Today we’d like to introduce you to Charlene Ohri.
Hi Charlene, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today.
The first yoga class I ever took was Bikram hot yoga in Chula Vista in 2005. From the first class, I was blown away by how challenging class was, and the way I felt after class was like nothing I’d ever felt. At the time, I was living in NYC, and when I went home, I continued my practice. When I moved to San Diego in 2009, I became more dedicated in my practice, and I felt the calling to become an instructor. I did so in 2011 and was teaching full-time at all the hot yoga studios around San Diego. When my husband Shawn and I started a family in 2014, my teaching slowed down, but I was able to find a new path when I became co-owner at the San Diego Yoga Center in 2016. At the time, Anthony Burkart was sole owner but looking to collaborate with someone. We’ve expanded our offerings to other forms of yoga and also Inferno Hot Pilates which I recently became trained in this past spring. Inferno Hot Pilates has been a great compliment to my yoga practice and has helped me develop the muscle tone I was seeking- plus, it’s super fun! My teaching style is detail oriented, full of energy, firm but gentle, and I crack a joke or 2 from time to time.
When I’m not at the studio, I’m a mom to 2 amazing kids which is my most rewarding job. I also teach Kids Yoga whenever my schedule allows.
I believe we do so much for others; we also need to do something for ourselves. If you’re on the fence about trying a class, take a leap of faith and see where it brings you!
We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Our biggest and most challenging struggle was during the Covid-19 pandemic which we are still recovering from. Our studio, like many other businesses, was closed down time and time again. We had to switch to uploading classes to YouTube, online classes via Zoom, and outdoor classes in our parking lot. We would be open one day and shut down the next. Many people canceled memberships, and we had to apply for loans and grants whenever possible to continue paying rent. My business partner and I took turns fighting the feeling to give up. We wanted to many times! I also was having my own personal struggles worrying about my medically vulnerable family members and young children who were pulled out of school.
It was a nightmare, but we’re happy to be out on the other side. We’re so thankful for the grants and loans we were able to receive, our community members who continued to support us, and our staff that rocked it out with us online and outdoors!
We’ve been impressed with San Diego Yoga Center, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We were originally a traditional Bikram hot yoga studio, only offering 90-minute classes. This was popular for many years, but we then saw that time frame and style of yoga wasn’t appealing to everyone. We now offer nonheated (and warm) styles of Vinyasa Flow and gentler Yin Yoga. We also saw that the people coming here were seeking more strength training, so we started offering Inferno Hot Pilates which is high-intensity interval training with pilates principles developed by Gabi Walters. This is a challenging class, but people love it because you’re able to let loose and have fun.
Our most popular classes are still the hot yoga classes which we call “Beginning Hot Yoga” in 60-, 75-, and 90-minute formats.
The heats draws people in. When you start out, it will take time to get used to the heat and humidity, but once you do, you’ll be hooked!
If the heat isn’t your thing, we also offer other amazing yoga classes that will have you looking and feeling your best mentally and physically.
Many people think yoga and pilates is just for women, but we have just as many men attending here than women! We also have people attending from ages 17-70! This is truly a down-to-earth and non-intimidating environment. You’ll feel at ease when you first walk through the door.
What are your plans for the future?
We are proud to be one of the few studios in East County, San Diego, and plan to be here for a long time. People don’t want to drive far these days, especially; we want them to be able to take care of themselves close to home.
We hope to continue expanding our class schedule and class offerings, and we look to the community for what they want to see more of.
- $25 First week
- $125 Monthly Unlimited Auto Debit
- Website: www.sdyogacenter.com
- Instagram: @sdyogacenter
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SDYogaCenter
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiJ_mmeJ0G9P0P3C2MDimqA