Tina Knight and Andrew Jones, co-owners of Yoga Den
Bayard, never cease to be amazed at the transformative power of yoga they’ve
witnessed, both personally and in the lives of their yoga community, over the
past 15 months.
first began practicing yoga in 2003, became a yoga teacher in 2013, and
eventually taught classes at the Southside and Mandarin Yoga Den locations. In
2017, Knight’s life began guiding her in other directions, so she took a break
from yoga instruction—but that didn’t last long. When an opportunity arose in
early 2020 to purchase the Yoga Den Bayard studio, Knight felt a divine nudge
to hop back onto the mat—this time as a studio owner.
wasn’t a yoga aficionado at the time, he wholeheartedly supported Knight in pursuing
her dreams. “Interestingly, six weeks after we took ownership of the studio,
the pandemic hit so we had to close our doors,” recalls this former Marine,
whose strong ability to adapt and thrive became an invaluable resource. “We
began offering all the classes online, and with my technical background, I was
able to help facilitate that,” he says.
classes ran smoothly, Jones monitored many of them live. “Since I was watching them anyway, I
figured I might as well join
in,” shares this devoted yogi. “At first, it was really challenging. I was dealing with chronic back pain and
couldn’t even touch my
shins in a forward fold.” But as the weeks and months progressed, Jones not only noticed an improvement in his yoga practice, but his entire
life. “Overall, I feel mentally calmer, I sleep
better, I’m physically
healthier, and no longer suffer with the back pain. I really learned to read my
body more. The studio was Tina's dream, but I ended up taking it over,” he
be more thrilled that Jones’ introduction to yoga has been such a profound
experience. “He was so inspired that he, too, became a yoga instructor,” says
this passionate yogini, who loves that the studio has become such an integral
part of both of their lives.
While opening a
new business during a global pandemic has had its challenges, the pair shares
that it has also had an abundance of blessings. “For instance, when we had to
shut down, we were able to take our time with the remodel and do it ourselves,”
says Jones, noting how much he appreciates the natural, Earth-inspired
atmosphere they’ve created inside the space.
quite an adventure, but we’ve always had just enough of the good stuff to keep
us pushing through,” asserts Knight. “Instead of worrying about the future, we
stay in the present and work on adapting to whatever comes our way.” Jones
agrees. “We constantly get the opportunity to take the same lessons we teach in
our classes and apply them in our own lives.”
And speaking of
the good stuff, this dynamic duo agrees that their yoga community is nothing short of amazing.
“Our teachers are
outstanding. The students all support one another. We really couldn’t be more
pleased with our
tribe. It feels like a very sacred container we’ve created,” affirms Knight.
“I’m so glad
Tina had the original vision. We want to help as many people as
possible—including veterans and active-duty military personnel,” shares Jones.
“We all follow
the Yoga Den philosophy of no judgement or expectations. This ensures that our
studio truly is a welcoming environment for anyone seeking the wide variety of
benefits that a regular yoga practice can offer,” says Knight. “Just showing up
to your mat is the hardest part sometimes. But once you’re there, the magic
happens. We all settle into the space and tap into the energy of the room,” she
explains. “As a teacher, my favorite moment is when we move into savasana; when
everyone has surrendered and allowed themselves to just let go.”
that showing up can often be the hardest part. “Being a teacher helps keep me
energized and committed to the practice—especially on the days when showing up
can be a challenge,” he says. “Yoga can play such an integral part of any
self-care regimen. Our society doesn’t place enough of an emphasis on
self-care. It’s so important to make time to take care of ourselves. I invite
anyone curious about the transformative effects of a yoga practice to come
check us out.”
Yoga Den Bayard is located in the Shoppes of Bayard at
12525 Philips Hwy., Ste. 204, in Jacksonville. For more information, call
904-806-3702 or visit Yoga-den.com/shoppes-of-bayard.