The grand opening may not be until September, but the new downstairs facilities at Carbondale’s True Nature are already open for business. Spa treatments started Wednesday morning, and the tea room has begun serving organic loose leaf tea from “The Art of Tea.”
For Deva and Eaden Shantay, it’s part of an ongoing process that started when Deva first arrived in Carbondale five years ago and True Nature was still just a yoga studio in a single room next to the Carbondale Food Co-op.
“I pulled into town, parked in front of Peppino’s, turned my head, and was like, ‘I need to go see what that place is,’” she recalled.
The duo ascribe their growth since then to their different complementary outlooks — she’s wind, he’s earth.
“When we came together it created a sort of creative tension that allowed this to manifest,” said Eaden.
The studio later occupied a space in the Third Street Center before finally obtaining a space of its own last year.
“In order to really allow our vision to flower, we needed our own space,” Eaden said.“We always dreamed of people sitting around in the lobby after yoga class and having a little bit of tea and mingling, but it never took hold there,” Deva added. “Then, when we came here and had the two floors, that’s when we realized we could have a tea house.”
For several months, yoga classes upstairs have heard the sounds of construction below. Now, the contemporary gleam of the previous tenants — an architectural firm — has been softened both inside and out.
Landscaping is under way for a patio, outdoor yoga space, reflexology path and fire circle. The centerpiece of the main room is a large, communal table, and the space also boasts an assortment of antique furniture from Morocco, Kashmir and anywhere with a tea culture. The walls host an assortment of wares, including tea pots and clothing.
“Everything’s organic here,” Deva said.
That’s not to say True Nature hasn’t made some nods to the 21st century. The community space has free Internet and plug-ins for laptops. The Shantays are working hard make it inviting for everyone.
“Yoga and yoga philosophy can be scary for a lot of people,” Eaden said, but he says it doesn’t have to be. “It’s completely nonreligious and nondogmatic,” he said. “Nothing is hidden here. It’s all about educating,” Deva added.
It’s an impressive space, and the pair are quick to credit the community with its creation.
“Eaden and I may have started the initial vision, but the vision has been caressed and has extended itself tenfold because of all the people that have helped out,” said Deva. “What we’ve tried to do is bring together the people who know each different field,” she added.
Organic tea and juice will be served 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the week, although the space will remain open until 6 p.m. On the weekends, it’s 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for both. You can get it by the cup or pot or to go. There’s a discount for bringing your own to-go container.
Eventually, they expect to offer eight to 12 different black, green and herbal teas, including some blends intended specifically for yoga.
“It’s more than just a beverage,” Deva said.
Smoothies are in the works, and some other raw dishes may follow.
The Ayurvedic Spa is available by appointment through True Nature’s website, www.truenatureheals.com. Although the yoga studio is nonprofit, the spa, tea room, and retail items are privately funded by the pair.
“This is our passion, but it’s also our service,” Eaden said.