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Elena Brower’s Virayoga Announces Closure Due to Rising Rent Costs

in Business of Yoga, YD News


Another one bites the dust. As New York City’s yoga studio landscape continues to expand, longstanding studios are feeling the pinch.

Elena Brower’s NYC yoga studio, Virayoga, announced earlier today it will be shutting its doors at the end of June after more than 12 years. The announcement came via facebook and a newsletter sent out to the Virayoga mailing list citing rising SoHo rent costs as the reason they can not continue. “This was a heartbreaking choice for us. Due to lease issues and rising rent, we’ve decided to let go of our SoHo home,” the message read.

Elena Brower, perhaps best known in the yoga world as the maven of massive yoga events, shot to pop status as a top Anusara yoga teacher who then became a non-Anusara yoga teacher just before the fallout. She founded Virayoga over a decade ago, but has recently branched out as an author, putting out a book encapsulating her Art of Attention brand, and as a spokesperson and sales representative for an organic beauty company. As of June 28, she will no longer add yoga studio co-owner to her growing list of titles. But being super chummy with another popular yoga personality, Dana Flynn of Laughing Lotus (they have co-taught multiple events in the past including a recent Women for Women International benefit), perhaps we can expect some sort of studio-centric collaboration between the two in the future.

As this space is closing, there is no word if the community of Virayoga will eventually be transplanted to another space (though it doesn’t seem so) or if they will splinter into the continuously expanding yoga studio that is NYC. We know rent is exceedingly atrocious in New York, but it’s a little sad that Virayoga couldn’t hack it alongside other nearby studios attached to celeb teacher names like Strala Yoga (Tara Stiles) and Yogavida (Hilaria Baldwin).

Here’s the full message about the forthcoming closure:

Virayoga Family,

After more than 12 years of building and growing VIRAYOGA, we will be closing our doors on June 28, 2014.

This was a heartbreaking choice for us. Due to lease issues and rising rent, we’ve decided to let go of our SoHo home. Our aim this spring is to end our time in this space on a really high note.

You, extraordinary Virayoga family, are invited to celebrate our community through these final 3 months. This is a potent transition time, and our teachers are committed to providing a space for you to deepen your personal practice and enjoy our time together until the end of June.

We’re offering great rates for our Series and Unlimited Monthly passes, in addition to a few super-special workshops and classes with your favorite teachers.

In an effort to keep you connected with your teachers, they will be asking for your email address at the end of their classes. Alternatively, we will be listing their contact information on our website, which will be live throughout the summer.

Should you have any memories or messages about the impact VIRAYOGA has had on your life, we would love to share them via social media as we celebrate our time with you. Contact Tatum Fjerstad with your contributions and she will share them appropriately.




6 comments… add one
  • Nico

    Is there seriously someone named Hilaria? 🙂

    • Nelle

      Yup, that is Alec Baldwin’s wife. I believe she is Spanish by birth, maybe it’s a traditional name?

      I loved Virayoga when I lived in New York. This is very sad.

  • Mark MacLeod

    If a studio with her star power (and resulting packed classes, based on my limited experience there) can’t pay the rent, that doesn’t bode well for other studios

    • So true. Hilaria may be a wonderful teacher but no doubt it’s the husbands funds that make a studio possible. My point with that comment is just that what if one doesn’t have that backing? The rents in NYC are really becoming prohibitive and I’ve lived here for decades.

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