136.1 Yoga Studio at Alwarpet promises diverse styles from across practices

Meet a spiritual gangster. Open your heart chakra. Stand on your head.

The first 136.1 Yoga Studio, set in Ispahani Centre, successfully repackaged India's 5,000-year-old tradition in a setting designed for contemporary audiences.

A variety on offer

Now, the second studio, set in Alwarpet, has opened, allowing the city's yogis to experiment and choose between styles as diverse as athletic Mysore ashtanga and flowing hatha, meticulous Iyengar alignments and holistic Sivananda yoga, sweaty power surya namaskars and the passive charm of Yin Yoga.

Yashwant Saran, managing director, talks of how they intend to grow into a national chain and have hence designed themselves as “an Open Yoga School drawing from all kinds of practices”.

Since Tamil Nadu is the home of yoga legends Krishnamacharya and Sivananda, they chose to begin in Chennai, filling a gap by offering all the frills that modern-day yogis require — a glossy spa-like ambience, showers and car-parking facilities. “Even we were stunned by the response. 500 members in just three months, and now we're at 700 and growing.”

The new Alwarpet space has 4,000 square feet, with two rooms for group classes. “We also have two dedicated therapy rooms for pain management.”

There's personal training too. And yes, for new-age yogis, who are as particular about their nail colour as they are about their yoga mats, there's a retail area, offering props, books and even yoga-themed jewellery.

Over the next few months, the team at 136.1 will host a variety of international teachers. Alex Medin, a Norwegian gangster-turned-boxing champion-turned-ballet dancer-turned yogi (Phew!), is one of the first.

Fusion and more

He will perform for the studio's guests on July 23. He's followed by Rajeev Kahn, an eminent Anusara teacher from Paris, who will be in the city the first week of August to lead a workshop.

Besides this, the studio also plans to organise a dance and yoga fusion by Fatima Garcia, Trataka sessions and weekend yoga retreats. For more information, call 43090073 or visit www.136point1.com.