On the mat // A yoga co-op for Southwest

In a land of many yoga studios, it can be hard to stand out.

The OM Collective, a new studio at 34th & Lyndale, however, has some unique qualities that will be of interest to local yogis.

For one, the studio is something of a “yoga co-op,” said Ronna Rochell, one of the four co-founders of the studio. It’s designed to be a multidisciplinary space dedicated to health and healing. Besides a variety of yoga classes (including a special class combining yoga and poetry), the OM Collective has non-yoga specialties like Kung Fu and Boot Camp classes.

Housed in the former Balance Fitness space at 3350 Lyndale Ave. S., the studio also has two teachers certified in Anusara (pronounced a-nu-sar-a) yoga — Rochell and Ali Certain. Only four teachers in Minnesota are certified in the popular method founded by John Friend.

“Anusara means from the heart — to flow with grace,” Rochell said.

It’s a style of Hatha yoga that emphasizes the importance of alignment. As for philosophy, practitioners of Anusara believe that people and life is inherently good.

Rochell started teaching yoga in 1990 after performing with modern dance companies in Chicago and Minneapolis. She launched her own business Bodywisdom Yoga in 1998 and then became certified in Anusara Yoga in 2009.

“When I discovered Anusara yoga, I found something that truly resonated with my heart. It is such a holistic and life-affirming practice,” she said. “And it’s something that I can share everyday with clients and my family.”

Friend founded Anusara yoga in 1997. Since then, it has spread to 70 countries with roughly 200,000 students.

Rochell lives in Southwest with her husband and two sons who are in elementary school. She also has a son in his senior year in college. The family practices yoga together nearly every day. Rochell and her husband also organize a partner yoga/cross country ski weekend every February.

The other co-founders of the OM Collective include Ali Certain, another Anusara instructor; Jennifer Colletti, a teacher who specializes in helping women with fertility challenges; and Lisa Van Ahn, an instructor for boot camp and kickboxing classes. Van Ahn also offers Reiki and Ayurveda private consultations.

Rochell describes the studio as a “beautiful space” that can serve as a respite for people with overwhelming schedules.

“Life is becoming too fast paced for people,” she said. “We are running as fast as we can. [Yoga] helps us pause, stop and tune inside. Once we pause, we tune into who we really are.”

“On the mat” is an occasional column in the Journal exploring the city’s yoga community.

Grand opening
The OM Collective, 3350 Lyndale Ave. S., is celebrating its grand opening 6:30–9 p.m. Jan. 8. For more details, visit theomcollective.com.