Playing heavy metal music, bumping rap tunes, and drinking beer are all things you don’t expect from a yoga experience.
Expect that from Daayani Yoga, Babylon Village’s newest yoga studio.
Earlier this month, yoga instructors and friends Lianna Halko, 28, and Jenna Mannino, 29, opened up their spin on traditional yoga with a brick and mortar spot in downtown Babylon.
The studio is in a private location on Deer Park Avenue, walking distance from the Babylon train station. The address is secret until you sign up for classes online.
“We call it the yoga speakeasy,” said Halko, who grew up in Babylon. “We don’t have a sign. You have to look for the clues.”
One clue when searching for the studio is the witch boots, which are located on the front steps.
The magical female sorcerer is symbolic to the women, with the company’s name translating to witch in Sanskrit. Sanskrit is the language of yoga.
“We really liked the idea of a supernatural, empowering female entity,” said Halko. “We really connected with it.”
The schedule ranges from basic flowing classes to its Happy Hour Vinyasa, a signature vinyasaclass that features loud music from a variety of artists, “from Korn to Beyonce, and everything in-between,” according to Daayani.
“This class is intended to be fun,” reads the studio’s website. “Curse, yell, scream, laugh, invite it all!”
It’s all about challenging social norms and pushing past imposed limitations through the physical, mental, and spiritual disciplines of yoga, says the co-owners.
“Our motto is learning the rules to break the rules,” said Mannino.
Halko and Mannino met in 2014 while they were teaching yoga at a West Islip studio.
The two quickly bonded.
“We realized we were the same person,” said Mannino, smiling. “The things we didn’t like about the yoga vibe on Long Island we agreed on. It’s rare to find someone that has the same opinions.”
According to the two, they felt they stood out from traditional yogis with their skin filled with tattoos and tendency to dress in dark clothing.
To break the mold, they created Daayani in 2018, which started as a pop-up event company.
They soon began practicing yoga in unique spots like hair salons, breweries, and at live concerts.
One place that stood out to the instructers was when they set up a yoga event at House of Wax, a bar/museum in downtown Brooklyn.
“It’s a bar with wax sculptures of anatomical anomalies, weird deformities,” said Mannino, an East Meadow native. “We go for the strange.”
Daayani’s twist on yoga soon began attracting a passionate following.
In July, Halko and Mannino set up an Indiegogo campaign to open their storefront. They needed $1,000 — that number was reached in four hours of posting the fundraising campaign.
In total, 75 people donated close to $4,000 over 60 days.
“We were blown away by the support,” said the two.
Daayani Yoga offers classes every day but Sundays.
Also, the owners continue to host events including its upcoming Punk vs. Metal Yoga session at The Brewers Collective Beer Co. in Bay Shore on Sept. 29. Tickets include a 60-minute yoga session to a playlist of punk and metal songs and one complimentary beer of your choice.
To see all the classes and events, click here.
Below are photos of Lianna Halko (right) and Jenna Mannino (left) in their new space in Babylon Village.