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New Downtown Hollywood business owner Alyssa Berman had a successful career in the fashion industry, but her heart was in teaching yoga. In late July, Berman, 23, gave up her job as a men’s clothing buyer and just two months later opened Bend & Breathe Yoga Studio.
A yoga practitioner for four years, Berman has been an instructor in Miami for the past three years. For part of that time, she held down her day job as a buyer after graduating from Florida State University with a degree in Fashion Merchandising in 2014.
“I decided that I’d like to get into yoga more. I wanted to be able to teach people things. I knew I could teach,” Berman said. “And so I quit. I lost a really good-paying job.”
Since then, the native South Floridian has found her passion in her new studio. Bend & Breathe opened Oct. 1 in the Radius building at 1864 Radius Drive. The studio features a variety of group and private classes for all levels, as well as workshops each month and a small retail store.
Berman is an experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) by Yoga Alliance, as are the members of her Bend & Breathe team.
“We all have our certifications and at least 200 hours,” Berman said. “My instructors all teach at multiple locations throughout South Florida and have their own following.”
The studio’s classes include:
- Vinyasa Flow, links body movement with breath and provides a core and leg workout.
- Hot Yoga, which takes place in a hot room, enabling stretches to come quickly and easily.
- Yin Yoga, where poses are mostly seated and held for much longer, allowing for subtle stretches of connective tissue and fascia.
- Chill Vinyasa, a mix of traditional Vinyasa and Yin classes characterized by a gentle flow from active, standing poses to passive, seated ones.
- Ashtanga Half-Primary Series, a sequence of postures designed to test strength and flexibility in a heated room.
- Intro to Ashtanga, for learning the basics of breathing and flow.
The studio offers the first yoga class for free to newcomers, and various class packages are available. The studio’s retail shop also carries jewelry, crystals, hand-rolled incense, essential oils, yoga clothing and books.
Berman has no regrets about quitting a lucrative job to pursue her passion.
“I just enjoy it so much that it feels like a fantasy,” she said. “I’m really happy that I decided to do it.”
In Downtown Hollywood, the young yogini found the ideal central location between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, both of which she characterized as “very saturated” with yoga studios.
“I definitely didn’t want to be close to another yoga studio,” Berman said.
The historic downtown arts, music and entertainment district “is on the way up. Younger people and new businesses are moving in,” she added.
Bend & Breathe Yoga Studio is open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday and Sunday. For more information, call 954-358-9646 or visit www.bendandbreathehollywood.com.