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Devi Yoga is a story of slow and constant growth: planting a seed and patiently watching it grow in time. In 2002, Nicole Perkins founded the yoga studio in a small two-room location in downtown Menlo Park, just north of bustling downtown Palo Alto. Her intention was to create a space that would embody nurturing, dynamic, powerful and gentle qualities that honor the harmony of nature in one’s yoga practice. This is the essence of the word Devi, and thus the name of her studio.
Three years after its founding, Devi Yoga expanded to a new, much larger home in Menlo Park, with hardwood floors and high ceilings. Located along busy El Camino Real, the new space is easily accessible to folks in Menlo Park as well as the surrounding Peninsula towns of Redwood City, Atherton, Palo Alto and Woodside.
Perkins selects teachers that have been both formally trained in a minimum 200-hour certified teacher training and have developed a meditation practice. True to Perkins’ intention, it’s apparent the studio holds steadfast in adhering to a nurturing and supportive backdrop. One is welcome at Devi Yoga no matter what one’s level of yoga practice happens to be. The studio offers 34 classes to choose from each week, the most popular of which are the beginner classes and Yin/Vinyasa (a combination of soft Vinyasa and passive poses).
Being seven months pregnant, I decided to attend Nicole Montague’s prenatal yoga class. The class felt just like I would imagine being back in the womb would feel: warm, supportive and in complete honor of the limitations that may be present when one’s body is changing. Interestingly, prior to being pregnant, I felt the same way about the classes I’ve attended at the studio.
Most of the classes offered at Devi Yoga bring the element of flow, from Vinyasa to Anusara to Yin (a blend of Chinese meridian theory and traditional yoga wisdom taught as an active meditation practice). This underlying element of flow, like a river, is a big part of the reason the classes and studio run so well. One feels it from the moment one enters the door. There is total ease of flow and movement, promoting awareness and the ability to be with oneself. The environment of the studio is one of comfort and gentleness. I left Nicole Montague’s class and the studio feeling like a devi (goddess) in the full sense and eager to return to the studio for more classes.
A small boutique offers quite a fine selection of yoga clothes, as well as informative books, scented candles and other items that support yoga and meditation practices. Nothing is in excess, and each item is meaningfully chosen, wrapping one in yoga contemplation regardless of whether you purchase something or not.
Throughout the year, the studio brings in a conservative number of workshops and events, purposefully selected to bring quality and balance to the owner and the community.
As founder and owner, Perkins enjoys making a contribution to the community through her yoga studio, and witnessing how yoga has positively affected students’ lives. “Being able to share a practice and a way of being that has so enhanced my quality of life has been one of the most joyful aspects of running this studio,” she says. “Yoga has helped me navigate the obstacles and challenges of life and stay connected with my truth and essence. I love sharing this awareness with others. I love my work and feel invigorated and fulfilled at the end of most days.”
Devi Yoga is a divine treasure on the San Francisco Peninsula that can assist in tapping into the patience and compassion within oneself. Meeting you wherever you are on your upward spiral of life growth, Devi Yoga offers students on the Peninsula an excellent place to learn and practice yoga.