About the Studio
Yoga Off East began as the vision of a Duke University alum upon her return to Durham after a career as a Division I collegiate tennis coach. Kathy Sell Smith learned that yoga was an important part of her transition out of a lifelong commitment to the sport of tennis. While tennis remains a big part of Kathy’s life (her husband is the Duke Men’s Tennis Coach), she has happily traded in her own tennis racquets for yoga as her lifestyle and job.
The idea of a neighborhood studio adjacent to Duke University may have been the personal vision of one person, but the manifestation is due to the support of the close knit yoga community in Durham and the Triangle. Yoga Off East is a sacred space where yogis of all levels are welcome to roll out their mats and flow.
West Durham was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. West Durham began its transformation in 1893 from a mill village when Benjamin Duke and William Erwin opened a cotton mill on 9th Street, an early southern manufactory of denim. The mill employed over 1000 workers by the turn of the century, and build 440 houses covering more than fifteen blocks surrounding the mill. Although some landmarks are gone today, the old Erwin Mill buildings have been adapted into offices and housing, and new buildings, including a gas station and office buildings, have been designed to fit into the ambiance of this thriving neighborhood. Today, easily accessible from Duke University and the Duke Hospital, Ninth Street is a distinctive shopping district with a historic and fresh feel. With over 120 years of history behind it, the Ninth Street District has become a bustling destination for fine dining, locally owned retail shops, coffee houses, and other convenient local businesses and now, Yoga off East.
Thanks to Preservation Durham for this and additional information on Durham's historic assets.
Learn more about our neighborhood by watching the short video below: