A cool new wellness center with a Sanskrit name that means “light, splendor, perception, and knowledge” just opened in Bushwick, Brooklyn—and it’s part yoga studio, part Ayurvedic massage center, and part art gallery.
While Williamsburg is the better known ‘hood for its proliferation of health-boosting businesses (like PH-7, Treatment by Lanshin, juice bars, and workout destinations Brooklyn Bodyburn), Bhati Space for Creative Wellness joins a growing group of wellness-focused spots a little farther out on the L train, like Northeast Kingdom, Roberta’s Pizza, and The Squeeze.
Founder Guillerma Moreno has been a massage therapist for ten years and a yoga teacher almost as long. Except for stints at Pratima Spa and The Loom, the affable wellness maven with a chic bohemian vibe spent most of the past decade sequestered in the world of private clients. Moreno was living in the space that’s now Bhati and jumped at the chance to convert it to a wellness center when a nearby apartment opened up.
“It was a dream of mine to have a space I could design myself,” 41-year-old Moreno says. “I found with other yoga spaces that it’s not always designed with the benefit of the massage therapist in mind.” So instead of tiny, dark closets converted into claustrophobic massage rooms, Bhati is built like a loft, and yoga classes and massage are done in the same open, airy space (at separate times).
Light floods in through floor-to-ceiling windows, and it feels amazingly spare, open, and quiet, all of which help you to better chill out. The only flourishes are rotating art pieces from local artists, like Alexandra Forsyth and Brad Bachtell, along with a wall-size mural of Hindu goddess Saraswati, by street artist Cernesto, who greets you at the entrance.
Yoga classes ($15) from Kundalini to Yoga for Dudes are offered once or twice a day by different instructors, including Moreno, and massage ($110–$225), complete with all-natural Ayurvedic oils, is by appointment.
“I have a natural gift at being very intuitive with the body,” Moreno says. “I really feel that yoga and massage complement each other and are needed to fully embody the wellness lifestyle.”
I took a 75-minute vinyasa class that was punctuated with full stops of meditation, and, at one point, we even danced freely throughout the loft for a whole song. It felt way more calming than other yoga classes I’ve been to recently, and yet I was never sure what the next sequence would be, which was a refreshing break from the standard flow.
And with just four students, the experience was intimate. Moreno knew of us by name and hugged everyone goodbye. “Really, I just want to share something that has changed my life,” she says. —Jamie McKillop
Bhati Space for Creative Wellness, 1099 Flushing Ave., at Porter Ave., Suite 307, Bushwick, www.bhatistudio.com