Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Noise from Workshop and Edmund's Oast Brewing Co. reason for Reverb Studios' closing

Studio interrupted

Posted by Connelly Hardaway on Tue, Jan 2, 2018 at 12:03 PM

click to enlarge RUTA ELVIKYTE
  • Ruta Elvikyte
Yesterday Reverb Studios announced that it would be closing up shop on January 31 due to noise from Workshop and Edmund's Oast. In a blog post titled The Yoga of Detachment, Reverb founder Ashley Bell writes:
Sadly, Reverb will close its doors on January 31st, 2018. Over the last nine months, I have enjoyed connecting with each and every one of you as a part of my mission to bring a new concept in yoga and wellness to Charleston. However, we have encountered several major barriers to growth that are preventing the business from continuing operation. The chief issue is the lack of sound insulation in our main studio. As our wonderful neighbors at Workshop and Edmund’s Oast Brewery continue to attract guests in ever-larger numbers, the tranquility in our space will be compromised. While we certainly believe that peace comes from within, noise levels upwards of 90 decibels inside the practice space are not conducive to conducting classes. We wish our neighbors nothing but the best of luck in their growth and will miss being a part of the Pacific Box & Crate community.
In the blog, Bell cites a lack of sound insulation in Reverb Studios' main studio as the primary reason for closing, noting that as guests continue to visit Workshop and Edmund's Oast Brewery, the tranquility in Reverb will be compromised.

When we talked to Bell this morning she assured us that there is "no ill will" between herself and the other occupants of Pacific Box & Crate, but that she simply did not anticipate how noise would sound in Reverb's main studio, the lightbox. "I asked questions about the material," says Bell of the space, which was specifically designed for yoga, before its construction. "I asked all the questions I knew how to ask as a yoga teacher."

Still, Bell says that noise levels are high in the space, noting that from the lightbox you can hear conversations from patrons in the building's lower level, even "a chair dragged across brick" in Workshop's courtyard. While student complaints weren't a big issue, Bell says that, "from a teaching perspective, when you start layering noise on top of noise, it's counterproductive."

"Yoga studios depend on consistency," says Bell. "To not be able to provide consistency in atmosphere, it's not ideal."

Bell says that noise levels from surrounding areas could reach upwards of 90 decibels in the studio, which, according to industrialnoisecontrol.com, is the same sound made by a power mower, motorcycle at 25 feet, and a Boeing 737 at one mile before landing.  Michael Shemtov, owner of Workshop, says he knew there'd been noise issues. "We’ve been working on it. I recommended our sound engineer who did baffling for Workshop," he says adding that Workshop put in acoustical decking, but no one could have known how popular the courtyard, and it's accompanying noise, would be. Shemtov adds that he's sad to see Bell close Reverb, saying, "We have nothing but good things to say about Ashley. She has a great spirit and work ethic. I love her brand of yoga."

Scott Shor, of Edmund's Oast Brewing Co., echoes Shemtov's sentiments, saying that he is sorry to see Reverb go, especially after how active a presence Bell had become in the Pacific Box & Crate community. "I knew she was struggling with noise issues," he says, adding that Edmund's was working with Reverb's schedule so the brewery's outdoor, live music performances didn't interrupt classes.

In July City Paper explored Charleston's yoga scene in our cover story "Yoga is taking over Charleston on the DL." Bell graced our cover and in an interview with writer Enid Spitz said, "I'm a yoga teacher. I don't mean that as 'la-dee-da I'm a yoga teacher,' I mean that I get to have a conversation about God with the dude at a nearby apartment complex or come up with a new way to stretch someone's neck."

Part of Bell's approach at Reverb was to offer classes to under-served populations like kids yoga and recovery yoga. Reverb also offered a sliding price scale for its students. In one of the her first blog posts at reverbcharleston.com, Bell wrote:
Our mission at Reverb Charleston is to find as many ways as possible to make mindfulness practices more accessible. Charleston boasts an impressive collection of excellent yoga studios doing amazing work. Yet over the years after talking to students and would-be practitioners, I found that many folks still find yoga itself unapproachable. Considering these collected conversations, I began to devise a program to address the issues around the physical limitations, philosophical concerns and budgetary constraints that prevent people from exploring yoga as a resource.
Reverb will continue to hold a limited number of classes through Jan. 31 at which time the studio will issue a refund to any students who have unused classes on their passes, as well as prorated refunds to those on monthly draft. Bell says that at this time Reverb will not open in a new location.

You can read Bell's full statement on the studio's closing online.

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