This past spring, a University of Rhode Island alumna opened a heated yoga studio in the emporium called the Rhode Island Yoga Center. The employees at this studio are all trained in Baptiste power vinyasa, which combines vinyasa, iyengar, and bikram yoga.

Lauren Toracinta, says that since opening, business has been going well and they continue to see new faces everyday. She says they are constantly changing the class schedule and appreciate feedback from clients, as they would like to offer classes that people want. The studio’s most recent change is a move to all heated classes.

“That’s the one thing I’ve learned,” Toracinta said, “that the schedule will never be set in stone.”

According to Toracinta, the most popular class so far has been their 10 a.m. Power Yoga class on Sundays. They offer a variety of classes throughout the entire week, and you can find the full schedule on their website at http://riyogacenter.com/.  According to Toracinta, you can pay as you go or purchase class packages. Discounts are available with student ID.

The studio has become a popular destination for URI professors and sports teams according to Toracinta.

“They’ve asked to work with us and start incorporating [yoga] into their curriculum as a place for their students to come,” Toracinta said.

Though the studio is not URI affiliated, Toracinta says, “We’re totally up for working with anyone and everyone.”

“It’s definitely a lot of work owning a business,” Toracinta said. “That’s been a huge learning curve for me.” She said there are various things she needs help with, such as graphic design, marketing and networking. “[Since] I’m a new business owner… all of that is completely foreign to me, so those have been my biggest struggles. Otherwise, my staff is fantastic, the studio is amazing, the heat is fantastic.”

Toracinta says that she is always happy to work with students, and is open to them reaching out to her for opportunities to help in the aforementioned areas. “I’m totally up for trading services for free yoga.”

Toracinta said that yoga is more than just “a really nice stretch.” As a detox for the entire body, power yoga promotes the release of toxins from the organs and the skin. It is also a means of stress reduction, and Toracinta says that sometimes all you need is an hour of yoga to reset yourself, especially come finals week.

“Every single person in [this studio] is a living example that [yoga has] absolutely changed their life,” Toracinta said.  “People come back because they know once they’ve practiced they’re going to feel stronger, they’re going to feel more confident, they’re going to feel more capable.  It’s going to help people physically, emotionally and mentally. Even just the focus and, again, that clearing, coming here to reset, is definitely going to help [students] with their grades and their performance.”