These entrepreneurs built New York City's trendiest yoga studio

Three and a half years ago, Krissy Jones and Chloe Kernaghan were living in Chinatown and studying yoga, but couldn’t find any studios to practice around where they lived. So they decided to start one of their own right there in the neighborhood.

It was an instant hit. Since then, Sky Ting Yoga has opened up locations in Tribeca and Williamsburg — about one studio a year — and has had success selling merchandise and building a sizable social media following. This spring, they’re planning on unveiling a library of videos online that customers can access from home or while traveling for a subscription of around $20 a month.

Yoga studios are spreading like wildfire across New York, but Krissy and Chloe found their niche by simply trying to create an atmosphere that they felt comfortable in the way they did in their favorite restaurants or stores.

Krissy Jones and Chloe Kernaghan inside Sky Ting Yoga studio

“Every place in New York had too much of a vibe — it was either traditional Indian yogic tradition, with incense burning and Hindu gods on the wall, or it was too corporate looking,” Krissy tells us.

They partnered with a designer, Nick Poe, to create an elegant and minimalist space that was light-filled, clean and simple, and yet an “energy of playfulness.” Careful attention to design plays a big role in every element of the business.

Krissy and Chloe sought to make their yoga instruction unique as well. Teachers blend Taoist, Hatha, Vinyasa and Kaytonah yoga, and also guide participants through numerous meditation and breathing practices. But while the teachers are serious about their traditions, the practice at Sky Ting is also meant to be practical and accessible — a student might learn about how to deal with nagging wrist pain for example.

Krissy and Chloe have focused on fostering a sense of community in their studios. “Sky Ting is a place for people to gather and hang out in the space,” Krissy says. The studios have lounges with big comfy couches, and people are encouraged to chat and relax before and after classes.

Krissy and Chloe pour a ton of their time into their growing business. But both of them emphasize that they never sacrifice time for yoga and self-care, because it’s how they stay centered and it makes them better at their jobs.

“Business is so cerebral, even if our's is centered around embodiment. If I lose my physical practice, I lose my mind,” Chloe says.

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