For Arthur Blenk, yoga is a calling.
“I literally woke up one morning last spring and said, ‘I’m going to open a hot yoga studio in Greenport!’” he said.
The owner of Karunā Hot Yoga, which opened in Greenport in January, said the thought came to him out of the blue. He and partner Amelia Nash immediately drove from the South Fork to Greenport and scouted a location for what would become Karunā Hot Yoga.
“I know it sounds crazy,” Blenk said. “But here we are.”
There are classes throughout the week for all skill levels. The studio is kept at 103 degrees, with humidity at around 40 percent.
“I happen to love the heat,” Blenk said. “There are real therapeutic benefits to the heat. It focuses our attention. It allows us to breathe a little slower, deepen our practice and physiologically affects the way our body functions.”
Classes accommodate both beginning yoga and more advanced practitioners, and Blenk wants to make sure that everyone feels comfortable in his classes.
“Don’t try to keep up with others. It’s very individualized. It’s a place of non-judgment,” he said.
Blenk has been practicing yoga for over a decade.
Arriving at yoga, as he put it, “was nonlinear. I don’t think anything about yoga is linear. Yoga has brought me to the here and now. It’s a deep, spiritual focus. For me, at least, my yoga made me fully present and able to appreciate my life in ways I was never able to do before.”
During the pandemic, Blenk trained to be a yoga teacher, both virtually and in the city.
Prior to making yoga his full-time job, Blenk, an East Quogue resident, has worn many hats, including building contractor, florist, landscaper, biology teacher and more.
Nash, meanwhile, first started practicing yoga about 20 years ago and was overjoyed to help open and teach in the new studio.
“I sort of stopped practicing for a while,” she said. “This has been a wonderful opportunity for me. [Teaching yoga] is something I’ve wanted to do for a really long time.”
Classes fill up quickly and Nash and Blenk hope the studio is transformative for people the way it was for them.
“Yoga changed my life and filled in a lot of spaces that, in my 40s, I had yet to find a way to fill,” Blenk said.
Karunā Hot Yoga (9 Sterlington Commons, Greenport) is open seven days a week. Visit the website to sign up for a class.