German Village's newest yoga studio brings the heat (and frozen grapes)
The first thing you'll notice when you climb the stairs to Studio 543 Yoga will undoubtedly be the scent.
Warmly aromatic candles are all over the lounge (yes, lounge) that serves as the check-in area. Large windows let in plenty of sun, and the room is accented with modern décor, including cream-colored chairs, large mirrors and crystal lighting. Spotted on the coffee table: magazines for a pre-workout reading.
It's a chic-but-relaxing area, and it's very much intentional.
"We wanted to have a space where people can come before class, meet in the lobby, get comfortable, talk to people, meet people-kind of like a social atmosphere," says Kristina Suszkiw, co-owner.
She and her sister, Natasha Babamovski, decided to open Studio 543 as a result of their shared passion for an active lifestyle.
After checking in, you'll move to the changing room, complete with showers. Take off your shoes, grab your mat, water and towel (seriously, bring a towel) and enter the inferno.
The room is set to 99 degrees, but the air isn't stagnant. Fans keep it flowing throughout the class. You'll thank Suszkiw later for that.
It's dark, too, but not unnervingly so-designed to make you feel more comfortable as you go through your movements (and modifications), Suszkiw says.
The music is motivating. Think everything from new Madonna to classic rock, but it doesn't feel out of place.
"We thought we'd integrate the fun music with the movement," she says. "Make the flows a little more movable, so it's more of a Vinyasa-type yoga."
This class, deemed "Inferno Flow" (a name that made you, a yoga novice, raise an eyebrow), feels more like learning a dance. It's Vinyasa, so you'll focus on your breathing and your instructor, Suszkiw, will, like a current, slide from one pose into the next.
You'll follow along as best you can, grabbing for your towel more often than not.
When Suszkiw says, "And now we'll move into some ab work," you'll search for a sympathetic eye, to no avail.
When the class comes to an end, you'll say your "Namaste" and you'll beeline it to the door, thankful for the cool rush of air. It was hot, it was challenging, but it was worth it.
Frozen grapes and cool lavender and eucalyptus towels are waiting for you in the lounge area. You eat more grapes than you probably should. (Why have you never put your grapes in the freezer before?)
"It's my big thing," Suszkiw says of the homey touches. "The towels were washed with eucalyptus lavender, and we put lavender drops in them."
You'll thank her for remaining encouraging throughout "Inferno Flow." Maybe next time you'll try the more beginner-friendly class, "Inferno Slow Burn."
As you walk down the stairs, you'll panic nonsensically when you realize you forgot your water bottle on the coffee table.
You grab it and polish it off happily in your car, the air conditioning so loud it drowns out the sound of your radio.
-Taylor Starek, @taylorstarekStudio 543 Yoga
543 S. High St. Floor 2
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Pricing: Single class, $15; five classes, $65; 10 classes, $120; 20 classes, $220; one-month unlimited, $95 (intro special: 30-days unlimited, $45)
Classes offered every day, both mornings and evenings
Photos courtesy of Studio 543 Yoga