A new Bushwick yoga studio promises to bring peace to the mind and the body — with spirits.
The Cobra Club on Wyckoff Avenue serves high-end cocktails after stretching sessions in a potent combination of mind-altering substances and mind-altering exercise that its owners say is a first in New York City, and possibly in the country.
It might sound like a stretch, but the mix of meditation and inebriation makes lots of sense, according to co-founder Nikki Koch.
“It’s an interesting concept that nobody’s ever done before,” said Koch, a Bushwick resident who opened the studio near Jefferson Street with two business partners. “After a good yoga class you feel amazing, but if you want to talk to people you have to scramble to find a place to sit down and catch up. We thought it would be cool to have a yoga space in the back and then have the bar so you don’t have to look for something else.”
Students emerging from class at the studio near Jefferson Street don’t have to wander far for a post-workout reward: the adjoining bar serves fancy mixed drinks with names like “Some kinda hate” and “Skulls.”
The indulgences don’t stop at alcohol.
Worked up an appetite? There’s six different types of gourmet hot dogs to choose from.
Need a pick-me-up? The bar doubles as a cafe during the day, slinging Counter Culture coffee.
On weekends, students can even take “Hangover” yoga classes, which include a bloody mary or mimosa after session wraps up.
The club’s creators they have ruffled a few feathers by combining spirits and spirituality, but they say their approach is an extension of the openness that yoga encourages.
“There are some very strict yoga practicers who are of a different school of thought and come from a culture that’s more about abstaining, like being vegan,” said Koch. “But we’re not using any Sanskrit names for poses, we’re not doing chanting, and we’re trying to make it accessible by taking away the barriers and obstacles that keep people away for fear of judgement. Yoga is not just for people who believe in certain things in their lives.”
The yoga studio even extols the virtues of vices.
“We also reject the idea that in order to live full and happy lives we must abstain from all vices, detach from the world and become saint-like,” the studio’s mission statement reads. “We embrace our vices for the value they bring to our lives.”
That said, there’s absolutely no boozing before yoga — however the bar is open to students and non-students alike.
And don’t worry sidling up to the bar in sweaty yoga gear, either – Koch says the yoga practiced at the studio is more breathe- and meditation-focussed than heart-pumping Vinyasa classes.
“In Bushwick, I kind of feel like anything goes,” said Koch. “Plus, everything is better after yoga. If you have a good yoga practice where you are focused and relaxed, when you leave that yoga class its really the best version of yourself.”Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at erosenberg