By Charles Mombo
I had the opportunity to sit and talk with the co-owners of YogaSix Hyde Park, Hyde Park’s newest yoga studio. Crystal Pinkston and Sharon Calhoun Norman are very excited to welcome the community to their studio. Beyond the body-heart-mind components of yoga, they’re very focused on bringing diversity and inclusivity to their yoga space.
The pair met around about 11-years ago and have been friends since. One of their favorite past times was taking boutique fitness classes and also participating in various challenge races like the 5K. They enjoyed being active while making health and wellness a part of their lifestyle.
Crystal is originally from Texas but moved to Chicago in 2008 and it quickly became her second home. She lived in Chicago for 11 years full-time and now travels back-and-forth between Chicago and Texas. Crystal always had an interest in entrepreneurship or doing something different like her grandparents who were entrepreneurs. According to Crystal, “I always believed that entrepreneurship was in my DNA, but never found that right fit until now.” Crystal works in corporate America doing market research, but always wanted something that would allow her to still do the 9-to-5 while tapping into her entrepreneurial spirit.
Sharon is a lifelong Southsider who grew up in Beverly on Chicago’s Southwest Side. Her husband grew up in Hyde Park and they currently live, nearby, in the Oakland neighborhood of Chicago. “My husband and I actually met at the house picnic. Although we don’t live in Hyde Park, we’re kind of Hyde Parkers. This is where we hangout, have dinner and literally do everything. So, when we had the opportunity to get into the YogaSix brand, Hyde Park was a non-brainer”. According to her, “We love the Hyde Park neighborhood!”
As a practicing attorney for over 15 years, Sharon was motivated to get into entrepreneurship because of her kids. She wanted to create more options to pass down to her family and children.
Sharon states that as a very young attorney, hot yoga was her sane place. It was where she could really focus and all the anxiety and the stress would melt away. As a living example, she easily connects with the YogaSix brand. She knows firsthand what yoga and mind body benefits can do.
On the issue of what differentiates YogaSix Hyde Park from other yoga studios in the neighborhood, the studio will be more than just a place where you take classes.
YogaSix Hyde Park is a full sensory experience, their signature teaching methodology is built from the floor up. There’s lighting that cues with the music. There’s a signature scent and towel that will be provided after the class. Their store will carry staples such as versatile leisurewear to offer the utmost comfort whilst maintaining style.
It will be a place that welcomes everybody, all fitness levels, and different age groups. No one will feel intimidated. You can come to the class and get something from it, whether you’re super experienced or whether you’re a beginner.
According to the ladies, there are certain businesses in Hyde Park that do a great job in connecting members and community wellness. As an example, the Silver Room and the Orangetheory Fitness are actually doing a pretty good job with their community wellness. Community wellness that goes beyond their respective businesses. A community with a shared humanity and collective healing where everyone is welcome, valued, wanted, and loved. They want to keep the same spirit because there’s so much to offer in Hyde Park and they just need to be highlighted.
The member experience is another huge part of Yoga Six Hyde Park. They want to focus on positively responding to feedback, consistently listening and learning different ways to improve member experience and foster connectivity and interaction between the members.
YogaSix Hyde Park is targeted to everyone. The pandemic and accompanying lockdown measures have turned work-life balance upside down. Restrictions have resulted in people being confined for months in their homes that simultaneously serve as offices. The shutdown of gyms and yoga studios put an enormous pressure on people’s physical and mental wellbeing.
YogaSix Hyde Park, located at 1618 E. 53rd Street, Chicago, IL 60615, is expected to open mid-May, meanwhile they are offering the first 100 founding members 20% off membership FOREVER!