Keeping Seriousness in Check at Yoga One

Owner Kelly O'Connell went from the stock brokerage firm to the yoga mat.

The brochure on the desk of has a spelling error. Its very presence there is evidence of the studio’s philosophy: Don’t take things too seriously.

“In my old life I would’ve have said ‘Print them over again!” says owner Kelly O’Connell. “Now, I let it go.”

In O’Connell’s “old life” she was a principal in a stock brokerage firm, and a long way from the yoga mat. Though she’d always been athletic and involved with weightlifting, running and aerobics, she remembers her first yoga class as a profound experience. 

“Someone said, ‘Hey you gotta try out this yoga,’” remembers O’Connell. “With the heat and the breathing and the way you moved your body, it got me out of my head. You can’t do that when you’re lifting weights.”

According to Yoga One’s misspelled brochure, yoga “helps increase flexibility and aids in lubrication of the joints, ligaments and tendons. Yoga postures massage the inner organs, helping to keep disease at bay” while also detoxifying the body and toning the muscles.

For those reasons and more, it didn’t take long for O’Connell to get hooked on the practice. She went on to train with acclaimed teacher Ana Forrest and later with Baron Baptiste. Shortly after getting certified in 2008 she opened Yoga One on Route 44, but soon outgrew the space. 

The current location on Route 6 across from Panera Bread celebrates one year of occupancy this week. Classes there run seven days a week and are taught by five teachers with a focus on heated Vinyasa. Thanks in part to a recent Groupon ad purchased by 350 people, there are now over 1,000 students. Class sizes, however, remain modest with 8 to 10 students in morning classes and 15 to 20 students in evening classes. 

O’Connell’s excited about taking herself and the studio to the next level. She heads to Costa Rica in two weeks where she’ll learn to facilitate an advanced teacher training. The work will prepare her to train other yoga instructors when Yoga One becomes an accredited school this summer. 

“I’m a completely different person now than when I started yoga,” she says. “If something bad happens I just say, ‘Something bad happened.’ I used to get lost in my emotions, but now there’s space between me and everything else that happens in the world. In that space there’s peace.” 


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