The Yoga Shack Opens New LWR Studio



Last week, The Yoga Shack hosted a grand opening party to salute its newest location in Lakewood Ranch, the sister studio to their downtown venue. Although classes began at the new spot on July 6, last Friday’s event marked the official christening of the second Yoga Shack outpost. Partygoers mingled with teachers, took advantage of exclusive deals on fitness classes from partner gyms and shopped for athleisure, neon bathing suits and S’Well water bottles from visiting vendors such as Influence, Lululemon and Goddess Swimwear.

What this fête lacked in sun salutations it more than made up for in merry-making: guests sipped rosé, beer and Sarafresh cold-pressed juice from the fully-stocked open bar, munched on a mix of healthy and indulgent treats (think fresh fruit alongside fudgy brownies) and danced the night away to a live DJ spinning remixed top-40s tunes.

According to founding co-owner Courtenay Hitchon, expansion has been the plan since the downtown flagship’s founding in 2012; it was merely a question of time, location research and a savvy business partner. Nikka Coloradoa Fort Lauderdale native who began teaching at The Yoga Shack last year after relocating from North Carolina—proved to be just that. After forming their LLC this past May, the pair moved quickly: they purchased and revamped the Lakewood Ranch property over a period of just two months. “I always thought that Lakewood Ranch would be a good location to expand into because of the growth here,” Hitchon says. “I worked for Lululemon for five years and helped open the store at the University Town Center. I had the feeling that this area was going to be really booming.” Hitchon notes that there were other types of yoga studios in Lakewood Ranch, but none like The Yoga Shack. “The market [was] wide open for a Power Vinyasa studio,” she says, “so we just knew that if we didn’t go now that we’d be too late.”

What does the future hold for The Yoga Shack’s burgeoning vinyasa empire? No set plans yet, but further expansion remains a priority. “That is 100 percent the goal,” says Hitchon. “Nikka and I have a great partnership and going into it we knew that we wanted to expand and have several studios. With research and time, we’ll figure out where the best places are.”

Pictured: The Yoga Shack�s instructors right as the festivities kicked off. From left to right: Co-owners Courtenay Hitchon and Nikka Colorado, teachers Morgan Thomas and Meg Metcalf.

The Yoga Shack, 5302 Paylor Ln., Lakewood Ranch, 941-217-6066.

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