New Yoga and Art Studio to Bring Mindfulness to Surf City

May 30, 2018
Photo by: Ryan Morrill

Just outside a new yoga and art studio in Surf City, a pile of shoes decorated the base of a bench in reverence to a sign that read “Yoga Toes Only Beyond Here!” Orange rubber sandals, cork-soled Birkenstocks and athletic sneakers provided a sneak peek as to who was inside for the noontime vinyasa class. A sneakier peek in the window revealed what looked to be a full house of yogis in savasana – a pleasant surprise for the soft-opening of Yoga Bohemia at Firefly Gallery.

The space is a collaboration between Katie Ribsam, who runs an additional Yoga Bohemia studio in Beach Haven, and Joanne Dozor, the owner of Firefly Gallery in Surf City. “Katie and I realized we were a good match to work with each other. It’s just been an easy collaboration,” said Dozor, whose Firefly Gallery sits adjacent to the newly opened studio.

After a triumphant whirlwind of planning board approval, the studio was able to open its doors to the public just in the nick of time for Memorial Day weekend. Visitors were invited to participate in free yoga classes and crafting activities. From hula hooping and henna to crystal bowl meditation and gentle yoga, the new business venture has already begun to make its soothing imprint on the community.

Of the weekend festivities, Ribsam said, “It was an amazing turnout, so it just goes to show you that the community is wanting it, the community needs it, and we’re really happy to provide that.”

The space seems to have come at an ideal time, as this past weekend was a preview of the encroaching summer and its unwelcome convoy of frustrations: traffic, heat ... more traffic. The studio has the potential to be the serene oasis Surf City has been needing, a summer sanctuary for vacationers and locals alike.

“We’re bringing the community together in a different way, at a more spiritual and mindful level,” said Crystal Froberg, a yoga instructor at Yoga Bohemia at Firefly Gallery.

The interior is a vibrant, calming splash of blues and turquoise and purples. Antique dressers hold essential oils, and yoga-inspired pottery and apparel. Hanging lights are strung in neat, parallel rows across the ceiling. In another corner, layers of sheer, rich tapestries drape a standing rectangular frame.

Ribsam and Dozor’s studio combines yoga and art, a fitting fusion, since both mediums seem to harness a cathartic, healing power. The business owners plan to hold jewelry making courses, kids yoga and dance classes, beach yoga and eventually zumba and tai chi.

“I was glad to see that we were doing the whole gambit of classes, from restorative, to gentle, to yin, to power, to vinyasa. They’ve really included it all in the schedule,” said Dozor.

Through diverse offerings and an optimistic outlook, the group of yogis and artists hopes to foster a creative, energizing outlet within the community. They look forward to sharing their new space with surrounding businesses and organizations to join forces on local projects.

“As yogis we are taught to collaborate, to elevate to help our neighbors operate at their highest potential. And our neighbors help us operate at our highest potential,” Ribsam said. “Anybody out there that wants to do something and needs an open space, come see us!”

The Yoga Bohemia at Firefly Gallery in Surf City will be having a grand opening celebration on Friday, June 29, from 6 to 10 p.m. The event will offer free yoga, live music and refreshments. More information about Yoga Bohemia at Firefly Gallery can be found at http://yogabohemianj.com.

— Sarah Hodgson

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