The Sanctuary Yoga Room
June 2, 2016
The Sanctuary Yoga Room has to be one of my favorite places I’ve gotten to experience with Fort Worth Locals so far.
This yoga studio provided an immediate calming sensation upon stepping foot into the entryway. I literally felt like the aggressive sounds of the cars honking and rushing outside were muted as soon as the door closed behind me, enveloping me in tranquil silence. The large, wood floored room was very soothing, dimly lit, and had a mild, spicy musk to the warm air that was very soothing to my lungs. I had tried to arrange things so that Rebecca Butler- owner of The Sanctuary Room- would be the one teaching the class I took, but our demanding opposing schedules concluded in me choosing to go with LaurenBailey (LB) Motheral’s class. I did some research on her first; she is accredited with over 200 hours of training, and drew me in with her pronounced desire for her students to “connect to how enough they are, how capable they are, and how extravagant they are.” I liked the sound of that.
Okay, so, I’ve done yoga before; in my living room floor, to a DVD or YouTube video, where I could pause it when things got intense or skip certain poses that seemed too…”challenging.” This was my first class to actually attend, and unbeknownst to me I signed up for the “Flow” class: their “strongest, warmest yoga class” as advertised on their website. Realize first of all how intimidating this sounds for someone whose favorite pose is the Shavasana pose (laying flat on your back with your eyes closed. I’m all about that.) I’m here to say that not only did I survive…I THRIVED. LB was an amazing instructor, offering (whispered) words of encouragement and corrective massage to help with positioning when you weren’t quite stretching where you needed to. The therapeutic sensation of deep breathing all around me, and of being so mentally grounded with my body’s positioning capabilities was simultaneously relaxing and stimulating. Overall, the hour flew by and I left feeling extremely uplifted, cleansed, and very light on my feet.
Like I said, this was my first actual yoga studio experience. But The Sanctuary Yoga Room (located at the corner of Bryant Irvin and Clear Fork) definitely set the bar high for my next location. I’ll keep you posted, stay tuned..
Q&A with owner Rebecca Butler:
Hello Rebecca! Tell us about yourself and what led to you starting the Sanctuary Room.
Like so many others, I grew up in a dysfunctional household. Unknowingly, this resulted in me developing a hearty appetite for people pleasing. In my childlike mind, I thought, if I could just make everyone happy, well then, everyone would be happy! And no one would notice the dire straits my family was in because we didn’t know how to help my sister, and we didn’t know if anyone else would understand what we were going through. We were embarrassed. We were afraid. We were in pain. We were ashamed. We were in denial.
All of this lead me to finding drugs at a very early age, being a total wild child (when I wasn’t being the golden child), and being very aggressive towards myself and others.
It wasn’t until I discovered yoga while living in Austin, that I finally started to understand the importance of peace, of forgiveness, of self love and of understanding that we are all doing the best we can in the moment with the tools available to us at the time.
Then my mom died of ALS in 2012. By this point, I was already teaching yoga. She was my best friend. I held her hand while she slowly drowned in her own fluids. It became obvious to me that I would spend my waking days helping others learn to celebrate the gift of their mobility, the gift of their breath and the gift of life.
Because of these lessons, yoga became my passion, my way of life, my vocation, my outlet and more.
I opened The Sanctuary Yoga Room in 2014 to spread what I consider to be a healing art form — yoga. I believe that through a steady and consistent practice on the mat, we can find peace of mind, intrinsic joy, and kindness — and yes, flexility, strength and balance as well.
-How has yoga transformed your life?
Through yoga I’ve learned how to listen to my own inner wisdom, to feel my inner guidance when I’m veering off course from my true purpose, and how to be fearless yet wise, strong yet supple, poignant yet kind and above all else, full of joy.
-How have you seen yoga transform the life of others?
I’ve witnessed my students, teachers and friends awaken. We go through life telling ourselves the same stories over and over and over again. A small percentage of those stories actually serve us. Most of them are based in fear and shame and not-enough-ness. Yoga has brought many of my friends and teachers and students and loved ones to their knees in a moment of sheer awakening — that Eureka! moment when you realized you have actually been standing in your own way. And then carefully, mindfully, ever-so-lovingly, you begin to choose a different path — one that is indicative of your true needs, your true passions, your truth. That’s what I’ve seen yoga do. For countless numbers. And the best part? Once you’re awake… You can’t go back to sleep. Ha!
-What is a typical day like for you?
I wake up around 6am. I pray. I shower. I take my son to school. I go to the studio. I answer a soul prompt in my journal. I teach a class. I have a meeting. I teach a private. I mop the studio. I wash sweat towels. I fold sweat towels. I pay bills. I answer emails. I plan something (a workshop, a sequence, a teacher training, a yoga festival — something). Sometimes I even take a class! I go to the grocery store. I go home to relieve the nanny. I morph into mommy. I do homework with my son. I post something on FB. I post something on IG. I make dinner. I clean up dinner. I shower. We all collapse on the couch. I put my kids to bed. I pass out with my husband. Repeat.
-What advice would you give to someone who is looking into getting into yoga?
Come try us out! We have a class on Saturday’s called New. It’s just for beginners. You don’t need anything but comfy close and an open mind. We provide mats, sweat towels, fruit-infused water, and all the various props that can enhance your experience. Your first class is FREE! Then we have a new student special from there that is $39 for the first month of unlimited yoga. Be sure to drink lots of water before and after you come. Don’t worry about feeling like you’re not flexible enough. That’s like saying you’re too hungry to go to dinner! You come to the mat to become more flexible. What’s funny is, you’ll also find you become stronger and more peaceful in the process. If you can’t make the Saturday New class (12-1p), then try one of our Slow classes. Our teachers are all skilled at teaching all levels, so you will be in good hands no matter which class you choose.
-Your studio is awesome! Tell us about what makes is so unique.
Thank you! I think so too! I love the courtyard out front complete with a water fountain. I love the vaulted ceilings and surrounding windows. I love the xeriscaped landscaping all around, chock full of indigenous wildflowers. I love the copper siding on the outside of the building and on the ceiling. I love that we have bluebirds nesting in our car port and a hawk that lives nearby. This location was a ranch not long ago. As such, we have had a turkey pecking on the glass door during class once! Ha. And when it rains, nothing can beat the soothing sound of the rain rolling off the copper roof.
Another thing that makes our studio unique is that we offer a variety of classes and styles. Many studios teach only one “brand” or “lineage” of yoga. We offer a menagerie of styles and levels. There are Flow classes for those seeking more rigorous work. There are Slow classes for those wanting to dive deeper into alignment and long holds. There are Bliss classes for those seeking restorative or gentle work. We even have classes focused on arm balances and inversions (Fly) and on specific sequencing for a particular body part (Zen). We believe creativity is a privilege in this life. We pour our creativity and passion into our classes. We feel like it shows! Our community certainly thinks so.
-What are your favorite local shops/restaurants in Fort Worth?
Press Cafe, Pacific Table, The Tavern – anything by Felipe Armente
I’ve been wanting to go to Epherma, Greenhouse817, Fixture and Esther Penn, but I have not had time!
-Do you have any events planned through the year?
My first 200 hour yoga teacher training kicks off in June and runs through December.
We have 4 week long kids yoga camps scheduled this summer called Grow.
We have a series for teenage girls that is about yoga and group therapy. It’s called G. R. A. C. E, which stands for Girls Responding to Adolescence with Compassion and Encouragement.
We have a series called Heal > Hope > Bump > Birth, which is for women who are going through or desire to go through the process of becoming a mom. The series covers many stages from miscarriage (Heal), to fertility (Hope), to prenatal (Bump), to postnatal (Birth). It begins in June, and consists of one workshop per month until September.
We will likely have another Fall Bazaar in October or November.
And I’m gearing up for my first retreat to Bali, which is in April of 2017.