by Sue Ann Rybak
Rebel yoga studio, at 8020 Germantown Ave. in Chestnut Hill, celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Nov. 18.
Chestnut Hill resident Sue Pinto, 48, smiled as she prepared to cut the black ribbon with the gold scissors she held in her hand on Friday night. Rebel yoga studio combines Pinto’s love of yoga, food and fashion.
Pinto, the mother of two girls, discovered her passion for yoga after she injured her ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) while skiing in 2013.
She said despite months of physical therapy, it wasn’t getting any better. A friend, who owned a yoga studio, encouraged her to take yoga.
“When I went to my friend’s yoga studio in Margate during the summer, not only did I gain strength, but there was this sense of community there,” she said. “I left in September and it was really difficult to find a studio where I felt inspired and connected. I couldn’t find that sense of community here.”
Pinto, who is a former teacher and culinary chef, said her friends encouraged her to become a certified yoga instructor.
“I never really had the desire to be a yoga teacher,” she said. “My friends kept saying ‘you should do it for you.’ It definitely changed my life – not only did it deepen my practice, it gave me confidence.”
The training provided the extra nudge she needed to pursue her dream of opening a yoga studio that combined all of her passions – yoga, food, and fashion.
Pinto said Rebel is more than just a yoga studio, it’s a place where people can come relax and socialize. Rebel includes a boutique and canteen, so people can shop or enjoy a drink before or after their class. Pinto said she wanted to create a “welcoming and warm space where everyone can come and do yoga.”
“I didn’t want to create a yoga studio where you come, exercise and then leave,” she said. “It’s not intended to be an exercise factory. I want Rebel to feel like a home away from home.
“I think yoga is great because everyone can do it,” she said. “People say ‘oh well, I am not flexible.’ You don’t have to be. You do what you can. It’s not like playing a team sport, and you can’t throw the ball, so you don’t play. Everyone can do something with yoga. I think its universal which is one of the reasons why I love it. I also think its a great way to just disconnect from the world and be present in your own space. Give yourself that hour or hour and 15 minutes a day to take care of yourself – physically and mentally.”
Kathie Meadows, retail recruiter for the Chestnut Hill Business District, said she is excited to welcome Rebel to the Avenue.
“It is unlike anything we’ve seen here in Chestnut Hill, a yoga studio, canteen and streetwear boutique under one roof,” she said. “It has been such a pleasure to work with Sue Pinto over the past few months and watch her vision unfold. She is truly an asset to our ever-growing, thriving business district.”
For more information about Rebel go to rebelyogastudio.com or 215-242-YOGA.