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Yoga Studio 'Jewel City' Opening on Franklin Avenue With Free Classes

By Rachel Holliday Smith | January 6, 2017 4:55pm | Updated on January 9, 2017 8:27am
 Yoga teacher Catie Newman is getting ready to open Jewel City yoga, a new studio at 660 Franklin Ave. in Crown Heights, this weekend.
Yoga teacher Catie Newman is getting ready to open Jewel City yoga, a new studio at 660 Franklin Ave. in Crown Heights, this weekend.
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DNAinfo/Rachel Holliday Smith

CROWN HEIGHTS — A new yoga studio is set to open on Franklin Avenue this weekend, its owners said, the latest from the proprietor of several popular Crown Heights businesses including Little Zelda’s coffee shop, Hullabaloo Books and Nagle’s Bagels.

The new space, Jewel City, will open Saturday at 660 Franklin Ave. with a partial schedule of classes and some free lessons, said studio director Catie Newman, a longtime New York-based yoga teacher influenced by the Anusara school of yoga practice, which teaches “flowing with grace,” she said.

She plans to bring that practice to Jewel City, but the studio will not focus on one style of yoga, she said, mixing elements of classical and vinyasa as well as offering restorative and pre-natal yoga.

“I want my teachers to be creative,” she said.

So far, Newman has hired about 10 teachers to teach between four and seven classes a day at Jewel City, named for a rough translation of the Sanskrit word for the third chakra, “manipura.” The drop-in price for a 60-minute class is $17; lower per-class prices are available with weekly, monthly or yearly passes.

On Saturday, the studio will kick off their opening weekend with a free 9:30 a.m. class and, on Sunday, a free class at 11 a.m. The studio’s full schedule begins Monday, Newman said.

The new studio is located at 660 Franklin Ave., next door to Hullabaloo Books. (DNAinfo/Rachel Holliday Smith)

The studio is the brainchild of owners Michael de Zayas and Kate Blumm, the husband-and-wife team behind many Crown Heights establishments on Franklin and Nostrand avenues, including Little Zelda’s (named for their daughter), Two Saints bar, Linden Salon and the recently opened wine shop Simple Syrup.

Blumm — who is a special advisor and former speech writer to Mayor Bill de Blasio and will leave day-to-day operations of Jewel City to Newman — said she has practiced yoga for years as a way to de-stress and hopes the new studio will helps others do the same.

“Yoga is about learning to live in the present moment, to be OK with what is, to quiet our million-mile-an-hour minds,” she said. “We wanted to offer a place where people can take care of themselves in this very powerful and essential way.”

Jewel City is Franklin Avenue’s second yoga studio in the neighborhood, just down the street from Brooklyn Yoga Collective, where classes are priced on a sliding scale or by donation. Though Jewel City will have some "community classes" with a $10 suggested donation, Newman described the new spot as the “more boutique yoga studio” in the neighborhood.

“BYC is donation based and that’s awesome. There’s a place for that. We’re a different beast,” she said, adding that “more yoga is never a bad thing.”