Visit to The Distrikt
This week we are happy to introduce the dream team behind, The Distrikt. Together, Alex Mazerolle and Jian Pablico, have created a community space where social connections and personal empowerment flourish around yoga and fitness. And, did we mention how nice their space is? Scroll down to find out what keeps Alex and Jian motivated on a daily basis.
Where did you come up with the name, The Distrikt?
We bounced around a lot of names in the beginning. It became a long drawn out process but at some point we realized that the name of our studio just needed to be simple because the personalities that would fall underneath its umbrella were already so strong. We already had so much meaning and story under programs like Girlvana Yoga, Vars/ty Initiative and Tight Club that we did not want another name that would overshadow those brands. The Distrikt, to us, means a HUB or community space, where all of our creative endeavors take life.
“The Distrikt, to us, means HUB or community space, where all of our creative endeavors take life.”
When did you realize this is what you wanted to do?
We wanted a home for Girlvana Yoga and Vars/ty Initiative. We wanted to create a space for our youth that they felt connected to. But the space would not be the stereotypical idea of a “youth space”. We wanted a fresh spot that had style and vibrancy. The idea evolved from there. We realized that The Distrikt was something a whole community should experience and that there was a tribe of people that would resonate with it. From that idea we built a schedule for adult yoga and fitness classes, our youth programs had a home and we were able to create the vibe and feel that we felt was missing in the world of studios.
How did you get into your trade?
We got in to our trade by grinding out the years in different avenues from teaching yoga and fitness to facilitating to youth in high schools. Each previous trade has led us into creating the Distrikt. We saw a need in our community and we listened. We believe that The Distrikt is like no other because of what we personally bring to it. There are a lot of yoga and fitness studios in Vancouver. We didn’t create that at all. What we did create is the unique vibe and youth-like attitude that is in the heart of everything that we do. Don’t get us wrong though, our yoga is still on point and our fitness is for real but our trade is in community building. It is almost as if the movements (yoga and fitness) have become secondary. In between workouts, we see flourishing friendships, social connections and personal empowerment.
What motivates you on a daily basis?
Staying true. There are a lot of ways to sell out or take shortcuts when running your own business. We are motivated by being super innovative whether it’s a class idea, apparel or a hosting a party. We can feel people hot on our trail, so constantly upping our game keeps us grinding. Beyond that, the heart of it comes down to building relationships. Seeing people sweat together, laugh together and feel like they belong to something, That’s why we do what we do. We want people to feel like they belong.
Can you tell us about the youth programs that you do?
Jian runs Vars/ty Initiative, a fitness program for youth with a heavy emphasis on leadership and community work. Beyond the workouts, youth come together for leadership retreats and volunteering opportunities in the community.
Alex started Girlvana Yoga in 2012, which consists of programs in high schools and overnight retreats for teen girls to learn yoga and meditation. The emphasis is on building self-esteem, finding your voice and gaining tools to deal with the issues young women face.
Together we also facilitate to youth groups and in schools on topics ranging from leadership, relationships and empowerment.
Where do you meet the most like-minded people?
We feel really lucky to be surrounded by amazing people. There is an incredible community of up and coming young entrepreneurs in this city, especially in the health and fitness game. Our friends Juice Truck, Tight Club and Culver City Salads are not only community partners but true friends. We call ourselves the dream team. We have always leaned on each other for advice, collaborations and overall understanding of what it is to go after your dreams full tilt. And when you create a hub for things to happen, people find you. Real sees real.