“I’ve never done a yoga class like that before.” That’s the line we hear most after newbies finish their first class at Harbor Yoga Studio…and they would be correct. Harbor Yoga is not like any other studio anywhere.
Although our classes have continually evolved to include non-traditional “power moves” and often times weights, some things have stayed the same all of these years: We are yoga. We are not traditional yoga and are extremely proud of our interpretation. We will never make an excuse for it. We are hot. Very hot. We move fast. We love the music loud and current. We don’t have mirrors in the practice area. Ever. We use the English word for poses. We will always give back to the Community. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We are a workout.
In order to better explain what we are now, it’s important for us to explain where we came from. In 2001, the two of us met in a yoga class in Grandview. We took the class as a favor to our friend teaching it, but over time, we fell in love with Vinyasa yoga and eventually found ourselves attending classes daily. At the time, we didn’t even know each other’s names, but after putting our mats next to each other week after week…a friendship was born. Both of us did plenty of workouts and logged more miles running than we care to remember, but yoga is what would remain our constant in the years that followed.
A lot happened in those years. Life changing events that would lead us into the direction of opening our own place closer to home. Heidi continued teaching Kindergarten in Dublin, while getting her Master’s Degree, but also received her yoga certification and began teaching yoga for the first time. Angie went from a Sales Representative in television to the Local Sales Manager of a TV station and would begin the process to get yoga certified, but would not teach an actual class until some years later. Both of us started our families and the effort to make it to yoga 3x per week became more challenging, but still achievable and definitely necessary.
After some time, we both moved to the suburbs and the commute downtown stopped making sense for us and our growing families. So, what better to do than to find a location and start our own studio? That’s exactly what we did. All it really took was some encouragement from our spouses and a few bottles of wine over dinner and the idea was born. Within two weeks, a location in downtown Dublin was found and less than a month later, the papers were signed. We were going to open HARBOR YOGA STUDIO.
Combined, we had 4 children under the age of 5, a total of 3 instructors to run a schedule of 11 classes for the week and not a single doubt in our minds that this was going to be a success. We opened the door to a sold out class on November 6, 2010.
When we opened the studio, we made a commitment to grow our staff in a less traditional manner. We were never going to ask instructors from other studios to join our team or consider resumes sent anonymously. Instead, we wanted to grow our classes first and get to know people who came through our doors. When we met a person who had a good attitude, demeanor and fun personality, we would encourage that student to get yoga certified and join our team.
Even now, with a team of 22, we are never searching for the person who can do all the poses or someone with the best form because that’s not what we are about. We are more interested in you as an individual. Are you kind and approachable? That’s what we want. Our team is from all different backgrounds, with different ages, professions and body types. We can’t do every single inversion or arm balance created, but we will encourage our students in a positive manner better than anyone around.
So, why do people say that we are unlike any other yoga studio? When you enter our lobby, it is bright and welcoming. The instructor or our Studio Manager will be excited to see you and the music is already bumping. Once you get into the practice area, there is a single light from an aluminum anchor at the front of the room, but otherwise, it’s dark. No matter the class level, it’s going to be a challenge.
Whether starting with our “SLOW FLOW,” joining a MIXED LEVEL class, or trying out our one-of- a-kind YOGA STRONG flow with weights, be prepared to move a beat faster than you may have done in other studios. Do we sometimes offer “Power moves” that include mountain climbs or one legged burpees? Yes. Do you have to do them? Umm…of course not. The idea is that you do what works for you and we are there to simply offer options and modifications.
The idea behind ALL of our classes is that you feel you get a cardio workout as well as a necessary stretch. This might be why so many athletes have found our style to be the most challenging, demanding and rewarding yoga they have ever done. It’s also the reason why so many non-athletes have found that they too can do something that empowers them and changes the way they view working out…and yoga.
We always wanted our studio to have a “hometown feel” but also a “big city” vibe. We feel that over the years, we have truly achieved that by offering a dark, edgy studio space and an occasional LIVE DJ spinning records during class. Our first tagline on our shirts read “where urban meets suburban.”
We’ve come a long way since then. So far in fact, that we grew out of our space on High Street in Dublin after only 3 years. With wait lists becoming all too common, we began searching for a larger space and moved into The Shops at River Ridge in August of 2014. The new space opened up greater opportunities for us to better serve the community and our clients.
Soon after the new opening, we partnered with the Pelotonia Foundation to offer Donation Based classes for teams to do their fundraising. We have continued that tradition for the past three years as well as offering riders a discounted rate during training season. Our largest contribution has been by donating 10% of all 10 class passes purchased from April – August back to the Foundation every year since 2015. If you are riding, we want to help you with your training.
Most recently, we have partnered with the newest member of the fitness community, MESH Fitness located at the new Bridge Park project. An opportunity to enjoy unlimited memberships at their “Zone- Based” gym and our yoga studio is the perfect combination and we are thrilled to join ranks with some awesome people who live by the rule “Good for everybody.” We like that.
As we continue to partner with businesses and teams and companies and foundations, one partnership continues to be the one that means the most to us. It’s the one we have with the people who come to us day after day. We have met some of the most driven, dedicated and inspirational people by opening the studio. We constantly say that people find us for a reason. We are completely honored that many have shared their stories and their lives with us and we hope we can continue to be a safe place for many more to come. It was once said to us, “Harbor Yoga isn’t my life, but it sure does add to it.” We couldn’t agree more.
Angie and Heidi