≡ Menu

Major Yoga Studio and High-End Fitness Chain Defy Advisories, Stay Open During Hurricane Sandy

in YD News


Whether you live on the east coast or not, you’ve likely heard Hurricane Sandy aka Frankenstorm! <lightning crash> is coming to ruin our cities and Halloween plans. It’s not even the worst yet, and the shore is already getting pummeled by 60-85 mph damaging winds, crazy flooding is already an issue, many people have lost power and NYC is virtually shut down, with schools, businesses, the subways and yes, most yoga studios all closed. Mayor Bloomberg has advised everyone to stay the eff inside and ride out this megastorm.

But hey, what if you wanted to get in a little hurricane power workout or need to take a class? We received emails from the general managers of Equinox and partner Pure Yoga saying “We’re Open!” and asking us to “Make Pure Yoga your safe haven.” No they’re not opening up their gyms and studios as safe harbors and evacuation centers.

Make Pure Yoga your safe haven from Hurricane Sandy. We invite you for three days of open classes from October 28 through October 31. Be sure to call the studio (212) 360-1888 to reserve your spot.

Our studios will be open normal business hours today and tomorrow. We urge you to check the class schedules for any cancellations.

Jen Zweibel
General Manager, Pure East


Last August, Hurricane Irene didn’t stop us from delivering an unparalleled experience; Hurricane Sandy won’t either. We are open regular hours today and tomorrow and invite you to come in for a complimentary workout.

Of course, we take safety seriously, and as such, we are operating with leaner staff. Please use your judgment while traveling.

We hope to see you in the club!

In Good Health,

Lawrence Sanders
General Manager
Equinox Soho

OMG, complimentary! Yes, despite the fact that it puts those brave and/or kooky enough to head out in the storm in danger, employees in harms way and first-responders at an increased risk, Equinox and Pure will provide your workout fix!

Helpful or irresponsible? You tell us.

And for the love of flying yoga debris, be smart and be safe everyone.

image via NPR



38 comments… add one
  • Twisted Yoga Sister

    These people don’t have the brains God gave a goose. Or the brains of a gnat.

  • LydiaVon

    That seems a little ‘fishy’ to me …
    …Pun intended.

  • catscratchfever

    i thought it was great that they were open, the class i went to was exactly what i needed to weather the storm! it was nice to get out of the house and practice. once i heard they were closing early i RAN to make it to the last class.

  • Bec

    who needs a yoga class so badly that they would put the well-being of staff and emts, police, etc. at risk? you venture out; what would happen if you needed help or aid? that’s your own life and the lives of others in harms way. selfish. not to mention definitely not yoga.

    • enso.yaya

      I couldn’t agree with Bec more. As both an avid yogi and ER nurse, I find it very irresponsible to suggest that people venture out. People who do so risk themselves and those who will come to help them when/if they get into a situation they can’t get out of. Stay home… cultivate your personal practice… be safe.

  • steph

    Some soul searching is in order here. Asking students to risk their health to come to a yoga class makes it very hard to offer yoga there. This is a business model, not a chance to learn, stretch, grow and unfold.

  • Sarah

    I have a friend who teaches for one of these companies and was put under enormous pressure to teach her regular classes. It seems idiotic and self-centered to endanger your employees, particularly those who have to travel long distances.

  • Its funny, when I was visiting NYC, I e-mailed equinox telling them I was a yoga teacher from out of town, and could I try their yoga classes. They promptly responded with something along the lines of, “our classes are exclusively for members and their guests. Do you know any members?” If I’d only known cloud seeding and some fierce winds would have gotten me to the A list!

    On a more serious note, cool that they are staying open, I am sure gym fanatical members adhering to obsessive workout regimes will really appreciate it. Although something reeks of Walmart here- a certain eau de underselling.

  • Vision_Quest2

    Irresponsible, elitist and defiant to the gods. Anybody who is anybody has evacuated; anybody who is no special body lives in a lower-rent zonecould access only primarily by public transit, and/or couldn’t stay on a bike if they were a stuntperson,

    I am disgusted beyond belief. Why give publicity to these jerks?

    You are off my to-read list.

  • Ramini

    Here in Toronto a woman was killed by flying debris out walking at 7 pm. How can it be the healthy choice (in any possible universe) to risk life & limb for a yoga class?

    I guess this is the nature of ATTACHMENT!

  • Anything for free press, right?

    Given how subway tunnels are flooded and Lower Manhattan is under water in most places, this is dumb beyond belief.
    The next time I visit NYC, Equinox and Pure are the LAST places I’ll go to for my yoga practice because they clearly don’t have the safety and security of their staff or clients in mind…and *that* is unyogic.

  • It seems to me that this would have been a perfect opportunity to develop a home practice.

    • Vision_Quest2

      Yeah, that would be logical. But primarily home yoga practitioners of yoga and pilates are not their market. They were just looking for others for whom the rules of meteorology and transit shutdowns do not apply: obviously their wealthy walking distance neighbors in 10021, 10028, 10023 , etc.

    • perhaps they could create an emergency home-practice kit for their members. . . lol

      • Vision_Quest2

        Sure. What if they don’t do audio or video?
        But you are on the right track, Jenifer. Service existing members, if possible. Stunts not appreciated.

        Hasta la vista.

  • Denise

    Pathetic. What is even worse is their sheep who will risk life and limb to folk to a yoga class vs. practicing at home. This story indicates so much that is wrong with yoga in the US today.

  • Alex

    whats really being discussed here? because yoga is also about ahimsa, which is not only non-violence to ones self and others but its also compassion and non-judgment.
    regardless of the whole “high end fitness chain” thing… they were open as an offering, as a service. each and every employee was there on their own volition… teachers and staff were encouraged to stay home if they couldn’t or didn’t feel safe coming in. classes were covered by willing teachers who lived in the area and offered to come to the studio. managers, staff and teachers all pitched in to help in every aspect.
    the best part… all the grateful people who dont have a home practice who got a chance to come in and take a moment for themselves. to step into their own practice and find a calm space not just from the storm going on outside but from the storm that we all struggle with, inside.
    you talk about yoga, yet your not living it.
    yoga isnt just about an asana practice… its not about a fitness chain, its not small studio vs big, who can afford what, who’s wearing what and all the other things that people focus on.
    its something greater!
    pick up the yoga sutras, bhagavad gita, upanishads… dive deeper in your own practice to discover what it is inside you that is so quick to judge those who openly offer to those who willingly accept.

    • Bec

      and what of the rescue workers and police who might’ve had to aid those students and teachers if things got worse? or the people who might’ve needed help more direly and would’ve have gotten it because rescue workers were occupied saving a bunch of yogis who ventured out in a storm, AGAINST the warnings of government officials? did you know that’s how most red cross and rescue workers die in crisises? saving people who went out against better judgement? that’s a yogic concept too: prajna aparadha = offense against wisdom. yoga is about more than just yourself. it’s about understanding that your actions have consequences larger than yourself, and that your negligence or lack of responsible and compassionate forethought can effect others. you may think going to open a studio with happy and willing staff and teachers was noble, but putting people’s lives at risk is against everything those students should have been learning.

      • Thanks, Bec. Prajna aparadha – I hadn’t known that one. Important concept. Thanks.

  • Ashley

    Totally irresponsible – what happens if the storm goes into the path of those fitness centers? I’ll tell you what happens, the brave souls that run our emergency services have to put their LIVES on the line to save a couple of dummies who wanted to do a workout.

    Let’s not forget the employees who probably want to be doing other stuff like keeping their families safe.

    But hey, it’s not good for the bottom line so better stay open!

  • Commerce, delusive thinking, ego or free advertisement could be the reason(s) why a studio would challenge/seduce practitioners by luring them outside the boundaries of safety during environmental emergency situations.

    Refuge – I think not.

  • Vision_Quest2

    Yes, leave it to the not-quite-so-upscale gyms.

    THIS is the difference:


    No comments on that NEWS story yet.

    Still, guess I know where to find my NEWS ….

  • Rob A Booey

    Haha, ya’ll are getting pretty bored at home to be hating on PURE and Equinox so much? Employees who couldn’t come in didn’t lose their jobs. Lots of members got to take warm showers and charge their phones so they could talk to their families. Get a life.

    • Hey Rob A Booey, don’t undercut the discussion by chalking it up to boredom and people not having a life. I work for a yoga corporation and feel very fortunate to do so. I don’t “hate on” yoga corporations, but I see where people contributing to this dialogue are coming from with regards to their critique on the business decision of Pure/Equinox. This yoga corporation (like every corporation) is (and has to be) driven by the bottom line. At the same time, they are selling yoga (in its choice physical and philosophical incarnations) to the West (as the Western customer demands it be dolled out). Trying to stay profitable and give people what they will pay for will always be their first priority, but distorting yoga beyond recognition will eventually devalue their product. So it’s a fine line these yoga corporations walk. From reading the dialogue people have been having on this site, I think it’s been rationally argued that in many ways, what this corporation decided to do during hurricane Sandy was irresponsible. It put people’s lives in danger. Not yogic. (Himsa) If done for profit-motivated reasons instead of just sheer foolishness, super not-yogic (Parigraha and Himsa). However, since fortunately nothing catastrophic happened to the people attending class the evening of the storm, it ended up being a good thing for people. So like all debates, the issue is a little bit more complicated than who’s right and who’s wrong. In fact, this is the type of problem most debates are born from. Cut and dry cases are rarely debated. Black and white issues are boring. I would be “getting pretty bored at home” with a debate about whether or not I should shut my finger in a door, for example. But I digress. What I take issue with is you blowing off the whole debate and chalking it up as “hating on” anyone. Debate, disagreement, and dialogue are exactly the opposite of “hating”. It’s very loving, actually. People are talking because they care. And possibly because they enjoy debating. No surprise there. When have human beings not been known to do (and deeply relish in) that? And thank goodness there are people who don’t have “something better to do” than to carefully consider the choices that corporations are making with regards to how yoga is presented. Unless we look critically at this delicate endeavor, we (who supposedly care about yoga and have nothing better to do than that) will be castaways on a forgotten island that no one ever really got to visit, and therefor don’t plan on looking for anymore either. And then it’ll just be you, me and the other people who chimed in on this thread sitting around without a job or a decent place to do yoga ranting about where we went wrong.

  • Robert A Boohi

    Lol, how many glasses of pinot did you guzzle prior to writing that? I sure hope I don’t get trapped on an island with a bunch of holier-than-thou “yogis” who quote sanskrit terms and throw around quotation marks every other sentence to make themselves seem more enlightened. Go fly a kite. Pure/Equinox didn’t make any extra scratch by staying open for their members. If you read the posts above, you’ll see that many were hating on the evil corporations. They weren’t debating anything. You’re ok with that, though.

    Until the next hurricane!

  • I thought of opening Monday but when it became apparent that it wasn’t safe to go outside I announced we were closed…There were people killed in our area walking and driving around…I took a walk around our area Tuesday and it appeared to be safe so we went with our regular Tuesday schedule…

  • Snoop Dogg

    Don’t bite the hand that used to feed you…

    • Vision_Quest2

      I think that had been Yoga Works for the Dork, not Pure/Equinox …

      Well, corporate yoga has got to go the way of the dodo, anyway.

  • Please let me know if you’re looking for a article writer for your weblog.
    You have some really great posts and I think I would be a
    good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d
    love to write some content for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine.
    Please shoot me an e-mail if interested. Thanks!

  • When someone writes an article he/she maintains the plan of a user in his/her brain that how a user can be aware of it.
    Thus that’s why this post is outstdanding. Thanks!

Leave a Comment