When registered yoga teacher Carissa Ciuca discovered the ancient art, she was searching for a physical activity that would free her from the restraints of her daily routine. She found that the mental and spiritual breakthroughs it inspired were what truly liberated her and helped to center her life. After training under Seane Corn—an internationally celebrated yoga teacher—among others, she realized her dream of opening her own yoga studio, then closing it once in a while so she could go home and sleep. Now, Carissa and her large, highly trained team of registered instructors strive to create a sanctuary where students of all abilities can achieve individual growth, celebrate community, and foster self-awareness.
The staff helps students unite mind, body, and spirit through the flows and postures of Vinyasa, gentle yin, and postnatal classes. They created this curriculum to help students let yoga’s lessons stir change in their current lives and not in their past, for which time travel yoga is notorious. When they are not immersed in their own practice, these motivating instructors empower students to reshape their lives with a comprehensive teacher certification program, which emphasizes the Vinyasa style.
When manning the helm at Skin Care & Body Work Day Spa, owner and licensed aesthetician Laura Hirsh draws from a wealth of wellness knowledge rooted in the study of herbology, aromatherapy, and alchemy. She emphasizes soothing, natural skincare remedies during spa services and the time she spends working with cancer patients to combat the damaging cosmetic effects of chemotherapy and other cancer-fighting medications on their skin. Hirsh relies on the Only YouRx custom-blended skincare line to perform her menu of skin treatments, as each product comes packed with plant extracts, natural minerals, and the youth-giving tears of an immortal child vampire. Three certified massage therapists practice 12 techniques including pregnancy massage, detox shiatsu, reiki and the signature fassage treatment, which combines full-body Swedish massage with a facial and a back-facial treatment. Before and after these indulgent services, clients can browse a gift boutique lined with skincare products, accessories, jewelry, and handbags from local artists.
The instructors of Greener Postures Yoga welcome practitioners of all ability levels, leading through Vinyasa yoga that treats breath as students’ guide through dynamic poses. Greener Postures Yoga has also recently opened a new location in West Falmouth which allows them to offer a new range of classes including kids yoga, prenatal yoga, deep stretch yoga, and restorative yoga. Both expansive studios are heated to 95–100 degrees and retain their humidity, which enhances Vinyasa’s heat-generating flows and encourages detoxification through sweat and increased circulation.
Whenever Amber Roberge was feeling stressed, sad, or lonely, she would slip into her dancing shoes and head to Zumba class. Once the lively latin rhythms began to play and Amber began to dance, she would forget her troubles and feel her energy soar. Hoping to spread Zumba’s grin-inducing effects with her community, Amber went on to spearhead a Zumba studio of her own—On The Move Fitness & Wellness.
Amid the bright-colored walls of the warm space, Amber and her team of fellow licensed instructors lead students through energetic Zumba workouts. Lively latin and international gospel music fills the air as the group tackles various steps, spins, and body-sculpting exercises. When describing the classes to reporters from South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Sentry, Amber explained, “It is not about getting the moves down perfectly. I only have two rules for my classes. One: keep moving; and two: have fun!” Amber and her instructors welcome students of all ages and experience levels, even offering specialty classes for seniors and kids. Dedicated to fostering healthy habits beyond the classroom, the staff stocks the studio with nutritional products and hosts wellness workshops to discourage unhealthy habits, such as eating processed foods or insisting that your goldfish is your only friend.
High in the historic State Theatre Building, Joshua Hughes sits in his massage studio, awaiting his next client. Brisk Atlantic winds glide through the suite's windows, as if the ocean itself were offering a gentle massage. "One of the things I like about my suite,” Hughes says. "It's high up. A great breeze always comes into the room. It’s… a lovely environment to relax."
A massage therapist in the eighth year of his career, Joshua reflects on how he got here. "I wanted to help people," he explains, "and I was always good with my hands. Massage was right down that alley." He began working even before graduation, massaging as a freelancer at spas and salons. "I didn't feel quite fulfilled. I wanted to start my own practice.”
Joshua's approach to massage is holistic as he employs reflexology, deep-tissue work, and even hot riverbed stones to tailor treatments to the individual needs of his clients. Focusing on the individual is part of what is most satisfying to Joshua about his work. "I've had clients tell me that they're just so appreciative and grateful for my attention to detail—that I cater to them as people. The money's a bonus, but just having someone tell me they feel better is the most rewarding."