Living in New York, it is fairly easy to find a yoga studio. In fact, there are a plethora of yoga choices from hot yoga to Bikram yoga to zen boot camp yoga. But for residents of Harlem, yoga studios, especially an affordable yoga studio, were not plentiful. However, in November Unity Yoga opened at 128th and St. Nicholas, bringing affordable yoga to the community .
Unity Yoga, a Marc Douglas creation, a Vinyasa based studio, hopes to build a strong community of yogis in Central Harlem. Sarah Rehman, the owner of the studio, saw potential in a community that was underserved by yoga studios. The name, Unity, was chosen to make yoga accessible to those who are unfamiliar or new to the practice. While all levels are welcomed, there is a focus on beginning level students. There are multiple alignments and core classes offered where students are encouraged to use props to find their bodies natural alignment and work to increase their own flexibility. Unlike downtown yoga studios, the focus of Unity Yoga is on the individual’s needs with teachers working to address the student’s individual needs and offer modifications as needed. Yoga at Unity is accessible but challenging, allowing each student to feel at home in this growing community.
But Unity Yoga is more than just a studio; it is a growing community of Harlemites focused on unity. Marc together with James Broussard plans on adding a coffee bar with WiFi to encourage members to simply hang out and get to know each other. With a large reception area, there will be space for retail, with the focus on yoga gear and props. The studio, a gorgeous urban oasis, will hopefully be home to book clubs, meditation classes, and workshops (look for one in January!). Walking through the doors of Unity Yoga one feels at home, welcomed as one is to become what one hopes to be.
Unity Yoga is a much-needed plus to a community that just keeps growing. Come join the flow on your mat and find your breath.