Yoga is not new to Columbia City (the neighborhood already has two such businesses), and the gentrification of this racially diverse part of Seattle is quite honestly old news. A PCC Market is soon to open in the neighborhood's core, there are several fancy apartment projects in the surrounding area, and the community will have a raw bar when the construction of the seafood restaurant Salted Sea is completed.
So, what is interesting about Tiger Lily Yoga, which plans to service the needs of the diverse community (their website promises "LGBTQ Yogis," "Yogis of color," "Yogis with a lil extra badunk-a-dunk") when it opens its doors on the first day of next month?
It replaced Believe in One Body JC, a black American business that once provided Christian-themed street gear to young people who wanted to be faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ and hip at the same time. The fashion critic Marti Jonjak described the clothes JC sold as having...
Christian messages, and while some are direct, such as the graphic-print silver cross embellishing a plain black hoodie ($25), others are far livelier: "Getcha Praise On".... Another shirt's graphic resembles an academic emblem, with its symmetry and regal swirling, and the banner says "PYMP Style" in Old-English font (it stands for "People You Must Pray").
That religious enterprise, which is very American and very black, will be replaced by one that's about, among other things, "chanting (calming practice), pranayama (breathing practice), meditation (mental practice)." The new studio will also offer training in a Hindu medicine tradition called Ayurveda. Yoga is for a class of people who tend to be spiritual and not religious. As Columbia City gentrifies, it is becoming more spiritual.