Greenpoint Gazette

Goodpoint Brings Yoga to New Heights

BY Meghan Cass

Be it bars, beehives or urban farms, in Greenpoint everything is
better on a roof.

And now yoga can be practiced en plain air at local arts complex
Goodpoint, which hosts clandestine classes on a rooftop studio three
stories above Calyer Street.

“Sometimes we think if we only had a storefront, our business would be
building so much faster,” said Flannery Foster, who founded the
company last year with partner Raymond Gonzales. “But what’s so
beautiful is that the space is hidden.”

Originally constructed in 1983 by Brooklyn artists Eugenia Balcells
and Peter Van Riper, Goodpoint is two floors of loft-style layouts
topped with a rustic wooden cottage that Foster calls “the Ashram.”

“I’m sure someone would love to turn this space into their own private
McMansion,” she says. “Built it was built by artists and I’d like to
see artists continue to benefit from it.”

The couple renamed the building when they established their business,
and story of Goodpoint is a tale of love and recession.
Gonzales had been running a design firm out of the building since
2006, but his business began to struggle in the down economy. At the
same time he began dating Foster, a freelance yoga teacher. When he
brought his new girlfriend over to the loft, she was struck with
inspiration.
“When I walked into this space, I knew it had to be a yoga studio,”
said Foster, who concedes to teaching indoors when weather requires.
Before long, they were in business.
Gonzales put his skills to work on branding and marketing, while
Foster commenced teaching three classes a day to a small group of
loyal students.
“We developed a little following, but when people find something
really good often don’t want to share it with others,” she said.

The classes continued, but Foster and Gonzales focused the bulk of
their efforts on promoting the building’s many rooms as crash pads for
visitors and artists. “We needed to get people in here to help pay the
rent and secure the space,” explained Foster.
Today there are six artists-in-residence and occasional short-term
guests who book Goodpoint as an alternative to a traditional hotel.
And in the last few months, course offerings have greatly expanded
thanks to a stable of volunteer instructors who teach various
workshops in meditation and movement.

But as the business inevitably grows, Foster and Gonzales are
determined to preserve the small class sizes and grass-roots feel.
Attendance currently ranges from four to ten people per session.
“It’s important to me that teachers know their students names and
abilities. It creates a sense of cohesiveness,” said Foster.

In addition Goodpoint provides a slew of holistic services including
massage, Reiki, life coaching, and alternative medicine. Kids’ yoga
and kung-fu programs are in the works, as is an international yogic
retreat program called Good Trip. Foster is even at work on Good Skin,
a line of Ayurvedic cosmetics.

“The businesses all feed off of each other,” explained Gonzales who
has relaunched his branding and design firm as Good Idea. “The reality
of the wellness business is that it is life…We are just trying to live
forever.”

Goodpoint is located at 73 Calyer St. between Franklin and West St.
For more information, visit http://goodpointnyc.com and
http://goodyoganyc.com.

Address & Phone

Greenpoint Gazette
597 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11222
phone: 718-389-6067

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