As one of the few yoga, Pilates and barre studios within walking distance from campus, Zenitry Yoga Studio is hoping its first anni- versary as an Elon business will bring fresh faces, yoga lovers and fitness enthusiasts to the Zen space.
Zenitry opened its doors more than three years ago in Burlington. Last October, eager to gain a larger student clientele, it moved to a vacant space near the Fat Frogg Bar and Grill and Simply Thai and Sushi.
Zenitry’s founder Christine “Cricket” Foster said Elon University students have welcomed the local studio with open arms, but she believes there is still room for growth.
“Being close to a university campus brings a lot of young energy and excitement to the studio, but there are still so many students who haven’t taken advantage of the classes we offer,” Foster said.
Similar to other local businesses, Zenitry is continuously trying to spread word of the services it offers, but they are not shy to boast about the positive benefits that Elon students have already brought to the studio.
Because of students’ varied backgrounds, the Zenitry clientele has diversified in the last year. Before moving closer to campus, Foster said that the conservative surroundings in Alamance County did not mix well with the spirituality of yoga, and many people misin- terpreted yoga as a religious practice.
“There are two sides of yoga: athleticism and meditation,” Foster said. “A practicing yogi strives to find the balance between the two in hopes to find center in their life. It doesn’t have to be a religious experience un- less you want it to be.”
Classes at Zenitry range in age and experience. The studio is focused on increasing class sizes and blending different communi- ties, and popular classes like power hour and hot yoga often have a mix of Elon students and Burlington locals. Foster hopes to keep it that way.
“Zenitry allows you to build a home. It’s a community of people looking to have a more balanced lifestyle and we want it to be just that — a community,” said Foster.
While Elon students have access to the campus gym and group exercise classes, Ze- nitry provides students with something dif- ferent: a Zen atmosphere. Taking a class at the studio gives students a space away from campus, both figuratively and literally.
“Classes at Zenitry not only give partici- pants physical exercise, they also offer a men- tal break for students who may be experienc- ing stress or anxiety,” said Marissa Douglass, an Elon senior and part-time Zenitry yoga instructor. “Whether they are freshman who are struggling being away from home or se- niors who are overwhelmed by their course load, Zenitry is a safe and relaxing space stu- dents can come to when they need time for themselves.”
New students can attend their first class for free. Zenitry also offers student deals, in- cluding the monthly-unlimited contract for $79 per month.
Students can purchase an annual group exercise membership at Elon Campus Rec for $20 — significantly less than Zenitry’s contract cost. Some students interested in taking the classes Zenitry offers may be de- terred by the steep membership price.
Elon senior Sara Russell attended a ballet barre class at Zenitry this summer.
“I took advantage of the first free class at Zenitry and felt like it was an ok experience,” Russell said. “Unfortunately, their high prices are not feasible for most students, like myself, when we have free facilities on campus.”
Group exercise classes at Elon have a ten- dency to get over-crowded and students can be turned away. Elon senior Natalie Kamer- er, a part-time barre instructor at Zenitry, recommends that students weary of waiting times or packed classes should take popular classes like Zumba and Pilates at Zenitry in- stead.
“Zenitry is a great alternative to group ex- ercise classes at Campus Rec, especially when classes are full,” Kamerer said. “They also of- fer more specific classes like Piloxing or barre, which is a nice change from the traditional group exercise classes.”
Maintaining the studio space and improv-
“There wasn’t much reconstruction, per se,” he said. “It was just a matter of finding these spaces and re-signing them.”
Because of several factors including the fire code, the cam- pus could not construct universal restrooms on every single floor — but with the exception of Historic and Danieley Neighbor- hoods, all residence buildings have at least one universal bath- room.
Bosch said he is very appreciative of Physical Plant and Con- struction Management for cooperating and realizing the signifi- cance of universal bathrooms.
“Those spaces could have easily been mechanical rooms or storage facilities,” he said. “It’s not easy on their behalf to say, ‘This is why we need to remove some space in order to carve out some space for a universal restroom.”
Bosch said because of the administrative support behind re- stroom-inclusivity, universal bathrooms are being included in blueprints for buildings that are now in construction, including McEwen’s new School of Communications.
“From now on, it won’t even be a question — universal bath- rooms will appear in blueprints because of the campus support,” Bosch said.
Elon senior Samantha Allen said the existence of universal bathrooms is another step in a right direction for all-campus inclusivity.
“I feel absolutely comfortable,” she said. “I’ve never felt that gender identity is black or white and everyone, especially on a college campus, should feel comfortable walking into a bath- room that doesn’t put them in a box.”
ing its overall atmosphere are reasons for Ze- nitry’s high rates. The monthly package cost, while steep, allows Zenitry to complete its construction goals. This year, the studio will remove the fluorescent lights in its ceiling and replace them with decorated Japanese lanterns. From there, they plan to create a lobby space and sheer the outer window to give more privacy to students in classes.
In line with its Zen atmosphere, Zenitry offers massages, a private meditation room and a program called Zen Zone, which gives community members a place to study or practice dance routines. Elon organizations, including Greek sororities and fraternities, can use the Zenitry space for dance rehearsals or events.