This Pandemic-Organized Outdoor Yoga Brand Has Opened a Brick-And-Mortar Studio in Kensington

Monarch Yoga's expansion comes with a 2,300-square-foot indoor space, plus a roof deck.

Monarch Yoga, a Philly-based outdoor yoga group formed during the pandemic, just opened a brick-and-mortar studio in Kensington. / Photograph courtesy of Monarch Yoga.

Remember around this time two years ago when the entire world had been shut down for going on three months, but then we got that silver lining of warm weather and outdoor workouts started booming?

One of those pandemic-catalyzed fitness groups was Monarch Yoga — then called Fishtown Outdoor Yoga — which formed in June of 2020 and hosted outdoor, pay-as-you-wish yoga in neighborhood parks and parking lots. The org eventually expanded its reach, running pop-up sessions inside local businesses like New Liberty Distillery, Meyers Brewing Company, and Prestige Cafe.

Now, Monarch Yoga is growing yet again — this time, with a brick-and-mortar studio of its own.

Located in Kensington, Monarch’s new indoor space consists of nearly 2,300 square feet — that can fit up to 40 yoga mats — which will be heated by 20 infrared panels. (Don’t worry, not every class will operate as hot yoga. Owner Michelle Dillon says there’ll be reduced-heat and non-heated classes on the schedule.) Plus, the building features a rooftop with the capacity to host 25 yogis, making open-air practice a definite.

The inside of Monarch Yoga’s studio can host up to 40 yogis. / Photograph by Jaime Marrero.

As for classes, Monarch plans to offer three kinds: power flow, slow flow, and rest and restore, which features 30 minutes of restorative yoga followed by 30 minutes of meditation. Sessions last either 45 or 60 minutes, depending on the class.

Currently, the indoor offshoot is operating in soft-opening phase — meaning there’ll be a limited number of in-studio classes for now, with the schedule gradually building out over the next month. Dillon says she’s planning for the studio to be open every day, though, with an anticipated schedule of 20 to 30 classes per week.

Monarch Yoga’s lobby area features a gallery wall with pieces from local artists. / Photograph by Jaime Marrero.

Dillon says the brick-and-mortar is an opportunity for Monarch to continue being more than just a place for movement, but a place where people can connect with others and build community. She’s planning to invite local businesses into the Kensington studio for pop-up collaborative events — just like they invited Monarch into their spaces. Additionally, to keep yoga as accessible as possible, Dillon told us Monarch will soon offer discounted classes to restaurant and hospitality workers, as well as run $5 community flow every Friday and a donation-based class every month that will benefit a non-profit or foundation.

Monarch Yoga is located at 171 West Berks Street in Kensington.