The Corner, a brand-new yoga studio aptly named for its location at 676 Driggs Ave (the corner of Driggs and N 1st St.), is dedicated to meeting all yogis or aspiring yogis where they are in their own practices without judgment.
Though The Corner only opened this past August, it’s been a long time coming for owner Rebecca Ambrose, who’s been working in yoga and wellness for 15 years, originally managing other people’s yoga spaces while also working in publishing.
“I had a manager take me out for coffee and say, ‘I think you’re going to be a studio manager someday, you’d be really good at doing this’ and I was like ‘you’re crazy’ … So the seed was planted then,” Ambrose explained. “It’s kind of been this thing everyone knew but me.”
When it came time to find a studio, stumbling upon the 676 Driggs space could be described as something akin to fate for Ambrose, who moved to Williamsburg in 2020.
“The space is two blocks from my apartment and I kept walking by it and thinking ‘why can’t I find an adorable space like this? It’s so cute, it’s so prominent,’ and then the sign went up and I walked by and dropped my phone into the street, my jaw fell open, and I think I made the first phone call on the space,” Ambrose recalled. “We got to know [Williamsburg] mostly over lockdown and to watch the resiliency that this neighborhood has, I just don’t think it exists anywhere else in New York. And it’s been so fun to be part of new businesses here opening again … There’s really nowhere else I’d rather be.”
And the community feel of the neighborhood works hand-in-hand with The Corner’s mission to fill a void in the fitness and wellness world, particularly when it comes to beginners or even those just hoping to diversify their practices. The studio aims to support yogis (and teachers) of all shapes, sizes, and levels without condescension or a one-size-fits-all approach.
“The key component is just treating people well and that’s not hard to do … We really hope to be a home to the growing yoga community. It’s about the student experience and how they feel in their body. My favorite thing is to look around a room full of people and everyone is doing a different shape because they’ve decided that they needed to be in this particular pose, not because I told them to go there. So it’s a lot of ‘maybe try this, how does this feel?’ And then taking out the idea that there’s a gold-star treatment; teachers are going to champion every single person doing whatever variation of the pose they’re teaching,” Ambrose said.
In alignment with the mission of inclusivity, the studio also offers a pay-what-you-can, by-donation flow class Monday through Friday at 12 noon.
In the future, Ambrose would love to see the studio’s offerings continue to expand, as well as have opportunities to grow in the neighborhood and partner with other local businesses and organizations on things like rental opportunities, workshops, a yoga book club, brunch specials, art shows, performances, and much more.
See The Corner’s class schedule here (all attendees must be vaccinated).