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De-stress in downtown

By Sarah Hess
On February 6, 2018

Roomie learns the warrior II pose in Brenna Barzenick and Britni Serou’s downtown yoga studio. Opportunities for relaxation and meditation can be found at the studio. Courtesy of Ashley Richardson

Alumnae Brenna Barzenick and Britni Serou make a new leap in their business. The pair own the only yoga studio in Hammond, Downtown Yoga.

Located between The Steak House and Gypsy Hill Boutique, the yoga studio offers a space where they can focus on meditation and self-harmony. When walking into the building, clients can begin to de-stress, passing the living moss wall and taking the stairs or elevator where a “Namaste Y’all” welcome sign indicates that yoga students are about to enter an area of relaxation. Students reach the second floor, take off their shoes to enter the studio and begin an hour of yoga and meditation. 

Previously located behind the Salad Station, Serou believes the move has opened up their potential to gain new clients including many university students. Their studio has a deep affiliation with the university offering students, faculty and staff of the university a discount. One of their VIP customers was university mascot Roomie, who they taught actual yoga poses for promotional ads. They also work with many organizations on campus, giving lessons to the Lionettes, Phi Mu sorority, and Serou’s chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi. Serou explained how yoga can benefit college students 

“For a college student, I would say to de-stress,” said Serou. “Relax ’cause I know tests and homework and that kind of thing can wear you down a bit. So, that would be a huge factor would be stress relief. Beyond that though, yoga is a great way to build strength and flexibility in the body versus some kinds of exercises might only give you one or the other. But, it’s also a really great way to help people pay attention and be present, which is what I love about it.”

Senior criminal justice major Molly O’Krepki, whose mom got her started doing yoga, uses yoga as a chance to de-stress and get exercise. 

“I’m in class all day, so I’m just sitting around all day,” said O’Krepki. “I think it’s important to do something, for yourself. They have a lot of classes, different kinds at different times, which is really helpful. I don’t really always have time. So just a variety of classes and times is really helpful for students and everybody that works.”

With a wide range of clientele instructors at Downtown Yoga and a variety of people, men and women, with a wide range of ages, from kids in their kid yoga classes to seniors in their 80s, they offer different courses that are beneficial to everyone. Downtown Yoga tailors their classes to where no matter the age or level of fitness, they have a class everyone can participate in. Some classes offered include a free meditation class, single and private group sessions and rope wall classes where instructors teach by using ropes tethered to a wall as support and coming soon is chair yoga. 

Serou’s love of yoga started at the university when she took her first yoga class during her freshman year and the next semester began teaching at the Pennington Student Activity Center. Serou and Barzenick have turned their love of yoga into a successful business and offer the spiritual and physical benefits of yoga to the Hammond community.

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