Columbus, Ohio USA
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Lit Life + Yoga in Italian Village
Penzone's new yoga studio cultivates beauty, inside and out
by Joel Knepp
January/February 2018 Issue
Debra Penzone’s LIT Life + Yoga studio opened
in December 2017 at 999 N. Fourth Street.
LIT Life + Yoga has opened its welcoming door at 999 N. Fourth Street in a repurposed single-story brick building behind the Royal Rhino Barbershop and just north of Cosecha Cocina Mexican restaurant.
LIT stands for Learn – Inspire – Teach. The studio is the dreamchild of hairdresser and businesswomen Debbie Penzone, who is expressing her love of yoga by branching out from her position as president and CEO of Charles Penzone, Inc., a long-standing Columbus hair and beauty powerhouse. The studio offers a wide range of classes in different yoga styles and meditation. Debbie’s intention is to provide a holistic experience which will empower students to carry yoga’s calming benefits into their everyday lives. The studio’s approach is to marry longstanding yoga traditions with modern techniques and technology designed to engage all five senses.
Debbie, a petite woman who radiates yogic enthusiasm, currently retains her position at Charles Penzone while taking on ownership of the new enterprise. She has undergone teacher training with Yoga on High, a venerable Short North institution, and received certification for AIReal Yoga through the nonprofit Yoga Alliance. She has also trained with noted alternative medicine advocate Deepak Chopra as well as with Hindu priest and international self-development speaker Dandapani. She subcontracts with 16 teachers, termed “luminaries,” who also work at other studios around town. The studio relies on creative director Babajide Ogunmola for day-to-day management.
Several features set this studio’s distinct character. The physical design, building materials, and graphics as well as the classy web marketing reflect Penzone’s professional connections and experience gained in the high-end salon business. She has incorporated favorite features from other yoga studios into the new venture. Students are warmed by cozy, radiant heat under bamboo and tile flooring; no cold feet here! Sophisticated multi-colored lighting and sound systems are controlled with an iPad which can be programmed by the luminaries (teachers) to create the ambiance desired for each portion of each class. The ceiling has hardware from which straps and hammocks can be hung. The hammocks are used in AIRreal Yoga, literally gravity-defying yoga performed while hanging in the air.
As an added touch during shavasana, a cool-down/mellow-out pose at the end of classes, the students receive their preference of either warm or cold towels placed on their heads while receiving shoulder, neck, and head-position adjustment to maximize the pose’s benefits. Aromatherapy and sounds produced by an impressive array of white singing bowls are also available to enhance the immersive class experience. In addition to straps and hammocks, the studio provides a variety of props and aids including mats so you don’t have to bring your own, and padded stools for students who are unable to sit on the floor. Logo wear is available for sale in the reception area.
Debbie Penzone, explains that the three philosophical pillars for the new studio are abundance, collaboration, and community. She sees LIT Life + Yoga as a collaborative member of the yoga community rather than competition with other studios. She also plans to include limited-income students by offering community classes on a voluntary-donation basis. The studio has set up a fund with the Columbus Foundation which uses donations from the community classes to assist local non-profits.
Classes are available seven days a week with online or telephone registration. Drop-ins are welcome, although preregistration is recommended. The first class is free, single classes are $18 and $20, there is a two-week unlimited special for $25, and a monthly pass is available for $59. Contact LIT Life + Yoga at www.litlifeyoga.com or 614-745-1002.
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