When Marj Rash has a headache, she does yoga. Nausea? High blood pressure? Allergies? Yoga, yoga, yoga. Rash has been practicing Iyengar yoga for decades now, and she owns Yoga Mart on Oram near Skillman. She opened the shop online in 2002 as a side project, making bolsters that are commonly used in Iyengar. Then in January 2009, the textile and clothing designer was laid off from her job in the buying department of Neiman Marcus. So she went all in on the yoga business and leased a storefront just to get the manufacturing side out of her Little Forest Hills house, she says. Now she makes 11 products for Iyengar practitioners, including the bolsters, mat covers, straps, scented eye bags and pillows. Many of the products Yoga Mart carries are made locally. Rash’s friend Jimmy Salmon of Oak Cliff makes wooden blocks, meditation benches and other handmade wooden yoga props. Stephanie Safran of Hollywood/Santa Monica makes buckwheat pillows. What isn’t made locally, Rash buys from manufacturers she considers superior. Since she has a background in clothing design, she’s particular. She stocks South Carolina-based Swadeshi clothing, for example, which fit better than most yoga clothes, Rash says. Rash started teaching yoga in 1997. She teaches at the Landry fitness center at Baylor hospital, and has offered classes at the White Rock YMCA since 2000. Once she established Yoga Mart on Oram, friends and clients urged her to form a class out of the shop. So now she teaches about three classes a week in a studio she created in the back of Yoga Mart. “I practice for health,” she says. “I just practice because I love it.”
Find Yoga Mart’s bolsters, wooden blocks, buckwheat pillows and other locally made products at 6039 Oram or yogamartusa.com.
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