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Natural Awakenings Atlanta

Three Yoga Studios Go Beyond the Mat

(Photo: Kevin Smith)

by Sheila Ewers

Over the last couple of years, a new trend in yoga studios has emerged. Rather than limiting themselves to traditional mat classes—which have served as the lifeblood of the yoga industry for decades—several centers around metro Atlanta have built a portfolio of services to serve a broader spectrum of wellness needs for their clients. Three studios in particular—A Mindful Movement, Meraki Mama Collective and Grey Owl Mind Body—go beyond traditional yoga classes to help build wholeness in body, mind and spirit, offering a more unified journey to complete wellness.

A Mindful Movement

In April, A Mindful Movement, located in Roswell’s Sweet Apple Village, opened under the leadership of owner Michele Colburn. Trained in Ayurveda, Kundalini yoga, meditation and more, Michele’s personal journey took her all over the world and acquainted her with a broad variety of healing modalities that she now offers at the studio.

Within 3,700 square feet, A Mindful Movement houses two yoga studios, two healing treatment rooms, space for cryotherapy, a float tank and a hyperbaric chamber. Colburn’s vision is to be a space for anyone to begin a journey of healing, free of judgement.

Monthly memberships cover an array of yoga classes from traditional hatha to world-dance-infused Buti. Other services include Ayurvedic and nutritional counseling, bodywork treatments, meditation, breathwork and family yoga events. A chiropractor, holistic psychologist and functional medicine practitioner also offer services on site. For more information about the studio, visit or email [email protected]

Meraki Mama Collective


In June 2018, studio owner Lauren Shields debuted an innovative concept. Her new studio,
Meraki Mama Collective, located at 408 Atlanta Street, Suite 155, in Roswell, offers a space to support and empower women as they transition through pregnancy to birth and into the first few postpartum months. Inspired by her own pregnancies, Lauren saw a need for safe and effective fitness training during the childbearing period as well as the value of a supportive, nurturing community for new mothers. Meraki Mama provides a vehicle for both.

The studio offers classes in pre- and postnatal flow, foundations and restorative yoga as well as classes in the Meraki Method, which fuses Pilates, yoga, aerobics and dance to build overall fitness and health.

Shields is dedicated to creating a radical shift in the way women are cared for in the fitness and wellness community. Beyond group classes, Meraki Mama offers pregnancy coaching, birth preparation classes, doula services, lactation coaching, massage therapy, Reiki and more. Babies are welcome in all classes, and postpartum women are encouraged to take breaks to breastfeed or tend to their children’s needs. Women support and encourage each other, establishing bonds to carry them through the transition to parenting, and teachers and service providers are trained to cherish the sacred and changing terrain of women’s bodies as they adapt to carrying new life. For more information about the studio, visit or email [email protected] 

Grey Owl Mind Body

Grey Owl Mind Body Studio opened in June 2017 in Johns Creek. Owner Ariella Dominguez
conceived the space as a place for practice, education, healing and community. Grey Owl offers a full schedule of traditional yoga classes like vinyasa, yin and restorative but goes beyond the tradition with aerial yoga, meditation, dance, sound journeys and Qi Gong classes. Its wellness offerings include Thai yoga bodywork and energy healing.

But what sets Grey Owl apart is its emphasis on community. The studio offers a few free events, including its ongoing 10-week book club, and active members can book time in the Zen Meditation room. The studio’s website features healthy recipes from instructors and “Teacher Tuesday” video interviews of the Grey Owl instructors. The studio aims to cultivate connection and encourages all students to feel welcomed and valued.

For more information, visit or email [email protected]

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