Dar­vanayoga of­fers yoga, yoga ther­apy, med­i­ta­tion

The Review - - Front Page - ByA­manda Gal­lagher For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

A wide va­ri­ety of yoga and health and heal­ing classes are now­be­ing of­fered at the newly opened Dar­vanayoga stu­dio in Roxborough.

The stu­dio, which is lo­cated at 493 Domino Lane, was opened in July by co-own­ers Dar­lene Vanasco and BlakeyHast­ings, both lo­cal res­i­dents who have been teach­ing yoga in the area for sev­eral years.

In open­ing Dar­vanayoga, the own­ers aimed to cre­ate a wel­com­ing place in the com­mu­ni­ty­with a di­verse menu of classes. The stu­dio is open seven days a week and of­fers yoga and yoga ther­apy for peo­ple of all ages and skill lev­els. In ad­di­tion to yoga classes, those in­ter­ested can sign up for a Reiki ther­apy ses­sion, learn about es­sen­tial oils or mind­ful­ness med­i­ta­tion or join Satur­day morn­ing med­i­ta­tion. Kids yoga and mind­ful­ness is of­fered on the first Sun­day of the month as well.

The var­i­ous back­ground ex­pe­ri­ences among the own­ers helps to bring such va­ri­ety to Dar­vanayoga’s class of­fer­ings. Hast­ings is a yoga ther­a­pist, which is sort of a com­bi­na­tion of phys­i­cal ther­apy and yoga, ex­plained Vanasco. Vanasco has ex­pe­ri­ence teach­ing yoga to chil­dren, and she is also a doula. Her hus­band, Tony Boris, leads Dar­vanayoga’s sis­ter or­ga­ni­za­tion, the Shan­tideva Cen­ter for Peace and Mind­ful­ness.

The Shan­tideva Cen­ter is an or­ga­ni­za­tion that Boris formed with the­mis­sion to pro­vide classes and ed­u­ca­tion in med­i­ta­tion and mind­ful­ness, as well as sup­port in­ter­faith and com­mu­nity ser­vice ac­tiv­i­ties. The or­ga­ni­za­tion leads the med­i­ta­tion classes at Dar­vanayoga.

“We re­ally pride our­selves on of­fer­ing yoga and med­i­ta­tion for peo­ple of all ages and lev­els,” Boris said. “We’re re­ally ac­ces­si­ble to peo­ple. If you have any ques­tions or are look­ing to de­velop any kind of yoga prac­tice and just need some sup­port on how to do that, we’re re­ally avail­able.”

Vanasco has been prac­tic­ing yoga for 17 years, start­ing when she was a teacher for New York City pub­lic schools. She be­gan by teach­ing yoga to stu­dents in grades K-5. She moved to Philadel­phia in 2013 and be­came for­mally cer­ti­fied and be­gan teach­ing at dif­fer­ent places around the city, which is how she met Hast­ings

“I knew that I wanted to open up [a stu­dio]; I knew that I wanted to head in that di­rec­tion,” Vanasco said.

Vanasco and Hast­ings be­gan plan­ning to open a place to­gether, and even­tu­ally a space be­came avail­able in Roxborough.

“It all kind of con­verged at the right time,” Vanasco said

Of open­ing up in Roxborough, Vanasco said it’s “kind of an un­der­served pop­u­la­tion” in terms of yoga of­fer­ings, and they re- ally liked the vibe of the neigh­bor­hood.

So far, the com­mu­nity re­sponse has been pos­i­tive, Vanasco said.

“Peo­ple say things like, ‘This is a re­ally safe space,’ or ‘ This is a fun place to prac­tice,’” Vanasco said.

Peo­ple are also en­joy­ing the wide va­ri­ety of classes, and the num­ber of at­ten­dees is slowly grow­ing. They are hop­ing to add some ear­lier­morn­ing classes, as well as a baby-and-me class, Vanasco said.

For the own­ers, one of the key goals in open­ing a stu­dio was to use the space to raise aware­ness and ben­e­fit other lo­cal com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions. The own­ers plan to use their space to hold fundrais­ers for the com­mu­nity, with the first one com­ing up next month.

“We re­ally feel that the most im­por­tant part of what we do is mak­ing sure we’re ac­tu­ally sup­port­ing the com­mu­nity, sup­port­ing events in the com­mu­nity and be­ing a part of it,” Boris said.

The first fundraiser will be to ben­e­fit North Light Com­mu­nity Cen­ter. It will take place Oct. 21 and will fea­ture live­mu­sic, food, dis­cus­sion and more.

The fundraiser will in­clude an all-lev­els yoga class led by Vanasco, fol­lowed by an open mic event for mu­si­cians, poets, spo­ken word artists and ad­vo­cates from across the com­mu­nity.

Dar­vanayoga fea­tures 20 classes each week, in­clud­ing ba­sic flow, can­dle­light, yin and restora­tive yoga, kids yoga, yoga ther­a­peu­tics, Reiki, es­sen­tial oils and mind­ful­ness med­i­ta­tion. A sin­gle class costs $16, but there are var­i­ous dis­count of­fers to take ad­van­tage of, in­clud­ing the new stu­dent dis­count, 30 days for $39; three months of un­lim­ited yoga for $89 per month; a 10-class pack­age for $130 and a stu­dent rate of $12 per class with a valid stu­dent ID.

“We re­ally pride our­selves on of­fer­ing yoga andmed­i­ta­tion for peo­ple of all ages and lev­els.” — Tony Boris


Dar­vanayoga in Roxborough of­fers yoga and a va­ri­ety of other classes.


Dar­vanayoga is lo­cated at 493Domino Lane in Roxborough.

Dar­vanayoga is lo­cated at 493Domino Lane in Roxborough.

Dar­vanayoga in Roxborough of­fers yoga and a va­ri­ety of other classes.

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