Staci Martin and Dave Wiegman are hoping to start a revolution in the Flagstaff yoga market. The two business partners recently opened Yoga Revolution in the heart of Southside on South San Francisco Street.
The first hint that Yoga Revolution is not your typical, mainstream yoga studio is the bright graffiti-style art work behind the reception desk. The next hint is the hip hop music that the current class on the studio floor is working out to.
“We wanted to create something with a different feel, a different vibe,” Martin said.
Martin hails from Tucson, where she ran her own yoga studio for a while. She fell in love with yoga several years ago after trying out a class using a Groupon deal. It was Wiegman that got her interested in moving to Flagstaff and opening a new yoga studio. He also came up with the name for the studio, which represents the revolution from within that yoga brings to many people who practice it.
Flagstaff is kind of a funky place and it needed a funky yoga studio, Wiegman said.
The music, the artwork and the teaching are designed to be different and yet welcoming to those who might not consider a traditional yoga studio. Walking into a yoga class for the first time can be intimidating, Martin said. You worry that you might not know the poses or might be doing them incorrectly. It can be uncomfortable.
Both she and Wiegman recently returned from a trip to Nepal to learn more yoga, but they found that the more traditional styles of yoga, with no music and very formal poses or movements, didn’t always meet the needs of their Western students.
The fun music and art shows people that the teachers at Yoga Revolution don’t take themselves too seriously, she said. They’re there to teach yoga but also have fun with their students. They don’t touch students to correct their poses, but might say something like, “I bet it would feel really good if you bent your knee a little bit more.”
Or if a student is having difficulty with a pose, they might adapt it to meet their physical needs, Martin said.
Yoga Revolution specializes in vinyasa yoga, which is style of yoga that is accessible to a large number of people, she said. The studio also offers a basic yoga class that breaks down the various poses and allows students to ask questions on Sundays, as well as a funky Friday class where the music can get kind of crazy and ranges from pop to death metal.
The studio currently has 45 classes on its schedule, Martin hopes to whittle that down a bit as she and Weigman come to know what Flagstaff yoga students like best. Martin and Weigman also welcome suggestions and feedback on what classes and music the studio should have.
The cost of a membership at Yoga Revolution depends on how frequently you want to come. The studio has a single class drop-in of $11 cash or $12 on a credit or debit card and an unlimited monthly rate of $100. There are also five- and 10-day passes, student passes and annual memberships.
“We wanted to be inclusive and welcoming to all body types and ages,” Wiegman said.
“We wanted to have a community feel, that it’s a place that belongs to everyone, not just us,” Martin said.
People usually have three main places at which they always hang out, Wiegman said. The first two are home and work, and the third is usually their favorite restaurant, coffee shop, park, etc.
“We wanted Yoga Revolution to become that third place,” he said.
The studio celebrates its grand opening on Feb. 2 with a DJ playing '70s and '80s funk music during the classes. Yoga Revolution also has a free smartphone app that lets you check the class schedule for the day and sign up for classes.