We had the good fortune of connecting with Elyssa Swann and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elyssa, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
During quarantine a handle of my yoga friends were teaching at parks and online. They weren’t loving it. I knew that Spin Nightclub had a rooftop and asked my friends if we could use it to let teachers teach yoga in a safe outdoor space. He ran with the idea and AwareWolf was born. We remodeled the entire roof to what it is now. We pulled our inspiration from places like Tulum and Bali. It transformed into a beautiful rooftop oasis in just a matter of months. It was a dream come true. We soon realized that it was more than just a space to offer yoga and fitness classes, we were creating a culture.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
AwareWolf is a beautiful rooftop yoga and intimate event experience. We offer 25+ classes a week, ranging from Vinyasa yoga to Belly Dancing, Yin to Dance flow. We pride ourselves on having unique classes that bring a whole new level of awesome to your practice. We also offer imitate events, comedy shows, workshops and more. We love supporting other business and are always looking for ways to collaborate to bring something amazing to the community. We have also been dubbed the ‘punk rock cousin’ of the yoga community, maybe because we do things a little differently and think beyond our four walls, and being on the rooftop of a nightclub makes for a fun yin and yang balance. We pride ourselves on being a space to transform. Where all humans, from all walks of life can find a safe space to unfold themselves, to heal, and to play. To discover their true essence and to be fully self-expressed. We look at AwareWolf as a culture. We’re still a new business (not even a year yet) but we looking to build our brand beyond a physical location. As with any new business, there are always challenges but like I said before, it’s the AwareWolf’s growing community that keeps us going. We want people to feel like they belong, no matter how weird or uncoordinated, introverted or extroverted, how spiritual or not they are, that they have access to wellness, mindfulness, community and a whole lot of fun.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Oh man, this is a tough one. There’s so many amazing places in San Diego. Let’s see… For food we’d have dinner at Et Volia French Bistro probably every night because they truly are the best. Breakfast burritos at Mauricio’s in Normal Heights, their bacon breakfast burrito is my favorite. Cafe 21 for brunch tapas and Hawthorn Coffee for oat milk iced matchas (can you tell I live in Normal Heights). Oh and we’d grab a delicious treat at the new Maya Moon Collective. I have a two year old so the San Diego Zoo is a must. You can have a drink, exercise and sight see all at once! Also a trip to San Diego wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Ocean Beach farmers market and catching the sunset at Sunset Cliffs, and I would definitely stop into Azucar for a coffee and cuban pastry. We’d catch an evening yoga class on the rooftop of AwareWolf (it’s the dreamiest). Then to finish the week off, a mural tour to some of San Diego’s most beautiful and rad murals.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
AwareWolf wouldn’t be what it is if it weren’t for my business partner Branno. He believed and trusted in me to help make this dream come alive. His continues support is what gives me hope when I feel like times are tough and I want to throw in the towel. Also the unconditional love and support from my husband and daughter. They are the reason why I love what I do because they allow be the time and space to build my dream. They are a constant reminder of what makes life so special and why it’s important for me to follow my dreams. There are a handful of individuals I could thank one by one, but I would have to say the AwareWolf community in it’s entirety, the teachers, students, guests, promoters, everyone who’s ever been a part of our classes or events… they are the ones who deserve all the credit. They carry AwareWolf to new heights and are our biggest support group of all. We do what we do for them. We believe in community, and our community is truly something special.
Instagram: @lionandswan @awarewolf_sd
Arlene Ibarra Myles Heidenreich