A Tres Bien Transformation: One of Baton Rouge’s oldest yoga centers gets a modern makeover
Nestled amongst a slew of popular local restaurants underneath the Perkins Road overpass, resides a once modest, yet newly transformed yoga studio. For the past two decades the Anahata Yoga Center served as one of the capitol city’s premier yoga destinations for beginner, intermediate, and advanced practitioners.
Not much has changed in that regard. Owner and former restaurateur, Bien Le, still employs 10 instructors to teach 24 classes each week in a newly remodeled 1000-square-foot studio. Upon purchasing the building, her original plan was to relocate Saigon, her popular Vietnamese restaurant of 10 years, to that location.
And doing so would have made sense. Many locally owned eateries have enjoyed sustained success setting up shop nearby. The understated charm of the area attracts both young and old alike, and on any given day folks flock there to sample the local flavors and take in a bit of the rustic charm.
Yet the moment Le entered into her newly acquired space, she willingly surrendered her lifelong dream of owning a restaurant and gave into her true calling as the creative mind behind the newest, chicest yoga studio and gift shop in town—Tres Bien.
“It just seemed intuitively wrong to disrupt this sense of community here,” says Le. “At that point, it wasn’t just about what I wanted; I had to consider what would become of all these loyal yogis? Where would they go? With whom would they practice? I knew I still wanted to make a change in that space, but instead of transforming it into a restaurant, I focused on maximizing the space to preserve and improve upon the existing yoga studio and adding a unique gift shop full of all the things I love.
” Simply put, Le loves design, especially when it comes to packaging and things that smell good. “If a company has taken the time and effort to conceptualize and produce a well packaged product, chances are the actual product itself is of a higher quality,” reasons Le. “Besides, good design just makes me happy.”
With that said, Le teamed up with designer Carl Palasota, whose vision for what Tres Bien should look and feel like seamlessly merged with her own ideas about the new and improved studio and retail space. The month-long renovation project included a restructure of everything in the building.
The yoga studio, which is situated in the center of the space, was outfitted with cork flooring and ambient lighting to enhance the workout experience, while the lounge and dressing area off to the right of the main entrance was designed to provide a comfortable, inviting area to relax between classes.
The jewel of the remodel was the addition of the retail boutique off to the left of the central studio. A local artist and friend designed the store displays, taking great care to consider textures, smells, colors, and patterns when setting her arrangements.
In an urban setting mostly dominated by sterile shopping malls (as has been the case with new growth in most cities since the 1920s), Tres Bien is a much-needed respite for both body and mind. Le’s creation has taken into consideration the unique ambience that is the Perkins Road overpass area, and she’s combined it with the sense of purpose her building already possessed long before she entered onto the scene. The result is a sophisticated, responsible design that the community will surely welcome with open arms.