A new Denver transplant will roll out the yoga mat as a Highlands studio owner instead of a teacher.
Virginia native Ali Bullano is opening her first yoga studio, Ritual Yoga, in the Highlands next week, taking over the facility from another local yogi.
“I was helping someone else open a small yoga studio and it was in that same location,” Bullano said. “She decided that the whole process was a little too much, so she asked me if I wanted to take over the space.”
Bullano is reopening the 450-square-foot studio, located at 3729 32nd Ave., as Ritual on Monday. She signed a one-year lease on the property for $700 per month.
She took over renting the space from her friend Kelsey Boone, who opened the 32nd Underground yoga studio there two months ago.
Bullano will continue to offer unlimited classes for $90 per month. She hopes to draw 50 new members in Ritual’s first month of operation.
“It’s a very small, intimate studio, so you’re going to get a lot of attention from instructors,” she said. “You can get a lot of adjustments and feedback with a more personalized approach.”
Bullano also plans to incorporate more health services into her business.
“The building is the Highlands Health and Wellness Center,” she said. “They offer holistic medicine, massage, acupuncture and herbal medicine. I’ve been in talks with the acupuncturist and massage therapist to do combination packages.”
Opening Ritual will be Bullano’s first time running her own studio, but not the first time she has helped open a business. She also helped launch a studio in Richmond, Virginia, in 2013.
She has also designed a program called Groovinyasa that involves setting yoga to live music. She plans on introducing Groovinyasa classes at Ritual on Thursday nights.
Bullano became interested in yoga while studying psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. She took a Zen Buddhism class during her senior year that got her hooked.
She moved to Denver this year and wasn’t deterred by the city’s extensive yoga industry.
“The yoga business is risky,” she said. “There are a lot of people trying to accomplish something in a small area. It’s a make-it-or-break-it moment right now. I’m all about trusting my gut and intuition, so I’m rolling with it.”