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Case Study - Circle Yoga

Circle Yoga, LLC
2010 Mayor's Environmental Excellence Award Winner:
Outstanding Achievement by a Small Business


Circle Yoga is a community-based yoga studio in the District with a mission to bring stress reduction to as many adults, children, and families as possible, and to do so within the context of environmental excellence. Circle Yoga was founded in 2003, at which time the company purchased a 1950’s-era building that had been in dangerous disrepair for many years, keeping the original structure and renovating in a way that improved the environment and the neighborhood.  All of Circle Yoga’s employees are 100% dedicated to improving the environment inside and outside of Circle Yoga, because their work is based on a spiritual commitment to the earth and all beings.

When renovating and maintaining the building, Circle Yoga focused on creating a space that is pleasing and relaxing to students and neighbors, free from unhealthy elements, and non-toxic to the environment.  They replaced all of the existing casement windows and doors with insulated Low-E casement units, repainted using non-toxic Low VOC paint, and are currently in the process of converting the entire building to solar power.  The building’s frontage was beautified with glass doors, sidelights, planters, and metal panels. A beautiful public-access Zen garden was added, using drought-resistant plantings and a sun trellis was created on the west side of the building to control temperature and enhance the look of the building.

Circle Yoga discourages the use of bottled water by providing a filtered water cooler where our students can fill their own bottles with freshly filtered tap water. They offer only biodegradable cups, and only upon request.

The studio encourages their employees, visitors, and students to take public transportation whenever possible - many students and employees commute to the studio by foot or bicycle.  All graphics are printed on recycled paper, and all schedules and brochures are printed at Ecoprint on 100% recycled paper using non-toxic inks.  Circle Yoga’s cleaning service only uses natural products, including all bio-degradable garbage bags.  The studio’s bathrooms use only cloth hand towels to reduce paper waste.  Employees use refurbished computers, rather than buying new.  Additionally, Circle Yoga’s shop features many eco-friendly products, including bamboo yoga blocks, bamboo and organic clothing, eco-friendly yoga mats, and shopping bags are all made from recycled paper.  Nearly all of paper products are made from recycled paper, including toilet tissue and facial tissues, folder, and binders.  Circle Yoga communicates mostly through email, including providing a monthly e-newsletter in order to save energy.  They use high-efficiency washer and dryer for cleaning mats and towels and aim for zero waste, providing separate cans for paper, plastic, aluminum, using reuse copier paper as much as possible.

Circle Yoga Green Team (left to right)
Anne Kennedy, Linda Feldman, Annie Mahon, and Gayle Hager
(not pictured) Karen Soltes