Word is starting to spread about the newest kid on an already busy block. Earlier this week the much-anticipated newest location of YogaWorks at The Street, Chestnut Hill opened its doors to the public. Joining the boutiques surrounding the nearby Star Market, the 4,500-square foot studio is sure to attract an energetic crowd that is eager to unwind.
With studios in Back Bay and the Boston University area, the Chestnut Hill location marks Boston’s third YogaWorks, sending the message that it’s here to stay. In such an active city already punctuated with culty fitness studios, YogaWorks is sending a fresh message: yoga works for everyone.
Dana Kelly, regional manager for all three Massachusetts locations, explained that the YogaWorks business began in Santa Monica when the company’s founders—Chuck Miller, Alan Finger, and Maty Ezraty—launched a successful teacher-training program under the YogaWorks name in 1990. From there, the business expanded into studios, and spread across the country.
With 40 other locations spread across the nation, Kelly noted the company’s rapid expansion.
Only half of the YogaWorks locations open today existed a year ago, showing how the brand has built a reputation through its training.
What is unique about the Chestnut Hill location, however, is that this is one of YogaWorks’ first studios to have been built from the ground up. The studio, which is with fitted bamboo flooring and filled with environmentally friendly details, was designed with the hope of creating a safe and peaceful space for clients. The Chestnut Hill location also features amenities such as a boutique and a tea bar.
But Kelly hopes that YogaWorks will not only serve as a place for instructors to continue their education, but also as a space for the greater Chestnut Hill community to develop their practice as well.
Kelly feels confident that, by focusing on their trainers first and taking time to develop individuals who strive to grow, her team has created an atmosphere that is fun and homey.
Kelly said the differentiating factor of YogaWorks is that the team really listens to the community.
Before opening, the studio sent out a survey for founding members and others in the community to uncover what it is they’re looking for in a yoga studio. Not only are the times then catered to the Chestnut Hill yogi’s schedule, but what is expected from each instructor is also hyper-specific to this clientele. Even though the Chestnut Hill studio is close to the city, Kelly and her team understand that these groups of people live different lifestyles and want different things.
She described the Back Bay clients as more transient, whereas in Chestnut Hill, the many students and suburban parents seek out a cozier, more niche studio.
“It’s really about listening to the clients and getting feedback to make it the best for them,” Kelly said. “We want this to be your home away from home. As opposed to running in and out, you will be welcomed to hang out here.”
But Kelly clarified that the ultimate goal for any YogaWorks studio is to ensure that each client, no matter their needs and lifestyle, feel safe and welcome.
“We would love for this to be the place where you come to relax,” Kelly said. “To breathe and enjoy yourself, so you leave feeling better than you came.”
When asked how to encourage Boston College students to break out of their Plex routine and take a chance on YogaWorks, Kelly seemed deeply thoughtful. She understands all too well that it is easy to stay within your comfort zone, and not venture outside the sports and clubs that BC students are already invested in. Offering some empowering insight into the world of “Om,” Kelly encouraged all athletes to give yoga a try, and to relinquish any preconceptions that they might have about the sport. She highlighted that with classes ranging from traditional Vinyasa flow classes to Hip-Hop yoga classes, there is a class for everyone.
And for all those Reservoir runners out there, YogaWorks plans to roll out its unique “Om the Run” series—a short, group run in the neighborhood followed by an hour long of stretching and relaxation—to the Chestnut Hill studio early fall.
“Yoga doesn’t have to be the only sport you do,” Kelly said. “It’s a great complement for any sort of athlete.”
Kelly even urged student groups to reach out to her for events. YogaWorks loves hosting events regardless of if people simply need the studio space for a party or for a fundraising event—the business owners want people to come in and enjoy doing something healthy.
In addition to the enthusiastic welcome, YogaWorks Chestnut Hill is offering two weeks of unlimited classes for $25 to new students during their grand opening to introduce the Chestnut Hill community. Kelly also hints that BC students should make sure to look out for passes on campus for free week of unlimited classes.
Kelly promises you’ll be met by an eclectic, holistic group of strong people. So grab a friend, unroll your mat, take a deep breath in and unwind.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that Dana Kelly was general manager of only the Chestnut Hill YogaWorks. She is regional manager of all three Massachusetts locations.
Featured Image by The Street