extendYoga Hopes to Capture North Bethesda Market
Yoga is hardly a new trend, and there are a wealth of area studios to prove it. So when Rockville native Arlet Koseian and business partner Antonia Trigler were looking for a location to open their own facility, they wanted to find a place where there was room — and an audience — for another yoga spot. Koseian is hoping North Bethesda, which stands to gain as many as 14,000 housing units in a variety of upcoming development projects, is that place. So far, nearly a year since starting the business, she has a customer base of about 300 mostly young urban professionals, many who come to evening classes after commuting into Bethesda or Washington. "With all these people in this area and all these high-rises and what's going to be happening to this area, we knew that when we picked our spot," Koseian said. Koseian and Trigler decided they wanted to start their own yoga studio while Koseian worked a high-pressure corporate event planning job in New York. She paid $5 for yoga sessions at a jam-packed studio, got drawn to it and eventually helped Trigler's mom open a new yoga studio in Massachusetts. The two got into the North Bethesda space, in an industrial area at 12106 Wilkins Ave., in July 2011 and braved the county permitting process to open last November. "Bethesda is saturated completely, and D.C. is obviously," Koseian said. "There aren't actually that many yoga studios right here." The client base has steadily grown, helped by a few LivingSocial deals and the generosity of other area yoga studios. In February, a sprinkler malfunctioned during a class in the hot yoga studio, which caused significant flooding and required new floors. Pamela Kaufman, who had opened her Allay Yoga studio in Kensington shortly before Koseian, offered to let extendYoga hold temporary classes there. It also showed the business was working. "We didn't even realize we had this community building," Koseian said. "It took this big thing to be like, 'They like us.'" Trigler recently left the business after becoming engaged, but Koseian is hoping growth at Mid-Pike Plaza, White Flint and North Bethesda Market will bring more of the type of demographic that typically practices yoga to the area. extendYoga will celebrate its one-year anniversary on Nov. 3, from noon to 3 p.m. with free 10-minute classes, health consultations, prizes and food.