INWOOD — Though a three-alarm fire destroyed the Bread and Yoga studio less than a year ago, the school is still going strong, celebrating its third anniversary with a day-long party at and around Inwood Hill Park on Saturday.
The festivities — which included a free morning class, an introductory workshop, children's crafts, a yoga flash mob, as well as a photography exhibit and live music at nearby Darling Coffee — commemorate both Bread and Yoga's commitment to its craft and its community, said owner Marcela Xavier.
"We wanted to give back," said Xavier, 37. "It's such an amazing time for us, just because this has been such a challenging year. It's great to be able to keep giving the same programs."
Chanting "ohm" and curling into a variety of sitting and standing yoga poses, many community members kicked off the festivities by taking part in the no-cost class Saturday morning.
Two participants included Sasha Dominitz and her 3-year-old daughter, Winny.
Dominitz, who regularly participates in the school's summertime park programs, said that Bread and Yoga's impact on Inwood is significant.
"It's fabulous," said Dominitz, 38. "It seems to be a community center. I certainly hope that they are able to reestablish."
Caitlin Preston, a longtime Inwood resident present Saturday morning, echoed Dominitz's sentiments, saying that Xavier fills a need in the neighborhood.
"We were hungry for a yoga place," said Preston, 38. "It was a big relief when Bread and Yoga opened up."
Scribble Art Workshop, which partners with Bread and Yoga for after-school programs, helped kids make mobiles in the afternoon as part of the party.
Molly Hunt, a participant Saturday, said she enjoys the creative process.
"It was fun," said Hunt, age 6. "Because we made stuff. Pictures."
Xavier, reflecting on the January blaze that destroyed her business and a suite of popular mom and pops on Broadway, said that she's thankful for the space at Holy Trinity Church, located at 20 Cumming St.
But now, she's on the hunt for another storefront in the neighborhood, so that she can expand the nutritional component of Bread and Yoga's mission.
"Real estate in Inwood is hard right now," she said, but "it's great to be here and be able to provide these things to the community...to bring people together."