Living in New York, it is fairly easy to find a yoga studio. In fact, there is 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 Vinyasa based studio, hopes to build a strong community of yogis in Central Harlem. Sarah Rehman, 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 alignment 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. Rehman 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.
With a focus on community membership and acknowledging the median income of Harlem residents, Rehman works diligently to keep the cost of classes affordable. First time members can purchase a monthly pass for $48, a great deal in any part of the city. After that, monthly membership is $72. For those who aren’t ready to make a commitment, individual classes are $22. The studio provides mats, blocks, and towels as well as access to showers and dressing rooms (a plus that many boutique studios do not have). To purchase any class or membership, simply visit unityyoganyc.com.
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. Namaste!