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Ocean City

New yoga studio increases classes and accessibility

(Jan. 16, 2015) Yoga Yoga offers a wide variety of classes and workshops for all skill levels in West Ocean City.

Kim Wilson, an avid Bikram participant, took over the space formally occupied by Bikram Yoga and added new classes with the goal of providing something for anyone.

“I want everyone to practice yoga; it will make them feel really good,” Wilson said. “The key is to make the studio approachable for all people. If someone comes through the door who hasn’t worked out in six years, it’s important to give positive encouragement in addition to explaining what we can do to help.”

Wilson welcomes all members of the community to her little studio and wants to make sure she is accommodating their personal exercise needs.

Currently, Yoga Yoga has eight different classes to try.

Bikram Yoga is the backbone of the business, which is a 90-minute series of 26 yoga postures performed in a 105-degree room with 35 percent humidity. Adherents say it helps cure chronic physical ailments and heals the body by targeting every cell to heal the body and mind.

Gentle Yoga welcomes newcomers to yoga or people healing from an injury. The class focuses on beginner and intermediate postures.

Beyond Basic Yoga is for beginners or more experienced participants looking to perfect their technique.

Stretch and Strengthen works to toughen the spine, torso and legs to increase stability.

Yin Yoga takes a slower pace, where postures are held longer.

Kundalini is a new favorite and features a dynamic blend of physical postures, breathing, movement and stretching.

Yoga Basics and a couple of Pilates courses are also on the menu.

“People find their place and I am seeing the same faces coming back to the same classes each week,” Wilson said.

When participants show up for a class and pay the $10 fee, everything is already set up.

Wilson is striving for an extremely user-friendly studio and bringing that presence to the area. Everything needed for a nice workout is provided by Yoga Yoga and there is no rental fee for mats or towels, Wilson said.

“I do not want people to spend their money and not utilize the services,” she said. “All you need to bring to class is yourself.”

The space is set up with the studio in the front while the back holds a small reception area, bathroom and benches. It is a small, intimate space designed for people to gather and chat before the class starts. The back entrance to Yoga Yoga is the preferred ingress.

Last summer, Wilson was committed to working out and a student in Bikram Yoga classes when she found out the owner was moving back to Florida. She spoke with a couple of other concerned students and they were not sure what to do after Bikram Yoga closed.

During Wilson’s final class, she looked up to the sky and heard the words ‘just do it.’ In that moment, she realized buying the studio was something that needed to happen.

“I was completely blindsided because I did not know the business aspect of owning,” Wilson said. “Everything pertaining to business has been a learning experience.”

She kept the studio open during a complete restructure, remodel and rebranding.

After taking over, Wilson felt it was imperative to expand the diversity of classes offered, and reaching out to underserved communities was the first place to start.

“I noticed most places in the area only offer cardio-based classes for athletic people and I saw a real need for beginner yoga classes,” Wilson said. “I wanted to bring in classes people were calling for. I’ve heard people say they know yoga is good for them, but do not know where to turn because what they needed wasn’t available.”

Programs for teenagers and young adults are scarce in the area, Wilson said. She is working on having more programs for kids ages eight to 16.

Kundalini was not being offered previously and is new to the area. The program generated interest and has gone over well with members of the community, she said.

Wilson plans on adding classes and expanding the schedule after she gets a handle on what is popular and in higher demand. She is open to suggestions and if people request a class in particular, she will work hard to make it happen.

“I took over this studio for people who stick with their exercise routines and are dedicated to improving themselves. Everyone needs a place they feel comfortable. Yoga Yoga is for everyone and everybody,” Wilson said.

For people who cannot make the scheduled classes, Yoga Yoga offers a few private lessons. These classes are appointment only and will cost more than the standard $10 fee.

“Regardless of style or type, just come out and do yoga. It is a life-changing practice from helping people lose weight to assisting with injury recovery,” Wilson said.

Yoga Yoga will offer two special programs in February. On Saturday, Feb.7, a workshop will be held on the dangers of refined sugars and how to make naturally sweet desserts. It will take place from 2-4 p.m. at the studio. On Friday, Feb.13, Yoga Yoga will host candlelight Kundalini. It will be held from 6:30-8 p.m. and light refreshments will be offered.

“These workshops create a sense of community in the studio, which is a goal of mine. People come out, try something new, stay afterwards and connect with one another,” said Wilson.

Yoga Yoga is located at 9748 Stephen Decatur Highway, next to Shore Bank. Visit http://www.yogayogaoc.com for more information or call 410-213-9642.



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