Featured Studio - Semperviva Yoga: the heart of Kitsilano
Day 1: KOOSHOO being introduced at Semperviva Yoga in Vancouver's Kitsilano
Last week we began our series of retail partner features by introducing the wonderful folks at Bound Lotus Meditation & Yoga Centre. This week, it’s with great pleasure that we introduce to you our home away from home: Semperviva Yoga.
Semperviva’s story is a good one. In 1995, then-pharmacist Gloria Latham was struggling to find meaning and joy in her job as a pharmacist. Trusting her instincts, she and her husband Scott decided to open a natural pharmacy near their home in Kitsilano, a neighborhood of Vancouver. They called it Semperviva, naming it after a hardy flower from Gloria’s native Kythera Island in Greece. Here, Gloria beautifully provides the context behind the name:
When it came time to choose a name for our business, the word, “Semperviva” popped into my head. Our business was meant to symbolize that radiant life force that thrives even in the harshest of environments. The concrete structures of the city, the buildings, the sidewalks, and the roads were the equivalent of the craggy rocks of Kythera. Our clients and friends are that bright yellow flower, the souls that are brilliant and thriving despite the hardships that life presents.
From the outset, the business’s primary purpose was to help people in their community feel good.
By good fortune, across the street from the natural pharmacy was a vegetarian restaurant – Vancouver’s first – that had a spare room available for rent. Gloria and Scott rented the space and Semperviva began offering yoga classes to the community. Before long the studio was thriving and not entirely by coincidence, a young Lululemon opened their first store nearby to outfit the growing number of yogis in the community.
Over the years the studio has grown to 4 distinct locations around Kitsilano, including the most beautiful urban yoga studio I’ve ever been to on Granville Island. That location, called Sea, is literally perched on top of the ocean, overlooking the city. When you close your eyes and listen to the sounds of the ocean, you’d swear you’re simply standing (or savasana’ing) on the water.
Semperviva has had a massive impact on our lives. It’s the studio where Rachel did her yin training and first met Gurmukh – her teacher – and is also where I trained to become a hatha teacher. It has been a haven for us anytime we’ve needed it and continues to this day to act as our home away from home. We credit the studio, it’s incredible staff and teachers, as well are our mentors Gloria and Scott with where we are today with KOOSHOO and as people
I am now teaching weekly at the studio (Saturdays at 4:15 at the original Sun location) and Rach subs regularly.
The natural pharmacy remains at the original location and there is now a beautifully curated boutique at the Kits Beach location on 4th Avenue. With the best selection of lifestyle goods in the city – everything from yoga props to organic clothing to jewellery to one-of-a-kind art pieces – it’s here where a huge selection of KOOSHOO yoga headbands, hairties and shawls are proudly on display.
We couldn’t recommend Semperviva any higher and hope to meet you there one day soon.
KOOSHOO's hand dyed Dawn Shawl in Semperviva Yoga's boutique
KOOSHOO's custom stand at Semperviva Yoga Kits Beach Studio
Hand dyed KOOSHOO shawls made from sustainably harvested Eucalyptus Trees
KOOSHOO's wholesale shawls in the window display at Semperviva Yoga
Hand dyed ENSO batiks and AUREA sports headbands
Yoga headbands for charity - one headband for one yoga class