Category Archives: San Diego

How a California Yoga and Wellness Co-Op Builds Community

Through its co-op model and educational programs, Gather studio in San Diego aims to make yoga and wellness accessible to all.

Gather studio in Encintas, CA. 

Live Be Yoga ambassadors Lauren Cohen and Brandon Spratt are on a road trip across the country to sit down with master teachers, host free local classes, and so much more—all to illuminate the conversations pulsing through the yoga community today. 

I could feel it the moment I stepped into Gather in Encinitas, California – the simplicity, the warmth, the humility, the devotion. It permeated the air and the architecture, creating a sense of belonging. After walking along a short pathway on the side of the building to enter, I admired the open, light-filled space. I checked myself into class simply by writing my name down and choosing which form of payment I’d like to use to pay the teacher – cash or Venmo – on a sliding scale of $10 – $20. At Gather, it’s all about the yoga: there’s no distractions, no front-desk staff, no pressure to purchase anything and no marketing collateral. As I set up my mat, the teacher greeted me with a sweet smile and welcomed me to the space. I dropped right into my practice – this practice that has transformed my life and continues to inspire and awaken me, over and over again.

After speaking with Lauren Duke, the founder of Gather, it’s clear that she had a similar experience when she first walked into Yoga Swami 11 years ago, after moving from the Bay Area to San Diego. Duke discovered yoga, as many do, seeking a way to “quell her suffering.” She described her first class as equally intimidating and enchanting. That first savasana was the first time she felt truly present, and that sense …