YogaSpark is a yoga studio in the heart of San Francisco. They teach 500 students per week and have been open for just under two years. Yoga, which has traditionally been an indoor activity, now takes place outdoors thanks to their outdoor hot tub that can accommodate 70 people at once while being heated year-round with solar power. The company hopes to foster a more active lifestyle through its ever growing membership base. Topics include: how they feel about working from home; what keeps them up at night; if they’ve had any creative block moments.
YogaSpark is a health and fitness app that makes it easy for people of all levels to get in the yoga groove. They’re teaching over 1 million students through their online platform, mobile apps, and live classes. The team has an impressive list of accomplishments under their belt including winning Product Hunt’s global startup competition back in 2016
YogaSpark is a yoga studio that offers classes in the Park Slope area of Brooklyn. They offer an online scheduling system, allowing people to sign up for classes and attend them from anywhere in the world.
After initially experiencing the advantages of a strong hot yoga practice as a strategy executive 15 years ago, Lauren Porat founded YogaSpark in 2013 with the purpose of establishing a high-end, all-inclusive hot yoga experience that is equal parts killer exercise and calming trip. Her objective is to assist others in claiming their own power. Three key factors, in her opinion, complement that mission: physical yoga practice, which strengthens and stretches the body; self-awareness; and community. YogaSpark offers two facilities in Westchester and New York City, as well as a digital studio that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. At YogaSpark, all courses are open level, challenging, enjoyable, and set to fantastic music. The SparkDome, an inflatable at-home hot yoga apparatus, is also available from YogaSpark.
Annabelle van Schravendijk (Annabelle van Schravendijk): Hello, Lauren. Tell us, as a specialist at designing hot yoga studios, how can yogis replicate a hot, sweating session at home.
Lauren Porat (Lauren Porat): This phenomenon has not been easy for you if you are used to the immersion experience of practicing in a hot yoga studio, where the heat, humidity, and ventilation are ideally tuned to produce that sheen of perspiration on your whole body while yet allowing you to breathe deeply. Simply placing heaters around our mat will not enough. To achieve the temperature and humidity levels you’re accustomed to, hot air and water vapor must be controlled in your practice room. This is why we designed the SparkDome, an inflatable gadget that can be used as a home studio. We’ve discovered that employing only one little heater and humidifier in the SparkDome is enough to produce studio-level perspiration. The speed and intensity with which you practice is, of course, a consideration. Muscle activation, which comes with time, mind-body awareness, and clever cueing from a skilled teacher, is essential for producing heat.
Annabelle: What are the greatest methods to focus on your practice at home while you’re surrounded by distractions?
Lauren: This is one of the most difficult aspects of training at home. It’s so difficult for many dedicated hot yogis to achieve calm and presence on their home mat that it’s not even worth it. This is such a pity to me; the epidemic has already stolen so much; can we really allow it take away our access to meditation, pleasure, and self-connection? We must understand that an at-home practice will never be the same as a studio practice in terms of appearance and feel. Acceptance is essential for reaping the advantages of a home practice. After you’ve accepted, you’ll be able to receive.
To put it more concretely, there are a number of things you can do to help your home practice:
- Turn your phone to DND and make sure any important emails/texts are sent in the 10 minutes before class. Notify your coworkers, children, and partners that you will be unavailable. Arrive early and find a technique to clear your mind for 5 minutes before class begins, such as a little meditation, journaling, or an early child’s pose.
- Experiment with various sections of your house to discover a space that is both decluttered and tranquil. A view of nature is appealing to certain individuals.
- Make sure your tools are up to par so you don’t become distracted by unneeded pain. Towels; water bottle; a fantastic mat that gives support and comfort while being non-slip.
- Using wireless headphones reduces background noise and provides a more powerful, immersive sound experience.
- Bring one item into your practice room that will help you focus on your practice: a plant, a candle, a mantra, or a work of art.
- When distractions arise, take notice of your response and remember that you have a choice. (I’m thinking about everything from a random to-do list to the doorbell to your child barging into the room demanding a snack!) Make the decision to react to the distraction and to yourself with love, and then return to the practice as soon as possible.
As you gain greater control over your distractions and how you respond to them, your home practice may become even more vital!
Annabelle: What can you tell us about the future of yoga from the standpoint of a small business?
Lauren: I can tell you that the people that practice in the studio are more appreciative than they have ever been to be there. The importance of physical and mental wellness has never been greater. It’s never been more vital to be a part of a community and to show each other that we care about and need one other. However, at 33% capacity, the pre-COVID yoga studio business model does not operate (the current New York state mandate, excluding NYC which is not allowing group fitness of any kind). I’m embracing all of the positive things that are occurring at our one open location, and I’m glad for the opportunity to teach and practice there. I also believe in the future of in-person yoga. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience. However, where we are currently is unsustainable, which is why there are so many terrible closures.
For years, Digital’s fate has been written on the wall. Before COVID, Peloton, of which I am a major fan, was pressing studio owners to assess what we are worth. In 2019, I was on the lookout for new places to visit. 2020 was a disaster, but it did provide us YogaSpark Digital, a fantastic new “place.” I despise the phrase “pivot” because it suggests a level of deft opportunism in the face of adversity that I don’t believe we have. We did it out of need for ourselves and our society, thus I prefer “develop.” I feel that what we’re doing on Digital is unique, just as any small business that creates a fantastic online product for its community can now reach out to more people and support them. So I’m looking forward to seeing where it may go. But, as soon as humanly feasible, we’ll get back to the business of constructing studios!
Annabelle: According to what I’ve seen in studios, in my neighborhood, and in my own experience, many of us have had many bleak times in the last year. What are your hopes for the year 2021?
Lauren: Apart from the obvious (continuous vaccines, development of medicines for the sick, meeting my parents for the first time in a year and a half), I am optimistic because I believe we have learnt a lot in this period. We’ve learned a slew of new abilities, from gardening to meditation to dealing with uncertainty (that’s a major one! ), as well as a lot of armor and self-awareness. I’ve worked out a lot of what makes me tick and what makes me happy. And I believe I’ve honed the skills necessary to continue performing that task. I’m well aware that I’m not alone in this. We may treat others with greater compassion when we are content with ourselves. When magnified on a worldwide scale, the effect might be enormous.
Annabelle van Schravendijk, Manduka Account Executive – East Coast, wrote this article.
YogaSpark is a studio that offers classes in yoga, dance, and pilates. They have studios in Manhattan and Mamaroneck, NY., as well as online classes. Reference: yoga spark mamaroneck.
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