While yoga studios seem to be popping up everywhere these days, Clark was still yoga-less until December, when Heads and Tails Yoga opened in the Clarkton Shopping Center next to Clark Bagels.
The new studio is run by owner-instructor Kate Hoyos, a Westfield resident who has been practicing yoga for 14 years. Hoyos has taught previously at Garden State Yoga in Bloomfield, Ignite Yoga in Livingston and Hot Yoga Revolution in Garwood.
"I have lots of friends in Clark and everyone just seemed to want a yoga studio that was closer," says Hoyos. "When I said I was looking for a location for my studio, they all said, 'You have to come. You have to do yoga in Clark."
Hoyos says the space, formerly Arena Sports and vacant for the past two years, is perfect. Hoyos has added wood floors, a welcoming entrance area, and painted the studio in gray and bright green.
"There's a hustle and bustle around here," she says. "The energy is really high. And then we wanted to make the studio feel really inviting and comfortable and relaxing."
Heads and Tails offers several different kinds of yoga and specializes in vinyasa flow. Class types include beginner, restorative and a mixed level class – all scheduled for nights (usually 6:15 and 7:45 p.m.) and weekends in the morning. Hoyos says she'll be expanding the schedule as business picks up. She has also been offering a free class every Sunday.
"Opening day we had free classes and they were so popular, I decided why not keep them going," says Hoyos. "I want people to just experience this place. I know after they come once, they'll be hooked. Yoga gives you a calming energy that other workouts don’t necessarily give you. When you leave yoga, you feel like you’re floating on a cloud, like the world is perfect."
Prices start at $17 per class. New students can sign up for $50 for a full month of yoga. After your first month, a month of unlimited classes is $150 or you can by a package of 10 classes to be used any time for $150.
Hoyos encourages first-timers to try the studio and says that no one should feel intimidated by yoga.
"We’re laid back, fun and not stuffy here," she says. "I've had plenty of people walk in and look like a deer in headlights. I tell them all the same thing – just do whatever you can. No one here is ever going to laugh at you and hopefully you’re not talking yourself too seriously and can laugh at yourself a little. But don’t put any expectations on yourself."
Hoyos also points to the health benefits of yoga, including help with any stress-related health concern, high blood pressure, anxiety, asthma, breathing issues, allergies and "creating strength and flexibility in both the mind and the body."
"Yoga is not what people think," adds Hoyo's boyfriend and studio assistant Jim Szamreta. "People discover that yoga is a great many things. On top of all the health benefits it improves posture, increases confidence, relieves stress, and prepares you for going into something stressful. It helps you meet the day. The thought that yoga is inaccessible is so ironic, because yoga really is for everybody and everybody will find something they like here."
Heads and Tails Yoga, 1049 Raritan Road (next to Clark Bagels), 732-388-2013, headsandtailsyoga.com, email@example.com.