Eleanor Girdis is the co-owner of Midtown Community Yoga, a new yoga studio opening at 600 S. Virginia St., the building at the corner of Virginia and Moran streets that also houses College Cyclery, Michael's Deli and other businesses. Classes start March 22. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Midtown Community Yoga—what does that mean?
It’s a yoga studio, basically. But we also want to promote the yoga community in general. It’s a space for yoga teachers to do their thing and make a living. We also want to do cross promotions with other yoga studios so everyone can benefit from making a business out of yoga. I started doing yoga at Studio Eight, which is ashtanga yoga, which a lot of people don’t attempt because they don’t think they can do it, because it’s one of the harder yogas. … I still go to Studio Eight, and I’ll continue to go to Studio Eight. We want to provide them a venue to do monthly workshops and get the word out about them as well. We’re having a teacher training here that starts on Saturday [March 14]. It’s Melissa Martinez, and it’s a one-flow vinyasa training. We also want to promote the community in general—midtown. Just the fact that we’re able to say, “Midtown Community Yoga,” and anyone even knows what that means, is a testament to people like Angela Watson [of Black Hole Body Piercing] and Jessica Schneider [of Junkee Clothing Exchange] who have been trying to make midtown a thing for years, and now it is one, so we get to say, Midtown Community Yoga, and everyone knows midtown.
Tell me about some of the teachers.
We have a prenatal teacher, Mandy Loader Colbert, and she’s going to be teaching that once a week. Then we have Linda Azar who’s going to be doing kundalini, and that’s a traditional, rooted practice. Everyone has their own brand of yoga and we want to bring them all here.
Tell me about this space.
The main thing about the space is the actual physical space. It’s a big studio, but it’s not like it’s buried in someone’s basement. It’s the windows, and the light and the feel. This building was built in 1930 to be a Dodge dealership, and this part of it was the garage. It’s just a different space than anything else in Reno.
People get different things from it. Some people are religious about it. For some people, it’s just their exercise. For people like me, it’s a way to ground myself, with all the crazy stuff that happens in my house. Like this morning, I had one kid sleep in, two kids were fine, but I had to make their lunches and feed them, all while I’m doing that [gestures toward her baby daughter], and my husband is sleeping because he bartended all night. So, to have a place where I can’t do laundry, and I can’t be distracted, and to really look inward—I think that most people need that, whether they know it or not.
Tell me about your background with yoga.
I really started doing yoga because of Studio Eight. My dear friend Amanda Lewis opened it with her friend Carol Lyons, and they’ve been going for five or six years now. They’re above Blue Moon Pizza. … They just started their business because ashtanga yoga was going to disappear from Reno. No one was going to teach it, there wasn’t going to be a house for it. So they started that business to keep it alive, and provide it for the community. I started doing yoga there when I was training for a marathon. I used it as cross-training. I had turned 30 and decided I was going to run this marathon and prove to myself that I was going to be this star athlete or whatever—I don’t even know. And I ran the marathon, and when the marathon was done, what I learned about running was that I wanted to do yoga. So now I do yoga.