Jean Marie & Zola James
From 2013 - 2020 Anasa Yoga proudly served the community as a Black-owned/Woman-owned, green-certified, wellness center located in the Laurel District neighborhood of East Oakland. During these precious years, our team of 20+ gifted teachers led thousands of students in a holistic diversity of yoga, Feldenkrais®, Nia®, dance classes, and 253 workshops and trainings until our last gathering on December 20, 2020. We supported each other through obstacles and milestones as one beloved group of beings.
January 1, 2020 began with a major change as we transitioned all 20+ teachers and our manger from independent contractors to employees in compliance with the year’s new State law, AB-5. The co-founders also began making plans to retire at the end of 2020 and transfer the studio to new owners entrusted to continue with the legacy we built. Then the unthinkable happened. In March of 2020 we closed our physical studio moving classes and workshops online as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and shelter-in-place orders. Between March and October, we held onto hope while pursuing another vision of transitioning the studio into an ideal scenario - a worker-owned co-operative with a core group of 10 Anasa Yoga teachers. We asked and received overwhelming community support through a GoFundMe campaign in August when it looked as if we may not be able to finish the year. Then sadly, in October 2020 we learned that the co-op transition would not happen in time to meet our retirement goal, a promise we kept to ourselves. So we made the difficult decision to let go of the studio at the end of the year.