Last month, Yoga Sutra abruptly closed its doors (and took down its website) with barely a warning signal, leaving a community of dismayed yogis, unanswered questions, and unfinished class cards in its wake.
The Midtown East studio was yet another casualty of the recession (combined with the perennial priciness of New York real estate).
Claudia Azula Altucher, an Ashtangi who’d been practicing at the studio since 2007, got the details from the studio’s managing director, Lisa Bridge (whose father owns the studio), and posted them on her blog. “After meeting with an attorney, the business has decided to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy,” Bridge wrote.
Altucher’s post elicited a slew of comments from other Yoga Sutra practitioners, some of which were sympathetic, but many of which mourned the loss of money from prepaid class cards and mats that had been stored at the studio.
A Facebook page called Friends of Yoga Sutra NYC that popped up soon after the closing has also become a place for the sharing of grievances, and for displaced yogis to chat about where they should settle down next.
Meanwhile, ten blocks across town, Reflections Yoga extended a very warm welcome to the yoga refugees.
Reflections quickly posted discounts to former Sutra practitioners on their site including 15 percent off class packages, $5 buy backs from Yoga Sutra class cards, and a discount for the studio’s upcoming teacher training.
“The yoga world is a small world, and we’ve been getting some of Yoga Sutra’s students and teachers,” says Sarah Bernier, the corporate wellness coordinator at Reflections.
Bernier says she has heard of individuals who lost their teacher-training deposits of several hundred dollars at Yoga Sutra.
“This is our way of saying we support this community in New York City regardless of where you practice,” says Bernier. “We’re offering you a home.”
Obviously, as the yogis new home, Reflections stands to benefit financially. We don’t blame them: It may also help them avoid Yoga Sutra’s fate. —Lisa Elaine Held