In October 2018, I was getting ready to head out to teach 26&2 (formerly known as Bikram Yoga) at Hot 8 Yoga, Santa Monica. Upon picking up my yoga bag to carry necessary things; water, dry clothes, a towel, etc. To my own surprise, I discovered numerous single-use plastic bags discarded on the floor of my closet.
Quite frankly, I was shocked, not only by the pile of plastic bags I had subconsciously stored but also by the realization of where they had come from. Hot 8 yoga, like most other hot yoga studios, provide single-use plastic bags to the student for carrying wet and sweaty yoga clothes home. The plastic bags serve the students once, and then they end up as clutter.
The discovery confronted me with how I was impacting the environment negatively and the collective impact of the hot yoga industry. Plastic bags do not biodegrade.
The epiphany was profound; it left me feeling compelled to do something. To find a reusable, sustainable alternative for me and to inspire fellow teachers and students to do the same.
The conviction persisted to the point that, that very night, I ordered a wet bag online. After a few days, when the wet bag arrived, I was not very pleased. The bag’s quality was average at best, and the make was as generic as it came. There was no sense of personalization, no trace of style and appeal. I realized that the concept of a wet yoga bag was either unheard of or completely ignored.
I then decided to leap against the uncertainty, financial concerns, and flat-out fear of the unknown. With my unwavering determination to solve this plastic bag problem, to inspire change, and an immense desire to offer something different and better, I founded Souleva.
In line with our brand purpose, I derived our name from the French word ‘soulever,’ which means raise, lift elevate, etc. Souleva, as a name in itself, fulfills my desire to make a difference in the hot yoga industry. And as a spiritual seeker, I wish to soothe people of life’s daily trials with inspirational messages as symbolic friendly reminders.
As we evolve, one truth that will run in our DNA; is to offer thoughtfully designed products that hold beauty on the surface and true-to-purpose function within.
The process of building Souleva was as enjoyable as it was dear to me. From its inception to selecting fabrics with Bella, my step-sister, to designing the prototype to finding a factory, I have nurtured it as much as it has nurtured me.
I am left believing that when you want something, the entire universe conspires in helping you achieve it (The Alchemist).
I hope you make us part of your journey or find something here that you didn’t even know you are looking for.