How One Down Dog is Transforming the Yoga Industry for the Better

PHOTOS VIA ONE DOWN DOG, WORDS BY CARA BEST

Of all the trends coming about in 2017, wellness is the one we're most excited to get behind. For years there's been a quiet shifting within the fashion and beauty industries. The focus is moving away from weight loss tips towards strength exercises, from makeup tutorials to supplement guides. In our own community we've seen a surge in unique active wear brands joining the Brand Assembly family. After witnessing the growth of the wellness industry firsthand, we decided to dedicate the second issue of The Assemblist - our blog's print extension - to this rapidly expanding sector.

In celebration of this second installment of our magazine, all month long we're bringing you interviews with health conscious buyers and brands, how to's to help you feel your best and guides with where to get your wellness on in various cities! First up we have an interview with Jessica Rosen, Founder of One Down Dog, the community focused yoga atelier rethinking the traditional studio model.

Can you tell us a bit about how One Down Dog began?

One Down Dog came to be when I was looking for a yoga community in Los Angeles. After moving from Detroit and feeling so connected to my crew there, the struggle to find that connection in this big city is what eventually led to the creation of One Down Dog. We started small with a few classes in a shared studio space, but it quickly became apparent that the east side of LA craved the same community I was looking for. So, we grew together. Most of the people who attended our classes when the studio first opened still attend class today.

Community is a huge part of One Down Dog’s mission, how did you build the strong community you have now? How do you maintain that community and keep people engaged with your business?

The way we built the ODD fam is by staying consistent - we always show up for each other. The vibe at One Down Dog is open, accepting and FUN! We dance in class to killer playlists, but we also offer the space to be quiet. We host challenges, workshops, and other unique experiences to keep the community engaged. We KNOW our students - our teachers, our staff. We're all a big yoga family.

Where did the interest in the familial aspect of yoga come from? Do you find that family and yoga intersect in your own life?

Definitely! I started practicing yoga because my parents convinced me to get on my mat during a super stressful time in my life while getting my master’s degree. Yoga is all about connection - it all intersects. I consider my yoga crew to be my chosen family and my biological family is very much a part of my yoga practice too. I got pregnant - with my now one-and-a-half-year-old - when we were opening up our second location in Eagle Rock. With the birth of Max came a deeper connection to family offerings within the studio. We started offering prenatal classes, then added BABY&ME, then kids’ yoga, family yoga workshops and soon we'll have the occasional childcare offerings on site. It is our goal to ensure that everyone has a place to practice yoga and feel connected.

The wellness industry seems to be growing inward with more businesses acting as ‘one stop shops’ for everything from classes to products to food. How can yoga studios and other wellness focused businesses adapt to this change without losing sight of their core mission?

If the core mission is to bring people together, then adding all of those things just enhances that. One thing we work hard at is ensuring that each addition reflects our core values and integrity. We have a full retail store in both of our studios. We work hard to ensure that most of the brands we carry are from California and we try to support other small businesses as best we can by carrying their brands. Choosing other companies that align with our vision doesn't take away from our mission to build community, it adds to it!  

What advice can you give others looking to create a unique space in the yoga and wellness community?

Identify your why. Be clear on why you're doing what you're doing, what makes you unique, why people would want what you have and then stay true to that. Know that things start small and that you are going to have to work your ass off to grow your business. Never stop hustling! Keep showing up, keep sharing your message, stay involved and present and ENJOY. You started a wellness community, after all. BE WELL!