DEARBORN, Mich. – Only a few feet from rush hour and holiday traffic along busy Michigan Avenue in west Dearborn, who would imagine that there is an entrance to an “oasis of serenity” for hundreds of yoga practitioners? Sattva Yoga, located at 22213 Michigan Avenue, is a quiet, peaceful studio that will soon approach its third year anniversary in Dearborn’s West Village Commons.
Sattva was established by in 2007 by Chuck Mallur, an engineer by training. After 11 years in the automotive industry, Chuck answered his calling to serve the local community through the ancient practice of yoga.
“The only purpose of our existence is to serve our clients and meet their individual needs,” said Mallur, who explains that the word “sattva” means clarity. Mallur added that classes at Sattva are essentially a spiritual journey with the primary focus on breathing with awareness.
All instructors at Sattva are well-trained and conscientious about addressing the individual needs of their clients. “We make it our business to know our clients, their practice, and personalize a class to meet their requirements,” said Mallur.
When a diverse group of Sattva’s yoga practitioners recently shared their personal experiences, it became readily apparent that there are no limitations to age or physical condition in the practice of yoga.
According to Dearborn resident Mary Mercatante, age 49, who visits Sattva once a week, yoga is helping her cope with scleroderma, a chronic illness that dramatically effects her breathing and skin.
“Yoga helps my flexibility and also my emotional and spiritual well-being,” said Mercatante who receives one-on-one instruction because of her medical condition. She credits Mallur with knowing her limitations and tailoring the instruction to help with her breathing. “He has such a calming effect, is very conscientious and knows how to help people.”
Kevin Dreyer, a 45 year-old software engineer, started practicing yoga at Sattva not long after the studio opened. Though he started yoga nearly seven years ago for the physical benefits of toning and exercise, Dreyer said, “I’m getting so much more out of it than I originally planned. ”
Dreyer currently practices six to seven days a week and also serves as a substitute instructor, having earned his certification at Sattva through an instructor training program.
Northville resident Nichole Gabriel, age 28 and an elementary education student at Schoolcraft College, looks beyond the 40 minute drive that she takes each way to practice yoga in Dearborn.
Gabriel, who has practiced yoga for more than a year, located Sattva through another yoga studio in Northville and was very drawn to Chuck’s instructing style.
“Yoga fills my tank and grounds me. It keeps me focused on things that really matter,” said Gabriel.
It was nearly three years ago when Dearborn resident Marlene Zerger, age 74, drove down Michigan Avenue and discovered the newly opened studio. Zerger, who was experiencing medical problems at the time, felt that she needed a ‘special needs’ class.
Now, she is also a certified instructor who practices daily. Apart from the spiritual benefits of her practice, Zerger credits yoga with making a dramatic impact on her posture.
For Margaret Green, a 44-year old web programmer, designer and instructor at Henry Ford Community College, practicing yoga is part of her daily routine. While Sattva offers different levels of classes depending on students’ abilities, Green indicated that she prefers the more rigorous classes.
“I like to push myself, and it helps calm you mentally,” said Green, who makes time for yoga despite her busy schedule as a working mom.
Harriet Greenwood, owner of a home-based business, takes advantage of a lunchtime class at least four times a week at Sattva.
“You see obvious changes in your body and mental state,” added Greenwood, who is in her 50’s. She appreciates that the studio is located close to where she lives and works. “A big part of the focus is on breathing and spiritual awareness.”
All agree that once you enter Sattva Yoga Center, you’ll experience the calm and welcoming atmosphere that set it apart from the fast-paced traffic only a few paces away.
For those who are new to yoga, Mallur suggests that they come early, talk to the instructor, share any physical problems, and be open to trying something new. He added, “It’s not a competition. It’s for all ages and levels of fitness.”
To learn more about Sattva Yoga Studio and class schedules, visit www.sattva-yoga-center.com or call 313-274-3995 on Mondays through Saturdays.