One student showed up for the first class offered by Butterfly Yoga in 2002, and eight years later the studio has eight teachers and more than 200 students.
Scotta Brady opened the Jackson studio hoping to fill a gap that she felt was missing at other metropolitan studios.
Brady had studied an alignment-based style of yoga in Memphis while attending law school at the University of Mississippi. She studied anusara yoga, a practice based upon a celebration of life that was founded in 1997 by John Friend, whom Brady met at a yoga workshop in Memphis.
When she left law school after a year to take a job in Jackson, she noticed other studios in Jackson were offering more classical styles.
“I wanted something more in line with what I’d been doing,” she said.
She began teaching while working her other job, but when the dot-com bubble burst, it was time to move on.
With that, she began offering classes in Gallery 119 at 119 South President Street. The owners allowed Brady to schedule classes around openings in the gallery.
“God bless them,” Brady said. “They really helped me out.”
From that one-student beginning, the studio began to steadily grow.
“You just keep going and keep showing up. It was magnetic,” she said. “People started coming and it just grew and grew.”
About a year later, Butterfly Yoga moved into a tiny attic space above Baubles and Beads.
“I think we had about 585 square feet,” Brady said, but the space was a great fit because of three picture windows.
“It was so beautiful,” she said. “It was like our own little treehouse.”
Soon, however, Butterfly Yoga was again in need of a larger space. Brady sat upstairs, looking out those huge windows and asked herself where she wanted to take her studio.
“I looked across the street and saw Studio Chane,” she said. “So I got up, went downstairs, walked to Studio Chane and asked the owners if they were moving anytime soon. This was around March, and he said they were moving in May. Did I want the space?
“I told him, ‘Yes, I do,’” she said. “It was just magic. It was meant to be.”
In June 2005, Butterfly Yoga moved to the space at 3025 North State Street, where it remains today.
Along with the growth of students and space, Butterfly Yoga has also grown from one teacher to a total of seven anusara-trained teachers. An eighth teacher instructs belly dancing classes at the studio. About 22 classes are offered at the studio each week.
The studio is a Registered Yoga School with the Yoga Alliance, and Brady is an E-RYT 500 instructor, meaning she is an experienced registered yoga teacher with more than 500 hours, the highest designation given by the Yoga Alliance.
Brady said she did not anticipate the success of her Butterfly Yoga studio.
“I expected to have me and maybe two others teaching 50 students,” she said. “I didn’t expect it to grow, or be this big, or even, necessarily, to be open this long.”