New downtown Hollywood business owner Alyssa Berman had a successful career in the fashion industry, but her heart was in teaching yoga. In late July, Berman, 23, gave up her job as a men's clothing buyer and just two months later opened Bend & Breathe Yoga Studio.
A yoga practitioner for four years, Berman was an instructor in Miami for the past three years, part of that time while holding down her day job as a buyer after graduating from Florida State University with a degree in Fashion Merchandising in 2014. "I decided that I'd like to get into yoga more. I wanted to be able to teach people things. I knew I could teach," Berman said. "And so I quit. I lost a really good paying job." But the native South Floridian found her passion in Bend & Breathe Yoga Studio, which opened October 1, 2016 in the Radius building at 1864 Radius Drive in downtown Hollywood and features a variety of group and private classes for all levels, as well as workshops and a small retail store.
Berman is an experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT®) by Yoga Alliance, as are the members of her Bend & Breathe team."We all have our certifications and at least 200 hours," Berman said. "My instructors all teach at multiple locations throughout South Florida and have their own following."
Classes offered at Bend & Breathe Yoga Studio include:
• Vinyasa Flow, which involves linking body movement with breath and provides a core and leg workout
• Hot Yoga, which takes place in a hot room, enabling stretches to come more quickly and easily
• Yin Yoga, where poses are mostly seated and held for much longer, allowing for subtle stretches of connective tissue and fascia
• Chill Vinyasa, a mixture of traditional Vinyasa and Yin classes characterized by a gentle flow from active standing poses to passive seated ones
• Ashtanga Half-Primary Series, a sequence of postures designed to test strength and flexibility in a heated room, enabling the practitioner to focus, sweat and clear the mind
• Intro to Ashtanga, for learning the basics of the breathing and flow
The first yoga class is free for newcomers, and various class packages are available.
In addition, Bend & Breathe Yoga Studio offers two to three different workshops each month. The studio's retail shop carries jewelry, crystals, hand-rolled incenses, essential oils, yoga clothing and books. Berman has no regrets about quitting a lucrative job to pursue her passion. "I just enjoy it so much that it feels like a fantasy," she said. "I'm really happy that I decided to do it."
In downtown Hollywood, the young yogini found the ideal central location between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, both of which she characterized as "very saturated" with yoga studios. "I definitely didn't want to be close to another yoga studio," said Berman. The historic downtown arts, music and entertainment district "is on the way up. Younger people and new businesses are moving in," she added.
Bend & Breathe Yoga Studio is open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday and Sunday. For more information, call 954-358-9646 or visit www.bendandbreathehollywood.com. There is no charge for on-street downtown parking between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. Free on-street parking is available in three-hour increments between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Garage parking is available for $1 per hour at the Municipal Garages located at 251 S. 20th Avenue (between Harrison Street and Van Buren Street) and 251 N. 19th Avenue (between Tyler Street and Polk Street).
For more information about redevelopment projects, businesses and events in Hollywood's Downtown and Beach Districts, call the Hollywood Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) at 954-924-2980 or visit www.hollywoodcra.org.