Monday, February 13, 2012

Prema Yoga To Close. Area To Take Over Space

Here is some sad news, but also some good news.
Prema Yoga at 236 Carroll Street at the corner of Court Street will be closing its doors this week.  The studio will officially close on February 15th.  It had been part of the community for three years.
But there is some good news for the space as well.  Over the week-end, I received an email from Loretta Genville, owner of Area Yoga, informed me that she will be taking over Prema's space, which is just one block away from her own studio at 389 Court Street.
Loretta writes:  "We are very exciting to be expanding in the neighborhood!"
The new space will allow Area to expand on prenatal yoga, kids yoga, restorative yoga and many workshops for beginners.  The classes will mostly be done in a 6 week series with preregistration.


Becky said...

We actually had been looking into Prema Yoga recently because the new Area room is so squished and it wasn't fun to go to yoga anymore. I'm sorry we won't get a chance to try Prema out, but if it means more space available for the beginner Area classes so I'm not always smacking my neighbor by accident, that's good news!

Jenn said...

Well said, Becky.

It's a shame that Area couldn't consolidate into a single, larger space. I could care less about more workshops, I just want regular classes in a studio big enough that I won't be elbowing other yogis in the face.

Anonymous said...

I guess too many students is a good problem for a yoga studio to have...Area must be doing something right.

loretta said...

Most popular class times at good studios are packed....many people want to go at the same time. AREA Yoga has a huge variety of class times and if you don't want a crowded class, better to come at a non peak time....BUT we will most likely add some regular classes at peak times at the AREA Yoga Workshop space. We hope to see you there!

Anonymous said...

This is terrible! There are over 300 devoted Prema yogis left without a studio to practice in and atleast 20 teachers now unemployed because of this back stabbing deal. There is a much bigger story to this, and lets just say that what happened was completely unfair and a shock to the entire Prema community. I am sorry for those who did not have the pleasure of experiencing yoga at Prema and I am sure that Area will never do it as well as them. I have lived in CG for over 9 years, and was once a devoted Area yogi until all the good teachers left and started their own amazing studios. I now have to sit back and watch as they monopolize the neighborhood's small businesses. I am so sick of them. End of story.

Matthew said...

Area is a creepy, predatory business, and the way Prema's closing went down reeks of some slimy back-door dealing; several of the teachers were trying to take over the lease only to find out they had less than a week before closing. It seems the owner, who was no longer involved in running the studio, had her role to play in the demise, as well.

Prema is a wonderful Yoga studio, one of the best I've found in the city, with some of the absolute best teachers. They are on the hunt for a new space, and I hope they find one ASAP, and not too far from their soon to be former home. I know I and many of Prema's other students look forward to continuing to work with all of their great teachers.

Area's business practices in this neighborhood are disgusting, and there is no way I'll ever be supporting a business that practices their brand of predatory expansion, especially when it comes to something like yoga, which for many people means a lot more than money and exercise. They should be ashamed of themselves.

loretta said...

Area yoga was approached by Brownstone Realty with an offer to take over the space that is currently Prema. With the news that Prema was closing Area was and is excited to use this as an opportunity to provide the services our devoted students have been demanding. We are thrilled to bring workshops to the Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill community.

Anonymous said...

It is always a shame to see studios close, however, around here every other person is a yogi so I wouldn't be too concerned about teachers being unemployed... And with Area adding new classes, my hope is that the Prema teachers can come teach there! Whats important to me, a lover of YOGA, is my physical and spiritual practice. More classes, with wonderful teachers, at affordable prices doesn't sound evil to me. I see no reason to get caught up in gossip and your own assumptions of a situation.

Raj said...

In the vein of spirituality, which is first and foremost what hatha Yoga is intended to be, we should examine the business model of the studios that continually raised prices of their classes, to the point where it became obscene at $17.00 a class.

I worked at a yoga studio in the '90's in Manhattan, before it became fashionable to the Yoga bunnies you see around NYC. I have been practicing Yoga most of my life. Yoga still had much of the Eastern influence that keeps it connected to its source in the 1990's and eventually grew out of control with the commercialization of the practice. Now what we have are yoga "enterprises", and the capital "Y" is gone.

Let us call it "hatha Yoga", the Yoga of stretching and positions, because there are many forms of Yoga - Raja yoga, Pranayama, etc. Yoga is diverse and is only a preparation for meditation and transcendence. It is the opposite of fashion and expensive Yoga mats, Yoga tights and expensive bottled water. The enterprising Western culture seems to think they can build an empire out of an ageless practice from a humble country. This may be Karma, as you may or may not know it, the process of cause and effect.

I suggest you bring some humility, generosity, and divinity back to the practice of all forms of Yoga. That is all that is needed.

Anonymous said...

I have been going to Area Yoga since 1999. 14 years. I watched as Leslie left Area Yoga. She did it in the most back stabbing and vicious way. It wasn't about Yoga. It was completely personal against Area Yoga. Now Leslie and her business partner Mary hate each other.
I find it...I don't know the word....ironic? that there is so much bad feeling in a YOGA studio. But anyway, those of you who have posted such nasty things about Area should look at the politics of Prema. I have had nothing but good experiences at Area and I have no idea where all the vile comments are coming from. It is a good small business that serves its community well.

Anonymous said...

I have heard that the reason so many teachers leave Area is that they are underpaid . . . if this keeps happening, and if Area continues to monopolize the choices in the neighborhood, good teachers will leave to be paid fairly for their work, and yoga practitioners will be forced to either accept inferior teachers and a corporate business model in the guise of a mom and pop, or go elsewhere for yoga.

loretta said...

Area yoga does not have a high turnover of teachers. Who ever thinks that does not even go there as otherwise they would see that it is the opposite. As far as being underpaid that is also not true. Check your facts as the previous comment is pure speculation.

Katia said...

I have to agree with Loretta. Just throwing speculations or accusations around without backing them up with facts doesn't really serve a purpose other than to stir up controversy.
I have friends who have taken yoga at Prema and loved it. I myself have taken classes at Area and found the teachers wonderful (especially Elias). Most importantly, I appreciate that Area is affordable and that I do not have to make a monthly commitment.

I think we should all be glad that the space will continue to be used for Yoga, rather than for yet another bar or restaurant.

Heather said...

I used to go to Area on occassion but Prema was my community and had talented, passionate teachers and a warm environment. The underhanded way that Prema was taken from them when they were trying to take over the lease themselves and had no idea they were at a risk of losing it is so upsetting and the OPPOSITE of everything that yoga stands for. I will never support Area again and I would venture to bet that none of the other Prema students will either. Shame on you Area. There are enough yogis for both studios to thrive. No need to resort to ugly predatory business practices.