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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. Kathryn 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 Kathryn’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 the Triangle. Yoga Off East is a sacred space where yogis of all levels are welcome to roll out their mats and flow.


Our Neighborhood 

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:


Studio Rental
Yoga Off East welcomes classes & events focused on the arts, movement and wellness. Our 815 square foot space has a reception area, wood floors, natural light, track lighting with dimmers, a fan, speakers, and rental yoga equipment for workshops, group meetings, small performances and events.

If you are interested in hosting an upcoming event at Yoga Off East, please email the details of your request to

Excellent class. Really nicely paced and great adjustments. Teacher was very friendly and welcoming!
— Anna via MindBody