When Monticello native Ben Newsome saw the former Good Karma yoga studio building at 361 S. Wayne St. for sale, he knew he was interested in purchasing it.
Newsome owns various properties around Middle Georgia, so this building seemed like another good acquisition for him, but he wasn’t certain what he wanted to do with it. It was in talking to residents that he realized that there was a big push to reopen the space as a yoga studio.
“So many people hoped it would stay open,” Newsome said of the space. “They didn’t want to see it go away.”
Newsome bought the property in mid-June, and by Aug. 1, it was reopened as Roots Yoga and Event Space. Newsome made some minor upgrades, including adding mirrors to one of the large walls in the studio, some new paint and some improvements to the restroom. The focus, however, was on getting the yoga studio reopened as soon as possible.
“I wanted to get it open as quickly as I could to try to get a lot of those people [Good Karma’s clients] back,” said Newsome.
To welcome those clients back to the studio upon opening, Newsome held a meet and greet event at Roots while he was in town recently.
“After having the meet and greet and meeting with a lot of local people that were going there and people that were just involved with the community, it’s just really reinforced the idea to me that this place was a special place for a lot of people.”
The studio employs four yoga instructors and offers 16 classes per week in dance fitness and Buti, Hatha, vinyasa, aerial and hot yoga. Newsome, though new to the yoga business himself, acknowledges its broad appeal.
“Yoga’s more and more popular these days, not just with young people, but with elderly people too, or people who have other physical ailments that yoga can definitely help with.”
People interested in attending classes can register on the Roots website. Class offerings are listed with descriptions and guidance is provided as to which classes are best suited to various ability levels. Yoga mats, bricks and straps are available for use free of charge, but students may bring their own equipment if they prefer.
Different pricing options are available for interested clients. Monthly membership for unlimited classes is $60, while single drop-in classes cost $18 each. Another option is the 10-pack of classes for $150. Discount rates for all packages are available for students, seniors, military and K-12 teachers at $50, $15 and $125, respectively.
Another aspect of the business Newsome hopes to cultivate is the use of the 2,000-square-foot building as an event space.
“It’s a really nice space. It’d be easy to use it for small events: shows, wedding receptions, graduation events or parties,” said Newsome.
While Newsome resides in Oakland, Calif., he has a team of local family and friends helping him run the day-to-day aspects of the business. His brother, Patrick, handles a lot of Newsome’s local property management in the area, and Patrick’s girlfriend, Alejandra Cadavid, runs the on-site operations and social media presence for Roots. Sister-in-law Natalie Newsome runs her own art shop in downtown Sandersville. Newsome will look to her to develop the rental and use of the event space at Roots.
Newsome’s interest in property ownership in the area can be credited to the influence of his parents, both of whom have spent their lives engaging in the local community in various ways. This influence has inspired Newsome to find ways to continue to help the area grow and develop.
“Milledgeville’s grown so much in the past decade. It’s really cool to see. I feel like Milledgeville has picked up a lot of that Athens vibe.”
By opening Roots Yoga and Event Space, Newsome hopes to further add to the eclectic feel of downtown Milledgeville.
Newsome added, “I’m excited to see Milledgeville thrive, and I want to be a part of that.”