LIVINGSTON, NJ — After nearly six months of getting settled in their new location at 521 S. Livingston Avenue, West Orange residents Chelsea and Alvaro Alban, owners of CardioYoga in Livingston, invited the public to join them on Thursday for a day full of grand opening events.
In addition to providing free classes, free mini massages and more, the Albans also welcomed members of the Livingston Area Chamber of Commerce and the township council for a mid-afternoon ribbon cutting to commemorate the opening of the studio. Deputy Mayor Al Anthony stood in for Mayor Ed Meinhardt to cut the celebratory ribbon.
Chelsea and Alvaro recently moved to West Orange and opened CardioYoga in late March. Since then, the couple has been enjoying the warm welcome from the community, which Chelsea said has been extremely supportive of the small, independently owned business.
“When we tell people that my husband and I started this by ourselves, people really want to come out and help us make it successful,” she said. “It’s been great. The summer was definitely a little slow just because people disappear, but we’re looking forward to the fall when people are getting back into a routine.”
CardioYoga classes combine high-intensity aerobics with yoga and muscle toning. The program was developed by Alvaro, who is a practicing physician of about 16 years and based the classes off of the idea that warming up the body by raising the heart rate prepares the muscles to receive the benefits of a deep yoga session.
“[Alvaro] likes to work out and is very fitness-focused, and he would feel like every time he went to a class, there was a possibility of getting injured,” said Chelsea. “He wanted to create a space where the classes were focused on keeping people fit and healthy but prevent the injuries he sees in the hospital: the muscle injuries, the pulled backs, the sprained ankles, the cardiovascular problems, the balance issues. To create a space where you work on all of that safely and you never walk out of a class here without doing some sort of stretching, which is so important to prevent all those muscle injuries.”
There are currently four different styles of classes offered at CardioYoga, and each includes a mix of cardio and strength exercises and ends with a stretching/yoga sequence. Additionally, Chelsea is a licensed massage therapist who offers the ability for clients to relieve muscle pain through personalized massage sessions on location.
CardioYoga currently offers packages of five or 10 as well as a monthly unlimited package, but walk-ins are also welcome for a drop-in rate and new students are offered two classes for $20. The monthly unlimited packed comes with one-on-one nutrition counseling with Livingston-based nutritionist Eileen Vider, whose practice is located at 127 East Mt. Pleasant Avenue.
“We just want everyone to feel like this is a place where they can get it all done,” said Chelsea. “You can stretch, you can sweat and then you can also get your nutritional counseling in if you’re struggling with that as well.”
During Thursday’s “Back to Fitness” grand opening event, the Albans provided samples from fellow local businesses Frutta Bowl and Edible Arrangements, and workout gear from Crazzleberry was also on sale.
With the kids back in school, Chelsea and Alvaro feel now is the best time to focus on getting healthy.
“We’ve loved meeting women in town who have come to us and said they’ve been looking for a place like this to work out,” said Chelsea. “They’ve tried other places in town and it wasn’t for them, so it’s really rewarding when someone takes the class and feels really good after taking it and is excited to come back and take more classes.”
Chelsea added that the couple is looking forward to spreading the message of how CardioYoga can help community members achieve their health and fitness goals.