Many business owners claim to be making a big investment to give something back to the community when their real intent is simply to make money. When the owners of True Nature Healing Arts say they wanted to provide something special for Carbondale, it rings true.
Eaden and Deva Shantay have made a multimillion dollar investment in their yoga studio and tea room at 100 N. Third St. They imported antique furniture, elaborate wooden posts, doorways and lights from Kashmir, Afghanistan, India and Morocco. The interior design by Michelle Lowe, of Carbondale, stops many observers in their tracks when they enter the building.
“There’s no way we’re going to make back what we put in,” Eaden acknowledged. The goal, he said, is to make True Nature operationally sustainable.
They have been focused for so long on expanding their business and creating the kind of place they think Roaring Fork Valley residents desire that they are eager to finally settle in and make it all work.
“We are creators,” Deva said. “We have been in this creative (whirlwind) for a couple of years.”
True Nature had humble beginnings. Eaden had a small yoga studio on Main Street when he met Deva shortly after she arrived in Carbondale. They expanded to a larger yoga and meditation studio at the Third Street Center. It’s tough for a business to survive on yoga alone, Eaden said, so they acquired a building formerly owned by architect and former Carbondale Mayor Michael Hassig two years ago.
“We almost went by Whole Foods (at Willits Town Center in Basalt), which is a completely different energy than here,” Deva said.
They decided Carbondale was where their hearts are. “It’s a good match,” Deva said. “This town just vibrates with such high energy.”
From the time they acquired the building, they dreamed big.
“Our passion and intuition have guided our way,” Eaden said. They said they have “leaned on people” they have met in Carbondale and beyond to help them with skills and knowledge they don’t possess. Lowe brought her expertise in interior design. Architects have offered input. Consultant and planner Bob Schultz helped with a business plan.
“When you support others, they support you,” Deva said.
All of their services are oriented toward personal growth and, as the name suggests, helping customers discover the true nature of who their customers are.
They have a large yoga studio featuring beautiful woodwork that creates an almost sacred feel to the space. The new tea room offers food and drink designed to nourish the body, just as yoga and meditation nourish the soul. The tea room features seasonal, organic, loose-leaf tea and fresh, raw juices and smoothies. They also offer locally sourced foods and “decadent raw chocolates.” Everything sold in the tea room is designed to provide energy and flavor.
They have what they call a “petit spa” with specialized treatments. The last part of the puzzle is coming together this spring. The Peace Garden is being built on the northern side of the building, just off the Rio Grande Trail. They consider it a gift to Carbondale because everyone is welcome to hang out there.
The garden features a yoga spiral that accommodates 30 students. Earthen couches surround a fire circle. The 5 Elements of Reflexology Path uses stones in a variety of shapes and sizes to massage and stimulate five points on the feet that correspond to specific parts of the body.
The garden will open by summer. A grand opening will be held in September. The Shantays aim to attract cyclists and pedestrians off the Rio Grande Trail for an introduction to True Nature Healing Arts via the tea room.
True Nature already is attracting an eclectic mix of customers — exactly what the Shantays intended. “There are so many with different points of view — everything from ranchers to yogis,” Eaden said. “We’re seeing people come from Aspen to Rifle.”
“When you support others, they support you.”
Deva Shantay, True Nature Healing Arts