“Kaia” means “pure” in Scandinavian — and “body” in Sanskrit.
It’s also the name of Stan Woodman and Gina Norman’s baby girl.
And the name of their business: Kaia Yoga Centers.
“Kaia” might also mean “rapidly expanding into Westport.” This month, the couple adds a 9,000-foot location to their 1st 2, in Greenwich. They say they have the largest yoga and wellness centers in Connecticut.
Our new Kaia — behind Crate & Barrel on the Post Road — will include calming water features; works from local artists; an all-organic juice bar and cafe; full-service changing rooms with shower facilities; an on-site chiropractor, midwife and licensed family psychotherapist; acupuncture; massage therapy, and a supervised playroom.
I feel better already.
A tour of the still-unfinished space last month showed that there is indeed plenty of room. And Stan and Gina are certainly passionate about what they do.
Take the juice bar. It’s 100 percent organic — right down to the corn-based cups, lids and straws, plus potato spoons.
Construction materials are “eco-friendly”: bamboo floors, no-VOC wall paint, shelving made from plant stalks, and newspaper insulation.
Kaia’s location — directly across from the Fitness Factory — means that the rear of the recently renovated shopping center is now a “holistic center.” Westporters can work out on machines next door, then stroll over to Kaia for yoga, cleansers and more.
Kaia will offer a variety of yoga styles, including a traditional Ashtanga program; Vinyasa classes that challenge endurance and breath, and slower-paced, gentle classes for stress reduction. Stan rattled off the names of some of the prominent yoga teachers who will be there. They meant as little to me as the difference between Ashtanga and Vinyasa, but I’ll take his word that they’re big.
The broad range of classes includes prenatal, breast feeding, mommy and me, toddler, kids, tween, teen and family.
There’s also sport-specific workshops; the only lynegar yoga rope wall in the county; a hot yoga room with a radiant heat floor, and a donation-based “Karma Yoga” program to benefit local charities.
The 2 Kaia centers in Greenwich draw clients from as far as Bridgeport, Stan says. He and Gina are confident that folks will flock to Westport from throughout Fairfield County, and beyond. He also sees it as a base for area yoga teachers, who currently work out of their homes.
“There’s something different about a yoga center,” he says. “It’s not a gym with thumping music. There’s nothing like this in Westport.”