This is MY Yoga Studio


By Trish Reyburn

Long before I even thought I would own and run a yoga studio, I auditioned at local studios to teach classes.
The very first studio I contacted was, in fact, located in the same space that Blissworks now calls home.

All those years ago, I arrived on the sidewalk outside what is now our building and I ascended the stairs. This was to be the FIRST yoga studio in New London, Connecticut, and I was going to be a part of it!

I was brimming with excitement, mingled with a bit of nervousness as well. At the top of the stairs, the door on the left side of the hallway was open and as I peered in I saw workers in the process of dropping down the high ceilings.

As soon as I crossed the threshold, in my head I heard a LOUD BOOMING VOICE very clearly state:

“This is MY YOGA STUDIO!  What are these PEOPLE doing here?”

This came as quite a surprise to me, and I may have even gasped! I wasn’t used to any voices in my head speaking like that before, but there was no question that it was a very clear and precise message. So, I did what anyone would do:, I started talking to the voice..

“What are you even talking about? I can’t own a yoga studio! I’ve only just become a teacher. Who do you think you are that you could consider such a thought? That is completely crazy.”

 The loud booming voice did not participate in the dialog but I continued telling myself that same message for a few more years.

(Celebrating our expansion at Blissworks October 2019)

At that time, it was just too big a dream for me to believe.

Two years later I was approached to take a position as Director of Yoga at another studio that was soon to open in New London. I was thrilled to say the least. That was exactly what I needed – to be an employee and to direct the yoga portion of the business. It was a dream come true… until the folks with the money backing the project pulled out on the day before the lease was to be signed. What a drag.

And yet, that was the pivotal experience that propelled me forward in my quest.

(Sharon & Sue)

Owning a yoga studio was EXACTLY what I wanted – more than anything.

I still did not understand how it would ever be possible, but I persevered and learned to open to new opportunities. I learned how to hold a vision.

Blissworks was born February 23, 2004, just about four years after I became certified to teach yoga. I found the perfect location in the back of an office building and rent was the exact amount I believed I could afford, including utilities. Also, a friend put her house up for collateral so I could get a small loan. To top it off, the building owner agreed to paint the studio any color I wished.

Hello, orange walls – it was a dream come true!!

(Kevin, Ahbra, Minerva, Amy, Tracee & more Blissworks friends)

An art gallery moved into the space in front of our newly blossoming yoga studio about seven months after we arrived. I was so pleased that the students would be able to walk through a gallery as an entrance to their practices. It seemed to be a win-win situation, except that it wasn’t. Unfortunately, the art displays were extremely sexual in nature including vast amounts of painted cupcakes resembling breasts as well as plaster of Paris penises hanging from the ceiling.

After just a single year in my amazing studio space, we had to move.

I found a second floor space across the street and down a block from where we started. Everyone loved the floor-to-ceiling windows and the bamboo floors that I had installed in this second studio. The big problem revealed itself the following winter when I realized the forced- hot- air heat was located at the top of the room and not heating the studio sufficiently. I could feel some warmth upon my fingertips when I raised my arms overhead while standing, but the rest of the room stayed cold. Whereas the first winter must have been somewhat mild, the second winter was definitely more severe. With the giant windows taking up a whole, long wall and the lack of heat, some dedicated students took to wearing their parka jackets into the studio to practice.

What a drag. We needed to move again.

Still, just across the street and just a half block down was MY YOGA STUDIO. I called the property owner, who in this small city was the same guy who owned the first studio space. We negotiated on the rent and then it happened!

 It really happened!!

(Ro & Mo)

Today, I was again a student in MY BELOVED YOGA STUDIO. Thank you to dedicated teacher, Sonya Cyr, for allowing me to practice with you.

It felt so wonderful to be surrounded by the orange walls again, even with my eyes closed.

What a blessing it is to have this sacred practice area. I think of the many classes and events that have been steeped in these walls. Reiki trainings, sound healings, sacred geometry workshops, psychic fairs, belly -dancing, writing workshops, yoga teacher trainings and so much more.

So many beautiful souls have graced the walls of the room.

If you are reading this story, I hope you consider Blissworks as YOUR YOGA STUDIO, too!

So much joy, laughter and tears have been shared in one space ~ even through our journey from the top of the hill to our current home.

It is an honor to host this gathering place in my city. I’m not sure how many more months we will be closed to indoor group classes due to COVID-19, but we DO plan to re-open our doors once again. May Blissworks continue to be an oasis of peace and may it be known as a – place to cultivate health consciousness for many years to come!


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