Main Street’s newest yoga studio, NP Rock Yoga, turns up the heat on its competition with its exclusive offering of hot yoga.
The studio, run by Julie Ewald and husband John Souto, held its grand opening Friday, Oct. 2 at its 215 Main St. location.
NP Rock Yoga is the first in the New Paltz area to offer Hot Power 50 yoga and Vinyasa Power yoga in a heated studio. The couple opened up the studio in conjunction with the move from New York City to New Paltz.
Ewald, a yoga practitioner of eight years, first practiced yoga in Los Angeles at Bryan Kest’s Power Yoga. After studying different styles of yoga, she fell in love with the Absolute Kohsumui thought philosophy, which incorporates Bikram, Baron Baptiste and Bryan Kest practices of yoga.
Instruction called to Ewald and led her to Thailand for an intense educational experience. She said she immersed herself during 30 days of yoga to earn instructional certification. There, she embraced the Hot Power 50 style, a style that expands upon the traditional 26 postures of Bikram and adds high temperatures to have participants push their limits.
The Hot Power 50 is taught at 105 degrees Fahrenheit, while hot or warm Power Vinyasa yoga is taught at temperatures of 85 and 90 degrees.
“The original Vinyasa is a flow, gliding postures connected one to another, each with a breath,” Ewald said. “The heat makes you more flexible. You get toxins out. When you’re challenged inside the room, the outside becomes more manageable.”
Kathleen Westervelt, a second-year chemistry major, said she goes to NP Rock Yoga to de-stress.
“It was very relaxing and I felt refreshed. I get a lot of pressure. I like cardio, but this is a great change for me to build strength with muscles I don’t use,” Westervelt said.
NP Rock Yoga ushered in people with a week of free classes during the week of their grand opening. Ewald taught more than 200 participants by herself.
“Our ultimate goal is a cyclical effect: lighting someone from inside enables them to help someone else,” Ewald said.
In keeping with that philosophy, NP Rock Yoga donates 10 percent of their profits to the charity Springs of Hope Kenya, run by a personal friend of Ewald’s.
“This place is about how you feel, not how you look. Our philosophy is making it physically accessible,” Ewald said. “All yoga is good yoga. We want to encourage that whatever your age, fitness level, or belief, this is a place for cultivating your own practice.”
Although the company is in its infancy, Ewald looks optimistically toward the future. On future weekends, the studio will offer donation-based classes.
“We try to keep a community feel,” Ewald said. “It’s important in giving back. I don’t think you can do anything good unless you do that. A tiny bit can make a huge difference.”