Iyengar, Ashtanga, Kundalini, Kripalu, Yin, Anusara, and BROga. If you’re not into practicing yoga, it’s all Sanskrit to you. But if you are, take note. These are just a handful of the yoga styles that are on the menu at the new Yoga Collective at Island Co-Housing (co-ho) in West Tisbury.
Ten established Vineyard yoga instructors have joined forces to create the Island’s first yoga collaborative, a centralized location and, if all goes according to plan, “energy force,” that will bring Island yoga devotees and instructors together. Located at the Island Co-Housing common house in a wooded 30-acre community in West Tisbury, the Yoga Collective @Co-Ho hopes to foster a stronger sense of belonging for everyone involved in the practice of yoga.
“All yoga instructors on the Island are welcome to participate,” explains Sherry Sidoti, one of the founders. “We’re trying to create a feeling of ‘sangha,’ or community — a comprehensive home for all facets of yoga.”
Bennett Coffey, Mollie Doyle, Vanessa Kent, Stephanie Mashek, Bonnie Menton, Jane Norton, Patti Roads, Sherry Sidoti, Robert Sidoti, and Sian Williams will all teach their unique, individual styles of yoga at the Collective. Practitioners will be able to choose from a schedule of 80 classes per month, with five classes per day most weekdays. Every Friday evening at 5:30 the Collective will feature a workshop designed to facilitate a deeper study and experience of yoga taught by a guest instructor. One class will be held at 10 am on Saturday and Sunday.
In addition to the physical practice, the Collective plans to focus on other aspects of yoga, including “kirtan,” or chanting, Trance Dance, meditation, and philosophy.
“We offer a depth and opportunity unique to the Island,” says instructor Patti Roads. “The word ‘yoga’ in Sanskrit means ‘union,’ so, for me, the Collective really embodies a coming together of like-minded teachers that offer a wide variety of styles, personalities, and expertise.”
For Mollie Doyle, an Island instructor for five years who has practiced for nearly 20 years, the Collective is an opportunity to create a new and stronger sense of community, a “beautiful coming together” and a “wonderful mix of instructors, yogis and yoginis as well.” Having moved to the Vineyard from New York, Ms. Doyle left behind not only a plethora of yoga studios but a kinship she has yet to replicate.
“I’ve been craving that sense of community and it’s an honor to be part of this group,” she says. “We’re offering a Pu-Pu platter of yoga — there’s something for everyone, from beginners to those looking for an incredible challenge.”
The setting at Island Co-Housing is ideal for practicing yoga, according to Ms. Sidoti. “You drive down a dirt road just off State Road and feel like you’re entering another world. It’s like a retreat. The space has beautiful wood floors, lots of natural light, high ceilings, and enough space to accommodate 25 to 30 people.”
Those who are new to yoga can travel light. The Collective has all the equipment necessary to practice — mats, straps, blocks and blankets.
Robert Sidoti, well-known on the Island for his BROga — yoga classes for men — will teach at the Collective as well. “I love the idea of everyone coming together,” he says. “We’ll have an amazing array of classes, from super mellow to high energy. For lack of a better term, we’re sharing the love. Every instructor has a following but we’re not hoarding.”
With classes in full swing by Memorial Day, the Yoga Collective @Co-Ho promises to create a whole new venue and vibe for everyone who enjoys the practice of yoga on the Vineyard. There will be class cards available for individual instructors as well as for the Collective as a whole.
Watch for a new website for the Collective. Until then, class schedules are posted on Facebook at The Yoga Collective @coho on Martha’s Vineyard. They are also available at marthasvineyardyoga.com.
The Yoga Collective @Co-Ho is located at Island Co-Housing. From Vineyard Haven, follow State Road past the West Tisbury town sign. Turn left on Stoney Hill Road, then left again onto Red Arrow Road toward South Mountain Company’s building. Take an immediate right on Rock Pond Road to the common house yoga studio.