When the Atma Center opened 15 years ago in Cleveland Heights, there weren’t many other yoga studios in Cleveland.
Though yoga businesses are now more common, the on Lee Road has survived, and thrived, and will turn 15 on Aug. 15.
To celebrate, the center is offering a variety of discounts and special events from Aug. 10 through Aug. 25. Offers include a week of unlimited yoga for new students for the price of one drop-in class at $15, a lecture and yoga chair practice demonstration at the and an "Off the Mats" dog walk from the studio to Shaker Lakes. Some events are free, while others have a fee or encourage donations for the center. For more information, click here.
Local merchants have also offered to pitch in — students can show their keycard at participating businesses such as , , and more to receive specials.
Olga Chwascinska, who teaches classes and handles marketing at Atma, credits some of the success to the style of yoga offered at the studio — Satyananda.
“We offer a style of yoga that’s really accessible to a wide variety of body shapes and sizes. We really have a huge range of diversity in our students’ abilities. Some of our students are fit, light athletes, and some of our students practice in chairs,” Chwascinska said. “The system that we teach can be modified to a wide variety of limitations so the practice is always safe. We’ve got folks with Parkinson’s, with MS, and with cancer and all are able to work safely and comfortably.”
The studio schedules about 30 weekly classes in physical yoga practice, breath work, meditation, relaxation, chanting and more, she said.
The owner of the studio, Beverly Roberts Singh, first created a health and wellness center with the space, offering massages and other forms of therapy, but expanded the yoga classes when she discovered they were the most popular service offered, Chwascinska said.
Singh found yoga relieved her own aches and pains. Doctors at first thought she had lupus, but then couldn’t come to any medical conclusion about her condition or offer treatment plans, Chwascinska said. So Singh sought her own medicine, and her yoga practice inspired her to quit her job at the Cleveland Clinic and open the studio in 1997.
Chwascinska said the studio now has about 500 members, and about 300 come in each week.
“We really make an effort to have people listen to their bodies and honor their bodies,” she said.
To register for the Atma Center's 15th anniversary events, or for more information, go to www.atmacenter.com or call 216-371-9760.