Cape Gazette
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Hot yoga made easy

Soul Yoga Studio kicks-off in Lewes
By Kara Nuzback | Mar 30, 2012
Photo by: Ryan Owen Soul Yoga Studio owners Jennifer Mitchell and Dimitra Kotanides offer hot yoga classes for all levels on Plantations Boulevard in Lewes.

Lewes — Hot yoga sounds intimidating, but a Lewes yoga studio under new ownership is making it so easy a child could do it.  Soul Yoga Studio, formerly Hot Yoga Delaware, is refreshing its image and offering new classes for beginners and kids.

Owners and instructors Dimitra Kotanides and Jennifer Mitchell say they plan to make everyone comfortable in the studio – from experienced yoga gurus to first-timers and even children.  “We’re all still students; we are all always students,” Mitchell said.

Soul Yoga Studio is tucked away behind the clubhouse in The Plantations community in Lewes.  On the inside, the studio is spacious and full of light, the walls painted with bright yellows and blues. Buca, who Mitchell calls the Zen dog, calmly paces the space, greeting new faces until someone offers the pup a belly rub.

Housed in the middle of the space is a large room where hot yoga happens every day.

Both Mitchell and Kotanides were instructors at the studio under its previous owners, Lisa Henson and Holli Elliott.  Mitchell said the owners wanted out and offered the business to her and Kotanides.  “It was sort of an organic process,” Mitchell said.

“It was a thriving studio,” Kotanides said.  “We were ready to step up.”

On Dec. 1, the two women took over and began the rebranding process.  “The changes have already started,” Kotanides said. “We want to open it up to various styles of yoga.”

The studio now offers Warm and Light, Gentle Flow and Yin Yoga, less-intense classes aimed at beginners.  The Original Hot class, as well as Shore Hot, Hot Flow and Power Flow are classes for students who aren’t shy about getting sweaty, with temperatures reaching up to 105 degrees.

This summer, Soul Yoga Studio will also offer yoga workshops for kids.  Mitchell and Kotanides will partner with Dave Marshall Tennis Academy, located just outside the studio door, to offer tennis, swimming and yoga kids’ camps.  Camps are scheduled for Monday, July 23 – Thursday, July 26 and Monday, Aug. 20 – Thursday, Aug. 23.

A modern dance class, sans heat, incorporates elements of yoga and modern choreography.  Jenny Schmermund, who instructs the class and other yoga classes at the studio, has a background in dance.  She also serves as Mitchell and Kotanides’ right-hand in the business.

Mitchell is a former mental health professional; she holds a master’s degree in human development from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.  Mitchell uses her background in therapy to take a holistic approach to yoga instruction.

Kotanides, originally from Sweden, is a former personal trainer specializing in Pilates.  She moved to the Cape Region five years ago, and she has been teaching yoga in the area since, including Yoga by the Canal at Lewes Canalfront Park.  “We are all so different, and we all have our strengths,” Kotanides said.

The studio will host a kick-off party to unveil its new name, new logo and new website, soulyogastudio.com, to the community.  The event will be held from 5 to 7 p.m., Sunday, April 1, at Soul Yoga Studio on Plantations Boulevard in Lewes.

Admission is free and open to the public.  Free raffle drawings will be held every 10 minutes for the entirety of the event.  Prizes will include yoga attire giveaways, restaurant gift cards, and a $100 gift card for a sailing trip for four aboard the 35-foot yacht, Kindred Spirit.

The event will also feature refreshments and live music from Jimmy Keane and Mike Antonelli.  Mitchell and Kotanides will offer membership deals to those in attendance.

The new owners said, so far, their yoga students are enjoying the changes in the studio.  “It’s the same, but more,” Schmermund said.

“It’s been amazing,” Mitchell said. “People feel the new energy.”

For more information on classes and schedules, or for a kids' camp sign-up sheet, visit Soulyogastudio.com.  Soul Yoga Studio information can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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