A Third Lotus Blooms in South Williamsburg

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Dana Flynn, co-creator of Laughing Lotus, will ring in 2015 with Epic Love Fest & Cosmic Countdown, the inaugural class at her newest location in Williamsburg. The big question is: what will she wear?

"I'm going to have to go shopping," Flynn said. "It's going to be outrageous. I'll either wear a halter and platforms or a moo moo."

Hosted by Flynn and girlfriend Kelly Kamm, the New Year's Eve class includes a kombucha toast at midnight and a first glimpse of Lotus BK, 232 Broadway at Roebling. The center has two rooms: one with a meditational mood and another for celebration. Murals by graffiti artist Badder Israel showcase Ganesh, a giant lotus, and a unicorn with wings.

"It's got great sky," Flynn said of Lotus BK, which overlooks the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the Empire State Building, and the Williamsburg Bridge. "It's very playful and electric."

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For Flynn, 53, the opening of Lotus BK, her third studio, represents one of many transformations. When she was 22, she was a stock broker living in south Brooklyn. In the '80s, she owned Trixies, a night club in Hells Kitchen. In 2000, she and former partner Jasmine Tarkeshi started the original Laughing Lotus, later moving from Christopher Street to the present location in Chelsea. Today, Tarkeshi oversees the San Francisco branch while Flynn runs the two New York spots in Manhattan and now Brooklyn.

"When I first started looking for space in Brooklyn two years ago, “ Flynn said, "I kept running into people I knew 30 years ago who kept saying, 'What are you doing in Brooklyn?' I told them, 'I have been going over that bridge to Brooklyn since I was 22 years young.' When I was courting Jasmine, she lived in Williamsburg, so I would cross the bridge to see her. I love Brooklyn. It turns me on."

While Flynn has been getting offers to teach in Paris and Norway, she said she is concentrating on her new studio, going back and forth between Chelsea and Williamsburg locations. "I'm a Brooklyn bee," she said. "I've become very intimate with the subway."

While Lotus Bk will provide signature classes like Lotus Flow, the newest location will be more music-centric with Friday night house parties hosted by senior teachers. Weekly chanting starts in February.

"Yoga is my life," Flynn said. "Everything I love is part of my practice and flow. There is no separation. In a 90-minute practice, you're creating art and getting a sense of flow and eternity. I never knew I'd one day have a 40-foot wall with the names of all my teachers and my mom painted on it [like at the Chelsea location]. Or a disco ball and glitter bar. It sounds silly, but wearing glitter is a big outer reminder that we're rooted in transformation,like the lotus. We're definitely rooted in scripture and chanting and tradition. I'm not ignoringdepression, but we are offering a spiritual forklift."

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The first official events are New Year's Eve where they’ll have a class taught by Kamm and Flynn and then plenty of whooping it up to mark the auspicious event. For more information regarding the Epic Love Fest & Cosmic Countdown, click here.

--Ann Votaw


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