If your body is a temple and it’s a fixer-upper, “Namaste Brothers” Erick and Collin Thuss may be just the renovation team you need.
The two Pennsylvania-born brothers, who look like twins despite a four-year age gap, opened Westside Yoga Studio in Sebastopol in 2008. Erick, at 39 the elder, arrived in California 20 years ago and, inspired by a book about the Indian sage Ramana Maharshi, began to practice yoga. Collin followed Erick west and eventually also delved into the discipline.
“The only way I would fully commit my life to yoga would be to tie the anchor of the studio to my ankle and jump off the pier,” Erick said. “So Collin and I started it on a wing and a prayer, with no plan except to cut directly against pop-culture yoga and give people a place to come that was born of a desire to uphold at least scraps of the depth we were shown by our teachers and the tradition of classical yoga.”
So instead of chasing the perfect “yoga butt,” students at Westside Yoga learn traditional forms that stem from the 20th-century Indian guru Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, called by many “the father of modern yoga.” While practice does produce physical benefits, including strength, flexibility and balance, students are also exposed to the more subtle, spiritual aspects of yoga, gaining clarity, focus and a shift in perspective.
The studio attracts more than 1,000 regular students to its cozy space, with its radiant-heated floors, warm decor and a multitude of props. They say there’s a growing demand for traditional yoga in Sonoma, so the Namaste Brothers are looking for a larger studio in Santa Rosa.
Westside Yoga Studio, 7385 Healdsburg Ave., Suite 102, Sebastopol,