Santosa celebrates a year of living serenely
It was only 12 months ago that the Santosa Yoga Studio at 21 Albert Street opened its doors, yet it is already firmly established as part of the vibrant community.
Santosa, with its beautiful yoga studio, café, therapy rooms and shop, was the realisation of a dream for founder Janis Binnie.
Janis said: “This year’s been incredible. I’ve been amazed by how alive the sense of community is in Leith.
“Many local groups regularly meet in the Café and so many of our regular customers, who live close by, share their lives with us that they feel like family.”
And that caring feeling extends to the business community too. Janis has been delighted by the welcome other traders have given her too.
“Walker Woodstock, our near neighbours, have offered to donate the timber needed for our raised vegetable beds enabling us to start growing our own salad and herbs in-house,” added Janis.
And they will feature on the menu at the café that is the heart of Santosa’s bustling upstairs space. Healthy treats include Mr Grumpy’s vegan Kuku and Laurianne’s Raw Cakes. Of course, there are indulgent cakes hand made by Grace & Co too.
Downstairs in the Sanctuary there is a calm and healing atmosphere where the classes, therapies, retreats and group sessions take place.
They are led by a team of talented people who meet a wide range of needs. Janis said: “Team Santosa is awesome - loyal, dedicated, supportive and with a fantastic sense of humour.”
The Sanctuary therapists recently hosted a holistic treatment day in support of Maggie’s Centre Edinburgh clients that was such a success, it’s now a regular event.
While Santosa has established its own rhythms and routines, Janis has come to expect the unexpected too.
She said: “We never know what the day has in store, with so many different classes running in the studio, each teacher brings their own unique group of people. Our customers are such a wonderful diverse group from each and every walk of life.
“There have also been some memorable moments too. Such as the 30 restaurant chairs that literally (but legally) fell off the back of a lorry right outside the shop. We think of Albert Street as ‘the street that just keeps giving!’.”
But Janis and the team at Santosa give back as much as they get too. To mark the anniversary, they have launched a crowd funding campaign to help raise the funds to install a stair-lift so the regular customers who are wheelchair users can access the Sanctuary.