When first walking into Scholé Yoga you might question if you’re in the right place. The lack of bright lights and reception desk set the tone for a one of a kind yoga practice. Once your eyes adjust to the lack of florescent lights in this solar powered studio you will be warmly welcomed by the amazing staff or founder, Micah Scholes. I was fortunate enough to sit down with Micah in his Salt Lake City studio and try to pinpoint just what made Scholé Yoga so personal and unique.
NT: How was Scholé Yoga founded and when?
MS: Scholé was founded out of necessity in 2014. At that point, I had been studying and training with many of the world’s top teachers in a variety of disciplines for many years as well as teaching around the world myself. I was hungry for knowledge and, frankly, quite naive. Every time I found a powerful new style or teacher I thought, “Oh, this is the way”—but it never was. They all had a piece of something great, but nobody was putting all the pieces together into a single compelling experience. Some people had great music, others had great sequencing. Some had great alignment and an empowering way—but no one had what I’d call the full package of possibility. So that’s what we do at Scholé: we combine the best of all the other styles of yoga as well as other systems of movement (such as contemporary dance, pilates, and martial arts) into a single potent experience that guarantees growth.
NT: What personal philosophy shaped your approach to the Scholé Yoga culture?
MS: Scholé is an ancient word for “spare moment” or “leisure." Pronounced “skoh-LAY”, it means leisure in the classical sense, which is the time that one does not fill with distraction. In ancient Greece, if you were fortunate enough to have scholé, you had an obligation to use that time to pursue personal growth and discovery in ways that would improve yourself and therefore your community. This could be done in any number of ways, ranging from study to exercise and beyond. In other words, Scholé is less about what you do and more about why you do it.
NT: When walking into Scholé Yoga, it immediately has a different feel than most studios. What prompted you to forgo the typical front desk experience that is common in most studios?
MS: We refuse to have a transactional relationship with our community. Instead, we created a place where everyone could come together without it feeling like a business. We didn’t want anyone to ever stand in line or sit at a cash register—instead, we wanted to find a way for one and all to enjoy each other’s company without hierarchy or dogma. That’s why we’re the world’s only self-serve, solar-powered, paperless yoga studio. Speaking frankly, hot yoga is not very environmentally mindful, so running on solar power was a non-negotiable for us from an ethical standpoint.
NT: What are some other key elements of your studio that you feel enhance the practice of your students?
MS: Scholé Yoga is headquartered in downtown Salt Lake City (824 S 400 W) in a state-of-the-art studio—a solar-powered, eco-conscious facility with an incredibly unique and sophisticated design. Think “yoga studio on the starship Enterprise”. It features a twenty-speaker custom sound system paired with a full DJ booth and hundreds of LED lights to create an audio/visual experience that changes in real-time with the energy of the room—creating an environment unlike anything else. Seven separate heating, cooling, and humidification systems paired with smart thermostats and wireless sensors closely monitor and maintain ideal practice conditions at all times, and high-quality essential oils are diffused at various points to engage with your senses in unique ways during each experience.
NT: Is there anything else about your journey that you want to share with our readers?
MS: The most important thing we’d want anyone to know about Scholé is that we don’t think we have the one right way or the best style of yoga—in fact, we don’t feel like anybody does. What we do believe is that, given the appropriate environment and passionate unconditional support, everyone can find the right way forward for themselves by becoming their own best teacher. We think there are as many paths to truth as stars in the sky, so the work that we’re doing is constantly growing and changing based on scientific research, advancements in alternative medicine, and the needs of our community. Speaking of which, we just launched Scholé CONNECT—our brand new app that allows you to experience our work from anywhere in the world. Check it out on iOS and Android and let us know what you think!
Written by: Naomi Tsuji