Yogabliss opens new location on Mercer Island

Yogabliss has opened a new studio in downtown Mercer Island. The new space, at 7803 S.E. 27th Street, Suite 174, has locker rooms, a massage room and yoga-oriented retail. Yogabliss will continue to offer a wide variety of vinyasa yoga classes, ranging from advanced to the more gentle. There will also be more yoga for athletes, yin/restorative yoga and hot hatha yoga.

"We intend to offer a balanced selection of classes so any given day you can participate in the practice that is right for you and your body," said founder Maria Bliss. "The goal is to truly meet the needs of our community — from the serious athlete to seniors, from kids to adults who are looking to improve their overall health and fitness level."

The new studio will offer infra-red radiant heat, particularly for the hot hatha classes. The Yogabliss hot hatha practice is a series of breathing exercises and postures designed to exercise the entire body — muscles, joints, organs and glands.

"We have designed our hot yoga practice to build both physical strength and flexibility, while increasing mental focus. It's not 'Bikram Yoga,' but it's plenty hot, so be prepared to sweat," Bliss said.

The new studio doubles Yogabliss' square footage.

"Too often I see conversations after class wiggled into a corner, or pushed out into the cold because of lack of space. Ultimately, we want to develop and deepen relationships in the studio, which in turn provide a framework for working together to address community concerns," said Bliss.

Yogabliss was founded in 2003 at Sunnybeam School and has a teaching staff of 18 yoga instructors.

Bliss' extensive dance experience, combined with teaching dance and fitness, converged with her desire to bring a meditative approach to her daily classes.

Student Elizabeth Moattar said, "What has kept me at Yogabliss for over five years is that I know when I leave class, I will have a bit more grace towards myself, my family and the people I will interact with that day."

Yogabliss has over 500 regular practicing yogis, including an estimated 25 percent coming from off Mercer Island. The studio was recently recognized as one of the top five yoga studios in Evening Magazine's "Best of Western Washington" contest.

The studio has raised money for charities such as Union Gospel Mission, Mercer Island Youth & Family Services, Treehouse and various women's shelters in Seattle. Yogabliss teachers have also donated their income to support these causes and have taught complimentary classes to various Mercer Island school and community groups.

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