Floatation meditation, yoga offered at Stanhope wellness center

Floatation meditation, yoga offered at Stanhope wellness center

Blog » Floatation meditation, yoga offered at Stanhope wellness center
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SUSAN BLOOM, Correspondent 10:39 a.m. EDT July 23, 2015

In the world of yoga, many have tried Bikram, also known as “hot yoga,” but have you ever tried “floating meditation?”

This practice is possible at Kula Yoga & Wellness in Stanhope, a community center for physical and spiritual wellness and one of the few in the area that offers meditation in a floatation tank.

“I’d heard about floatation tank meditation since the 1970s and tried it at a facility in Pine Island, New York, when we first started practicing yoga eight years ago,” said Joe Kolaya, 57, co-owner of Kula Yoga & Wellness with his wife, Linda Brukardt, 62. “Our tank contains 10 inches (110 gallons) of water and 900 pounds of Epsom salts dissolved into the water to make it very dense and enable visitors to float.”

Kula Yoga Float Tank
Housing 110 gallons of water and 900 pounds of Epsom salts, Kula Yoga’s float tank enables unique “floatation meditation.” (Photo: Courtesy of Kula Yoga & Wellness)

With a water and air temperature of 93-94 degrees — the same temperature as the skin — “the tank deprives the brain of the senses of sight, sound, and smell and introduces a weightlessness that ultimately makes you feel one with the air and water around you. It mechanically slows brain waves down to a wakeful dream state and is getting increasingly popular,” Kolaya said of the practice, which is offered at their studio in increments of 70 minutes ($75), 100 minutes ($100), or 30-minute trial sessions ($40).

“People have different experiences in the tank,” he said. “Some doze off and some get very creative because it helps to clear clutter in the brain and make space for great ideas.”

Among its other benefits, “floatation meditation also promotes intense relaxation, increased circulation, and helps the body draw out and eliminate toxins due to the magnesium sulfate in the Epsom salts,” said Brukardt.

Joe and Linda Kula Yoga
Husband and wife Joe Kolaya and Linda Brukardt, owners of Kula Yoga & Wellness in Stanhope. (Photo: Courtesy of Kula Yoga & Wellness)

An amazing journey

Floatation meditation is just one of the many classes and services offered at Kula Yoga & Wellness since Hopatcong residents Kolaya and Brukardt first opened the studio four years ago.

Looking for “a fun, interesting, and healthy lifestyle practice” that they could enjoy together, “we saw an ad for a free yoga class eight years ago and decided to give it a try,” Brukardt said. “We had a wonderful instructor and it really synced for us.” Since then, she said, “that one class brought us on this amazing journey” — one that led to them opening their own studio in 2011.

Residing within an 1840-era, three-story building in Stanhope that at one time served as the town’s post office and general store, the 1,800-square-foot space that houses Kula Yoga & Wellness offers plenty of light as well as some history lessons along the way.

“As we were renovating it,” said Kolaya, a master cabinet maker, “we found old bottles and other relics in the floorboards and eventually discovered the original pine floors as we dug deeper.”

Decorating the bright and airy space with vintage finds, old furniture, and a mix of calming plum and green hues, “it’s been a labor of love,” said Brukardt.

Historical Stanhope
The main studio at Kula Yoga & Wellness, a community center for physical and spiritual wellness in Stanhope. (Photo: Courtesy of Kula Yoga & Wellness)

The main studio at Kula Yoga & Wellness, a community center for physical and spiritual wellness in Stanhope. (Photo: Courtesy of Kula Yoga & Wellness)

A variety of yoga classes

Named “Kula” after the Sanskrit word for “family” or “grouping together” by the forces of energy, “we offer a little bit of everything — from the classic Hatha style of yoga to other varieties including Vinyasa, Kripalu, Iyengar, Restorative and pre-natal yoga,” said Brukardt. Classes are offered in the mornings and evenings during the week and in the mornings on weekends. “We also offer a wide variety of teachers, because everyone has different needs and preferences and Joe and I found that we always enjoyed experiencing different types of classes and teachers,” said Brukardt.

In addition to its main yoga room, Brukardt said the studio also features a reception area and a tranquil massage room and offers special workshops highlighting such practices as partner-based acro-yoga and holistic energy healing, as well as a free Zen Buddhist meditation class on Sunday mornings at 7 a.m.


Students enjoy refreshments at the reception area tea bar at Kula Yoga & Wellness. (Photo: Courtesy of Kula Yoga & Wellness)

Students enjoy refreshments at the reception area tea bar at Kula Yoga & Wellness. (Photo: Courtesy of Kula Yoga & Wellness)

Offering a team of 10 seasoned instructors plus a network of substitutes, “we love all of our teachers here and they’re the best around — wonderful, warm and caring people who want to share their gifts with others,” Kolaya said. “We see ourselves as a conduit, providing a welcoming, calm and comfortable place to bring them all together.”

Teaching more than 2,000 students since they opened, “we have students of all ages here — from as young as 12 years old up through their 80s — and are excited to see so many family units coming, from husbands and wives to mothers and daughters,” Brukardt said.

“Our classes are 11/4 hours long and drop-in fees are $15 or you can purchase a 10-class pack for $130, which never expires,” she added, noting that special discounted class packs for new students are also available. “We’re excited to offer a peaceful place where people can come and experience a true sense of calmness and well-being. We love to help people simplify their lives and leave with a smile.”


The tranquil Massage Room at Kula Yoga & Wellness in Stanhope. (Photo: Courtesy of Kula Yoga & Wellness)

Kula Yoga and Wellness, located at 25 Main Street in Stanhope, welcomes new and current students to attend a “Shoulder Workshop” on Aug. 8. For more information, call 973-347-5852 or visit www.kulayogawellness.com.

Share your yoga experience. Email eabreu@GannettNJ.com

via: Daily Record

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