Stretching the body and the soul at Amenia Yoga Center
AMENIA — For those looking for a little peace and solitude in their lives, along with improved physical well-being and state of mind, there is a just such a place in Amenia. It’s the Amenia Yoga Center, located on Old North Road in a private home with an interior that’s been transformed into a soothing and welcoming yoga studio with warm wood floors, handmade candles, a roaring fireplace — all guarded by three small, friendly, well-behaved dogs and a beautiful, sleek, charismatic cat.The whole menagerie is led by the center’s owner and yoga teacher, Rouben Madikians, who is as warm and friendly as he is charming and knowledgeable. Madikians has Russian Armenian lineage, was born in Iran and has “French influences.” His brother, Serge, is owner and chef of Serevan, the much acclaimed restaurant on DeLavergne Hill in Amenia. It was Serge who brought Rouben to Amenia originally; he has been in town sporadically for eight years, finally settling down permanently last year. Before that he spent 22 years as a flight attendant, traveling the globe. He said making Amenia home felt like the right thing to do.“I was very pleased with the decision,” Madikians said, adding the yoga center has been open for four years. “It’s a phenomenal community and I’m very fortunate.”So, too, are those living in the Tri-state region, which is where his students travel from to take his classes, make use of his services and use his facilities. In addition to both group and private yoga classes the Amenia Yoga Center also offers different types of massages, ayurvedic treatments (based on a system of traditional, native Indian medicine used as a form of alternative medicine) and an ultraviolet sauna. Its offerings are also expanding, so check back in the future for a complete schedule.One needn’t be an expert to participate in the center’s classes; there are sessions for those familiar with yoga as well as for those who might be novices.“I really believe yoga is for everyone,” Madikians said. “But how you do it, we can tailor that to your needs.”Classes mainly are for adults, but sometimes parents bring their children. The youngsters can participate, or — if they get bored — they can wander into the kitchen for peanut butter and bananas. Classes range from four students to 16, depending on the weather and the time of year.Madikians also does work with younger people who have been through addiction to, for example, drugs or alcohol. Currently he’s the yoga program director at High Watch Recovery Center in Kent.“We work on finding spirituality in their recovery and finding ways to accept themselves in their recovery,” he said. “A lot have found yoga and meditation to be a healing path for some of the physical damage they have done to their bodies, including their minds.”Almost everyone who participates can expect a release of stress and freeing of the mind, which is part of what makes yoga so attractive. “Some people practice yoga to lose weight, some to stay fit, there are different intentions,” he said. “Whatever the intention, the central part of yoga is to bring us into mindfulness and bring us into the present moment. Yoga is also very basic. It’s all about having strength in the back and the legs and arms. An awareness is cultivated.”Those who attend the Amenia Yoga Center can expect something extra.“They can expect to laugh a lot and smile a lot and have fun discovering themselves,” Madikians said. “It’s about self-acceptance and in the process they will learn about their structure and how we move from breath to the physical body to the emotional body to the thought body. The mind has a great hold on the physical body.”For information, stop by the Amenia Yoga Center at 18 Old North Road, call 617-308-8997, email email@example.com or go online to www.ameniayoga.com.