Yoga Studio Has New Location On Church Street, The Chronicle, Willimantic, Conn.
June 1, 2021 by Lisa Massicotte
Willimantic’s beloved yoga and meditation studio, YONO, is debuting its renovated expansion to the public with its grand opening on June 5 at 59 Church St.
Formerly known as Yoga on North, YONO completely rebranded during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and changed its location from 34 North St. to 59 Church St. in April.
And owner Angie Jacques couldn’t be more excited for YONO’s grand opening this Saturday, which will begin promptly at 10: 30 a. m. with a ribbon- cutting ceremony by town officials and the Northeastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce.
“My goal for the building is to make it a place where yoga is affordable, approachable and accessible. I never want money to be a barrier between someone doing yoga,” she said.
At the grand opening, members of the public will be able to chat with Jacques to learn about the benefits of yoga and her studio, enjoy some snacks and enter raffles to win prizes such as free memberships and free entry to classes and workshops.
Several classes are offered 365 days a week with morning and evening schedules, according to Jacques.
All skill levels and demographics are accepted and encouraged to check out YONO’s classes, even for those who have never practiced yoga in their life.
“Men, women, people in their 20s, people in their late 70s, athletic, non-athletic,” Jacques said, describing the wide range of YONO’s students. “It’s a really awesome, diverse group of people.”
A common misconception Jacques has heard countless times is that, “I can’t do yoga because I’m not flexible,” she explained. “And I love hearing that because they make the best students. When something is a little more challenging, you tend to stick with that experience.”
It’s not about touching toes or doing handstands, it’s about creating space in the body where it feels stiff and stuck, according to Jacques.
” Our lifestyles typically have us behind a computer screen a lot, driving a lot. When that happens, we develop a lot of postural deficits. When we’re hunched over and our shoulders are rounded in or up by our ears, we’re not able to take good quality breath, and breathing is life force and energy,” she said, adding yoga is about creating that space to open up bodies, breathe and working towards seeing through a clear lens and not through a lens of worry or dwelling.
Jacques, who established YONO in 2018, was innovative and adaptive from the very start of the pandemic when she and multitudes of Connecticut businesses were forced to close their doors to the public in March 2020.
” I spent my birthday ( March 16) learning how to do Zoom and creating a YouTube channel,” she said. “The very next day all my students had access to Zoom and videos I created on YouTube just to keep them inspired and interactive.”
Last July, she reopened to the public at YONO’s former location. However, she wanted the opportunity to expand, so she moved over to 59 Church St. and began classes there April 1.
“I know that I want to do this forever and ever so it makes sense to be here and expand,” she said. “My plan for this place is to expand to include a formal entrance and a small retail section so people can come in if they want to grab a little gift after a class like a yoga coffee mug, books, sage bundles, T-shirts, yoga mats and things like that.”
YONO is also the creator of the well-attended “Yogamantic,” which is an annual charity event that began in 2019, where the public can attend a massive yoga class in Jilson Square Park for free, upon bringing a food donation.
This year, Yogamantic will be held Aug. 21 at 10 a.m. in Jilson Square, with donations going to the Holy Family Home and Shelter Inc. on Jackson Street.
Follow Lisa Massicotte on Twitter @LMassicotteTC.
59 Church St., Willimantic
Information: 860-372-2883, yonowillimantic.com