Swarm on Over: The Yoga Hive Opens Nov. 4 in Manahawkin

Oct 08, 2017
Photo by: Ryan Morrill

Follow the buzz to The Yoga Hive. On Nov. 4, this civic-minded, eco-friendly yoga studio opens its doors in downtown Manahawkin.

“We’re really about community,” said Jenn McConnell, who owns the business along with her husband, Kevin Corey. “We want a space where we can incorporate our family and other people’s families. Yoga is about trying to expand your circle of love, trying to make that bigger. And we want to make it affordable, to hopefully bring more people in,” and in doing so, bring them together.

“In a hive, all the bees work together,” remarked McConnell, who has been keeping bees for half a dozen years.

Corey added, “In this area, I often hear people say, ‘I would love to do yoga, but I just can’t afford it.’ We didn’t want to exclude people by putting a high price on it. I think we offer something that this area needs.”

The couple, who also reside in Manahawkin, said they’d talked about opening a studio together for a while. When the right space opened – at 657 Bay Ave., Unit 10, next to Pangaea Naturals Health Food Market and opposite Schwee Tea Organic Juice Bar and Café in the Manahawkin Shoppes – they took the opportunity.

The studio will offer more than 30 yoga classes per week for all levels and preferences, with monthly memberships available, as well as single, five- and 10-class passes. The class schedule is already on the website theyogahivenj.com, beginning with a 9:30 a.m. all-level class, taught by Rose Dease, on the Saturday the studio opens.

Pricing is also detailed online. “All memberships include unlimited yoga and early access to sign up for workshops and retreats,” the site notes. “Depending on what membership you purchase, you could receive 10 percent off all retail.”

According to McConnell and Corey, the studio will also provide yoga teacher training.

And the couple envisions The Yoga Hive as host to book clubs, potlucks and philanthropic events, in addition to its yoga and meditation. “It’s about health for both mind and body, and for the whole community,” McConnell remarked.

As the website explains, “You are family, not customers. We welcome you no matter where you are on your path.

“Here at The Yoga Hive … we promise to offer you a space to grow, to know and to be.”

The space is also, as its owners noted, a green space, with no plastic single-use water bottles for sale, digital receipts only, eco-friendly yoga mats to borrow or purchase, and retail items hand-crafted by members of nonprofit organizations.

Corey said that yoga, for him, “is such a healing modality”; he can center himself on the mat, but also, he added, for example, while playing harmonium, or donating his time.

While one does feel good after yoga, and while regular practice can lead to positive physical changes, as Corey pointed out, “The smallest part (of yoga) is the physical practice.” Only one of the eight limbs of yoga, he said, refers to moving the body; there is much focus, meanwhile, on integrity, breath, and the fluctuations and restraint of the mind.

“The Bhagavad Gita says knowledge is better than mere ritualistic practice,” he noted.

Corey came to yoga through meditation. Following his first yoga class, as the website explains, “he was hit with a wave of awareness and complete relaxation.”

After that, as with most things he takes to, Corey stated, “I was full steam ahead.”

He received his yoga teacher certification in 2014, after studying under Sudha Allitt, and “made a promise to himself to continue to teach yoga and share its benefits with everyone.”

“People think you have to be flexible to do yoga,” Corey remarked. “You don’t. Yoga isn’t about touching your toes; it is about what you learn on the way down.”

McConnell, meanwhile, has taught along the Jersey Shore for 15 years, in various studios and gyms, as well as on the beach, in the woods, in personal homes and even in funeral homes.

She received her 200-hour teacher certification in Sivananda Yoga at the Freehold Yoga Center. “Her continued love and commitment to deepening her knowledge led her to complete an advanced 500-hour training in Vinyasa Flow Yoga with Laurie Greene at Yoga Nine in Smithville, N.J., and Edward Clark at Tripsichore Yoga in London,” the website reads.

“Jenn gives thanks to all her teachers both past and present. Through her own body’s experience, Jenn began to understand that by linking her breath to her movement, the practice becomes a moving meditation, one that unites body, mind and spirit.

“The benefits of reduced stress, increased balance, strength and flexibility are just some of the results of consistent practice, along with ease of body and joy in spirit.”

McConnell, Corey and the studio’s additional teachers are “going to authentically guide you,” said Corey. “We are compassionate, and we listen.

“The Yoga Hive is a place for everyone to come, whether your feet are off the ground and you’re totally enlightened, or you need something else, you want to try something new.”

So bee there … and be there.

Join The Yoga Hive from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on opening day for free yoga, massage and reiki; henna; raffles and giveaways; refreshments and more.

To learn more about The Yoga Hive, visit theyogahivenj.com or call 609-622-8360. The studio is also on Facebook, at facebook.com/theyogahivenj, and Instagram, @theyogahivenj.

Juliet Kaszas-Hoch

juliet@thesandpaper.net

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