AM Yoga Positions Itself on the West Side

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AM, Grand Rapids' first yoga studio to successfully bring yoga outside of studio walls, has opened its first permanent location, at 555 Fourth Street on the city's West Side. As well as hosting yoga classes seven days a week, the new AM facility will offer a fully dedicated, on-site studio space for meditation—the first of its kind in Grand Rapids.

Already, the response to meditation has been incredible. It provides the next step to expand an existing yoga practice or cultivate a new one. Individuals start to enjoy the benefits of yoga and want to experience more. AM co-owners Mali Jane and Ashley Yost provide a high level of comfort and support for that next step. A monthly Meditation Lab, offered in addition to regular classes, guides students through breath work, meditation benefits and the ability to ask questions.

"Until now, we have offered sessions in a variety of settings—homes, businesses, everywhere," Yost said. "We are excited to create a space that will allow us to provide additional offerings." AM will continue offering yoga outside of the studio, including via on-site classes through its unique teAM program to organizations.

The AM teAM program is a way for organizations of any size to increase their wellness offerings and provide greater focus and productivity, along with decreased stress and anxiety. The transformation teAM brings to the work culture has been significant. Thirty- and 60-minute signature classes are offered on-site—or off-site at AM. Special leadership and in-depth learning is available through teAM Leadership and teAM Labs. Special rates and packages exist.

"We love working with companies to enhance their culture," shared Jane, who along with Yost developed the concept of bringing the practice of yoga to everyone, everywhere. "Cultivating a community of people within an organization who are happy and healthy improves productivity, creativity, emotional intelligence and wellness, and reduces stress."

AM will continue its Community Club, a celebration of all that's happening in Grand Rapids. Community Club sessions highlight great organizations and how they contribute to the community, such as St. Cecilia Music Center and Grand Rapids Ballet, who'll host classes in May and June. "We are all about building community," said Yost, "and what better way than to offer community classes?"

While continuing to build community within the yoga community, AM's co-owners began searching for a permanent home for "yogis" to gather. Partnering with Rockford Construction to facilitate their vision, Yost and Jane will continue offering donation-based classes at the new location and off-site. "The West Side is a wonderful community," said Jane. "We are excited to welcome our new neighbors to our space, and share our love of the West Side with our existing members."

"We first met Mali and Ashley when they held public classes in our office's community space," said Mike Mraz, partner of real estate development at Rockford Construction. "When they began searching for a permanent studio on the West Side, we quickly identified 560 Fifth Street. It's a renovated building that houses a diverse blend of office users and adjacent warehouse space. Adding a yoga studio to the mix is a great use for the building, and a benefit to the neighborhood."

AM's 555 Fourth Street studio will host a regular class schedule, with several styles offered:

• Vinyasa – linking breath with poses
• Yin – with longer held-poses to open and deepen
• Foundations – an introductory class to learn and build a practice
• Seva – a service-based practice for $5

All practices are done in a warm—not hot—room. Internal heat is created by breathing and movement, producing the greatest benefits of yoga and meditation.

Written by Michelle Hoexum, principal, Propeller.


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