After eight years and over 11,000 classes, Embody Movement Studio & Lifestyle Boutique is closing its doors.
The holistic fitness studio’s founder and owner Christina Mae Wolf announced April 16 on Facebook that Embody will officially close after the 9 a.m. Nia class on Saturday, May 1.
“This is not a decision that I have made lightly or easily. However, due to a number of factors at this point in time, it is truly my only choice,” Wolf said in a video message to Embody’s clients. “Over the last eight years, I have poured my heart, my soul, my life force, my creativity, my love, my passion, into this community and into Embody, and it has been a joy and a privilege. And I also recognize that I do not have the capacity to carry it anymore as I step forward in the path of my life.”
The decision to close isn’t a financial one or a result of COVID-19 restrictions, Wolf said, but rather a matter of her being unable to balance two jobs and a family.
Last June, Wolf accepted a position as the chief operating and marketing officer for the Nia Technique, a 40-year-old fitness program that combines martial arts, modern dance and yoga. Nia had been one of the things that inspired Wolf to open Embody in the first place, she said, and she was excited to take the worldwide leadership position with the movement.
She said she had hoped to maintain both that role at Nia and her role with Embody, but “with a husband and two children and a desire to sustain work-life balance, it has just not been possible,” Wolf said in an email.
While Wolf herself can no longer lead Embody, she said she still hopes that someone else will step in to purchase the business and continue Embody’s vision. So far, Wolf said she hasn’t found anybody willing to take over.
Embody, located on Tower Avenue in downtown Centralia, first opened its doors in 2013 as a place for people to practice joy-based fitness, movement, health and wellness through a variety of yoga, barre, pilates and Nia classes and wellness workshops.
Embody’s classes shifted online last year due to stay-at-home orders effectively shuttering the Tower Avenue location and since then classes have continued online and outdoors as the weather allows.
“I am really proud of the community and how the community has responded to the last year and how we have navigated and made it through,” Wolf said. “And I deeply appreciate your support in all of the ways that you have shown up for Embody, for me, for each other.”
Wolf estimates that, in total, the business has served more than 4,000 clients through a variety of classes and workshops.
“That’s significant. We have reached a tremendous amount of people in our community,” Wolf said. “What we have created together is an incredible community and a community that supports each other and facilitates both personal and collective growth and transformation free of judgement … and witnessing the community grow has been incredibly rewarding.”
Wolf said she plans to continue teaching independently and offering her own classes online and in person, and said that many of Embody’s teaching staff plan to do the same.
But first, she said she wants to thank the community and Embody’s clients for eight years of support.
“It has been an incredible joy and privilege to be part of creating a new paradigm of health and wellbeing in our community and being of service for the last eight years,” she said in an email.
As of May 1, all Embody memberships will be canceled and all automatic payments suspended.
The Embody boutique will be open and available for shopping through April 30, with 50% off everything April 19-22 and 75% off everything that’s left April 27-30. Anyone with a gift card or account credit is encouraged to use it at the boutique.