Penguin Pilates

The women behind the Zen Garden Wellness studio offer participants the freedom to attend classes without memberships or commitments.

Mother-daughter duo and Youngstown State University alumni Jessica and Denise Ehrenberg share a love for fitness and health, moving them to open Zen Garden Wellness yoga studio.

Following her graduation from YSU in 1999, Jessica Ehrenberg, a journalism major, went on to work in her field, eventually becoming a managing editor at the Town Crier. Moving on from the Town Crier, Ehrenberg felt she needed to change directions, and instead decided to open a yoga studio with her mother.

“I was involved with dance over at Judy Conti’s Dance Studio since I was very young, and I’ve always loved that kind of activity. Yoga is similar; it builds flexibility, balance, emphasizes a basic building block of life [breathing], and promotes health and relaxation,” Jessica Ehrenberg said. “It just seemed natural to open a studio.”

Jessica Ehrenberg credits her time with the Town Crier and WYSU for helping to develop the organizational skills necessary to run a business.

“You know, the managing editor job I had was essentially like having nine different smaller jobs, so being organized and keeping track of what job needed done at what time really helped prepare me for the challenges running a business entails,” she said.

Jessica Ehrenberg’s mother, Denise, can also look to her experience at YSU as a time that allowed her to cultivate attributes that would eventually lead her to the yoga studio. Graduating in 1975, she majored in elementary education, developing a love for both teaching and helping others.

The pricing philosophy of the Ehrenberg women grows out of that caring attitude, with the studio offering low cost classes and no memberships.

“I remember what it was like to be a busy college student. We want people who are busy to have the option of when they come, for which classes and how often. The classes are priced the same, so people can try a lot of different programs to see what works for them,” Jessica Ehrenberg said.

The studio offers five types of yoga: beginner, chair, Hatha, gentle and yin yoga/Qi Gon. Beginner yoga, as implied, is meant for those just starting in the practice, while Hatha yoga is for more advanced practitioners, challenging them to move seamlessly from one position to the next. Chair and gentle yoga are meant for all ages, offering a less intense version of the positions in the gentle yoga, and offering soft, flex fitting chairs for those suffering injuries or debilitating conditions that make groundwork difficult in chair yoga. Qi Gon is a traditional Chinese practice, similar to yoga, which served as foundational aspect of the martial arts traditions of Tai Chi and Wushu (Kung Fu).

Tai Chi and Pilates are slightly more physically intensive classes, revolving around controlled movements and focused muscle use for their effect.

Zen Garden Wellness is located at 7178 West Boulevard, Suite B in Boardman. Each of the class sessions cost $12, and none require a membership. The Ehrenbergs also have a massage therapist visiting twice a week, who conducts both relaxation and Reiki massages. Sessions with the masseuse cost $55 for an hour.