Those of you who have New Year resolutions such as to be healthier and exercise more can breathe life into your withering resolutions at Breathe.
Breathe is a new yoga studio in downtown Olympia. Along with yoga, Breathe offers Zumba, belly dancing, tai chi, and acro-yoga classes.
Anne Hinnant, a regular customer at Breathe, said her favorite class is “Yoga for Everybody” on Sundays. “I really love that class, because I can control how easy or hard the class is, and it’s ‘pay what you can,” she said.
According to owner Lisa Cosmillo, it is Breathe’s versatility that distinguishes it from the competition. “The other yoga places tend to be more specialist,” she said, “but Breathe is a ‘generalist’ yoga studio. While others are offering more
specific types of yoga to a particular market, I wanted to make Breathe a place for everyone and have all types of classes.”
She said, there are classes for all levels and a place for all ages in her studio.
Cosmillo said acro-yoga is a blend of yoga and
acrobatics. She said, “It really enables you to get into these positions that you never knew you could do.”
Breathe also sells unique clothes and accessories, offers an area to sit, a healthy array of snacks, and free wi-fi.
Cosmillo said she hasn’t focused on just setting up a great space with lots of classes, but also placed importance on fostering a feeling of community and connectivity. She said she’s paid special attention to the ambience of the studio and creating a welcoming atmosphere.
Cosmillo said that when she first started designing the layout for Breathe, she had a Feng Shui designer come in and pick out colors.
“I chose one color, terracotta, and told her what I was going for: a place that exuded vibrance, color, comfort, and coziness,” said Cosmillo. “Then, she told us what to paint on each wall.” While Cosmillo was skeptical at first, what with the seemingly bizarre combination of colors and placement, she said she loves how the place looks; the walls a medley of bright orange, dark brown, and light blue.
Cosmillo has added Olympia-original art to her studio as well, which benefits local artists by showcasing their work.
Breathe is in the heart of downtown, right across from Sylvester Park. According to Cosmillo it’s visibility is a major component in attracting customers. “We don’t spend money on marketing, instead we rely on word-of-mouth, our main street location, and social media like Facebook,” she said.
According to Cosmillo, the reasonable prices they offer are also a contributing factor to their growing clientele. Kids and seniors pay $5, all others pay $10. Regulars can buy five classes in a package and pay only $9 per class. Zumba classes are $5 for all. Cosmillo said that she manages to keep class costs low by the volume of classes.
And, although Breathe has only been open since November, it already has quite a following. Cosmillo said membership is continually growing. She said that some of the early morning classes are still struggling, but by noon, classes begin to have a decent amount of people ranging from 4 to 10.
The weekends are even better, Cosmillo said. The past Sundays have had classes with over 10 people, she said. She said, “Things are getting better and better.”
In fact, according to Cosmillo, Breathe is close to breaking even.
The fact that Breathe is taking off so well might have to do with the fact that Cosmillo has had a history in real estate and business.
But how does one go from real estate to opening a yoga studio? Apparently, yoga is something that Cosmillo had done every day for years before she opened Breathe. She said that, in the back of her mind, she had always thought about opening up a studio, but until about a year ago, it had just been a fanciful idea.
Then, her idea became reality when she found the perfect location, she said. Cosmillo set to work. Less than six months later, she opened Breathe.
Nikki Burghardi, both a practicing yoga and an employee at Breathe, said, “It’s a place where people can work together to live a healthy life.”.