Plans to revive Overton Square are shaping up in the new year — literally.
A comprehensive yoga studio, complete with a juice bar and healing arts center, will soon be added to the list of improvements the square will see this year. Owner Olivia Lomax announced last week that Delta Groove Yoga Studio will occupy the space at 2091 Madison, next to Memphis Pizza Café.
Lomax has been teaching yoga for more than 10 years, most recently at Give Yoga in East Memphis. After Give Yoga closed last year, Lomax was approached by Cosmic Coconut co-owner Arielle Moinester about the idea of starting a hybrid pop-up shop combining a yoga studio with a juice bar for December's MEMShop event in Overton Square.
Moinester said that after being contacted by the Mayor's Innovation Delivery Team about setting up a juice bar at MEMShop, she decided to incorporate Lomax into the plan, calling the pop-up shop the Cosmic Collective because it featured juices from Cosmic Coconut's menu, coffee from Bluff City Coffee, and a studio space for yoga.
The Cosmic Collective had such a successful run at the pop-up shop last holiday season that Lomax decided to pursue a permanent location at the historic intersection in Midtown.
"I hadn't really been considering opening in Overton Square. I was thinking of trying to work in a church environment or something more casual," Lomax said. "But after my experience with MEMShop, I saw an opportunity to teach yoga in a relaxed environment, which has always been a dream of mine."
Lomax said that teaching in an area so close to restaurants and cafes will help create bonds between her yoga students and the Midtown environment, in addition to providing a community that other yoga studios can't offer.
"I'm really trying to build a community with the atmosphere, the music, and the openness of the building," Lomax said. "I chose this building because it has such an open atmosphere. One entire wall is glass. There are huge windows that look out over Palm Court. It's going to be beautiful once the courtyard is renovated."
Delta Groove Yoga Studio will also have a light retail section with food and juices from Cosmic Coconut for sale. But Moinester said that there are currently no plans to consider Delta Groove a second location of Cosmic Coconut.
Having her own studio will also allow Lomax to teach the Kundalini style of yoga, a type of yoga that focuses on shorter meditations with quicker results.
"What would take me 12 hours with other yoga takes me 20 minutes with Kundalini. It's hard to explain, but I think people will be very interested to learn this type of yoga," Lomax said.
Lomax plans to open the doors to Delta Groove Yoga Studio by March 1st. Until then, she'll be teaching classes in a temporary location at 2095 Madison. Celebrity yoga teachers Ravi Singh and Ana Brett will be joining Lomax at the temporary location for a weekend session from January 25th through the 27th. The entire workshop is $160, with individual classes also available.
Moinester said that having a yoga studio in Overton Square will make the area more than just a nightlife destination.
"A range of different activities will be offered, which will hopefully bring more vibrancy to the community," Moinester said.