BOLINGBROOK – Susan Cressman said she was cautiously optimistic when she opened her yoga studio Simply Yoga in Lemont.
But the response from the community has exceeded her expectations.
“Every class, someone has been here,” she said. “I have yet to have a class that at least one person doesn’t show.”
The Bolingbrook resident opened the studio on Feb. 1 at 1243 S. State St.
Cressman said the name Simply Yoga came from a saying her late father would tell, “Keep it simple.”
She said the name also fits her philosophy on yoga.
“I didn’t name it that because yoga’s easy,” she said. “While you’re here, just simply think about yoga. That’s the whole point of yoga – just being in the moment.”
Cressman worked in marketing at an insurance company and as an IT consultant, but she said she felt the time was right to change careers.
“I really wanted to just focus on doing something 100 percent,” she said. “And if there was one thing, it was going to be yoga.”
She said she has been doing yoga as part of her fitness routine for years but did not start taking studio yoga classes until the studio Breathe opened in Bolingbrook three years ago.
She took her instructor training classes through Breathe and became a certified vinyasa yoga instructor six months ago.
Wanting to use her business experience to start her own studio, Cressman leased the Lemont space in December.
“When I was thinking about opening a studio, I have a lot of friends who live in Homer Glen and Lemont,” she said. “They had said there’s really nothing in Lemont as far as studio yoga.”
Lemont resident Lauren Camer, who has been friends with Cressman for years, said having a yoga studio is different than taking classes at a place like the park district.
“It’s nice to be able to have a studio,” she said. “It’s nice to have something that is dedicated to that.”
Cressman said she knew her friends would take classes, but she was surprised by how many people have come to her by word-of-mouth.
“During construction, people would stop in every day, waiting to see when we would open,” she said.
Cressman said she had a marketing plan, but a lot of business has just fallen into her lap.
For instance, before she could contact the Lemont High School Athletic Department, Lemont Varsity Baseball coach Brian Storako reached out to her about bringing his team in for yoga classes starting in March.
Lemont residents Carolyn Turner and Pat Gintilas challenged themselves to take 21 days of classes without knowing much about studio.
Turner said she plans on continuing classes after the challenge is over.
“When, we first started, it wasn’t what I expected,” she said. “We worked through it, and I’m glad I did because it’s a really great workout.”
Though she is still cautious in her optimism, Cressman said she is excited by the early positive response.
“I thought that people were looking for yoga around here,” she said. “But now that they’re here, I’m like ‘This may have really fit a need that was here.’”