Walking into The Body Electric (informally known as The BE) studio for the first time, I remember feeling a sense of relief. I was nervous about coming back to a yoga practice after being out of the game for so long, so I thought: “Hey! I’ll bring a friend!”
The studio itself is architecturally compelling, with modern adaptations made to the remnants of an old ice factory. The smell of clean wood, the brick walls, the full but friendly room— all of it set me at ease. My friend was dipping her toe into yoga for the first time, so we found a spot in the back of the room and got ready to find our own bodies and get our sweat on in Hot Enough Flow with instructor, Lisa Knaffla.
While the space itself is the work of yoga design genius, owners Jenny Miller and Katelyn Grady posit that the true gems of the studio are the teachers. Katelyn and Jenny are fiercely proud of the teachers who nurture and inspire The BE community.
They expect amazing work from their teachers, and that’s what they get—a family of teachers committed to making yoga approachable for every physical body that wishes to start a practice with them. As Katelyn puts it, she wants the teachers to feel free to be themselves, and there’s a palpable trickle-down effect.
The convivial space they’ve created has organically sparked some interesting pairings. They offer resources, events and programs the standard yoga studio doesn’t. Take their Foam Roller Mobility and Movement class, taught by a chiropractor, Dr. Lance Robbins. The class focuses on the innovative use of foam rollers to increase access and movement within one’s own body. It’s a tool he regularly uses as a chiropractor, so the foam-rolling class serves as both an additional self- care tool and a way to make an otherwise expensive healthcare service more affordable in a group setting.
Speaking of innovation and self-care, The BE teacher Dani Mae teamed up with counselor Ashley Sweet several months ago to create a multi- sensory, interdisciplinary fusion class for victims of sexual assault. The series—part narrative writing, part meditation, part counseling, part yoga—is now in its second iteration, and though many have found healing through the series, several have also fostered friendships that extend beyond the walls of The Body Electric proper. Classes like these are integral to Jenny and Katelyn’s vision. The series wouldn’t have come together had they not met Ashley Sweet at a Bloom Art Center (now Bloom Collective) event that The BE partnered in.
The Body Electric is constantly energizing itself by stretching (pun intended) outside of the magical confines of the studio and into the nooks and crannies of St. Pete. Katelyn notes they reject the notion of being an “insular community”. They are a part of the fabric of the St. Pete small business community, and they collaborate and partner whenever it feels like a good fit. Jenny describes this as an “economy of energy”. Small businesses learn, create, build and thrive on one another’s’ experiences.
For The BE, what potentially elevates one has the potential to elevate all, and that’s why tapping in (pun also intended) outside of the studio proper is paramount. The Body Electric has partnered with several St. Pete breweries in their Yoga On Tap classes, where the yoga flow is followed by the flow of beer on tap. This unconventional pairing serves as an effective way to spread the word about The Body Electric, while bringing in visitors to breweries during what might otherwise be a slow time of the day.
The BE gets outside of the studio on many other occasions, too. Join them at Sunset Beach every Friday and Sunday at 10:30am for paddle board yoga. It’s a $15 bring- your-own-board party or you can rent one for $25! For even more weekend fun, wake up and head to The Hollander for an 8:30am yoga session by the pool. The price depends on membership and registration time, and after yoga, you can stay around for a dip in the pool and grab some brunch. The possibilities are refreshing and endless with the great minds behind The BE.
The Body Electric is located at 685 30th Avenue North. For more information about the studio, teachers or class schedule, visit thebodyelectricyoga.com.