It's a hazy, gray June morning. The temperatures are cool and it just began to rain. Cars swish by one another, the sound building as people gain momentum on their day. Traveling down Lowell Street in Peabody, passing by the revitalization of an older shopping plaza, or the well known Perfecto's cafe, a light halts you in front of a two-story building. Looking up you see the word "YOGA" laid out letter by letter in the windows overlooking the street. You may think it is a quite looking space. Almost rustic, sticking out from nearby trees and a paved walking path. It's not your typical studio space. No big streets signs, or banners, not implanted between big name retailers. Just a humble space meditating in the middle of a busy intersection. This is FLow Yoga Studio.
Walk up two flight of stairs and open the heavy wooden door, your eyes draw into the light filled space that is FLow Yoga. You'll most likely find owner Beth Manning, or one of her instructors, seated behind the hand-stained desk welcoming you with a large smile. As you smile back and start your descend into your class experience, shoes are placed behind you on the rack, checking in on the iPad, maybe punching your Loyalty Card before grabbing a cup of filtered water from the coffee and tea bar. Behind you is a small space, Yoga bolsters line the white walls, a mantel holding up the word OM to your right. Here we host smaller classes, private groups, private Yoga sessions.
Just outside this room is the boutique and waiting area secured with comfy seats, benches, a large wall space covered with shelves of goodies; t-shirts, Yoga straps and blankets, essential oils, handmade jewelry and lotions, and so much more. You're done shopping and put aside your purchase for later. Heading past the bathroom you take notice of another room to your left. A basic Pilates reformer machine sits neatly on the floor. Props for barre and Pilates classes tucked into their respective places; this is our Private Pilates room. It piques your interest and you take note to learn more later.
Finally it is time to enter through the white barn doors into the main studio. Music plays from the speakers, students align themselves for class. Light pours into the room, reflecting off the mirrors hung half way up the wall, above the ballet barre. Settling in you feel comfortable. The day stays outside, parked in your car. You are ready to begin your journey.
The FLow Yoga Story
Although it some times hard to recognize it while you are in the thick of it, I do believe that all things are working together for a greater good. That in this life tragedy cannot always have an answer to give us closure but if you can find an inkling of hope, something far more transformative can occur. I believe that in the case of FLow Yoga.
If you get to talking with Beth's mom El, she will gladly recollect on Beth's stubbornness and headstrong nature that has made her into the adult she is today.
My mom always tells the story of the time she tried to teach me how to ride a bike. I refused to let her help me, I guess I thought I knew it all at the age of 5. She watched me from the window as I growled and fell a bunch of times but I stayed out there until I got the hang of it. She said “That’s when I knew I didn’t have to worry about you”.
That fiery passion pushed her through 12 years of dance before she discovered a love for softball and running track in high school. Her diversified interests and love for the outdoors led her to Newburyport as a Youth Coordinator. The department asking her to expand her repertoire of skills extended the opportunity to learn Yoga. Never one to turn down an active learning experience, Beth completed her Yoga training and we could say the rest was history....
But while Beth was beginning her career as Youth Coordinator, and before she ever set foot on a Yoga mat, she had lost a close friend, suddenly. This moment stunned Beth. The process of grief was extremely difficult. Although the outdoors gave her great moments of relief she admits to carrying an unbearable and impermeable weight for almost 2 years. It was only in her time of practicing and learning Yoga that Beth found her solstice. It was from this tragedy that she found her purpose.
It was the first step in healing, the first step in the direction of a new path for me and to eventually feeling “myself” again.
Awakened, and with the her childhood sense of drive, Beth took a dive many young entrepreneurs only dream of taking, and in 2012 at only 25 opened the doors to FLow Yoga Studio. Her mission? To offer affordable fitness for all levels.
And that she has done. Since opening in 2012 Beth has been able to expand her business two times. Now in her third location on the top floor of her previous location, she has gone from offering Yoga classes to offering twice as many barre and Pilates classes, private sessions, workshops, seminars, member events, increasing the size of her shoppe and the amenities (remember that coffee and tea bar?!). And in 2017 Beth and FLow Yoga won the honorable Best of Northshore.
It has been this incredible dream come true. All the while honoring a friend lost; if you look closely at the title name of the studio the F and L are the initials of her dear friend.
And honor him she has. I believe she has honored him in a way that every day the clients that walk into our studio can feel the love that Beth, her family and her friends, have poured into her studio. Physically, as her family and fiancé helped her renovate and build-out her new space. Spiritually, the energy in the studio is infectious. If it is a high energy barre or Pilates class or a calming, centering Yoga class. You carry it with you. And every teacher is well educated, well-informed on proper form and function, proprietors of good playlists, and a general enthusiasm for getting people to feel good through movement. There is a lotta love in this place and F.L. would certainly be proud.
by Kristina Borseti