Through steady and consistent yoga practice, Monica Breen experienced a connection to herself she had not felt before. She calls it a "distinct feeling," one where you realize there is "more to life." Breen’s love for yoga is the inspiration behind BE NICE Yoga
, located at 4100 Woodward Ave. in Midtown.
"We are located right above Detroit Community Acupuncture and Peoples Records, businesses that have seen great success since their move to this building," said Breen.
As its website explains, BE NICE Yoga takes its name from one of yoga’s ethical principals. One principal is Ahisma, meaning non-violence. Yoga master Dharma Mittra says the simplest way to live in the spirit of Ahisma is to simply "be nice" -- that is, be nice to everyone and everything around you, hence the name BE NICE Yoga.
BE NICE Yoga is a boutique yoga studio, one that shies away from the impersonal atmosphere of franchise yoga studios. Boutique studios are independently owned and operated, with small class sizes and personal attention. At BE NICE Yoga, there is a team of well-educated instructors that offers classes rooted in a variety of styles of yoga.
The studio exudes freshness, featuring renewable bamboo floors and an abundance of natural light and fresh air.
"I would describe the studio as clean, comfortable and thoughtfully well designed," said Breen. "A perfect place to offer the living art of yoga."
It’s also a perfect place to promote healthy living, considering that Midtown itself is home to places like Hub of Detroit, Goodwells Natural Foods
, Avalon Bakery
, and Raw Food Café
, all businesses promoting a healthy lifestyle.
"People are seeking natural health and wellness to improve the quality of their lives," said Breen. "And I envision Midtown to be a model for America’s healthy and independently-run future. We are creating meaningful and relevant businesses here. It’s a perfect complement to the important developments taking place in the Downtown Business district."
In addition to yoga classes, BE NICE Yoga offers workshops, offsite or "corporate yoga," private instruction, donation-based classes, community fund-raising and a September teacher training. Each week, Breen, along with seven instructors facilitate classes centered on yoga, a form of exercise that is now a $6 billion industry in the U.S.
Breen, who first fell in love with yoga in 1997 in New York is thrilled to be working as an instructor for a business that’s thriving.
"Sometimes yoga feels like exercise alone, but it’s much richer than that. My goal is to provide expert instruction in a friendly, non-competitive environment. Our studio becomes a place where people feel at home while they discover themselves in true happiness, wellness and peace. And this can be a healing to a whole community because it starts with the individual."
: Monica Breen
: Leah Johnson