Inside of Gallatin alum Alex Schatzberg’s New Vibe Yoga studio, on the second floor of 9 St. Marks Pl., you’d never guess that it was rush hour outside. The studio is quiet and spacious, with wooden floors and brick walls reminiscent of the cabin on the lake you frequented in the summer. To find a space like this in New York is rare, and Schatzberg — who graduated from NYU in 2010 with a concentration in marketing and art history — knew it was perfect for his yoga studio.
New Vibe Yoga officially opened on St. Marks Sept. 5, but students have been stopping by since Aug. 1, says Schatzberg. This is New Vibe’s second location in New York — the first studio opened in September 2014 between First Street and Avenue A. Before that, he sublet a space on Eighth Street and Avenue B.
“Every three years I’ve moved to a new studio, but each time they’ve gotten better and better and better,” Schatzberg said, “And now I’m at this one, which I think is the best so far.”
New Vibe Yoga teaches ashtanga yoga, a type of yoga that emphasizes one-on-one instruction. Classes are three hours long, but students are welcome to drop in and leave as they please during that period. Schatzberg then goes over sequences with students individually.
“This is a therapeutic approach to yoga, because you’re teaching to the individual rather than teaching a whole group of people,” Schatzberg explained.
During his time at NYU, Schatzberg balanced classes and honing his yoga technique. He went through teacher certification at Yoga to the People and began teaching classes there. Schatzberg has also taught at Equinox, YogaWorks and Ashtanga Yoga Shala NYC. Opening his own studio was a natural progression of his practice and had been a dream of his since he graduated in 2010.
“My adviser said to me, ‘What are you going to do now that you’ve graduated?’ and I said, ‘I’m going to open a yoga studio’ and then that’s what I did,” Schatzberg said.
Although what he does now — teaching yoga — doesn’t seem to match what he studied at NYU, Schatzberg says both majors have come in handy. His studio also functions as an art gallery, with paintings by artist Eugene Gregan hanging on the walls.
“One of the things that always kind of bothered me when I studied art history at NYU is that art is intrinsically linked to the institutions,” Schatzberg said. “I always felt that when the art was at the museum, there was always this kind of disconnect between the patron and the art. One thing that I love about having the art in the yoga studio is that it’s kind of an opportunity to play with the art, to do the yoga amongst the art and live beautifully amongst the art. The art should function to enhance the beauty in your life.”
And of course, his marketing training has come in handy when promoting New Vibes. Word of mouth works best when it comes to yoga studios, Schatzberg said, but through marketing classes at NYU he learned how to advertise his business, especially with each new move.
His new studio is more central, which helps to bring more people in. The new location on St. Marks Place also brings him full circle — across the street is Yoga to the People. It was also where Schatzberg took his first yoga class and fell in love with the practice.
“I bow to [Yoga to the People] every time I do my practice because we face them, so it’s like a little thank you every time,” Schatzberg said.
Yoga helped Schatzberg find a quiet place, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. He’s hoping that New Vibe Yoga can do the same for others.
Email Kaitlyn Wang at [email protected]