Yoga Sutra vanishes without a trace

yoga sutra

Last month, Yoga Sutra abruptly closed its doors (and took down its website) with barely a warning signal, leaving a community of dismayed yogis, unanswered questions, and unfinished class cards in its wake.

The Midtown East studio was yet another casualty of the recession (combined with the perennial priciness of New York real estate).

Yoga Sutra

A sampling of comments on a blog post from earthyogi.blogspot.com.

Claudia Azula Altucher, an Ashtangi who’d been practicing at the studio since 2007, got the details from the studio’s managing director, Lisa Bridge (whose father owns the studio), and posted them on her blog. “After meeting with an attorney, the business has decided to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy,” Bridge wrote.

Altucher’s post elicited a slew of comments from other Yoga Sutra practitioners, some of which were sympathetic, but many of which mourned the loss of money from prepaid class cards and mats that had been stored at the studio.

A Facebook page called Friends of Yoga Sutra NYC that popped up soon after the closing has also become a place for the sharing of grievances, and for displaced yogis to chat about where they should settle down next.

Meanwhile, ten blocks across town, Reflections Yoga extended a very warm welcome to the yoga refugees.


Posts on the "Friends of Yoga Sutra NYC" Facebook page

Reflections quickly posted discounts to former Sutra practitioners on their site including 15 percent off class packages, $5 buy backs from Yoga Sutra class cards, and a discount for the studio’s upcoming teacher training.

“The yoga world is a small world, and we’ve been getting some of Yoga Sutra’s students and teachers,” says Sarah Bernier, the corporate wellness coordinator at Reflections.

Bernier says she has heard of individuals who lost their teacher-training deposits of several hundred dollars at Yoga Sutra.

“This is our way of saying we support this community in New York City regardless of where you practice,” says Bernier. “We’re offering you a home.”

Obviously, as the yogis new home, Reflections stands to benefit financially. We don’t blame them: It may also help them avoid Yoga Sutra’s fate. —Lisa Elaine Held


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  1. December 7th, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    It’s sad they closed, they had some wonderful teachers there. I heard from the former instructors that apparently they weren’t paid for months either! Used to practice there myself until they screwed me with the auto pay and refused to give my money back.

  2. July 19th, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Not exactly a surprise…exploitation in the name of yoga finally caught up with Guta and Lisa, and the “closure” is in true reflection of their lack of integrity to the spirit of yoga, to their students, anyone involved…I signed up for their YTT because I was really interested in yoga, not to teach it, I made a full payment of $3300, but after 3 weeks I realized it was a heartless, soulless “thing,” their whole business was to make you sign their contract which is to pay no matter what happens and leave you with no rights to stand up for yourself if you find out the whole thing is a scheme, this way they basically forced people to stay with the training. I guess, it could last only this long, but too long when I think about how many people must have had the same disappointing experience and went through with it anyway, and worse, how many people participated and thought that “that’ was yoga…So, I am glad that these people out of business, and I hope, they find an honest way to make a living from now on !

    As for me, I did leave the program, lost the money, and have not taken a yoga class since…it was and felt for a long time an ugly disillusioning experience, but in case you are thinking it, no worries for me, I know, this was one of those blessing in disguise-thing :), in the big picture, I needed this giant slap, so I don’t by any chance get lost like them.

  3. October 26th, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Send deities

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