After Numi Yoga opened in College Park, its owner, Kelsey Starr, sought to create community relationships.
The yoga studio, located at 4513 College Ave across from the Landmark, opened on Nov. 5. Since opening, Starr has already partnered with Yogi Terps, a student organization at the University of Maryland that began last spring.
"I really value community partnerships," said Starr, a certified yoga instructor. "And I like the idea of being established in a community as a business, but also as a voice in how this develops or how we can connect with different venues that are coming."
Before coming to this city, Starr taught yoga classes at studios near the University of Michigan and the University of Illinois. She said she had been looking to open a studio after relocating to the Washington area with her husband Evan Starr, a professor at this university's business school.
Though the White Lotus Wellness Center, which opened a little over a year ago on Berwyn Road, holds occasional yoga classes, Starr said Numi Yoga is the only studio in College Park that offers daily yoga classes. Class times range from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. depending on the day of the week.
"Certainly College Park has room for this, so we thought we would kind of be the first ones to open doors and make [yoga] a possibility seven days a week," Starr said.
In addition to Starr, some university students are also instructors at the studio.
"All the yoga classes offered through campus Recreation and Wellness — there's like this fitness aura to it exclusively," said Sam Allen, a family studies doctoral student and instructor at the studio. He added that Numi Yoga has a more inviting atmosphere than gym settings as it provides an opportunity for students who want to get "a yoga studio feel."
However, Katie Goetz, a junior mechanical engineering major who lives near the studio, said she doesn't know if Numi Yoga fills a need because yoga is offered at Eppley Recreation Center.
In addition to working with Yogi Terps, Starr said she plans to further collaborate by scheduling events with Greek life, for example.
"I like the idea of being almost like a blank canvas for community space, and then of course being able to offer the yoga, which speaks a lot to me," Starr said.
The partnership with Yogi Terps has proven to be important, as the groups support each other with resources, said Sherry Gholami, a junior physiology and neurobiology major and Yogi Terps founder.
Starr said she provided instructors for Yogi Terps earlier in the year, and the club also plans to host sessions at the studio as the weather gets colder.
"It's important to have that space in any community where you can go in and focus on you for a little bit," Gholami said.
In addition to yoga classes, Starr sells yoga gear such as mats and clothing. It costs $18 to take one class, while studio memberships are available on Numi Yoga's website and range from $28 to $198. The studio will be having a grand opening on Sunday.
"I think College Park has a lot going for it … and I'm excited to see how the big institutions with the university and the foundation and the city come together and create an even greater College Park," Starr said. "I feel like a little piece of that."