By Elizabeth Riggs
“If you build it, they will come.”
The Field of Dreams mantra couldn’t be more true for Colden’s hip new yoga and wellness studio, rSpace, and the experience has been nothing less than a dream for owner Jessica Raymond.
Officially opening its doors in October of 2016, rSpace, located at 8823 State Road in Colden, offers a full gamut of yoga and high-intensity cardio classes, fresh-pressed juices, Young Living essential oils, workshops, healthy meals and more.
Originally a Lancaster native, Raymond has lived in Glenwood with her husband for the past 13 years. And as cliché as it may sound, the opening of rSpace just kind of happened.
“I was going for my yoga certification online because I was pregnant with my third child, and I was required to film myself. We did a donation class in the building because it was vacant at that point,” said Raymond, who was good friends with the previous building owner.
The donation class began with yoga, essential oils and juices, and turned into $350 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
But the efforts didn’t stop there. The success of the first event led Raymond to schedule three more donation classes, which in turn gathered supplies for a Haitian mission group, and Christmas presents and food for a local family in need.
After such a profound response to her donation events, Raymond knew that she was on to something. “We thought, ‘Holy cow! The community is very receptive to this, why don’t we look into buying the building?’” she said.
So she did. Previously Sliders Snowboard Shop, Raymond and her husband purchased the building in June 2016, and enlisted the help of family and friends to remodel before opening the doors of rSpace in October 2016.
According to Raymond, the name rSpace is a play on words and a tribute to the struggle she and her husband had to name the building. But it also perfectly describes the vision she had for the new studio and what she hoped it would be for those who came to it.
“This is a space for the community, where people can come and be heard, where people can be comfortable exploring themselves and finding their best self,” said Raymond. “It’s a space dedicated for everybody to feel at home.”
So far customers seem to feel very at home, as class sizes for the full range of yoga and high-intensity cardio classes grow steadily from month to month.
Yoga classes range from standard vinyasa and hatha yoga courses, to a restorative yin yoga class, which incorporates aromatherapy. Kid’s yoga courses, offered once a month, are a customer favorite. The studio is also one of few in the Buffalo area to offer more cutting edge classes like shadow yoga and aerial yoga, which will be coming in February.
“Shadow Yoga is used a lot of times for PTSD and trauma patients because it is set in a completely dark setting, minus candle light,” said Raymond. “The music is a little bit more heavy, with deeper undertones, which is supposed to help concentrate the mind a little bit better.”
In addition to yoga, rSpace also offers a variety of cardio and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) classes, like Zumba – a popular dance class incorporating dance moves from around the world; Pound – an upbeat cardio workout with lightly-weighted drumsticks; kettle bell conditioning – an intense full body and weight workout; PiYo – a workout combining yoga and pilates; and Intensity – a 30-minute high cardio class.
For the full healthy living experience, the rSpace also offers 15 different flavors of fresh-pressed fruit and vegetable juices and cleanses, as well as Bootleg Bucha products, from Buffalo’s first kombucha brewery. The juice bar features a double-faucet kegerator with two fresh juices on tap at all times.
And, if fitness classes and fresh juices don’t pack enough of a healthy-living punch, rSpace has also recently partnered with Buffalo’s Best Grill to become a delivery location for their line of pre-made meals.
“Normally you would have to pick up [the meals] in Blasdell or live within delivery range,” said Raymond of the service. “Now, people nearby can order on the web site just like everyone else. For $5, you get a wonderful meal and it’s healthy.”
A distributor of Young Living essential oils, rSpace also hosts monthly Make and Take classes where people can learn the properties of the oils, uses and applications, and make a few products to take home.
So, with all that the studio has to offer, it seems likely that rSpace will continue to grow in both size and popularity. But just in case anyone is still leery to stop in and try a new class or juice, Raymond’s advice couldn’t be more simple.
“Just do it. The hardest part is walking through the front door,” she said. “The best thing people leave here with is the smile on their face because they really felt at home. I think that’s what brings people back through the door the most.”
For more information about rSpace, a full calendar of classes, pricing, or memberships, visit their website at www.r-spacestudio.com. They can also be found on Facebook @rspace8823 or on Instagram @r_spacestudio.