Twist (don't shout): New yoga studio offers variety

A common cry around town: “What is that roll you’re carrying?’
When I’m similarly accosted, usually still aglow from my morning Astanga practice, I unroll my bright blue yoga mat and proceed to de-mystify the latest fitness phenomenon for the curious.
Just about everybody’s doin’ it. Young and old.  Mommies and babies. Stiff guys and pregnant gals. There’s a style to suit any need, from gentle Hatha to athletic Astanga, from dancey yogarhythmics to simple yoga basics. Yoga is becoming so popular in Charlottesville that many classes are bursting at the seams. In order to accommodate the growing demand, one local mind-body fitness center, Market Street’s Studio 206, is opening a new Belmont annex.
When the union Yoga Loft opens Saturday, November 23, founder and director Susanna Nicholson will welcome both the curious and the enlightened to meet the teachers (Sara Avant Stover, Evalyn Bishop, and Kali Girasek) and chat about union’s yoga and meditation classes over tea and cookies.
If you show up at 10am, 2pm, or 5pm, be prepared to move and breathe as union teachers lead hour-long free introductory lessons in basic (Hatha) yoga. If you miss the opening, don’t stress. More free introductory classes will be offered through November and into December. 
The full schedule includes such classes as Afterschool Yoga, Weekend Breather for Teens, Yoga for Good Sports, and Restorative Yoga. Prices per class are $9-$12. There will also be a “dana” no-charge class for those who cannot afford to pay.
Nicholson, who has been practicing yoga for over 20 years and has trained with senior viniyoga and vipassana teachers around the world, just returned to Charlottesville after working in New York and, more recently, teaching yoga in rural Ireland.
Drop by the Glass Building on Saturday to discover the truth behind the trend. Chances are there will be many more “roll”-carrying yoga members around town in the months, and years, to come. Namaste. 

The grand opening of union Yoga Loft takes place Saturday, November 23, at 313 Second St. SE, at the corner of Second and Garrett streets, just over the railroad tracks. Suite 120 is in the back of the building (near the Village Playhouse). Free hour-long basic yoga classes at 10am, 2pm and 5pm. unionyogaloft.com or call 977-0030 for more information. 

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