This month, we have reached out to Please Breathe Yoga, a popular studio located in a wellness shop in Waterbury Connecticut. Please Breathe Yoga is owned and operated by Corina Parkmond, who likes to offer traditional yoga with an urban twist.
Introduce yourself and your studio a bit.“I am Corina Parkmond, owner of the one-woman show known as Please Breathe Yoga. I’m a native of Waterbury, Connecticut who enjoys vegetarian cooking, knitting, crocheting, nature documentaries, and reading books about yoga philosophy. My studio is located within a wellness shop, “720 Wholistic Wellness Center”, where spirituality meets the marketplace. Please Breathe Yoga was an idea that came to me from a Kwanzaa principle, Ujima, meaning group work and responsibilities. I know and am able to understand how I personally have benefited from the practice of yoga, and bringing the many tools of yoga to a blue collar city like Waterbury allows me to hold the responsibility of aiding my community.”
What made you get into yoga?“Long story short, academic stress got me into yoga! I had my first introduction to yoga in college. I went to Virginia Union University, and it was hard being so far away from my home in Connecticut. To cope, I decided to participate in various fitness programs the school offered to students. I tried yoga, but it never did as much to distract me as circuit training did, so I did not pursue it any further at VUU. Two years later, in my junior year at the University of Connecticut, I was under so much academic stress that I chose to drop out. On my way to the office of registrar I saw a flyer for one of the yoga clubs UCONN offered. I thought to myself “Shoot, what’s one more day of slacking off?”. I attended my first class with the Sangaha (community) Yoga Club and things started to clear up. My mental space was far less foggy after actually breathing, I didn’t judge myself as harshly, and I started to float away from the idea of being “distracted” which helped me from having to deal with my issues. Ever since then, my yoga mat is the closest friend I have.”
What made you want to open up a yoga studio?“In the city of Waterbury, people have a plethora of internal and external issues including corrupt politics, child abuse, drug abuse, etc. Looking at other surrounding towns, it seemed they didn't have these issues on the same level as we did, mainly due to race and socio-economic status. Outside of the obvious factors the surrounding towns seemed to have one thing that Waterbury didn’t; yoga studios. Seeing as though yoga had helped me from dropping out of school and clearing my head, I knew the effects of yoga could probably help those in my home town as well. As of late, my services have proved me right.”
How does your studio differ from other studios in general/other studios in your area?“Please Breathe Yoga offers traditional yoga with an urban twist, we truly have a connection with the people in our community! We welcome and invite former drug addicts and dealers, “difficult” children, sex workers, the elderly, inable bodies, the LGBTQIA+ community, BI&POC, improvished folks, musalimas with head dresses, those with a BMI over 25, etc. to come and practice with us! It is these “undesirable” people that the true root and spirit of yoga can raise large and tall. We are a community that focuses on healing and healing only, one breath at a time.”
How is your studio staying busy during the pandemic?“The studio has not been in person since the beginning of the pandemic, but we still run one class a day Tuesdays through Fridays. A majority of the students get their yoga fix through Zoom, but we use other video chatting platforms as well. Every Monday we host a free live Monday Morning Meditation on our Facebook and Instagram pages, which has helped many people stabilize during these uncertain times. Some of the public elementary schools have also asked us to provide online sessions to their kids as an after school activity. We have students from all around the country now, not just Connecticut!”
Describe your studio in one word, and why that word?“Soulful. Students come in with one type of energy, and leave with another type of energy that’s attributed to their individual spirit! When we practice yoga, we’re doing the necessary inner work to heal, amplify, or tame our spirits. Sometimes that takes on other forms; crying, journaling, letting out a good scream, etc. It’s all good for the soul, and our soul healer is yoga.”
Any advice to entrepreneurs looking to open up their own studios?“Go in it every single day with a fully committed heart. Not having the attitude needed to open the doors everyday will definitely set you back. Also, kick fear out the door! Regardless of nay-sayers or obstacles, do what scares you the most because it’s those decisions that will bring you more life. Above all; love and enjoy every second of what you do!”
What would you like future potential members of your studio to know about Please Breathe Yoga?“I would like future members of Please Breathe Yoga to know that we are like a bus that drives you through various routes of yoga, wherever you get off is entirely up to you. We offer a space where YOU decide your healing or rejuvenation path without ridicule, but with support and love the whole way through.”
For more information on Please Breathe Yoga, you can head to their website at www.pleasebreatheyoga.com or find them on Facebook (Please Breathe Yoga), or Instagram (@pleasebreatheoyga).
To get your studio featured, send an email with your studio name and the subject line: Yoga Studio Of The Month. Make sure to explain why your yoga studio should be featured! Until next month, Namaste.