Inside SHAKTIBARRE, Williamsburg’s Only Yoga-Barre Studio and Empowerment Collective
Looking for a fitness studio with a mission of empowerment? Get yourself to SHAKTIBARRE. Combining innovative sliding scale prices with yoga-barre classes, an organic café and workspace, this studio is unlike anything you’ve seen.
Corinne Wainer and Shauny Lamba opened SHAKTIBARRE in August 2016 and have since seen over 3,000 people walk through its doors to take a class. Their special “SHAKTIBARRE” class combines barre and yoga for 55-minutes of intense, sweat-inducing, mind-body experience.
Wainer, named one of "20 Female Yogapreneurs to Watch" by Yoganonymous, opened the studio after seeing that yoga studios in New York City were becoming more high end and out-of-reach.
“We feel the wellness industry is missing scalable accessibility,” Wainer told us. She went on to explain three reasons for this inaccessibility: expensive classes, class content that just grazes the surfaces of deeper ideas and lessons, and lack of attention to wellness education with regards to specific needs of a neighborhood.
That’s why SHAKTIBARRE has a room dedicated to educating the community about wellness, plus a series of monthly events ranging from tantra teachings to meditation and dance parties. They also have an organic café serving healthy, Ayurveda-inspired food and drinks, plus a workspace with free wifi.
But really the most interesting part about SHAKTIBARRE is its offering classes priced on a sliding scale. Classes start as low as $12 and go up to $22, which Wainer notes is about $15 less than other barre studios in New York. Memberships start at $180 a month and include discounts to several NYC businesses with the mutual goal of next-level health and wellbeing.
One of the reasons Wainer and Lamba choose to offer sliding scale prices was a statistic they found: 76% of yoga practitioners in New York are Caucasian women and about 44% of them make over $75,000 annually— a surprising revelation considering yoga’s grassroots beginnings. “[With SHAKTIBARRE], I want to maintain the deep history of yoga's service roots while also offering modern class sequences,” Wainer tells us. By having prices as low as $12, the owners hope to attract a more diverse crowd who may have been deterred by sky-high studio fees.
Aside from affordability, SHAKTIBARRE is making concentrated efforts to attract people from all social and economic backgrounds. The studio recently hosted wellness leaders from Harlem and partnered with Jewish organization Moishe House Williamsburg. Wainer also leads a non-profit at called YoGirls, which brings yoga and mindful literature to at-risk New York City schoolgirls. “By way of our activism, we attract a full-spectrum crowd,” she notes. “We are fully intent on growing this mission every day."
Community is at the base of SHAKTIBARRE’s mission and something Wainer and Lamba hope other studios will consider more—even so far as writing it into their business models. “I’d like to see a dynamic dialogue between yoga studios and their communities,” she says.
Despite being open a mere six months, Wainer and Lamba are already looking to expand. These young women hope to open between three and five locations in the next few years and are currently eyeing locations in Manhattan, Portland, and Los Angeles. Within those cities, they want to open in neighborhoods experiencing gentrification to attract both new and longtime residents in a positive way.
Noting the gap between donation classes and boutique fitness studios, Wainer and Lamba hope SHAKTIBARRE falls innovatively in the center. “We want to find the middle ground and grow from there,” says Wainer.
A mindful mission, a beautiful space and an intense workout? Sign us up.
Shaktibarre, 449 Keap St., Williamsburg, NY 11211, Phone: (617) 930-0098, Website: shaktibarre.com