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Wall Street Yoga Trend: Exclusive and All Inclusive Secret Zen Dens for VIYs

in Business of Yoga, YD News, Yoga Pop

i-am-you-yoga-studio-viyThis story is literally everywhere. like astronauts are getting beamed the news in space. We kinda didn’t feel the need to make a fuss really, what another wealthy ex-Wall Streeter is doing yoga? Cool, no biggie. But then after reading the coverage at NYMag’s Daily Intel blog something rang a bell, NOT the closing bell.. narf.

Exposed! Bloomberg has done some investigative reporting on a (sort of) secret den of zen. The story is that Lauren Imparato was trudging away in her finance job at Morgan Stanley when she realized running a yoga studio full-time was her true calling. So she closed up shop (reportedly quit) and opened I.AM.YOU, a new exclusive yoga studio in Little Italy, in her loft.

For Imparato, yoga doesn’t have to be just for wussy yippies:

“I want everyone to see that you can drink wine and eat fine food and come to yoga the next day and you’ll be totally fine,” said the lithe, 5-foot-11-inch brunette at her Manhattan loft. “You don’t have to become a vegetarian to practice yoga,” told Bloomberg.

We know a few people who will agree with you there sister. So besides the fact that the studio is in her home, for $20 a class it’s all inclusive with luxury mats, towels, a complete array of props, and mood mending incense. So just swing on by and exchange your trading floor sweat for the serenity of the secret yoga den, sweaty floor. oooo..ahh.

But what can we expect in the class? (from the website)


Oh. Exclusive kick-your-asana to a custom soundtrack.

Interested? Better act quick, there’s only room for 25 (in her home. in NYC..we digress) and classes often sell out! A special note on the website says “**RSVP your space in advance via email. This is an exclusive studio.” That’s right, you can only attend if you email. And those “hedge-fund managers, traders, and venture capitalists,” and “jewelry designers and actors” are faster than a whip.

Did we mention it’s exclusive? We can see a budding trend…boutiquey exclusive VIP yoga studios, sprouting up like old fashioned speakeasies, with code words and and secret doors and bouncers named Bruno! Seriously there seems to be a real niche here, at least in NY, where those (and we’ll venture to say a lot of macho golfers) who wouldn’t be caught dead in the mega chains, even the posh ones, or those hippie farms, are enticed by the exclusive package, and hardly flinch at paying top dollar for it.

I.AM.YOU, Lauren Imparato

Princeton Grad Quits Morgan Stanley to Teach Yoga to Bankers [Bloomberg]

5 comments… add one
  • actually, I teach out of my house and charge $20 for drop-ins….but I can only fit about 4 students max in my room and while my yoga room is nice, it’s not swanky like hers.

    hmmmmm….looks like I gotta trade up…..;)

  • this is precisely what i am doing in houston. we are currently remodeling my 1920’s cottage to accommodate 15 yogis in the living and dining rooms. reservations by phone or email only NO DROP ins are allowed. (it is my home after all… i must know who is coming) “new people” classes are given 3 days a week but they must have a reservation and are “interviewed” on the phone before given a spot in class. it’s not about being a V.I.Y. for me is is the culmination of 10 years of teaching yoga and previously owning 2 super posh studios. i got tired of teaching yoga to chase the money. this new studio is about teaching yoga as a relaxed teacher who is able to focus on the loving exchange with the students- not pushing the exchange of money. (classes are priced as most here in h-town. $20. each… but i dont have the overhead to require 50 students per class- nor the stress of needing to create that 5 times a day!)

  • precisely, darla. I wish I could expand my yoga room over my garage to accomodate more students (I have to turn people away), but let’s just say my husband does not share my vision.

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