Denver Yoga & Wellness opens with good reception
DENVER – Three years ago, Kristjan de Vree realized he needed an outlet: something new and fun to try. de Vree gave yoga a shot.
“It did so much for my mind and body. It completely and fundamentally changed my life,” de Vree said.
Now he’s out to provide the same outlet for people in the Denver area. de Vree, the manager of All Brand Vacuums of Lake Norman, opened Denver Yoga & Wellness on Nov. 10.
Three months ago, the building that houses the yoga studio was a computer repair store that de Vree operated. But when yoga became a calling, he wanted to give residents a chance to improve their mental, spiritual and physical health through stretching and meditation. The new studio owner learned his skills at Be Yoga in Charlotte.
De Vree said he had some trepidation about opening the studio and thought that residents may not see the need for such a service in the area.
“I saw an expressed need, there not being any yoga studios in the area,” said de Vree, a former software engineer for Microsoft. “There’s a great mix of people here: blue-collar workers who sustain injuries and who can benefit from yoga, and seniors losing their range of mobility. It’s something for anybody.”
Even with that mission in mind, de Vree and his business partner, fellow instructor Shane Pigg, knew there was no guarantee the studio would attract customers.
“There’s been some misconception about yoga in general,” he said. “But now people have seen, through social media, the benefits of a yoga studio.”
A WebMD.com study showed practicing yoga, or Vinyasa yoga – also known as power yoga – can improve physical posture, muscle tone, stress management and help with losing weight.
“It’s a great way to get a workout, and the community needed it,” said Pigg, who has practiced yoga for eight years. He’s one of three instructors at the studio, which can hold up to 20 people at a time.
de Vree said he plans to add two more instructors soon to handle a greater demand than he initially expected. Ten people came to his first class, with others saying they plan to join soon.
“We’re (also) going to have some workshops just to see what the community is looking for,” Pigg said. “We’re going to give them what they’re ready for as far as classes go.”
The studio also wants to draw men as well as women. A 2008 study from Yoga Journal said about 4.4 million American men practice yoga.
de Vree said he’s trying to make his studio different from those in Charlotte and surrounding areas, through basic design – he calls the studio a “homey, cozy place” – and through subtle touches like having no mirror in the restroom.
“We want to be a place where you can step away from the outside world for a bit, where you can really just be you,” he said. “I never expected the level of support we’ve gotten starting out. It gives you chills.”