On the far side of N. LBJ Drive sits a new orange-colored yoga studio. The space smells of burning incense, and is filled with barefoot people stretching their bodies in all directions.
This shop is where Jason Lobo, co-owner of Namarupa Yoga, teaches and practices yoga alongside his wife and other teachers.
When Lobo took his first yoga class, he was impressed with the instructor’s ability to help him do things with his body he did not think was possible. He has practiced yoga ever since and started teaching 11 years ago.
“I started practicing and it was fun and I fell in love,” Lobo said. “It gave me a lot of sanity and stress relief and an ability to handle life much more easily with a sense of stability and empowerment.”
Namarupa Yoga opened its doors in May and is unique from other yoga studios in San Marcos as it offers a donation based payment system allowing yoga practicians to pay what they are able to afford.
Lobo said this model of payment was very important to him, especially being near a university where students might not have the resources available to pay for high-cost yoga classes.
“We wanted to make it accessible so if you’re stressed out and you only have five bucks, you can still come take a class,” Lobo said. “We didn’t want to leave anybody out because of accessibility.”
Yoga also has a heavy community aspect, especially in the small-town mindset of San Marcos. Namarupa Yoga operators plan to be more than just a studio and are looking into getting involved with the community through their practice.
They have been reaching out by hosting local bands at the studio, talking with the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District and visiting residence halls at Texas State to get the community more involved through yoga.
“My vision of the place has always been more than just a yoga studio,” Lobo said. “But someplace that is a community hub and a place where people can come to have conversation, with the body, with the heart, with the mind and with the world.”
Yoga performed well provides many benefits including better circulation, stress relief, an improved metabolism and an increase in sleep quality.
Shannon Barthelemy, microbiology senior, said she frequently practices yoga and enjoys the benefits as well as the community aspect.
“It’s better than medicine, in my opinion,” Barthelemy said. “Each practice is unique to each person, so there’s not this stress of being a bad yogi or a beginner. The community is very welcoming.”
However, according to Taylor Lobo, co-owner of Namarupa and yoga instructor, these are the side effects of practicing yoga well. The overall message of yoga is not just focusing on this aspect. It provides practices’ with the ability to connect with themselves and becoming more capable of dealing with the world.
“The practice itself will destress you, but were not kind of giving the message of disconnecting,” Taylor Lobo said.
Namarupa Yoga will continue to serve as a yoga studio for mental and physical healing, but will also be a social hub for the San Marcos community.