Savannah's New Spiritual Leader


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Meg Shuba is bent over a burgundy harmonium filled with scratches. The color of the wood matches the beehive bun at the top of her head. When she pumps the bellows and presses the keys, she raises her slender body back up to her full seated height and the voices of students on their mats reverberate in an ommmmmmm.

Otium sits in the corner of Drayton and Liberty in downtown Savannah.  The name comes from a Latin word that can be roughly translated to "inner sanctuary." Employees also use the more elaborate, less accurate, and somehow favored option of "escape from business to participate in personal wellness."

Meg Shuba, a yoga teacher in her early thirties, moved to Savannah to bring the sleepy, Southern city a “much needed oasis.” And although there are competing studios in the city, Otium is the first to have its own Creative Director: Meg.

“I consider myself an artist,” says Meg when she’s asked what a Creative Director does at a yoga studio, “because I’m creating with movements.”

For Meg, yoga classes are about catering the mantras, music, and poses to the overall feel of the class. After she leads the class into the first downward dog of the day, Meg weaves her way through the mats in between twisting bodies to fix a hip here, a hip there. Throughout the day, she looks as she does now: black leggings and a loose tank top. She’s ready to spring forward into a Parivrtta Parsvakonasana at any moment.

“You have to be okay if the ground is pulled out from underneath you,” Meg says. She places her hands underneath a teenager trembling as she suspends her weight up in wheel pose. “Security is nice and comforting,” Meg says, lifting the student half an inch higher, “but it won’t let you grow.”

Photo Credit: Bud Johnson

Before teaching yoga, Meg worked as an account manager for skincare brands and focused on sales. She began attending yoga classes as a physical practice but eventually found that it helped her deal with “some difficult times” in her life. She met the investor for Otium Savannah while doing a visiting workshop in the original Otium location of Long Beach, Florida where they decided to join forces to pop out the first franchise.

“Even if we are shaky, our practice is not shaky,” Meg says in class. “Remember to breathe, to be here, and to be with your body in this uncomfortable situation.”

And that usually is said when people are straining through moves, like sitting in low squats during Utkatasana with their heels raised from the ground in a display of balance. The subject of letting go is strong in her classes, perhaps because Meg thinks that her own learning process has been one of letting go.

Earlier that week, a student asked her about her decision to move to Savannah. She took a leap of faith, she claims, based on her love for the original Otium and the practice of yoga, and moved to Savannah without having stepped foot on the quaint cobblestones of the historic district.   

Sometimes Meg pulls out a white crystal singing bowl and its mallet. She strikes the sides to create a chiming bell sound, and begins to run the mallet in the inside of the crystal bowl and makes a high-pitched, long note. “Be in the moment,” she says as an ambulance speeds down Drayton blasting its siren, “and catch yourself when you’re tempted to leave it.”

Photo credit: Adele Trefry

After class is done, Meg retreats to her stool at the entrance of the studio. From there, she’ll talk for a minute or two to each student that leaves Otium. When someone asks what she would say about Otium to people who have never practiced yoga, Meg says, “You are welcome and you can come to Otium exactly as you are.”

She lights a stick cut off from a branch of Palo Santo and moves the stick in circles around the entrance of the studio door once, twice. “We’re all just trying to recover in some way from life. Wherever you are in your journey, know that we’re all in the same place here.”

Meg watches the trail of smoke waft from the glowing red, burning end. It ascends in a column, curls, and dissipates when a student leaves and the studio door closes. For a second, her face is cold, crystal blue eyes set on the burning edge. Then Meg lays the stick down and turns towards the door, radiant and smiling again.

“Stiff muscles,” she says. “Achy bones, flaws, and neurosis, and craziness, and anxiety… Bring it all.”

Learn more about Otium here. 

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Events Calendar

  • "The Prints of Dame Laura Knight" Exhibition at Telfair Museums

    Jan 19, 2019
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Telfair Museums' Jepson Center

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  • Ready. Set. Summer. at Bluemercury!

    May 13, 2019
    10:00 AM - 8:00 PM @ Bluemercury

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  • "Keita Takahashi: Zooming Out" Exhibition at Telfair Musuems

    Jan 24, 2019
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Jepson Center

    Telfair Museums hosts the first museum survey of the work of visionary videogame designer Keita Takahashi (Japanese, b. 1975). Takahashi is noted...

  • “Jaume Plensa Talking Continents” Exhibition at Telfair Museums

    Mar 01, 2019
    12:00 PM - 5:00 PM @ Jepson Center

    Jaume Plensa (Spanish, b. 1955) is one of the world’s foremost living sculptors. He is widely known for large-scale public artworks and more...

  • "Rembrandt and the Jewish Experience" at Telfair Museums

    Mar 15, 2019
    12:00 PM - 5:00 PM @ Jepson Center

    This exhibition contains 21 etchings by Rembrandt and one drawing by Rembrandt’s teacher Pieter Lastman (Dutch, 1583-1633). These works highlight...

  • Rembrandt Exhibit

    Mar 15, 2019
    All Day @ Jepson Center

    Rembrandt lived and worked in Amsterdam during the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century. Although most residents of Amsterdam during...

  • Savannah Arts Academy Class of 2019 Graduation

    May 21, 2019
    9:00 AM @ Savannah Civic Center

    The Class of 2019 of Savannah Art's Academy will be graduating at the Civic Center May 22 at 9 A.M. Students will be given 20 tickets to give...

  • Teacher Tuesdays

    May 07, 2019
    5:00 PM - 7:00 PM @ 39 Rue de Jean

    If you're a teacher, come visit us at 39 Rue de Jean on May 7th, May 14th, May 21st, and May 28th from 5pm-7pm for a glass of bubbles on us. We...

  • 200th Anniversary Celebration

    May 22, 2019
    5:30 PM - 9:00 PM @ Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum

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  • Fermenting Our Meditation Practice with Susan Lamb

    May 01, 2019
    7:15 PM - 8:30 PM @ Savannah Power Yoga

    Most of us begin meditation practice hoping to feel less anxious, to be more focused, or remain in a steadier state when approaching the challenges...

  • National Maritime Day

    May 22, 2019
    All Day @ Ships of the Sea

  • SS Savannah (1819-2019)

    May 23, 2019
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Ships of the Sea Museum

    2019 marks the 200th anniversary of the SS Savannah's groundbreaking trans-Atlantic crossing.  In recognition of this monumental achievement,...

  • SS Savannah (1819-2019)

    May 23, 2019
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Ships of the Sea Museum

    2019 marks the 200th anniversary of the SS Savannah's groundbreaking trans-Atlantic crossing.  In recognition of this monumental achievement,...

  • Moose Tracks - 10,000 Scoops Challenge

    May 23, 2019
    11:00 AM - 3:00 PM @ Ellis Square

    Enjoy FREE Mayfield Creamery Moose Tracks Ice Cream to help raise $10,000 for The Salvation Army of Savannah. Moose Tracks is partnering with...

  • Hospice Savannah Party and Art Auction

    May 23, 2019
    5:30 PM @ Cha Bella

    Hospice Savannah’s  Board members invite the community to celebrate 40 years of “The Art of Living”  at a Summer Nights Party and Art...

  • Friday Concert Series

    May 03, 2019
    7:00 PM - 12:00 AM @ Historic Courthouse, Downtown Blairsville on the S

    Come enjoy live music every Friday Night from the first Friday of May through the end of October. The Historic Union County Court House will host...

  • Savannah Mile

    May 25, 2019
    8:00 AM - 1:00 PM @ Forsyth Park

    The 14th Annual Savannah Mile presented by the Two Hundred Club of the Coastal Empire honors our fallen first responders, their families, and our...

  • Bug Fest

    May 25, 2019
    10:00 AM - 4:00 PM @ Savannah Children's Museum

    Savannah Children’s Museum invites the public to attend Bug Fest 2019, the annual family-friendly celebration abuzz with bug crafts,...

  • Interstellar Echoes Present Pink Floyd!

    May 25, 2019
    8:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Tybee Post Theater

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  • Franklin Pond Chamber Music Competition and Awards Concert

    May 26, 2019
    4:00 PM - 6:00 PM @ Spivey Hall

    The third annual Franklin Pond Chamber Music Competition Awards Concert on Sunday, May 26, 2019, 4 p.m. showcases Georgia’s most talented young...


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Scenes of the South

SCAD40 Block Party

SCAD celebrated their 40th anniversary with a grand block party. Fellow alumni reconnected with university faculty and staff. ShopSCAD had live artist demonstrations, live music at the Gryphon, keepsakes and SCAD40 merchandise to purchase at the Art’s Café, SCAD food trucks with tasty treats and much more.

Kessler Collection’s Armstrong-Kessler Mansion Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Local hotelier Richard Kessler and his company The Kessler Collection officially cut the ribbon on his newly restored home in Savannah, the Armstrong-Kessler Mansion. This iconic home celebrates its 100th birthday this year, and his been meticulously restored to its former grandeur as one of the foremost examples of Italian Renaissance architecture and design in America. Congratulations to Richard Kessler and The Kessler Collection!

The Clyde

The Clyde Venue is Savannah’s newest, most modern, wedding venue located in the Historic Landmark District. The space has been completely renovated, and a work in progress for more than a year. The venue is 5,200 square feet and includes a grande room, large marble bar, catering prep area, and restrooms. It’s located at 223 Martin Luther King Boulevard.

The Fire Ball

IAFF Savannah Firefighters gathered together at Savannah Station March 15th to celebrate with friends and family. They welcomed their newest members, honored those that recently retired and acknowledged departments joining from around the world! The event was a blast. From 6pm-10pm guests danced to live music, sampled premium foods and even played with local puppies up for adoption.

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SEED Eco Lounge, Barrelhouse South and Rogue Water welcomes a new addition to the family. Vice is located on Broughton at Saya's former location. Few pursuits tap into the pleasures of nightlife more than music. Giving yourself over to the rhythms, the lights, and the energy is a total release. Amazing DJs get the crowds moving, and other patrons ensure that there's plenty to see and socialize with. This sleek and sexy underground spot is sure to be one of the best spots for Savannah's night life.

The Royal Flush Casino Night Presented by Roto-Rooter Plumbers of Savannah

Roto-Rooter Plumbers of Savannah hosted “The Royal Flush Casino Night” on Thursday, Feb. 28, at the Savannah Station, with all of the proceeds going to benefit families at the Ronald McDonald House of the Coastal Empire. The casino-themed party will feature heavy hors-d’oeuvres, an open bar, live music, dancing and complimentary casino.

The Telfair Ball

The 39th annual Telfair Ball celebrated the 200th anniversary of the remarkable architecture of Telfair Museums historic buildings and the pioneering legacy of Mary Telfair. This year the Ball was held in Forsyth Park among a myriad of carnival performers and fanciful nymphs. Hundreds of Savannah locals and many visitors came together to celebrate a love of art and South Eastern heritage. The ball supports the future of the Telfair Academy, the Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters, and the Jepson Center. Proceeds directly fund the museum's educational outreach, exhibitions, and release activities, bring the benefits of art to over 190,000 people each year.

Hearts for Healing Gala

The Faith Equestrian's Annual Hearts for Healing Gala at Tybee Wedding Chapel on Friday evening started out with a bang as the Free Spirit Orchestra' violin twins played their rendition of some of the greatest musical hits. The attendees were reminded what the event was all about as the founder Bonnie Rachael was recognized after story after story was shared to a room of teary eyed party-goers. Congrats to event director Bonnie Karr and her amazing team for a job well done!

Southern Coast Heart Ball

The American Heart Association's 22nd Annual Southern Heart Ball took place on February 2, 2019 and celebrated all the life-saving advances made so far while raising funds to continue to further AHA's mission. The black-tie gala brought together more than 400 guests to enjoy a night of dining, dancing, live entertainment and both live and silent auctions. Those in attendance got to hear the story of Lily Cochran, who was born with several congenital heart defects. Her father, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, also had a heart disease and was honored at the event.

PUTTING Away Crime

On Saturday, January 12, 2019 Savannah helped McGruff the Crime Dog take a bite out of crime at the Crimestoppers Savannah's 3rd Annual Putt Putt Mini Golf Tournament held at Island Miniature Golf and Game on Wilmington Island. Proceeds went to helping fund rewards for the Crimestopper's anonymous crime tip line.