NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – The location is different, but the ambiance and positive energy hasn’t changed in New Rochelle as Westchester Yoga Arts prepares for its grand opening after trading up for a bigger location.
Five years ago, when Westchester Yoga Arts was founded by Wendy Vigroux, the studio featured just a handful of classes in a cramped 800-square-foot studio on Centre Avenue.
The studio has become such an institution, and its classes were in such demand, that founder Wendy Vigroux was forced to move on up to a 2,500-square-foot studio on Lawton Street.
Vigroux hit a few snags while renovating her new space, which had been untouched since 1963. While she said that she’s received complete cooperation from all of her landlords, contractors and city officials, she noted it was “a bigger challenge than (she) ever thought possible.”
The renovation began in August, when crews from the city building department inspected the location. The construction began in earnest in November when they were given the “all-clear” to start building. Six months later, Vigroux is set to celebrate the studio’s grand re-opening during the weekend of May 2.
“All the walls we needed to knock down got knocked down, and now its just some little things to fix to make it all perfect,” she said. “We were overflowing in our previous space, we sometimes had to lock the door to keep people out.”
The studio will now offer daily yoga and Zumba classes, while continuing popular belly dancing and special workshops. The extra space also includes a treatment room for one-on-one experiences.
In addition, Vigroux and her staff will continue training instructors to become certified to run their own classes, something the owner says is a rarity in the area. She is currently mentoring two women who hope to follow in her footsteps.
“It’s something that draws people to our studio, and it actually helps us. The more yoga studios there are around us, the more people who are doing yoga, so it’s working out pretty well,” she said. “It lends a lot of credibility to the studio, you need to be registered with the Yoga Alliance.”
In its new location, Westchester Yoga Arts helps make up a small “Zen-like” corridor in New Rochelle. The studio is above the Vistro Café, a vegetarian restaurant and next door to the Empty Hand Zen Center.
“We’re excited to expand our schedule, and to get more people into the studio,” she said. “We have a nice little nook of yoga and Zen centers, and I’m really looking forward to see it unfold.”