Tucked away under the Brooklyn bridge lies the perfect oasis with BK Yoga Club; a zen body positive yoga studio that aims to be a space where practitioners, artists, and creatives come together to share the gift of yoga, movement, and creativity.
Alicia Ferguson and Paris Alexandra founded BK Yoga Club in 2019.
Alicia, a New Jersey native moved to Bushwick in an apartment with five roommates when she turned to yoga to blow off steam. Yet after the death of her grandmother, Alicia turned to yoga to practice stillness and relieve stress on a deeper level.
Paris has been practicing yoga for 13 years and took a break when she had a leg injury from running. Once she got back on her feet, she decided to do pursue yoga training fully.
Yoga has aided in Paris’s healing of body and self-esteem issues and emotional health. “In some ways I feel like it has helped me develop an awareness in how I’m standing and how I’m walking and also the self-acceptance piece,” says Paris.
“It’s an ongoing process but the practice of yoga has definitely supported me in that.”
Alicia also credits yoga to aiding in her self-acceptance journey. “Before yoga teacher training, I was big on working out and doing all types of stuff like that and really for vain purposes – it wasn’t like to feel great. And prior to that I was literally with one of my friends like ‘should I get my boobs done or should I go to yoga teacher training? And I was like you know what, I’m just going to do a yoga training. And after that I had a different appreciation for my body and where it used to be and where it is now and be like ‘ girl you 31, it’s ok. They ain’t gon sit up like they used to, and you’re ok with it now,” said Alicia.
Alicia and Paris met during their yoga training program at Yoga Works. During the program, the two connected while studying together for their yoga test for certification. “We just started to see each other’s drive and work ethic and I think we respected that about each other,” said Paris. “Then the friendship grew and then we were like ok girl, we’re done with teaching and we’re going to do this yoga thing and eventually from a year from now get a studio, but we have to practice – let’s start with doing little pop ups here and there.”
So the two began doing pop-up shops with a goal date to have their own space by
“Fast-forward to when we had our (launch) event, everyone showed up and showed out, it was a nice event mixed with intention setting. The lady who owns the space (the building which BK Yoga Club is in) loved the energy we were bringing and was just like ‘hey, I would love to ya’ll here doing yoga.’”
“Literally the next day partnerships just starting coming, people started coming up, teachers who aligned with our vision started volunteering and we were just like ‘ oh, this shit is forreal.”
Amidst opening the studio, the Alicia and Paris continue to work in their respective fields in community arts work (Paris) and marketing and event curation (Alicia).
“I think it’s good for us because we’re yoga teachers and there’s this thing like ‘oh, you’re just walking on clouds’” And we’re like no, we’re about business.
Spirituality and religious faith are also a part of both Alicia and Paris’s personal yoga journey. “Being in touch with my mind and my body and just having that awareness gives me a deeper connection with God,” said Paris. However, the studio is inclusive to both the spiritual and philosophical aspects of yoga.
“A lot of our students and teachers that come in come from all walks of life, and we just want to hold the container to create to create that space where people are able to thrive and actualize their highest intention or their highest purpose for themselves, so when they come to the mat, they get to bring and be the full expression of themselves,” said Paris. “There’s no levels, we’re all here and just figuring it out.”
BK Yoga Club also has volunteer teachers that help to create an inclusive studio and classes throughout the day daily. “We call them volunteers because they’re like grown women that are successful in their own industries and are just killing it and lending their time to us and so we’re like, thank you. You’re a whole professional,” said Alicia.
BK Yoga Club will also expand the studio “The Lunch Break,” a mid-week lunch stress reliever that includes 30 minutes of meditation and light stretching, and 30 minutes of lunch.
Despite being yogi professionals practicing stillness is still a journey for the BK Yoga Club founders. “There’s never a point for me where I’m like “I’m stillness,’ but I think it’s incorporating practices like prayer, going to a regular spiritual home, journaling, running, biking, talking to good friends, eating good food, watching good tv, having a good man,” said Paris.
“I think the most important part (of yoga) is that you bend and you move, but you don’t break.”