Helping our ‘hood become the healthiest in Dallas!

YogaSport was featured in Friday’s Dallas Morning News’ Park Cities/North Dallas Neighborsgo edition as a staple in the healthiest neighborhood in the central Dallas area! Our own Daniella Giglio was quoted several times, as well as our fabulous owner! Read it below or click here to read on dallasnews.com.


By NANETTE LIGHT

Published: 31 May 2013

Daniella Giglio often finds peace of mind while bent over in downward dog on a mat in a 90-degree, second-floor yoga studio.

Poised above Gloria’s Restaurant and Bar in Oak Lawn, Giglio has made the short drive to YogaSport from her Turtle Creek apartment the last four years to sweat and stretch her stress away.

An event coordinator for Sewell Automotive Companies, Giglio calls the studio a hidden gem in the area that connects a neighborhood of mostly apartment, condo and townhome dwellers.

“When you look at places like Highland Park, you have houses and streets that connect those residents. Where we live, our community happens in social activities, and for many people, that’s where you work out,” said Giglio, 32.

A neighborhood where many young professionals like Giglio rent, health venues like gyms, studios and trails crowd the Turtle Creek and Oak Lawn area, catering to this demographic and also to its population of empty nesters and families.

The area was ranked the healthiest neighborhood in the Park Cities-North Dallas area, according to an analysis by The Dallas Morning News.

In The News’ analysis, factors considered included pollution levels and access to trails, gyms, studios and grocery stores. The length of the trails was also weighted.

The neighborhood is bound by Armstrong Avenue to the north, the Katy Trail to the east, Cedar Springs Road to the south and roughly by Douglas, Avondale, Oak Lawn and Wycliff avenues to the west.

Residents and neighborhood business owners say it’s an area widely perceived as populated by the active and health-conscious.

Almost four decades ago, owner Mark Herrin opened Sundrops Vitamins and Nutrition in the neighborhood’s western corner on Oak Lawn Avenue.

And there’s been a ripple effect.

A block north, Equinox built its first Dallas location on that same street before expanding to Preston Hollow.

And nine years ago, Angela Wagner, owner of YogaSport, sought out the rent space above Gloria’s on Lemmon Avenue.

At the time, she said there weren’t any power yoga studios in the Oak Lawn area.

“I was looking to go to an area where there would be a lot of people interested in fitness and wellness,” said Wagner, who described her vision of a “homegrown” neighborhood studio. “That area seemed to be pretty hot, and it seemed to fit a niche it didn’t have.”

Besides White Rock Lake, Wagner and Giglio said the Turtle Creek corridor and the tree-lined Katy Trail are the only other expansive green oases in the city.

And one day, these pockets of nature could all be connected.

Robin Baldock, executive director of Friends of the Katy Trail, said construction of Phase III of the Katy Trail’s master plan is under way by the city of Dallas. Once finished, it will connect the 30-acre park that runs through the city’s densest neighborhoods to its counterpart along White Rock Lake.

Baldock also said the nonprofit — an advocate for support and funds for the trail — anticipates completing the remaining three-quarters of soft surface from Blackburn to Knox streets in the next year.

She said the group is working to garner about $5 million in funds to finish the project and add a few more entrances to complete the trail’s master plan.

According to the group, the trail connects 125 acres of urban parkland to more than 300,000 residents who live within a mile of the trail.

About three years ago, the Beasley Entrance at Hall Street was completed to bridge the trail to the Turtle Creek Corridor.

It’s a link that’s united areas and increased traffic along the creek’s greenbelt, said Don McDermett, chairman of the Turtle Creek Association’s board of directors. The association is charged to work with the city to maintain and fund projects along the creek.

“The two together are an incredible combination,” McDermett said. “The combination of the trail and the Turtle Creek’s scenery make it a desirable place to run and bike.”

In the last year, McDermett said the association has invested more than $100,000 in a new irrigation system for the medians along the creek and new landscaping.

He said it’s an investment he hopes will cure an ongoing problem of replacing dead plants that don’t survive summer’s scorching heat.

In April, the association raised $90,000 in gross revenue from its home tour. He said the association’s board will identify projects in the next few months to invest the fundraiser’s dollars.

One project could include further developing a tract of grassy land off Hall Street across from Robert E. Lee Park into an urban playground.

“In urban areas, that’s all you have,” Giglio said of exercise outlets such as the Katy Trail, Turtle Creek Corridor and Yoga Sport. “They connect the community. Other than work, that’s one of the most frequent places you go.”

Neighborsgo reporter Nanette Light can be reached at 214-977-8039. Data analysis by staff writer Daniel Lathrop.

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