If you drove through Old Alvarado recently, you may have noticed a new banner hanging from the yoga studio on the corner of Smith and Watkins streets.
While the name and ownership may have changed, the CEO of the new Worlds Yoga center says customers can expect the same quality yoga as when it was Ayuh, but with an expanded curriculum and innovative approach.
“The goal is to make yoga readily accessible to people with different physical strengths and needs, across different dimensions of diversity,” said Mohammad Ketabchi, CEO of Worlds Yoga.
Ketabchi, who became part owner of Ayuh last November, fully acquired the business in March and began transforming the space to Worlds Yoga in May. Most of the instructors and members from Ayuh remain part of the Worlds Yoga community, he said.
Located at 3909 Smith St., the Union City location is the second for Ketabchi, who opened a Worlds Yoga in Saratoga also in May.
Now open and currently being renovated, the Union City Worlds Yoga will celebrate its grand “re-opening” July 21 and 22 with free classes for the community.
The yoga center is encouraging all community members, even those who’ve never done yoga, to drop by for a free session and check out the remodeled space.
When renovations are completed, Worlds Yoga will be a full service yoga center, equipped with two rooms — Ketabchi also purchased the old dance studio space next door for a hot room — along with a retail area, multiple bathrooms, radiant heating and cork floors for an optimal experience.
“This will be larger than most yoga studios,” Ketabchi said of the more than 4,000 square foot space.
Worlds Yoga will offer classes seven days a week in a full range of yoga styles, including hot, Hatha, Vinyasa, power, restorative and gentle yoga. It also offers kids yoga programs, zumba classes and a unique prep program for yoga novices.
“It’s a curriculum designed for the individual who has no notion of what yoga is,” said instructor and studio manager Evelyn Villa about their prep courses. “It will give them the tools they need to get deeper into the practice.”
“We’re trying to offer every discipline of yoga for everyone,” she added. “We embrace all fitness levels, all physical levels.”
Worlds Yoga will also offer a variety of programs as well, including guest speakers, workshops and special classes. Their website will also feature tips and writings by experienced yoga experts.
“We go beyond the physical practice,” Ketabchi said.
While Ketabchi’s background is in technology and science, he said yoga is one of his greatest passions. A former dean and professor of science and engineering at Santa Clara University and current chief of strategy at Progress Software, Ketabchi started doing yoga seven years ago.
“I personally benefitted from it. I had neck and back aches. All of that has gone away. My health is better than when it was 15 or 20 years ago,” the 62-year-old Newark resident said.
“With the body of a 25-year-old,” Villa added.
“That’s what yoga does — you stop time; you become ageless,” she said.
Worlds Yoga offers a variety of membership packages. Their unlimited “Kula” membership, which usually costs $150, is being offered for $75 if you purchase the membership by July 22. It provides unlimited access classes, allowing members to try different teachers and courses so that they can design a program that best suits them, Ketabchi said. Kula members can also visit any Worlds Yoga studio.
To find out more about Worlds Yoga and try out their programs, drop by their grand opening weekend from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 21 and Sunday, July 22 for free classes. According to Villa, anyone can take as many free classes as they want and try a variety of yoga styles during the weekend.
The event will also include live music and healthy snacks and drinks.
For more information, visit www.worldsyoga.com or call (510) 441-9642.