Andrea Levy is a firm believer in karma and that you get back from life what you put into it. The owner of Lotus Loft Yoga Studio in Palm City is the first to admit that she never dreamed her life would unfold the way it has, and she wouldn’t change a thing.
After years of pain from a herniated disc in her neck, Andrea Levy thought she’d tried everything to alleviate the pain—until she practiced yoga.
“I found a small gym in the Pocono Mountains that offered yoga, but I didn’t really know much about it,” she admits. “But after the first class, I was hooked and my journey had begun.” For Levy, while practicing yoga helped her body heal and become stronger, it equally allowed her to grow emotionally, psychologically and spiritually.
“It helped me to be fully present in the moment,” Levy says. This led her to help others tap the benefits of yoga by creating the Lotus Loft Yoga & Wellness studio in Palm City.
“I never, ever thought I would be a studio owner,” she says. “Ten years ago, if you had asked me what I would be and do, I honestly do not know what I would have said. I knew I loved yoga and how it healed me and made me feel. I knew I wanted to do yoga, but I never dreamed of doing it full-time.”
Levy was on maternity leave from her job as a guidance counselor after having her son when she acquired a mini-certification in three levels of yoga. “When I went back to work, I continued teaching two or three yoga classes a week as a hobby,” she says. “After all, whether a guidance counselor or yoga instructor, I was still helping people.” But with yoga, Levy enjoyed being able to help people connect with their minds, bodies and spirituality.
In a moment of spontaneity one afternoon, Levy stopped into a chiropractor’s office in Palm City that advertised yoga, and as if by some divine or karmic plan, the opportunity to create and offer a yoga program fell into Levy’s lap.
The now mother of two quit her job as a counselor and placed her focus on creating a yoga program, which saw so much growth that she outgrew her first space. The Lotus Loft, located on the second floor above Back in Action Medical Wellness Center along SW Martin Highway is a landmark in the community, with 23 instructors who teach a variety of practices, including vinyasa yoga, barre, Pilates, Pilates barre, TRX, boot camp and much more. In fact, Lotus Loft hosts nearly 50 classes each week.
“We offer a ‘Karma Program’ for students who cannot afford membership or classes,” Levy says. Participants in the Karma Program agree to take a three- or four-hour shift each week at the studio helping clients check in, keeping the studio space immaculate and getting to know the clients in lieu of their membership fee for a six-month commitment. “I think every studio should have a similar program,” Levy says. “Yoga is wanting to give back, and money (or lack of it) should never be a reason why someone shouldn’t learn and grow and share.”
For Levy, the give and take of yoga is a lot like her approach to life itself. “I wake up every day and smile about where I am and how happy I am,” she says. “When I was a guidance counselor, I loved my job, but I knew in my heart that it was not my purpose. I was meant to do more. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but I’m so unbelievably grateful for the opportunities [that] have been placed in front of me and the supportive people who surround me. Once I took the leap of faith, I became happier because, like everyone else, I needed to listen to and heed my own driving force.”