September 11, 2009

Boulder: Richard Freeman & Mary Taylor buy back The Yoga Workshop. And, Billy Goldman moving on.

UPDATE: There was never a buy back to be had.

Dear Elephant:

I have been meaning to write for a bit to correct your reporting of some recent news at the Yoga Workshop in Boulder.

In September of last year you reported that Richard Freeman and his wife Mary Taylor “bought back” the Yoga Workshop. My wife De and I would have been the implicit owners, but I would like to clarify that in fact we never did actually own the studio. Our tenure was simply in the role of management, and Mary and Richard remained the owners all along.

The decision to return the running of the studio to Mary and Richard was primarily one of serving the interests of our family (do you have any idea how much is involved in running a studio?!) and, happily, lessens not at all our love for the studio and its community, for the practice, nor for Richard and Mary. It was a vivid learning experience, and we only have the greatest faith in the studio (and its true owners!) thriving.

Now that we have your ear, may we say that we have great appreciation for all the ways you have supported us, the Yoga Workshop, and the greater cause of yoga and spirituality. Thank you for being an impassioned beacon for us all.

Much love,

Stephen and De West

A friend brought this to my attention a little while back (since I’ve fallen off the yoga wagon, I had to hear this Boulder Yoga Community news second-hand). Husband and wife Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor, yoga star and veggie chef, and longtime supporters of ele, sold The Yoga Workshop—one of the great yoga studio institutions in the US—to some close friends and students awhile ago. Sorry for not passing along sooner, I’m been underwater.

Also, I’ve heard that Billy Goldman, one of my original yoga teachers and the funniest best sweetest yogi I know, is moving on. Sad for me, happy for him I’m sure to put a little wind beneath this wings. I don’t know more about why or where he’s going, but I hear it’s a happy thing.

Here’s Richard and Mary’s letter of explanation:

A recent letter from Richard and Mary

Dear Sangha Members,

It is with great enthusiasm that we share with you news of upcoming studio changes. Starting immediately, we are officially still the owners of The Yoga Workshop! De and Stephen will continue to help manage the studio this fall, but they want more time to devote to teaching and their private practices. Richard, De, Stephen and Mary will all still be here teaching and we’re all still great friends. So all is good!

We are deeply grateful to De and Stephen for having given so much time, energy, and love to our studio for the past 9 months. Without their help during this time we might never have seen what we feel is the important next step in the direction we see the Yoga Workshop taking.

We envision this as a time of metamorphosis, of moving to a more mature level within our own teaching and within the bigger picture of yoga as it unfolds in the world. I’ve summarized our initial thoughts on what we are working towards (below), but we are also currently working out the specifics of our transformation, so please stay tuned.


We will continue with business and classes as usual through December 15th

for the rest, go to The Yoga Workshop’s web site.

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