Downtown Brooklyn’s Virtual Yoga Studio

February 27, 2014

In the fast-paced world that is New York, getting in your daily workout can be challenging. Enter Dirty Yoga, a complete online yoga program for those who are time-pressed and commute constrained – all at the tip of your finger. In other words, no physical yoga studio, no traveling beyond your current location, no nonsense.  

Dirty Yoga got its start in 2011 by Susi Rajah and Jess Gronholm, who launched the virtual studio out of a brownstone basement in Downtown Brooklyn and launched its existing website and full program in early 2013. Dirty Yoga provides a program with 10 fresh workouts delivered to its subscribers once a week. The workouts vary in length and focus, but are open-level and Vinyasa style yoga, and led by Gronholm who is an expert yogi. Users simply need a yoga mat and a computer with video streaming capabilities.

Beyond efficiency, operating an online-based yoga program enables customization and wider audience reach. With fun names like “Stronghold” and “Hardass,” these workout programs can be done on the road or in tandem with existing workouts.

“Taking Dirty Yoga online meant our users could do yoga anytime, anywhere, and that they didn’t lose time to commuting,” said Gronholm. “It also allowed us to streamline our workouts, making them more efficient and eliminating the downtime you find in a regular yoga class. Our users can choose from a variety of different and fresh workouts each week to fit their needs and schedules, and we have users from all around the world.”

While their global features reflect their user base—their workouts are streamed by company partners from London—Dirty Yoga is decidedly a Brooklyn operation.

“We love being in Brooklyn,” said Gronholm. “Anytime we feel disconnected from the world, which happens from time to time when you’re a virtual company, wandering around the neighborhood, having lunch at a great new restaurant, or drinks at yet another cool bar, or checking out what other people are creating and doing here, makes us feel reconnected and inspired again.”

With an eye toward future pop-up events and partnerships (“we’re flirting with corporate wellness programs”), Dirty Yoga has no plans to operate a “traditional” studio.

“If ever we do become a bricks and mortar yoga company, we won’t be a conventional one,” promised Gronholm. “In fact, we think we’d be much more inclined to make the space into a public bar than a yoga studio.”