Rama Lotus Yoga Centre’s Story
The Rama Lotus Yoga Centre was founded in 1994 in Ottawa, Canada by Robert Hay. It was the first of its kind in Ottawa, as Robert followed his vision of opening a centre devoted solely to Yoga. The small centre began with a handful of Kundalini yoga classes offered each week, and a warm and vibrant community! It moved to Somerset Street and became the first in Ottawa to offer heated yoga classes. Along with Kundalini and Hatha yoga, new classes in Bikram yoga and Power Yoga became very popular. In 1999 we introduced Yoga Teacher Training programs. We are proud to have trained hundreds of yoga teachers since that time, many who experienced profound transformation and some who even went on to open up their own studios in Ottawa and other parts of Canada.
We eventually outgrew our little location on Somerset St. On May 1, 2000 the doors were opened at our new location at 342 Gladstone Ave. With this move Rama Lotus had expanded to 3 yoga studios, a dedicated boutique space and was offering Reiki and other healing modalities. By 2006 another space in the building became available and a 4th yoga room was added. Momentum was moving forward and the 5th room was introduced in 2009. At this time Rama Lotus was offering over 115 classes each week out of its 1 location, operating with close to 10,000 sq ft of space.
After fulfilling his vision for the centre, Robert decided to focus his energy and expertise on a new Yoga resource for the Ottawa community – the creation of an outdoor Yoga retreat called the Yoga Garden Retreat Centre www.yogagarden.ca.
In May 2008, Tara Cartland became the new owner and director of The Rama Lotus Yoga Centre. A certified yoga instructor, long time yogi, and a Manager of the centre since January 2002, Tara’s transition to this new role was a smooth and natural next step for the Rama Lotus. Tara’s husband Abe joined the business soon after, and they now oversee operations together, aided by a group of fabulous people.
It is our philosophy that yoga is for everybody. If you can breath you can do yoga. It does not matter how young or old you think you are; how bendy or inflexible, how big or small, or how financially well off you are. We are here to serve everyone, and invite you to become part of our community!
Rama Lotus’ instructors are among the best and most respected in Ottawa. All of our teachers are professionally certified, and have a true love for the yogic experience and way of life. They have been chosen for their ability to create a great experience for students. They are compassionate and caring individuals who are eager to share their vitality with others. Our teachers honour and respect each student on their own individual path and encourage a non-competitive environment, where students come to accept and embrace where they are (both on and off the mat).
We are located in the heart of downtown Ottawa at 342 Gladstone Avenue, between Bank and O’Connor, and are very accessible by car, bus, bike or feet! There is ample street parking all around our building.
The Rama Lotus Yoga Centre has been providing yoga classes in a welcoming environment for over 20 years. We offer over 100 weekly on-going, drop-in classes to choose from in many different styles and levels of yoga, including Ashtanga, Beginner, Bikram, Hatha, Hot, Kundalini, Prenatal, Partner, Power, Yin, Yoga with Baby, and more. Classes are open so that students of all levels of experience may attend. Qualified teachers ensure enough direction for beginner students and enough challenge for advanced students. Classes are ongoing so that students can participate in any of the classes offered at anytime! Ongoing classes are very supportive to many people who require flexibility due to their hectic schedule.
There are 4 spacious yoga studios in our location, including 5 change rooms (two with showers) for your comfort. Before or after class enjoy relaxing in our community lounge, where we serve complimentary tea and offer a ‘take a book – leave a book’ library of yogic and spiritual books. Since 1999, we have certified hundreds of students in our Hatha, Kundalini, Children and Yin Yoga Teacher Training Programs. To complement your yoga practice we also host weekly workshops with Canadian and International instructors and provide Ottawa’s most established and complete yoga boutique. Our boutique is for yogis by yogis! It offers a full line of yoga accessories, several lines of yoga clothing, related books, DVDs, CDs, meditation props, snacks, jewelry and many other lifestyle items. If we don’t have it, we would be happy to order it for you. Whatever your yoga needs, we are here to serve and support you. We offer yoga with the intention of uplifting the global community. We invite you to become a part of the Rama Lotus Yoga Centre!