Annie Clark wasn’t always into yoga, but it took a move to London to make her a devotee.
“My husband was working all the time; it was dark at four in the afternoon and I didn’t have a work permit yet. There was a yoga studio nearby and I literally got hooked," she said.
Laughing, Clark added, “The funny thing was my family had been trying to get me to do yoga my whole life. My mom used to practice yoga when I was a little kid, and my brothers have always been into yoga and meditation. Because they suggested it, I wanted nothing to do with it. It took a cold, dark day in London to get me to go into a yoga studio.”
She got so into yoga that she trained to become an instructor once she moved back to the states, and has been teaching for close to 10 years. She most recently taught yoga classes in Georgetown but said now was the perfect to open her own studio in Wilton Center, called “Hello Yoga.”
“I’ve always known that Wilton was a great place for a yoga studio, because Wilton is a real community. The people from this town use this community and there’s so much cool stuff here. We have great little retail places that are unique and well-supported, and it was just a matter of time before a yoga studio popped up in Wilton Center.”
Clark said being a resident of Wilton helps her understand the way people live life here and how they schedule their days. It’s knowledge she’s used in making the class schedule fit residents’ busy lives.
“Personally, I am a glorified chauffeur and fan for my kids’ sports. I’ve tried to be sensitive to the way people schedule in Wilton. So many people say, ‘Thank you, thank you!’ because they love yoga, but they don’t have the time between driving their kids and getting to a class. It’s a matter of logistics," said Clark.
She added, “I offer Wilton families an opportunity to participate in yoga during the week as a part of their regular daily schedule. They can get to a yoga class, get to know other moms with kids the same age, get back in shape, feel good about themselves but still have their younger kids with them and still make the bus pickup.”
Clark has created many class options for residents of all ages and skill levels.
“Anybody can come to any class. I want kids and teenagers to feel like they can come here too. So I built kids classes right into the weekly schedule. You can pick them up from school, feed them lunch and then come here for a ‘Yogi Bears’ [class], they can do yoga just like they would do a ballet class. We have “Wee Warriors” for pre-walkers and moms. Same thing with the “Warrior” series for teens and preteens. They can have fun, explore who they are and get comfortable with themselves through yoga. If they’re athletes they can develop incredible focus and flexibility with yoga, and it will help them with sports,” she said.
Clark said she chose the name “Hello Yoga” for a reason.
“It’s non-intimidating and inviting. I always had the thought yoga was ‘different.’ Probably because I had brothers so into yoga, who spent time [studying it] in India, my worst nightmare was finding them meditating in the living room when my prom date came to pick me up! But it’s not weird, it’s fun, it benefits your concentration, your flexibility and just knowledge of who you are and getting to know yourself increases. It’s all good, and you don’t have to be scared about yoga. So ‘Hello Yoga’ is inviting.”
For the studio’s opening day on Saturday, August 27, Clark is offering a several free classes, including a Heated Practice yoga class at 9:15 a.m. and a Yogi Bear class for kids three to five years old at 2 p.m, and then another class at 5 p.m. The last class will be followed by a wine and cheese gathering.
Clark is also offering a special trial for her first open week, to coincide with the first week back to school. Patrons can take an unlimited number of classes all week for $30. After Labor Day the schedule of classes and prices as posted on the Hello Yoga website will take effect, and customers can register and purchase class cards online.
The Hello Yoga studio is located at 134 Old Ridgefield Rd. on the third floor, across from the and above .