Makara: Community-Focused Yoga

Hannah Harpole laughs when we ask why she’d open a yoga studio in a borough that already has so many. The risk was not even a consideration. “We knew we had to do it,” she tells us. We see Makara Studio as a place that nourishes the local community so that we can help communities that have even more need. Harpole and Jonathan Borin, both certified instructors with experience across Brooklyn and Manhattan, opened Makara in Williamsburg, drawn to the location by new businesses opening on Montrose Avenue, including a vegan donut shop. They live in the area, watched it change, and wanted to be a part of that transformation. (“We also consulted an app called YogaLocal and saw that it was a community that could use a studio,” Harpole adds.) The studio offers one class a day by donation, so those who can’t afford yoga classes can still participate; they have eco-friendly yoga mats, the sale of which supports cancer research. Profits from their boutique go to an orphanage’s garden; they’re collaborating with a neighbor who works with people with disabilities, figuring out a community acupuncture clinic, plotting an open house for women seeking doulas, and planning workshops about women’s health and nutrition. “We want Makara to be a place where people come into their bodies, come into health.” 164 Montrose Avenue, Williamsburg

Photo Civan Ozkanoglu


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