After 10 years of practicing yoga, Doreen Arminio has no problem with warrior pose or lotus pose. She’s got plenty of flexibility for monkey pose and all the stamina for plank pose or downward-facing dog. It’s something you might call painting pose and window-cleaning pose that have exhausted her for the three weeks.
On Saturday, June 4, Doreen Arminio and her husband Joe Arminio will be opening Verona Yoga & Wellness Center at the intersection of Bloomfield and Lakeside avenues. That has meant many hours renovating the former Jazzercise space at the front of 546 Bloomfield avenue into a serene yoga venue. (Jazzercise is still in the building–as is the Irish dancing school DeNogla–but it has shifted its classes into some of the space once occupied by the ballet school TADA.) The walls are now the color of a Caribbean sea and blackout curtains will keep much of the light and noise of Bloomfield Avenue at bay. When the curtains are closed, small flickering lights automatically switch on giving the impression of yoga by candlelight. (Verona Yoga will have candlelight classes on Sunday evening at 7 p.m. and any donation collected will go to local causes.)
Doreen Arminio has been teaching fitness classes since the age of 17, something that has probably helped to keep her looking not much older than 17. “Aerobics, step, calisthenics, dance, you name it,” she says. She has a BFA in dance and is a certified personal trainer. But her exploration of yoga began only a decade ago, when her mother was diagnosed with osteoporosis and was told that doing yoga would help. Arminio started going to classes with her mother and was hooked. “I had a hip injury and now I can’t even tell you what side it was on,” she says.
The center will emphasize mixed-level Vinyasa classes that will suit beginners and more experience yoga practitioners. That means that women looking for pre-natal yoga will be comfortable at Verona Yoga. There will also be classes for kids. Though the daily schedule now starts at 9 a.m., Arminio is giving serious consideration to an early bird class that could start at 6 a.m. Her husband created men’s and women’s changing rooms complete with showers when he renovated the space, so class members could head right to work after their workout. “I wouldn’t teach that one,” says Doreen Arminio quickly. “I’m not at my best then.” And since Arminio performs much of the year with her husband in the oldies tribute band Joey Arminio & The Family, there will yoga classes to live music. Oh, and a little something they are calling “Wineyasa”. Use your imagination.
At the front of the yoga room, Joe Arminio has created a space he likes to call “Om Depot”. It’s stocked with Vibrant Health products, Naked Juice drinks, and healthy snacks that you could grab for lunch in Verona Park. For Joe Arminio, who grew up in Verona, it’s something of an antidote to the stress he experienced at 546 Bloomfield Avenue as a kid. Back then, it was Wright’s Hardware, managed by the father of David Chase, the creator of The Sopranos. The senior Mr. Chase did not enjoy having children in the hardware store, and he made sure they knew it.
The grand opening of Verona Yoga & Wellness Center will be from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 4. For more information about class schedules, click here.