(Photo: Storefront of Integral Yoga Natural Foods, New York City before it closed in late 2018.)
When Integral Yoga Natural Foods (IYNF) opened in New York City in 1972, few people knew what Yoga was let alone “natural” foods. IYNF was New York’s only 100% vegetarian health food store for years. When it opened, there were a few stores selling natural foods, but now those products are widely sold by other retailers, including a large chain stores, as a sign on IYNF’s door explained. The sign concluded with the phrase: “Mission accomplished.”
The store was beloved by many in the Village and hundreds of loyal natural foods patrons were heartbroken to learn that the store closed because of overwhelming competition in the changing retail landscape. Shoppers appreciated that they could get expert advice from the staff and also from Manu Dawson, C.Y.N.Th., who used to run the apothecary.
Thankfully, Manu will still be available for free consultations at the Integral Yoga Institute (IYI) on Wednesday afternoons.
Chandra/Jo Sgammato (executive director of the IYI) said, “We want to assure everyone that the IYI is not closing. Nobody needs to worry. We teach Yoga to people of all ages, sizes, fitness levels, and physical conditions. If you don’t think you can do Yoga, come you show you that you can. The closing is very sad, but now everyone knows what brown rice is, and organic food is everywhere.” We all can be proud of our stores success in that respect,” Chandra noted. Indeed. Mission accomplished!
NOTE: Integral Yoga Natural Foods in Charlottesville, Virginia, remains open.
(Additional reporting for this article provided by Sarah Dowson, WestView News)