Today NYNJ is headed to Union County, New Jersey to meet up with Lisa Sorensen and visit her one of a kind yoga studio in Rahway.
Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Plainfield, raised in Westfield and nourished for over 10 years by the Los Angeles California sunshine.
Where did you attend college and what was your major?
Rutgers University, Bachelor of Arts in Marketing.
Tell us a bit about what you did before yoga?
Prior to opening my yoga studio I ran my own PR agency (LSPR) and was the publicist for many high-profile public figures including tennis great Venus Williams, Beverly Bond and fitness motivator Shaun T. I also led and supported the public relations strategy for film campaigns including those staring Beyoncé, Kevin Hart and Halle Berry and music events for programming on MTV Networks and BET Networks and more.
When did you know that yoga was for you?
When I took my first class in Studio City, CA I knew yoga was exactly what my mind and body benefited from the most. It was a prenatal class that transformed my pregnancy and tremendously helped me cultivate relaxation and breathing during the delivery of my two boys.
What differences have you noticed between LA and NY style yogo studios?
Lifestyle plays a big role in the differences in style between the two cities. In the NYC metro area we are surrounded by noise, people and a great deal of walking if you commute and use public transportation. To bring balance to this routine, slower, calming more yin based classes are beneficial, like OneNest Yoga studio’s Gentle Hatha for Stress release class. In contrast, Los Angeles commuters are stuck in their cars or the office, they would benefit from dynamic flow based classes.
Rahway is one of the fastest growing cities in NJ for 2019. But most importantly, we were attracted to its diverse community. The diversity coupled with the commuter lifestyle of the community is exactly who we want to serve yoga to as a health and wellness alternative for overall well-being.
Yoga seems dominated by white women, have you noticed any pros/cons to starting your own studio?
Yes, unfortunately from the images in marketing campaigns, to studio ownership, access to yoga teacher training and ultimately the consistent practice of yoga has been dominated by white women. I absolutely embrace that but want to contribute to broadening the diversity of owners, teachers and practitioners so that everyBODY and EVERYbody can have yoga within their reach. We know that men and women of color have a number of real and perceived obstacles making a consistent practice more challenging for them. Additionally, many studios simply don’t have a diversity of teachers and classes that meet the needs of the demographic, OneNest Yoga studio does. For example, we were determined to find black male instructors to be a representation of that population and to change the perception within our space, and their classes are truly powerful! Rahway is amazing and embraces every instructor we have! We have great instructors!
If someone is apprehensive about starting, what advice would you give them?
If the apprehension is due to a physical condition I would first advise that you check with your doctor to make sure you are clear to practice or if there is anything you should avoid in the practice. Our Absolute Beginner Yoga classes are designed to serve the needs of the absolute beginner and help them advance at their own pace. Since opening in October 2018, our consistent clients have grown powerfully from absolute beginners and we are now serving their new needs by adding a beginner level 2 to our Spring schedule to keep them growing and leveling up. We also have classes for intermediate and advanced practitioners.
What benefits have you seen from years of yoga?
From my years of yoga I have grown in every way possible. I am stronger mentally, emotionally and physically and spiritually (the breath is my spirit, my energy, our life force). Strong is not always tough, sometimes strength comes in flexibility and in softness. Yoga strengthens my areas of weakness and brings softness to areas that are too rigid. Yoga is a profound practice and the benefits are immediate.
What costs are associated with Yoga classes?
Our drop in classes are $15 and we have a variety of packages bringing down the per class fee. For all price offerings please visit our site.
Tell us a bit about how OneNest Yoga came about, your partners, your launch?
We found a beautiful space steps away from the Watt Hotel in Rahway. My talented brother-in-law, Kevin Dunn, is an architect and he, along with my sister Leslie, designed the space. The build out took about 5 months to complete and we opened in October 2018. OneNest Yoga studio is owned and operated by me and my two sisters and our very supportive parents. Each of us started doing yoga for different reasons, yet have maintained a consistent practice for its health and wellness benefits. We believe yoga should be accessible to everyone with a desire to practice. We discussed how to bring yoga and yoga education to a community of people who need it most. We are passionate about communicating the health and wellness benefits of yoga to an under-served community of people, while also providing a secure and comfortable studio for them to learn, practice and grow in mind, body and spirit.
Aside from in Rahway, where else do you practice?
Before opening OneNest Yoga studio, my personal sanctuary was Bhakti Barn in Millburn NJ.
Thank you for taking the time to meet with NYNJ and we wish you continued success.
My pleasure, thank you so much. Namasté.
For more information visit: www.onenestyoga.com
OneNest Yoga Studio
1421 Irving St, Rahway, NJ 07065
Phone: (732) 812-8348