We sat down with Yoga Salt’s Founder and lead instructor, Tamal Dodge to ask him about what makes his studio special.
HOW/WHY WAS YOGA SALT FOUNDED? AND WHEN?
I have always wanted to share the yoga lifestyle with the masses and my goal is to keep expanding that vision with the more opportunities and platforms I am given. In 2014 was in an influx of teaching yoga at various studios and didn't really know where to go next. I was presented a humble space on Lincoln Blvd in Marina Del Rey CA and after talking it over with my wife we created Yoga Salt. Eventually we grew out of that space and opened up in Culver City CA on Washington Blvd where our Los Angeles location is to this day. We have spread our wings in 2018 to the east coast where our new 4,000 square foot 2nd Yoga Salt is situated. This incredible yoga space is in Wilmington NC, a beautiful coastal town nestled in the charming downtown. I was born and raised in a very spiritual setting around a family that lived a life of yoga. Our home was an ashram (spiritual center) as we had 20 + people from around the world living with us at most times learning yoga meditation from my father. This introduction to higher thinking inspired me to share it generously and fuels my desire to do so continually.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR STUDIOS SPACES AND THE ENERGY THEY BRING TO YOUR STUDENTS?
Our studio is built off our amazing instructors and staff. All of our classes are strong vinyasa flow with a couple yin classes to balance the schedule out. You can expect a friendly atmosphere with dynamic, anatomical intelligent instruction filled with challenging moments infused with humor and light. Each Yoga Salt studio is bright, airy and grounded with a deeper undertone of spirituality. We’re why we have such a good client retention rate and I feel it's because our teachers are top notch and truly wonderful people. They are genuine!
YOU RECENTLY OPENED UP A STUDIO 3000 MILES AWAY FROM THE ORIGINAL, WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO DO THAT AND HOW HAS IT BEEN?
I have been traveling all over the world and across America teaching workshops, trainings and retreats.
There are so many places that are beautiful and carry their own special magic. Wilmington North Carolina is a very special coastal city that I feel is a secret gem hiding out on the east coast. People are friendly, the weather is incredible, the beaches are amazing and yoga is really picking up. The first time I came to Wilmington was 10 years ago to teach a workshop. I always said that I could see myself living there and now I am.
YOU RECENTLY WROTE A VEGAN COOKBOOK CALLED THE YOGA PLATE, WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO DO THIS?
I have been eating plant based food my whole life and I have never eaten meat, fish or eggs since utero.
I grew up in a family where my mother was a professional chef and she instilled in me a passion for cooking.
When I met my wife Victoria I showed her the basics of cooking and she ran with it and is now a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen. We love sharing all aspects of yoga with people and the diet portion of this ancient philosophy is usually overlooked. After years of doing workshops and seminars on plant food and its correlation to yoga we set out to do a book. Our publisher Sounds True has been so amazing in there openness and willingness to share this knowledge with the world and give us the pulpit to stand on and sing the gospel of healthy eating. The Yoga Plate is 108 delicious plant based recipes infused with spiritual lifestyle information in accordance with the yoga system.
“AHAM BRAHMASMI – I AM SPIRIT” IS POSTED IN BOTH YOUR STUDIO SPACES, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU?
"Aham Brahmasmi" doesn't really have a personal translation or interpretation as in yoga they tell you to directly translate and not put your own touch on its philosophy. It literally means "I am spirit" which means I am not this temporary material body. I am a soul inhabiting this body. I the "soul" give this body life. This is basic yogic principle that is a baseline for understanding yoga philosophy. If we live a life with this deeper understanding we will treat the world and others with a healthier and more respectful approach.