Synergy is defined as the working together of two things to produce an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects. In New York City, Pure Yoga West does just that. A venture from Equinox Holdings, this membership-only yoga studio that is connected to an Equinox Spa on the Upper West Side allows guests to combine the benefits of yoga and spa.
Opened in December 2009, the 19,000-square-foot facility includes lounges, locker rooms, and a yoga boutique, as well as eight practice rooms that accommodate Ashtanga, hot yoga, lyengar, Pilates, Vinyasa, and more. “Pure Yoga is devoted to offering the best yoga experience possible with ever-evolving teachers, grounding practice spaces, transformative lounging spaces, inspired programming, never-ending education, and an energizing community,” says Jenna Baker, general manager.
Melanie Whelan, vice president of business development, says Pure Yoga is also distinctive because it is the first membership-only model in the yoga industry. “We believe that membership, rather than single sessions, enables our members to cultivate their practice and make a commitment to not only yoga but also our community,” she says.
Pure Yoga West is the second Manhattan outpost and an extension of the Hong Kong-based brand that boasts eight locations in Asia. The first U.S. studio, Pure Yoga East, opened on New York’s Upper East Side in June 2008. According to Aaron Richter, vice president of design for Equinox Fitness Clubs and Pure Yoga, the newer location is “modern monastic” and emulates traditional Indian courtyard arrangements. The colors—earth tones accented with orange, red, magenta, and pink—are also inspired by Indian aesthetics. The inner studio environment is arranged in a sequence of interconnected courtyards and lounges, each of which functions as a communal gathering space and offers comfortable lounge areas.
Further adding to the facility’s wellness-inspired appeal, Pure Yoga West was designed with the environment in mind. It was built with sustainable materials, such as formaldehyde-free, rapidly renewable bamboo and cork for the flooring; lighting made of polywood, which uses post-consumer and post-industrial recycled plastics; and compact fluorescent lights. Dual flush toilets, waterless urinals, hand dryers, air jet showerheads, and motion sensor faucets are all employed, and low-VOC paints help ensure optimal air quality.
Clients can either purchase an all-access membership ($160 per month) to both Pure Yoga locations or select access membership ($145 per month) to one. Members can partake in more than 140 weekly classes, and they also receive discounts at the adjacent 1,500-square-foot Equinox Spa, which is accessible via a concierge door that gives members exclusive access. There, guests can enjoy a range of services that can help ease the ails of a particularly rigorous yoga class.
Members also can enjoy the yoga-centric retail shop where they can find a variety of products designed to appeal to their senses. “As a means of encouraging our guests to try new lines, we also host two to four trunk shows per month as a way to feature new and upcoming brands,” says Whelan.
Pure Yoga is being marketed via a digital advertising campaign to promote brand awareness. “In addition to targeted email messaging to both our Pure Yoga members and prospects, we maintain a brand website and Facebook and Twitter pages full of content and events,” says Baker. “Our goal is to grow our community by helping as many people as possible experience what we’re most passionate about—yoga.”
Moving forward, Whelan says the company plans to extend its reach. “We believe there is ample growth opportunity for Pure Yoga, and our goal is in the vicinity of 15 to 25 studios in the U.S.,” she says. “Our membership has exceeded our goals and expectations. It has not been easy to change the mold of the industry, but we remain committed to innovation and delivering an unparalleled member experience every day, every moment.”