It's 7am on a hot summer Saturday and I'm waking up, both literally and figuratively, at Shrine Salon & Yoga. Nestled in an historic barn on Route 136 in Warren, Shrine is part hair salon, part yoga studio. As a whole, it's a unique hybrid that's all about inner beauty. I'm here for the Flow & Blow, an hour of yoga followed by a blowout.
I walk into the beautifully renovated space and head up to the yoga loft. Paula Anderson, owner, instructor and self-described hair guru, is teaching this morning's Gentle Hatha class. The large room, complete with sweeping windows and gleaming hardwoods, is filled with yogis looking to start their morning off on the right foot, so to speak. I take a spot toward the back and roll out my yoga mat. Paula, who is filling in for another teacher who's on vacation, is calm and inspiring. The class moves slowly, and she en.courages students to modify poses as needed. "Move with intention," she says, and then repeats herself as if it's the morning mantra. To the left and right of me, men and women take deep breaths, coordinating their mindful moves while staying in the moment. The class is just perfect for me, someone who has dabbled in yoga but hasn't taken a class in over a year. And, with a busy summer of jugging work, kids' schedules and trying to soak up some fun in between, it's good to just be present. To just be present.
At the end of the class, Paula goes from person to person to thank each of them by name. I head downstairs to the airy salon where I meet her son and fellow stylist Patrick. Cheerful and full of pep at 8am, Patrick tells me a little about the blended businesses. "We opened in April and I've got to say people really like what's happen.ing here," he says. Paula, who has just said goodbye to the last yogi, joins in our conversation. A career stylist who's owned salons in the East Bay for the better part of 25 years, most recently at the duo's Son & Mother Salon in Barrington, Paula's also had a long passion for yoga. After extensive instructor training that took her as far as Bali, she had the brainchild to merge her two loves into one mega self-care emporium. When the perfect space opened up they knew it was time to follow their dreams. "We love everything we do here, and it shows," Paula says, glow.ing. "We sell happiness and good service is the byproduct," Patrick adds.
They lead me to a chair for the "blow" part of my experience, where I'm getting the signature Rock Star treatment. After a thorough shampoo, both of them go at my wet locks with double blow dryers and round brush.es. Within minutes, my hair is dry and ready for a curling iron for some va-va-voom. In 20 minutes flat, my hair went from a frumpy to glamorous. Relaxed, centered and coifed, I'm armed with inner and outer bliss for the rest of my day. With bliss.
Shrine Salon & Yoga
384 Market Street, Warren