By Erin Crowell
Theres a new yoga place in downtown Traverse City however, Yen
Yoga, soon-to-be open on East Front Street is more than just a yoga
studio. The 7,000 square foot studio will be home to several
health-minded activities including spinning, Pilates and kettlebell
Were not just a gym or yoga studio, we want to foster inspiration
for people to get healthy, says Yen Yoga director Sara Harding. We
really want to be a community more than anything.
Owned by brothers Paul and Mike Sutherland, Yen Yoga aims to be the
fitness Mecca of Northern Michigan. And although the doors havent
officially opened, it hasnt stopped people from walking in and
checking out the new space.
I think people are excited and its fun to be a part of that, says
Harding who is also the communications director for the FIM Group in
Traverse City. We already have a ton of fans on Facebooklike 500 I
thinkwhich to me, sounds like a lot.
Others getting excited about the new studio include local fitness instructors.
Weve recruited a lot of the best instructors in town, says Harding.
A ROUNDED-OUT WORKOUT
Kettlebell instructor Erik Peterson was one of those excited
instructors, who also happened to be one of the many people that came
in to check out the studio first-hand.
I was doing an interview downtown and happened to have my kettlebells
with me. My brother and I went to high school with the Sutherlands,
and so I came in and talked with Mike for a bit.
Kettlebells are round weights of various sizes with handles.
Participants perform a variety of moves lifting, swinging and
dropping the weights for a full-body workout. Peterson says the
routine complements the other exercises at Yen Yoga.
Yoga and Pilates have their strengths, but neither really addresses a
cardiovascular and strength component quite the way kettlebells can,
Peterson says. I see it really fitting in. The four disciplines cover
a broad range of qualities that one is looking at in terms of overall
fitness and health.
Peterson will teach his kettlebell classes four days a week.
WHAT YEN HAS TO OFFER
Yen Yoga will offer a variety of classes including gentle yoga for
beginners and senior citizens, kids yoga, Yen Vinyasa Flow, Pilates
bar, and mens yoga, among others.
The space boasts three fitness studios, along with one spinning
studio. The spinning studio will have 27 LeMond stationary bikes
the best state-of-the-art bikes on the market, as Harding says.
The bikes will be placed on a five-tier platform, facing a large
mirror with a projection screen that can play real-life race footage
Its nice to have something else to look at other than the
instructor, says Harding, who is also a certified spin instructor.
You feel like youre right in the race.
One studio was designed specifically for hot yogaa kinder version
of Bikramwhere students practice yoga moves in 90 to 100 degree
Studios can hold between 20-30 people, depending on the exercise
performed. Yen Yoga also offers showers, lockers and temporary storage
space for personal items.
The lobby area, which is decorated in wood trim and soft earth tones,
has a retail area with Zobha and Blue Canoe organic clothing; along
with a sitting area.
Yen also has something many local studios dont have.
We really wanted to be downtown, says Harding. Its right next to
the parking deck and, during certain times of the year, its only 50
cents an hour to park.
Peterson says the location also offers an opportunity for the lunch
crowd to get in some exercise.
It has potential to capture a lot of the noon-time business crowd, he says.
Yen Yoga will celebrate its grand opening this week, June 14-19. There
will be an opening party on Thursday, June 17, from 5-8 p.m. with wine
and cheese. Check out free classes on Friday, June 18, and Saturday,
June 19. Check their website for more information at
yenyogafitness.com or stop in at 332 E. Front Street in downtown