Why does everything have to be fully renovated and sleek to be alluring, exciting or relevant? Doesn’t an old farmhouse have a rustic charm? Must all yoga environments be spacious and palatial? Is there a deep rooted desire with us all to attain extravagance for happiness? Many studios feel obligated to have fully renovated and branded spaces so students feel like they are paying for a luxurious, trendy and cohesive experience. 

Yoga studios have taken the “art gallery” stylized non-space approach where anything can be done in the space. It’s universal, minimal, and has a fresh personality….That resembles stale potatoes and lukewarm water. I like flavor, texture and grit. I like character. What do polished studios subconsciously condition us to believe? You are not welcome as you are. You have to be fashionable, refined and of a certain persona to be accepted. Why are spaces focused on frills oppose to focusing on the quality yoga we paid for? Why can’t a yoga studio simply be a yoga studio? 

Focusing on amenities distracts students because they are now customers surrounded by the smoke and mirrors of saunas, chilled eucalyptus towels, showers and high end cosmetics. Why do we embellish everything in order for it to have value? Why aren’t we awakening to see the intrinsic value of a space, person or experience?

Katie Piper Photography

Katie Piper Photography

Merge New York is not a yoga gallery space. It is not an airy loft oasis. We are downtown yoga. We are Soho yoga. We are yoga for the people, not just giving yoga to the people. With all the cracks and rough edges, the loud slamming iron door or the creaky metal door… the space is a reflection of me. It is a reflection of you. It is a reflection of society. We are rough, raw, vulnerable and welcoming. Why must we change ourselves for others to like us? We renovate our homes and lives displaying a fantasy? Do we fear expressing reality and truth; the rawness and grit of humanity. Are we decorating our yoga studios to mask the truth? Are we covering up like when we dress ourselves and face the world? At Merge New York, we accept you as you are.