Bikram Yoga NYC is giving itself a big 15th birthday present: a new studio in the heart of Tribeca.
The company opened New York City's first Bikram Yoga studio in August 1999 and has since expanded to four locations, the last of which opened on the Upper East Side in 2006. The Tribeca opening will bring its studio total to five, making it the largest Bikram chain in the United States, according to the brand. (Bikram studios are privately owned; teachers are licensed to teach it under the "Bikram" name.)
Jennifer Lobo, who co-owns Bikram NYC with Donna Rubin, says the brand wasn't looking to get bigger, but that she saw a definite demand in Tribeca, where she's lived for the past five years. "We’re really excited to open there because I just think there’s such a need for it," Lobo says. Popular studios Kula Yoga and Lyons Den Power Yoga are nearby, but there isn't a Bikram provider in the neighborhood, and it's a tight-knit community of people reluctant to get their hot asana fix elsewhere, she says.
Lobo says the build-out of the 3,000-square-foot space, which is on 158 Duane Street between West Broadway and Hudson, will likely take about five months, and she expects to open at the end of the year or in early 2015. It will be Bikram NYC's first ground-floor studio and will feature an even more sophisticated heating-and-humidity system. "We're always trying to improve with each location," she explains.
It's clearly working. While it hasn't been the best year for Bikram Yoga around the country, it's clear that Bikram NYC has created a continuously growing community stronger than—and apart from—the scandal. (This appears to be happening in Brooklyn, too.)
"We did everything we could to further separate ourselves and still be teaching the yoga...but I think in the end people realize now that we’re not him, and the yoga has nothing to do with the things he may or may not have done," Lobo says. "And business is good." —Lisa Elaine Held
For more information, visit www.bikramyoganyc.com
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