NEWS: Yoga Farm Expands Its Vision in Lansing
BY MICHAEL NOCELLA
Nearly three months after its grand opening, Yoga Farm, a 1,200-square-foot wellness center at 404 Conlon Road, is expanding its business plan. Owner Christopher Grant is offering free yoga classes to anyone who wants to try through September 26.
“The promotion that we have,” Grant explained, “going from September 13 through September 26 is to create an opportunity for everyone to try all of our new classes out by making them absolutely free. So every class – we have 15 a week – is free to everybody. People who have been here before, people who haven’t. We’re doing this because we are really proud of the 10 teachers we have here working at this yoga center.”
Grant, the founder and former CEO of Gorges, a software development firm in Ithaca, previous stated that his vision for a yoga studio is a bit different. The certified yoga teacher and guru recently renovated an old barn on his 65-acre farm property in Lansing. Grant has transformed the barn into a state-of-the-art wellness center, which will be the main space for his new business, Yoga Farm. Now that phase one has been such a success, Grant is looking for Yoga Farm to be even more than it is already.
“Things have been going great,” Grant said. “We had our grand opening two and a half months ago, and since then we’ve seen a steady group of people coming into the studio. We’re really excited. We’re getting people coming from all over, partly because of the amazing setting, and mainly because we’re taking a unique approach to yoga in that it’s holistic – it treats the body and the mind. It meets people where they are. We don’t assume anything from anyone’s physical abilities. We let our styles adapt to them.”
“We have expanded the vision,” he continued, “so now we’re putting together things that will create more of a retreat facility. We’re going to put in more housing; more bathing facilities so people can come here regionally. This will become a center where [people from New York City] can come out to and get a little [rest and relaxation].”
It takes all about three seconds on the property of Yoga Farm to realize it’s not your typical yoga business. The studio, for starters, is a restored barn from the 1800s, and overlooks a gorge. Just around the corner is Grant’s home, where he lives with some roommates. One of those roommates is Neko Three Sixty, a longtime traveling yoga teacher who mastered her craft in Denver, but also had pit stops in Texas and Rochester before stumbling upon the living-working opportunity at Yoga Farm – a situation she called “an absolute blessing – this is the vision for myself I’ve been dreaming for a long time.”
“I teach a restorative yoga here,” Three Sixty explained, “which is essentially very few poses. It’s a very gentle, melting experience. It’s kind of an adult nap with a massage. The intention behind it is I’ve read that 20 minutes of restorative yoga is equivalent to a two-hour nap in terms of how it regenerates the body. So in a 75-minute class, you’re getting like seven and a half hours of sleep, basically.”
As for her new home, she couldn’t say enough good things about it.
“I really appreciate that our own practices and our own lives are devoted into yoga in all of the ways it means. Not just postures, but mediation, and consciousness with our food and our land. And so, from my perspective, this place offers a full-bodied heart, mind and soul experience of peacefulness and a desire to look deeper. It feels authentic. It’s a special and inclusive place.”