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Twisted Trunk Yoga grows in the former Virayoga space

This sweet new yoga spot—in the same space and with many of the same teachers as Elena Brower's former studio—has a whole lot of soul.
Twisted Trunk
(Photo: Twisted Trunk Yoga)

If you’ve ever seen images of the Hindu god Ganapati (AKA Ganesh), you’ll notice his trunk is often twisted, and that the tip reaches towards a bowl of sweets, explains Dana Covello, signifying that “even though life has various twists and turns, you can still end up finding the sweetness at the end.”

It’s the perfect namesake for the new Twisted Trunk Yoga, which opened on September 2 in Soho, in the Virayoga studio space created by yoga-world luminary Elena Brower—a sweet treat for the many students who were saddened by the turn of events that resulted in the studio’s closing over the summer.

Twisted Trunk was created by Covello, Laura Tulumbas Juell, and Lynn Hazan, all long-time senior teachers at Virayoga, who decided they wanted to open their own studio. They searched around the city for spaces, Covello says, before realizing the easiest path would be to just stay put.

They gave the space a cosmetic makeover to give it a new identity, painting the walls a deep, gorgeous blue and hanging pretty Indian-inspired curtains of a similar color. Many of Vira’s former teachers decided to join them and they even brought in the most recent crop of teacher training grads to teach their $10 community classes.

Twisted Trunk
(Photo: Twisted Trunk Yoga)

Covello says the yoga itself will retain the same heart-opening Anusara foundation (most teachers don’t identify with the discipline since the John Friend scandal, but retain many of its teachings), but with specialized classes that incorporate other influences too, like an Ayurveda-influenced Yoga for Wellness.

Plus, an emphasis on education will be front and center. “Even though we’re a new studio, we have the advantage of having an amazing staff. Most of our teachers have been training and teaching for over a decade,” she says.

I stopped by for a recent Open class, which included a deep, focused flow with the perfect number of challenging poses and a short meditation. The studio felt like a warm sanctuary with a whole lot of soul. And it was the most rejuvenating, quality yoga experience I’d had in a long time, and free of any corporate yoga vibe. I really can’t think of a better word than “sweet” to describe it. —Lisa Elaine Held

Twisted Trunk Yoga, 580 Broadway, 2nd floor, between Houston and Prince Sts., $22 per class,