Making gains: Now owned by The Forum, SoFul Yoga keeps same atmosphere

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, February 26, 2020

SALISBURY — The Forum of Salisbury is “bulking up” following its purchase last year of SoFul Yoga studio.

In July, The Forum, a fitness center on South Main Street in Salisbury, purchased SoFul, on South Fulton Street, as a way to support SoFul yoga instructors by alleviating them from business pressures, said Forum co-owner Matthew Marsh.

Marsh said the Forum wants to allow the studio to maintain its autonomy, as SoFul provides more of a meditative atmosphere that’s different than yoga classes taught at The Forum or the local YMCA. Since July, the gym has made minimal changes to update the studio and add classes and instructors. As of March, 12 yoga instructors will teach 18 classes per week at SoFul.

Additionally, the studio allows the Forum to “tap into another aspect of fitness and wellness,” Marsh said.

“We wanted to play off each other while adding something totally different,” he said, adding that many Forum members have requested more yoga classes.

Senior yoga instructor Gail Poulton, who has taught yoga for more than 25 years, reassured locals that SoFul is “still doing our business of teaching yoga the same way.”

“We are what they bought,” she said, referring to the reputation, skills and experience of the instructors.

SoFul Yoga and Wellness joined the SoFul — short for South Fulton Street — neighborhood in October 2017. Since then, the studio has been involved in the community, with events such as a “Pedaling Towards Progress” Black History Month bike ride through downtown, which took place on Feb. 23. Dominique Davis led a guided meditation for the bikers at the end of the biking tour.

Last year, Poulton said, the studio proudly participated in the “49 Days of Gratitude” celebration, which took place throughout the county.

In the future, Poulton said, SoFul intends to provide donation-based classes and collect money for causes that students are passionate about.

She said the support of The Forum allows for classes to be cheaper. Though classes at SoFul will still be an additional cost of $10 per class, Marsh said both Forum and YMCA members can utilize an unlimited month pass discount of $35 per month, with a 50% off discount for first-timers.

And the purchase of the studio allows The Forum to branch out and incorporate more men and athletes, Marsh said. He credits Forum co-owner Steve Safrit for beginning the yoga program at the fitness center and said many of the male members take yoga classes at the gym.

Marsh also credited SoFul yoga instructors with being “phenomenal, upbeat and positive.”

“It’s pretty incredible that in two years, a group of yoga teachers — none of whom were doing it full-time — could build a studio and a community that was of interest to a company like The Forum,” said Emily Ford, an instructor at SoFul and former Salisbury Post reporter.

Ford also taught for three years at The Forum before joining SoFul.

“We’re continuing to build and continuing to practice yoga that’s good for the community,” Poulton said.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

About Natalie Anderson

Natalie Anderson covers the city of Salisbury, politics and more for the Salisbury Post. She joined the staff in January 2020 after graduating from Louisiana State University, where she was editor of The Reveille newspaper. Email her at natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com or call her at 704-797-4246.

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