Studio Spotlight : YogaSpark

YogaSpark leads the way in integrating yoga with modern technology. All our studios are tiered, meaning you can choose the amount of time you want to spend in each class. You can take as much as you like, or as little as you want, depending on how dedicated you are.

YogaSpark is a premier yoga studio located in the gorgeous Santa Monica Mountains of Los Angeles. With over 30 years of teaching experience, the studio has a wide range of classes for every level of yoga practitioner.

Yogasparks is a yoga studio in Brampton, Ontario. We offer Yoga, Pilates, and Barre classes. We are also a full fitness studio offering Zumba, aerobics, and boot camp classes.

Lauren Porat founded YogaSpark in 2013 with the goal of creating a holistic, high-end hot yoga experience that is both a workout and a centering journey – after first experiencing the benefits of a vigorous hot yoga practice 15 years ago as a strategic department head. Their mission is to help others step into their own power. She believes that three essential elements support this mission: the physical practice of yoga, which strengthens the body and makes it more flexible, self-awareness and community. YogaSpark has two offices in Westchester and New York, and a 24/7 digital studio. All YogaSpark classes are open, challenging, fun and set to great music. YogaSpark also offers the SparkDome, an inflatable device for hot yoga classes at home. Annabelle van Schravendijk: Hey, Lauren. As a yoga space designer, tell us: How can yogis recreate a hot, sweaty class at home? Lauren Porat: If you’re used to the exhilarating experience of a hot yoga studio – where the heat, humidity and ventilation are perfectly tuned to keep your entire body covered in sweat while allowing you to breathe deeply with fresh air – this pandemic won’t be easy for you! It’s not enough to install heaters around our carpet. Your workout room should contain warm air and water vapor to achieve the temperature and humidity you are probably used to. That’s why we developed the SparkDome, an inflatable device that works as a mini-studio in your home. We have found that using a small heater and humidifier in the SparkDome is enough to get the sweat to studio level. Of course, the pace and intensity at which you train also plays a role. Muscle activation is the key to generating heat, and that comes with time, body awareness and the good advice of a good trainer. word-image-1871 Annabelle: What are the best ways to focus on the workout when you’re distracted at home? Lauren: This is one of the biggest problems with training at home. For many hot yoga practitioners, finding peace and presence on their mat is so difficult that it’s not even worth the effort. I think it’s a shame – the pandemic has taken away so much – can we really allow it to take away our access to meditation, to joy, to connection with ourselves? We must admit that home practice will never resemble studio practice. This acceptance is essential to reaping the benefits of home gymnastics. Once accepted, you can. The most tangible things you can do to support your home practice are:

  1. Please ensure that all urgent emails/text messages are sent 10 minutes before the course and activate the DND feature on your phone. Inform your colleagues/children/partners that you will be away. Get to your room early and find a way to get your mind in order 5 minutes before class starts: a quick meditation, a journal, or just an early baby pose.
  2. Experiment with different parts of your home to find a place that is as cleansing and peaceful as possible. Some people like the view of nature.
  3. Make sure your tools are in place so you’re not distracted by unnecessary discomfort. A good mat that provides support and cushioning but does not slip; towels; a bottle of water.
  4. Using wireless headsets eliminates outside noise and provides a louder, more immersive audio experience.
  5. Bring something to the rehearsal room that helps you focus your thoughts on the exercise: a plant, a candle, a mantra, a piece of art.
  6. If you are distracted, pay attention to your reaction and consider it a choice. (I mean everything from random business thoughts to the doorbell to your kid storming into the room asking for a snack). Make the decision to be kind to the distraction and to yourself, and start working out again when you can.
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As you get better at controlling your distractions and your reactions to them, your home training can become even more important to you! word-image-5152 Annabelle: What can you say about the future of yoga in relation to small businesses? Lauren: I can tell you that the people at the studio are more grateful than ever to be here. Physical and mental health has never been more important. Community and showing that we care and need each other has never been more important. However, the pre-COVID business model for yoga studios does not work at 33% occupancy (the current NYC state requirement, with the exception of NYC where group fitness of any kind is not allowed). I embrace all the good things happening in our only open space, I am personally very grateful to have the opportunity to teach and practice here, and I believe in the future of full-time yoga. There’s no such thing. But the current situation is not sustainable, which is why we see so many failed closures. The sign on the wall had been visible for years. Peloton, of whom I am a big fan, encouraged studio owners to think about what makes us valuable long before COVID came along. In 2019, I was actively looking for new places. The year 2020 has been hell, but it has brought us an amazing new place called YogaSpark Digital. I hate the word turnaround, because it implies a kind of intelligent opportunism in the face of adversity, which I don’t think we had. I’d rather move on, because we did it out of necessity for ourselves and for our community. I think what we do at Digital is unique, as is any small business that develops a great online product for their community that can now get into more hands and help more people. So I can’t wait to see where this goes. But we will build studios again as soon as possible! word-image-5153 Annabelle: I’m talking about what I’ve seen in the studios, in my community, and what I’ve felt myself – many of us have had many moments of despair over the past year. What are your expectations for 2021? Lauren: Apart from the obvious aspects (more vaccinations, developing treatments for patients, meeting parents again for the first time in a year and a half), I am hopeful because I think we have learned a lot during this time. We learned so many new skills – from gardening to meditation to living with uncertainty (a big one!) – and so much armor and confidence. Personally, I have learned many things that encourage me and bring me joy. And I feel like I’ve developed the skills to continue doing this work. I know I’m not alone in this. When we are happy with ourselves, we can treat others with more kindness. On a global scale, the impact can be enormous. Author: Annabelle van Schravendijk, Account Manager Manduka – East CoastYogaSpark is a small studio in Yonkers, NY that is dedicated to helping families experience a more fulfilling yoga life. We offer classes on all levels of yoga practice, in a beautiful and peaceful setting that is a perfect place to achieve a deeper yoga connection with your children. We are currently offering a special introductory offer for New York families: Curriculum 2-Class Pass for $35 (regularly $80). We are also offering a free class to new students on the week of December 4.. Read more about yoga near me and let us know what you think.

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