A Peaceful Warrior

PHOTO BY JESSICA BUDNICK

PHOTO BY JESSICA BUDNICK

Ten years ago, Sabine Gaona discovered the life-changing practice of yoga, and she hasn’t looked back since. Her yoga boutique, The Inner Warrior, is a thriving and unique spot that is quickly becoming a local legend. “My three daughters were my inspiration for The Inner Warrior,” says Gaona, “their belief in me, and my strong desire to create happiness in my life.”

“On my birthday, the summer before I even imagined The Inner Warrior,” Gaona recounts, “my youngest daughter, Gabriella, gave me a stone that simply said, ‘It is up to you.’” It was the sign she didn’t realize she’d been looking for. “I had been waiting for something great to happen in my life,” Gaona explains. “Yoga was such an integral part of our lives and we practiced side by side for several years, so starting a yoga boutique was something that just made sense.”

Together, the family teamed up to create a unique yoga boutique. “I have three daughters, all raised in Louisville,” Gaona says. “Sasha and Nicolette now live in California, and my youngest, Gabriella, is here and runs the store with me.” Together, the women have brought their vision to life. “We complement each other with our ideas and are able to get different perspectives on styles,” Gaona says. “The shop is and will be, ultimately, for them, so the three are always in the loop. The three arrows in our logo represent my three daughters – each a little different, but each a warrior.”

The Inner Warrior has its own twist on yoga accessories. “We are a West Coast-inspired yoga boutique, specialized in eco-friendly clothing and accessories for both men and women,” Gaona explains. She easily lists products ranging from leggings and graphic tees to mats, tapestries and unique jewelry. “We are always striving to bring new and exciting clothing and accessories to Louisville,” Gaona says, “things that you can’t find anywhere else.”

One of these unique twists is a now-famous mural of an elephant, painted on one wall. “Gabriella created our mural, Jude,” Gaona explains. “He sees all! No matter where you are in the store, he is watching, removing obstacles and keeping The Inner Warrior in balance.” The hashtag #JudeSeesAll is now an easily searchable Instagram favorite, with regulars posing in their favorite yoga position by the mural.

However, The Inner Warrior store isn’t just for experienced yogis. “Everyone can benefit from yoga, so we wanted to make it accessible and welcoming for all,” Gaona explains. And they put this philosophy into practice. Twice a week, after store hours, they wheel clothing racks to the sides of the store and bring in guest instructors from around Louisville to lead free yoga classes for all levels. “We have men and women who started their yoga journey here at The Inner Warrior,” Gaona asserts, “and it’s changed their lives in such a positive way. I can’t tell you how happy this makes me.”

The life-changing practice of yoga is something that’s changed Gaona’s life, and is something she’s eager to share. “Yoga gives me the mental and physical strength to be the best I can be every day,” Gaona asserts. “It helps me face any situation with a calm and focused mind. It also helps with mindfulness and being present in the moment.”

The Inner Warrior has become a source of peace and inspiration for Louisville yogis, ranging from early beginners to experienced veterans. She indeed treasures her relationship with customers and the opportunity to run her own business. “Our source of income is our boutique,” she explains, “but our source of happiness is everything else that has come out of this journey called The Inner Warrior.” VT

The Inner Warrior is located at 1760 Frankfort Ave. For more information, visit theinnerwarriorlou.com or call 502.930.9501.