It was not an ideal situation.
The first week Verge Yoga opened its doors in early October, owner Cara Bradley was teaching a class when a sprinkler burst in the ceiling over the studio. Black stuff spewed from above, flooding the floor with a disgusting mess and sending students running. The fire department showed up, and the incident led to the new center closing its doors for a week to clean up.
Now, Phil Donnelly of Verge Yoga laughs off the debacle, saying it was a fitting start to the Wayne-based center’s start in Phoenixville.
“Like the Phoenix, we rose not from the ashes but from the flood,” Donnelly said.
The center, located behind the Citadel Bank off of Kimberton Road, boasts warm colors and one large studio and one smaller one. The location was a yoga center twice before, and Verge Yoga chose the spot to open its second location.
A wall in the center shows accomplishments of beginners and features news about the center as a community—an instructor recently had a baby, a yoga beginner was honored for her accomplishments, an entire class was pictured.
Interest has been steady, and Donnelly said she feels the center is becoming its own little community. She knows the name of each student and works to give individual attention to all of them. Students are surveyed on what classes they’d like to see, and the schedule is adjusted to accommodate those needs. A donation-based community class was added on Sundays, with all proceeds going to Phoenixville Area Community Services (PACS).
“We’re hoping to build community and get the students involved,” Donnelly said. “We want to make it their center.”
With approximately 30 classes per week, the center bustles with activity, and Donnelly said instructors work to teach the student as a whole, focusing on individual needs.
“One of the things that I emphasize, especially with brand new beginners—everyone comes for a different reason,” Donnelly said.
For some, that’s a desire to do more physical activity. Others are looking to strengthen and lengthen their bodies, while some come in because yoga was recommended by a physician. Many come in for one particular reason, however.
“The big one is peace of mind of an individual,” Donnelly said. “We say you turn off the mental movie when you come in.”
Focusing on each individual’s needs gets people more comfortable and more willing to open up about concerns, creating a safe environment where students can build functional strength.
“Everyone won’t look the same in the poses,” Donnelly said. “Where you are is where you are.”
With the remains of the first-week flood long gone, Donnelly said she wants the center to be a place where people come for more than just classes.
“I think that idea’s kind of gone now,” Donnelly said. “It has to mean more to you than that.”
If You Go:
Where: 550 Kimberton Road, Store 1, Phoenixville
Rates: Drop-in class rates and packages available. See the website for details.
Hours: See the Verge Power Yoga website for
Community Class Info: Drop in on Sundays from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. for a donation-based Stationary Sequence class. All proceeds go to PACS.