Tias Little, the owner and founder of Prajna Yoga, on why she wanted to create an aesthetically pleasing studio.

How did your yoga studio come about? What was your vision or mission?

We believe yoga is a pathway that leads to the subtle and rarely seen interior. After directing various urban yoga studios for 11 years in the city of Santa Fe, me and my wife Surya founded Prajna Yoga in order to integrate yoga discipline, contemplative practice and beauty. In the history of yoga practice, a beautiful aesthetic is thought to stir the soul and expand the heart-mind.

In your opinion, what is one of the most interesting or unique features about the yoga studio’s architecture or design?

Unique and spectacular, our retreat center is located in the foothills, 15 minutes outside of Santa Fe. Our center is handcrafted in a Japanese style. The design-builder team, Paula Baker-LaPorte and Robert LaPorte of EcoNest Building Company, are forerunners in the field of natural building. Handcrafted in the timber frame style, the building is ecological and sustainable, utilizing active and passive solar power and an extensive rainwater catchment system. The building’s exterior is made of clay and straw, and the interior is finished in earth plastering. Featuring a Japanese aesthetic, the building has clean, elegant lines. Also influenced by the Vastu principles of Indian architecture, the design provides a very serene, harmonizing environment. The natural Japanese gardens, walkways, pond and rock benches complement the overall retreat atmosphere.

What is one key to your yoga studio’s success?

The ecological building, designed without toxic materials, supports the flow of prana in the yoga practice. A living structure, the building itself breathes and we think of the walls as a second skin. The Japanese design allows unique and surprising vistas into the natural setting. The combination of yoga, mindfulness practice and immediate access to the mountain setting enables students to connect to their own deep life force.

What is one piece of advice you could give to other studio owners?

To think of your space as a refuge, a space that is charged with spiritual energy and functions as a protective sphere for your students to expand and grow.