HurtJohn it’s a movement.. (Photos By Anthony Wade)
Up the building in the heart of NYC’s art district and passed the grey walls and wooded flooring is the way to the yoga studio Yoganesh: A community inspired yoga hub full of artists, yogis, and transcendence. As you enter there is a small desk to the left where the owner Norma will greet you.
Norma’s story is the quintessiontal story of Americas economic infrstracture today. She worked hard, earned her degree, busted her ass for a company, moved up, and finally realized her position was no longer secured when fired after working for 22 years at the company. Her life savings were invested into a downtrodden space in northern Manhatten. A few years later, that space was not promised to last as the landlord informed her the entire building would be demolished. Now, there is a hole in the middle of the street, and so also within her heart. She speaks of the new space she found on a limb while she reassembles herself in the new location. Business had been slow though they offered just as much if not more than most competing yoga schools. This all changed when Mini People, manager for EyeoccupyNYC walked through the door.
In the hallway to the right there is a place to hold ones items conveniently in cubby holes, and a dressing curtain, with elephants and spiritual teachings all around the room. Behind there is a room leading to a room occupied by a real life Shaman and another room where art coordinator Mini People schedules meetings and hangs EyOccupyNYC’s art work. Within this 4 roomed studio is a story of hard work, a tale of resurgence and triumph that many relate to, but few share. Here on the other hand everyone uses their hardship as their testimonial.
The main room was illuminated by glowing decor as colored hanging balls gave the room the aura of a sanctuary, while the view overlooking NYC street came with a peace behind its silent landscape when looking from above down. From this view it was easy to see the cacophony of movement, stimulation, and distraction that goes on so much in the city. A city like NYC is very prone to disconnecting people constantly in movement, however, here, behind the windows of Yoganesh there was a tranquility and peacefulness in knowing this is where serotonin levels were replenished, where ironically just beyond the glass it was depleting.
The room continues on behind an Aladin inspired shaped door into a small gallery space occupied by Indias work. The work is simple, but straight forward, more of a dialogue made by the artist towards her changing feelings while making the art. The artist is now bald after shaving her head. She has remained consistent in her modeling, and creating, the look, for what it seems, was the materialization of her growth as her art seemed to be the end result of many meditation segments.
As revealed through the night India realized with help from her very artistic grandmother that there was a way of expression without aggression. Art became life she publicly admitted. As a full time model, India found refuge in her art, and began publicly showing her work when she found Mini People.
Mini People is a socialite who has danced along the layers of hip-hop for over ten years. He worked alongside Def Jams former A&R, Bimmy Antney, taking in and learning what he could from the man personally mentored by Rusell Simmons; coordinated shows and marketing for MMG’s Stalley; and as Mini has entered the yoga world, so has the hip hip-hop flare. The coordinator walks around with a snap back and fitted sweats, with no socks or shoes, of course.
At 330 music by DJ Pumpkin was lowered and classes began with an opening by Krissy Reyes, assistant producer and emcee of the night and assistant at YoGanesh. The class was directed to an opening meditation session where In no time we were introduced to Rebekah Letch , Yoga-Dance Globetrotter, NYU Graduate, Professional Ballet Dancer, and graduate for American Ballet Theatre at the Juilliard School. Rebeka’s sultry voice, tough poses, and spirutal practice has made her an online star and icon for Yoga practice. Announcing that she would be bringing a weekly class to YoGanesh meant that we would be receiving a glimpse of what was to come for the yoga company in a 30 minute segment that brought a first look teaser at the challenging, fun, energetic flow she brings. In the end. The class was a practice of pushing through adversity; controlling the way one reacts to pressure, and keeping balance. Ultimately, the result, was a feeling of peace and calm.
In the back, the artist, India, going by the name EyeOccupyNYC, has grown since the first few shows. She is entertaining to watch, as she is beautiful to admire. Her assertiveness and directness compliments Mini’s more welcoming approach and ability to side swipe highbrow comments, and confrontation. The two are a match made in heaven. One knows how to bring people out, the other knows how to make them feel comfortable. Together they showed Yoganesh to an entirely new demographic. The result was the realization of Yoganesh’ and its beauty at the heart of the art district: Chelsea NYC.
Capped off with an art mixer full of beautiful, natural, and healthy people with dreams and aspirations, the doors were closing but felt like they were just opening for a new revitalized chapter for Yoganesh. As the night faded away one thing remained: the idea that we could push beyond our own perceived limits. This was the beauty of the night and what bound everyone together as the meditating breaths synchronized and bodies syncopated. Gift bags contained items by Reebok, NY Yoga Life Magazine, Radha Beauty, Arteasan, Buddha Pants, Juice Press, Dun Well Donuts, 2nd Time Around, RagaVarnish, Hurt John, and Tropical Plants & Orchids Inc. Check out images from the event in the gallery below.
AJR is pushing for time. Follow her on Instagram @1Penny4r !!