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Have you ever wanted to try yoga but couldn’t bring yourself to plop down between the seemingly elastic yogi to your left and the clearly enlightened man to your right? There is a lot to aspire to when diving into the world of yoga. Not only are you trying to get your leg to do that lift-y thing without falling on your face, but there are studio norms that you have to stumble your way through and cultural practices that are way over your head. If you’re not a yogi, yoga probably intimidates you.

Enter, DOMA Studio. At the corner of H and 16th, DOMA exists to dissolve those outsider anxieties and create a more approachable yoga experience. Here, you can be real and raw even if you don’t have any zen sayings in queue. With a modern studio, music to practice along to, and a cute llama in the bathroom to calm your pre-class nerves (you’ll just have to go see for yourself), this new studio is pulling out all the stops to make newcomers feel welcome and comfortable.

Owners Kata and Romano Matic met in 2011. Romano grew up playing sports and his idea of workouts mostly consisted of time in the gym, running, and lifting weights. When he met Kata, he took his first ever yoga class and he was hooked. “It was one of the most challenging workouts I’ve ever done,” he told us. Over the years he has seen his body change and his ability to play the sports he loves with more freedom, agility, and ease. “I love that I can build muscle, gain flexibility and change how my body moves and feels.”

Kata had the privilege of being introduced to yoga at a young age. Over time, yoga became more than a workout to her. “I used yoga as a healer physically and emotionally during life’s many highs and lows.” Kata studied Ayurveda for 4 years at the California College of Ayurveda and expanded her education to the science of yoga. She found that there were many more layers to yoga and health which lead her to trainings in yoga, pilates, and other modalities of healing.

The experienced and caring instructors at DOMA offer challenging classes in a safe and encouraging environment created to help you reach your personal goals. There are a variety of classes available to fit various needs. In addition to hot yoga and inferno hot pilates (a mix of pilates and high-intensity interval training), DOMA offers hot yoga hits or hot yoga with a twist where music, drills, and extra stretching are added to the traditional class. If you’re looking for even more of a challenge, the heated yoga strength class helps you build muscle by combining free weights with your yoga practice and adding strength-training moves.

We joined a DOMA class and chatted with Kata and Romano about their vision for DOMA Studio.

What separates you from other studios in town?

Many studios in town, specialize in specific exercise practices, while for us the ultimate goal is to create balance for the body, this is why we offer things that really pick your heart rate up and give you a blend of both strength and stretch. We want people to create really healthy balanced bodies which means you need more than one modality to find real balance. We attempt to offer a strong blend so people can build the strength they need to feel good in their bodies and move freely. We also want to open it up, break it down so to speak; to share it with people that maybe don’t know the lingo and give everyone an opportunity to explore this modality.

Who are you looking to reach?

We are looking to create a community of people who push each other to continue to work out because working out together is more fun and more effective. We want to transform people’s bodies and make them stronger and more comfortable in their skin.

What do you specialize in?

We specialize in heated yoga and pilates. We provide low impact workouts with high-intensity options so people can gain muscle, lose fat, and minimize injury. This also allows people who already have injuries to heal more efficiently and stay safe after.

Tell us about “Hot Yoga Hits”

Hot yoga hits is a blend of the traditional Gosh style of yoga commonly known as “Bikram” Yoga with a twist, adding extra stretches and drills to add strength. This style allows people who like a repetitive sequence to try a little something new without stepping all the way out of their comfort zone. This practice moves a little faster at times, and other times we spend a long time holding the postures, allowing people to get comfortable in them and helping to build strength. This practice is great for people with injuries looking to heal them in a safe, yet results-driven class.

As instructor Tyguenne told us, “You don’t know what you don’t know until you know. So why not try it and see?!”

If you’re looking for an approachable exercise studio, try your first 30 days for $29 at DOMA to see if it’s the right fit for you. They have yoga mats, towels, and water bottles available to rent. If you’re new, arrive 10-15 minutes early with light workout clothing, fully hydrated, and ready for a sweat!

Where to find them: 807 16th St, Sacramento, CA 95814

On the web: Website, Facebook