BERLIN — The Zenna Wellness Center, Berlin’s first-ever Zumba, yoga and aerial yoga studio, aims to stretch the town’s horizons as well as its limbs.
“There was always a vision here,” said co-owner Chrissy Ehrhart-Knight of putting the studio on Main Street.
Ehrhart-Knight, Cate Carrick Nellans and Jesse Martin came up with the idea for a Zumba and yoga center long before they actually made any moves to set up in town.
“Chrissy and I started talking about the idea a year and a half ago,” said Nellans.
Once the pair decided to look for space in Berlin, they found that the process went faster than expected. According to Nellans, a lease for the 10 South Main Street location was signed just last March, while the studio doors opened officially last Friday. Prior to opening, Ehrhart-Knight revealed that the building had to be “totally gutted” and refitted to house high-energy Zumba classes.
New partners were secured as well, including Martin, who initially only intended to support Ehrhart-Knight, but became so interested in the project that she came on as a co-owner and an aerial yoga instructor.
The final part of preparation was selecting a name.
“Zenna means ‘life of’ so Zenna Wellness equals Life of Wellness,” Nellans said.
While most people have at least a general idea of what yoga is, the trio admitted that, for the uninitiated, Zumba and aerial yoga could sound intimidating. However, all three stressed that Zenna will be comfortable for both advanced students and first-timers.
“There will be different kinds of Yoga offered and the workshops will be progressive starting with beginners and moving up,” said Nellans. “Zumba is basically a ‘dive right in’ kind of deal where you just give it your all and everyone is always on the same page, so to speak. We try to make all classes open for anyone of any skill level.”
Ehrhart-Knight added, “Zumba is a Latin inspired dance workout.”
Originating in Columbia in the 1990’s, Zumba is a cardiovascular activity that combines elements of martial arts and especially dance, including salsa and mambo, as well as hip-hop dancing.
Nellans added that Zumba is “a great place after a long day to de-stress and get a great workout.”
As for aerial yoga, which may seem more intense than its ground-based relative due to the inclusion of a thin suspension system that hangs from the ceiling, Martin promised that a walk-on participant from the street could safely and effectively participate in the exercise. In fact, aerial yoga is even easier than traditional yoga for a beginner and can help them develop proper form and positioning, according to Martin.
“It is aerial yoga with aerial silk … the hammock takes the weight off,” Martin explained.
While Zumba and yoga are the main pursuits of Zenna, the trio plans to involve themselves in Berlin as a whole, including its art culture.
“I want to be part of Berlin’s progressive movement … we want to be a part of the art movement also,” said Ehrhart-Knight.
Paintings from local artists line Zenna’s walls currently and every one of them is available for purchase. Paintings will most likely be rotated on a monthly basis so that the center has a chance to constantly showcase new art.
Interested members will not just be looking at art, however. They will eventually have a chance to create some.
“In time, we will have pottery classes,” said Ehrhart-Knight.
Those pottery workshops will be led by Martin but there is not a definitive schedule yet, with the owners concentrating on getting Zumba and yoga classes up and running. Going down that track, several instructors have already been hired and classes will be available throughout the week. So far, interest seems to be booming, the ladies report.
“Opening night was a huge success,” said Nellans. “We have sold out of our Summer Special, so for June through Sept. 11 the pricing for unlimited is now at $150. You can also only buy unlimited Zumba for $105 for the summer or unlimited Yoga for $120. As always, we also have our drop-in rates as well if they want to test out a class first.”
Though Zenna is already getting a lot of attention, the focus for the studio at first will be night classes, with a few morning lessons.
Nellans stated that day classes, like the pottery workshops, are in the works and are expected in the very near future. Another possible consideration in the future will be an expansion of the premises.
Even though the group only moved in this spring, the ladies are already eyeing space next door to the studio.
For more information and a full-class schedule, visit the studio’s website at www.zennawellness.com or call 443-373-7069