Though Polly Breen and Julie Barry, co-owners of Oceanside Yoga in Tiverton, share the same deep devotion to Svaroopa yoga, the style of yoga their studio is dedicated to, they came to discover this “blissful, non-competitive, empowering” practice in vastly different ways. For Polly, who had been studying and teaching more mainstream types of yoga for years, it was simply part of her ongoing teacher training requirements to take a course in a different style of yoga. For Julie, it was an attempt to relieve the constant pain she suffered due to car accident injuries. For both, it was instantly life changing. “I immediately knew that this is what I had been waiting for,” says Polly. As far as Julie’s first encounter: “It took me out of pain right away. Originally, that’s all I was looking for, but over the years this practice has given me so much more than I could ever put into words.”
Upon entering Oceanside Yoga, I was immediately taken by its tranquil, meditative atmosphere, made even more serene by the studio’s unobstructed water views. I made myself comfortable atop a pile of yoga blankets Julie had stacked for me, and listened to them passionately share their experiences as Svaroopa instructors and practitioners. “It’s a different paradigm in looking at yoga,” Polly explains. “It’s about releasing the core tension in the spine, quieting the mind, letting go of hurt and pain, breathing..." She trails off and chuckles. “It’s always so hard to put into words.” Julie nods, adding, “it is such an individual practice, and we take the time to make sure everyone’s alignment is correct. But you truly have to experience it for yourself to understand the feeling of release it brings you.”
Though Polly and Julie have been teaching Svaroopa for a number of years at other nearby locations, September marks their second anniversary at their current studio space. Since Svaroopa is not a widely available form of yoga in the area, Polly and Julie have students who come from all over Rhode Island and Massachusetts to practice with them. “Everyone comes to us with their own stories and issues,” Julie explains, “and we love to hear about their successes,” whether it’s someone’s improved mobility, an increase in bone density, blood pressure reduction, or just a better state of mind.
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