• Laura Brzyski

This New Yoga Community Is Bringing OMM-azing Classes to Philly and the Jersey Shore

Photograph courtesy of OMM Yoga.

OMM Yoga offers daily live-streamed yoga classes, plus pop-up outdoor sessions in Fitler Square and Ventnor.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced so many folks to pivot and adapt their routines, work-life balance, and overall lifestyles. For Melissa Green Henkin, Jacqueline Silva Steuer, and Anne Ledyard — three (of many) former CorePower Yoga instructors who were laid off by the company in March — adjusting to this “new normal” meant rethinking their practice beyond the confines of a brick-and-mortar studio.

Enter OMM Yoga, a virtual yoga platform created by the trio in order to bring mindful movement and a sense of connection to the local community, especially anyone feeling detached or isolated due to COVID-19. Officially launched on July 25th, OMM Yoga offers a variety of live-streamed classes daily, including Vinyasa, HIIT sculpt, slow flow, and “Barre-Yasa,” a mix of barre, yoga, and cardio. Additionally, the OMM team — currently made up of 13 certified instructors — hosts pop-up, socially-distant outdoor sessions in Fitler Square Park and Ventnor, New Jersey.

Founders Melissa Green Henkin, Anne Ledyard, and Jacqueline Silva Steuer. / Photograph courtesy of OMM Yoga.

Green Henkin, who is also a mom to a toddler under two, says opening and running a new business, particularly during a pandemic, has been a huge undertaking. “We knew it would take a lot of work, especially because the three of us are wearing a lot of different hats, like being social media managers and learning the ins-and-outs of finance” she says. Despite the juggling act, Green Henkin and her team believe in the importance of building and sustaining community during a time when so many folks feel disconnected from one another. For OMM, live-streamed classes — compared to on-demand videos — can help people feel more present with their practice and part of a group, as the instructor is guiding you in real time. Plus, the outdoor pop-ups give clients a safe change of pace (and scenery!) with others IRL.

While Green Henkin admits that a brick-and-mortar studio could be in OMM’s future, it currently isn’t on their radar due to the current corona climate. That isn’t a bad thing, though. As Green Henkin says herself, “[Shifting yoga to virtual and outdoors] has not only opened people up to a new way of exercising, but [I believe] has made fitness a little bit more accessible to more people.”

You can check out the full OMM Yoga schedule here. Your first class is free, and after that, a drop-in costs $12. Bonus: they’re currently running a September challenge, where you could win a free month of unlimited yoga by taking 15 classes this month.

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