CANTON — As tires sprayed powder along a snow-blown Main Street on Friday, and pedestrians trekked to stores, stocking up for a cold weekend, preparations of a different kind were taking place indoors, at 81 Main.
“I’ll just feel pure joy that it’s happening,” owner Kelly Newman Burnham, a Canton native, said of the coming opening of the Flying Lotus Yoga Center.
A dual-part business in the heart of the village, the Flying Lotus project entered the planning stages about two years ago — with a mission of teaching and celebrating yoga traditions and offering flavorful juices and smoothies.
The lower-level Juice Bar, also called the Root Cellar, opened in November, and the ground-level yoga studio is expected to open next weekend, with an Aerial Sound Bath workshop, pending a final code inspection for the facility.
Together, the two spaces form the Flying Lotus Yoga Center & Juice Bar.
In its former state as the Sposa Bella Bridal Shop, 81 Main featured carpeted floors, glass display cases and original tin ceiling tiles. The tin remains, a cream-colored paint coating the tiles, and the building’s landlord elected to remove the carpeting and refinish the original hardwood floors.
With fresh paint on the studio’s walls, a “peaceful” lavender, nine colorful hammocks hang in the main studio space, at the windowed storefront. Final baseboard installation and cleanup will complete the monthslong renovations.
The nylon-like hammocks hang from a gantry, constructed and installed specifically for the Flying Lotus studio. A gantry is a framework that straddles a space, with side beams or poles connected by a top support.
Designed and constructed by Canton’s Barry Whiteford, of New England Welding, the gantry bridges over the studio space, anchored to the floor and supporting itself without stressing the walls of the room.
The maintenance of the Juice Bar and renovations to the studio have been a collaborative, local effort, with local contracting work, locally-sourced ingredients and community-centered events.
“A big part of our whole yoga center is community,” Mrs. Burnham said. “One of our goals is to reach out and be accessible to everyone in the community, whatever your age or ability level.”
Local artists play a special role in fostering that community as well, she said.
Starting in November, the Juice Bar featured art by Joanne Lincoln, of Colton, for nearly two months. Now, the walls are adorned with art by Ola Aldous, Canton. An opening reception for the work is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 14. Up next, Mrs. Burnham said a few of Mrs. Aldous’ art students at Little River Community School will showcase their work.
The Juice Bar has also hosted two paint-and-sip events since it opened in the fall.
Once approved by the village code enforcement office, the yoga studio will offer classes and workshops across a variety of disciplines.
Certified instructors and practitioners include Mrs. Burnham (aerial, Yin and Ashtanga), Donna Ouimet (massage therapy), Chantal Forrest (Kundalini), Kelly Charlton (Reiki), Sasha Kocho-Williams (Ashtanga), Patti Mason (Reiki), Shannon Richardson (Reiki), Kathy Wilcox (aromatherapy), Tammy Dodson (belly dance), Lauren Sommerfield (Bikram) and Rich Basler (Hatha).
Additional instructors will travel from neighboring towns to facilitate longer workshops, as well as a teaching workshop for those interested in becoming certified 200-hour yoga instructors. The first nine-month teaching workshop begins March 6.
An open house will likely be held later this year, but Mrs. Burnham said the current priority is getting classes started and working out any kinks in the online registration system, which can be accessed on the Flying Lotus website.
Mrs. Burnham said she has felt “all the feelings,” peaceful and frustrated, excited and exhausted, getting to this point and nearing the official opening. And a lesson she’s embraced: “letting go” of becoming attached to hard deadlines and ideal timelines.
“Sometimes it feels frustrating when things take longer than you think they’re going to,” Mrs. Burnham said. “But in the end, it always works out.”