HIGHLAND PARK — It’s no secret where Highand Park’s newest yoga studio is going to open. The dead ringer would be the large letters that read “HOT YOGA” inside the broad windows at 5612 Figueroa Street, just a few doors down from the Highland Theater. New business owner Ryan Paravecchio’s renovations to the historical building have revealed large arched windows that were covered with plaster. The restoration doesn’t stop with the facade, but also includes new plumbing, a $50,000 heating system and a supplemental seismic retrofit to one of the walls. The price tag for the studio is somewhere in the neighborhood of half a million dollars, and though the area is already seeing a fitness wave with Pop Physique down the street, Paravecchio still plans to open Kinship Studio in early May.
Paravecchio is creating what he calls a state of the art yoga studio, implementing the best features of other studios he has visited over the years, including locker rooms, children oriented courses and workshops that look to engage the community.
The commercial building, built in 1929, once housed a market place, hardware store and later on a thrift shop. Local historian Charles Fisher notes that the accents at the top of the building give it flair while the large windows display a Mediterranean style. Paravecchio admits that the workload in preparing the studio is daunting, but also exciting.
“With jobs like this it takes time, but everyone has been enthusiastic and supportive of us being here,” says Paravecchio, who will provide a battery of yoga teachings at the studio, including Bikram and Kundalini. Also in the mix will be a work trade program for students who might put in a few hours of work at the studio and receive a discount on courses or workshops. Paravecchio admits that he’s fallen in love with Highland Park with the restoration and engaging with the community and local businesses.
“We’ve put a lot of work into these facilities, and we want the community to feel like this is their hub. These studios function best when they have a good group of people nearby, locally, who want to make it work,” Paravecchio says.
Nathan Solis is a Highland Park resident who writes about and photographs the L.A. music scene. You can find more of Solis stories, reviews and photos at Smashed Chair.