The experience of getting fit is too often an anonymous one, Rachel Roberts says. She owns and operates one of Cincinnati’s newest places to sweat, The Yoga Bar, and runs it on the principle that fitness should be a collective endeavor.
Roberts, who traveled the world for two years to learn about the various disciplines of yoga, says every time she would arrive at a new place she’d start to plug in by visiting a local yoga studio. That’s where she found new friends and mentors.
“This was a way for me to find commonality no matter what country I was in,” she says.
“That you’re in that room together means you have more in common than you might think.”
So The Yoga Bar, which occupies the second floor of the old Carol’s on Main space downtown, has many of the programs one might expect to find at a yoga studio — Ashtanga, Yin and Vinyasa yoga — but clients are also encouraged to linger after class. This is a Yogi concept of community called Sangha, Roberts says, meaning informal, spontaneous conversations at the mahogany bar that dominates the space and at the planned Friday evening mixers. Often there’s live music, and there are always refreshing beverages to enjoy.
“Most yoga studios tend to have this earthy feel to them — a lot of people think of tapestries hanging on the wall,” Roberts says. “Our studio is very contemporary, very hip.”
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