One Hot Attraction
New Harrisonburg Studio Positioned For Success
Posted: January 23, 2013
How hot is it? Inside Bikram Yoga Harrisonburg, it’s 105 degrees, but that’s no problem for co-owners Kendall Wondergem (left) and Anita Yoder. The heat helps condition the body, says Yoder. “You get used to it gradually,” she says. (Photos by Nikki Fox / DN-R)
Kendall Wondergem (left) and Anita Yoder are getting Bikram Yoga studio ready for a Feb. 2 opening in downtown Harrisonburg.
Someone wanted to know class times for the studio’s opening day, Feb. 2.
Co-owner and studio manager Kendall Wondergem had to inform the caller that the 9:30 a.m. class is already full at 36 participants.
While some new businesses might have trouble getting people in the door, Bikram Yoga Harrisonburg is filling slots quickly.
Not to mention that at least five other yoga studios are already operating in the city.
Harrisonburg’s acceptance of yoga is relatively new, however. Co-owner Anita Yoder said when she’d bring up yoga in city fitness circles in the late 1980s, she didn’t get such a receptive response.
“A lot of people didn’t know what yoga was and were very suspicious of it,” she said.
But now, the city is following the national trend, and the competition is actually good for the budding studio, the owners say.
“The more people see and hear about yoga, the better for everyone, especially since it’s different styles,” Wondergem said.
The new studio at 90 N. Main St. will be the first to offer Bikram, a yoga style named after its founder, Bikram Choudhury. The practice incorporates a continuous motion of 26 postures performed in 105-degree heat with a humidity level of 35 to 40 percent.
But Wondergem and Yoder, who both practiced under Choudhury himself in Los Angeles, say not to worry about the intense heat.
“You get used to it gradually,” Yoder said, explaining that over time the practice conditions one’s body to be more resilient and strong while flushing out toxins and avoiding strained muscles.
The heat also improves cardiovascular health by opening blood vessels and reduces the risk of injury, making the practice perfect for athletes, Wondergem said.
The city studio will hold 90-minute beginner classes appropriate for people of all ages, body styles and fitness levels.
Typically, one class causes a participant to burn from 700 to 1,000 calories, Wondergem said.
To give potential customers a feel for the practice, the owners are offering free classes during the studio’s grand opening on Feb. 2. The only two classes with slots remaining are at noon and 4 p.m.
In lieu of any fee for the class, donations will be accepted that day and sent to the Collins Center & Child Advocacy Center in Harrisonburg.
Yoga clothing giant Lululemon Charlottesville also will offer a trunk show from 1:30 to 4 p.m., during which time the Friendly City Food Co-op will offer snacks.
For more information, call 434-3632.
Contact Candace Sipos at 574-6275 or firstname.lastname@example.org