to teach. But not yet, this isn’t the part about the studio yet. For several months, they met in a room off of a gym at a church on Monday evenings.

One Monday night in November, as they were leaving after class, another conversation took place that would be another brick in the yellow brick road to a yoga studio in Ashland. The Conversation went like this, “You should open a yoga studio.” And the teacher replied, “You open it and I’ll teach there.”

So the seed was planted. Aubrey went home and recapped “The Conversation” to her husband and his response was, “Why not?!” Ummmm….because…..she didn’t know the first thing about opening and running a business! But darn it, the seed had been planted.

From that moment, from that one Conversation, everything changed. The need, the desire, the opportunity became all Aubrey could see. Ashland needed a yoga hub. The yoga was happening, it just had no home, no center. So the action needed a plan. Aubrey’s baby would be starting kindergarten in a year, in that time she would get trained as a teacher so she had a least a little credibility to offer the yoga world, but her intention was to run the thing from behind the scenes and have others do the teaching. She’d just have to create and provide the space. And all that requires is an open room. Easy.

January after the November of “The Conversation.” Aubrey attended yoga teacher training in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Well, half of it. Her training program was divided into halves. She’d do half in January and the other half later in the year, probably somewhere sexier than Pittsburgh, like Mexico.

But then March happened. Aubrey received a phone call from a real estate agent who had heard she was looking for an open room and he had one for lease that would be perfect. (only in a small town, right?) But it was perfect. Small, inexpensive, needed nothing done to it. Should she seize the opportunity or stick to the timeline?? This was 5 years ago, so you know what she did. You know the end of the story.

March 31, 2014 with a supportive husband and 3 small children, 700 sq/ft, an LLC, a near empty bank account, a logo, a half trained instructor, and a dozen students, Ashland OH gained a yoga studio.

Fast forward to 2019 and Aubrey has gained several hundred hours of training (trained several new teachers herself even), and has taught for 1000s of hours (learning along the way to quite love it, actually). Rise has grown from a 700 sq/ft space on an off-street downtown to a 1200 sq/ft building on the main drag of Ashland (practically on the University campus). Over the years a few instructors have come and gone, but we currently have 6 yoga teachers who complete a diverse picture of what yoga is and can be. (7 if you count Aubrey) It has grown from 1 class a week to over 20--and counting.

There’s a yoga studio in Ashland, OH. But even more than that, there is a hub, a gathering place, a central community for the yoga lifestyle. A conversation 5 years ago sparked a journey that would radiate out to touch and transform the lives of more than anyone will ever know.

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Aubrey Bates | founder // alchemist


Jen Haglund | brandstrategist // storyteller


Rebecca Zickefoose | right-hand // synergist