It’s the mantra many people associate with yoga: a gentle, slightly vibrating “ommm.” Simply defined, om is the sound of the universe, but Yogic scholars remind us the meaning goes far deeper. In its simplest form, yoga is a series of movements in tune with one’s breath, but as any yoga practitioner can confirm, it is more than that. Bellingham’s 3 Oms Yoga Studio ensures its mission is just as multifaceted as the yoga experience.
Back when the studio began, owner Amy Robinson brainstormed for an appropriate name. She noticed the studio’s variety of teachers. Each taught with a distinctive style, but were united in the practice of book-ending yoga sessions with three powerful oms. That unification is threaded throughout the studio. Robinson explained how people express feeling an inclusiveness within the studio, giving way to a strong sense of community. That sense of community is palpable walking through the studio before a class: hellos fill the air while some students pick out mats, others hang up coats and remove shoes. It’s a place people want to be. The increasing class sizes set the course for a larger space.
During the 1970s, a Nordstrom Rack occupied 1319 Cornwall Avenue. After it closed, the building remained vacant for a number of years. Wanting a larger space and fulfilling a calling to breathe life into old Bellingham buildings, 3 Oms Yoga bought the space.
Pull open the unassuming glass doors and walk up the stairs, transitioning from reality into tranquility. The refinished oak floors reflect the sunlight from the skylight. The owners retained the original stained glass windows, which add a nice soft light to the room. For social butterflies, an area lined with colorful pillows acts as social center before class. Quieter yogis may prefer the temporary refuge of the separate meditation room.
In creating the new space, earth-friendly materials were a must. Robinson worked with Ashley and Vance Engineering and Chuckanut Builders to incorporate Energy Star choices, non-VOC paint, and a filtered water fountain into the design. The completely recycled reception desk is topped with wood reclaimed from the floor of a bowling alley, while a custom made Chakra series, created by local artist Cory Pitman, lines the wall. A centrally located preparation space features open cubbies, lockers, two showers, two changing rooms, and a bright pink orchid.
More than 35 types of classes are held in two large rooms. The larger of the two, the Moon Studio, accommodates 40–65 students while the smaller, aptly named Sun Studio fits 30–40 students ready for heated sessions. Finally, Veritas Massage, owned by Traci Soriano, is set up in the back rooms with five certified therapists. Theoretically, a student can take an excellent yoga class, have a relaxing massage, then shower before stepping back into a busy day.
Now is the time to visit this transformative space. Street parking and parkade spaces are abundant, and bike racks are also plentiful. Class rates and memberships are flexible enough for any schedule, and drop-ins are always welcome.
Yogis attest to physical, emotional, and mental transformations as a result of their practice. 3 Oms Yoga has not only transformed the lives of their community members, but also a building awaiting a fresh breath of life.
Photos | Courtesy Of Damian Vines Photography