There’s light at the end of the tunnel for Lighthouse Yoga. A lot of light, in fact.
The beloved neighborhood yoga studio, which lost its lease at 4203 9th street last summer, has found a large, bright second story space at 502 Kennedy Street. It plans to re-open in March.
Owner Julie Eisenberg says she worked with Uptown Main Street to secure the new location.
“It’s a big, beautiful space with big windows,” Eisenberg describes. “There’s exposed brick, high ceilings with rafters.”
The larger space will contain two studios, allowing Lighthouse Yoga to run two classes simultaneously. Eisenberg is hiring additional teachers to accommodate the studio’s expanded offerings.
According to Eisenberg, Lighthouse Yoga is the only DC studio in DC that offers kundalini yoga. The studio will continue offering kundalini yoga, as well as hatha and flow classes. Eisenberg also plans to offer her space to other yoga studios who may need it for weekend trainings or events.
The move marks the end of a year-long ordeal that began last February when the owner of 4203 9th Street, where Lighthouse Yoga had been leasing for almost five years, informed Eisenberg that he intended to sell. Eisenberg began looking for a new space nearby, but rents were too high for her to afford. Then, in August, the 4203 9th street building owner informed Eisenberg that he had found a buyer, and she had 35 days to vacate.
Eisenberg called the prospective buyer’s real estate agent to negotiate, and it turned out the buyer had no idea that the building had an existing tenant. Eisenberg says she tried to negotiate with the buyer, but felt she was being jerked around. Meanwhile, the clock on her notice was ticking.
“I have to notify my teachers, I have students with outstanding passes and class cards,” Eisenberg recalls. “And I thought, I have to do the right thing by my community. I couldn’t say, ‘Guys we got evicted’ and just close down.”
Luckily, the family behind Teatro de la Luna came to Lighthouse Yoga’s rescue; they offered to share their space, allowing Lighthouse Yoga to run classes two days a week as it searched for a new home.
Then, in Mid-September, Eisenberg got a call from Jordan Haferbier, Executive Director of Uptown Main Street, an organization that supports local businesses. A space had come available on Kennedy Street, Haferbier said.
“I met Julie and she said she was looking for space,” Haferbier recalls. “She wanted to stay in neighborhood and I was trying to think creatively. I knew [the 502 Kennedy Street owner] was looking to transition a second story space, and I thought what better than a yoga studio.”
Eisenberg was skeptical; she had seen so many spaces that she was starting to lose hope that she would find what she was looking part.
“I said yeah, right, I’ve seen so many spaces,” Eisenberg recalls. “Then I walk in and I said ‘oh my god this is gorgeous, this is exactly what I was envisioning.’”
While the move does put Eisenberg more than a mile north of her previous location, she says she is not worried about losing clients. In fact, Eisenberg says she had noticed the studio’s demographics shifting North and East over the last years, and so is hoping that the move will actually increase her client base.
Eisenberg says that while she would have preferred not to have been displaced for five months, in the end things worked out for the best.
“I’m really grateful for all of the students and teachers who stayed with us at Teatro,” she says. “I’m really grateful to the family who runs Teatro and who opened their doors to us. This new space is fabulous. In the end we’ll still be serving the neighborhood, but in a much better space.”