COLUMBIA — Beginning Oct. 1 alleyCat yoga studio will no longer be true to its name.
AlleyCat director Ken McRae announced in a newsletter sent to Columbia yoga enthusiasts that a lease was signed this week for the upper floor of a building at 23 S. Fourth St., across from Broadway Diner. McRae plans to subcontract renovations on the building, which he said used to be an ice warehouse. He said the changes required were minimal.
AlleyCat opened in an alley-facing space at the back of The Tiger Hotel in 2005. The studio started leasing month-to-month from the hotel about two and a half years ago following announcement of the hotel's planned transformation from a retirement facility to a boutique hotel.
Glyn Laverick, CEO of the hotel, said the former alleyCat space is undergoing renovations to become a nightclub named V2, with plans to open sometime in September.
The yoga studio's future location will have twice as much space and add a kitchen, free parking, a quieter atmosphere and office spaces for health practitioners.
“I wanted a building with character for a yoga studio," McRae said. "When you go into the old warehouse, it mimics the yoga journey of going inside the body.”
AlleyCat instructor Susan Mathis said she hopes the new location will allow for continued expansion of her Yoga to Grow program. The program focuses on teaching yoga practices to children. Mathis said alleyCat yoga and Yoga to Grow are jointly funding the new space.
In addition to Yoga To Grow, the new location allows for the creation of other programs and functions.
“I am excited we will have massage and other wellness type services to offer," Mathis said.
The new kitchen will allow the studio to host more workshops related to nutrition, she added.