Laundromat Transforms Into Art & Yoga Studio by Megan Montalvo, Queens Tribune

Laundromat Transforms Into Art, Yoga Studio
Megan Montalvo, Queens Tribune – 8/30/12

The local laundromat has long been the site where the community goes to fluff, fold and wash their dirty duds.

While it may host seldom interactions between washers and dryers, it is hardly considered to be the go-to hot spot for neighbors to get acquainted.

In Jackson Heights, a new phenomenon is taking over the local JH Laundromat, located at 85-15 37th Ave.

Customers who would normally be engaging in a dull routine of separating their colors from their whites are now beginning to use the space as a yoga and art studio.

The unconventional use of space began earlier this summer when local resident Suran Song partnered with the community-based public art organization The Laundromat Project to offer free classes at the JH Laundromat.

Song, who has been a long time artist and devotee of yoga, said her inspiration behind the classes came from the Occupy Wall Street movement.

“Much of my work used to be in high end businesses that catered to the 1 percent,” Song said. “By working with the Laundromat Project in my own community, I get to reach a broader group of people who may not have the means to pay for classes.”

Every Wednesday, from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., Song introduces participants to basic yoga principles and introduces experimentation with mono printmaking.

By painting a layer of ink between a yoga mat and a sheet of paper, students learn their about their foot fall patterns and how to retain balance.

After each held pose, students can lift the paper to reveal an imprint of their stationary body position.

“Yoga is all about holding positions and finding peace,” Song said. “Working with the art techniques is an amazing and innovative way to help individuals work on their breath and balance.”

In November, prints that are made from Song’s installation “Yoga Body Prints and Principles” will be exhibited as art at a gallery space in Manhattan. The date and location will be announced in early fall.

Song will continue offering free yoga courses at the JH Laundromat every Wednesday through September.