Would you believe me if I told you that Newport is at the epicenter of midwestern yoga? Kula Center for the Movement Arts, located at 110 E. 8th Street in Newport, has been sharing yogic traditions with the area for two decades in their cozy studio and on incredible retreats.
As I enter the studio, I feel as though I’ve been transported to another time, almost a new state of being. I notice the lotus flower stained glass window and soon realize I’ve stepped into the oldest yoga studio in the Tri-state.
Then I meet Rob Dorgan and Steve Bolia, owners of Kula and founders of Rob and Steve Yoga. When the couple first found yoga, there weren’t dozens of studios to choose from like there are today. In fact, they both regularly practiced with the broadcasted Lilias, Yoga and You on WCET-TV before finding Elements studio, now the current home of Kula.
“This was the first place I did a handstand as a yogi,” says Steve.
When Elements’ owner, Val Goetz, decided to step away from owning the studio, Rob and Steve knew they had to continue her legacy. They stepped away from their corporate manufacturing jobs and onto their new path.
“We knew it was our dharma, or yogic path, to raise as many peoples’ consciousness as possible,” Rob says.
Since then, the local yoga community has greatly changed thanks to places like Kula that set the foundation for our community, which is aptly named considering Kula is Sanskrit for “community.”
They have since added massage therapy, healthy eating education, guided meditations, and belly dancing classes because they are, “more than just the body, more than just the mind.”
Though each yoga class is alignment-based, Rob and Steve ask practitioners to “find your heart” and “lose your mind” in everything from meditations, to out-of-state retreats, to painting workshops, which would be a challenge for someone like me—a terrible painter.
No matter the medium, Rob and Steve teach yogic philosophy in everything they do to remove fear and judgment.
“We hope to teach the oneness in each of us, to appreciate the diversity, but discover what’s common in all of us,” says Rob. “We need it more than ever.”
This coming year, Rob and Steve will take a group of students to an Irish castle for a 9-day yoga retreat. No spots are currently available, but stay on the lookout this spring for their 2021 retreats (link listed below).
Even if you can’t commit to one of their retreats, you can still experience their holistic knowledge in every class at Kula or a private in-home session. All levels are welcome, even newbies to the yoga practice and first-time meditation practitioners.
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Learn more about Kula Center for the Movement Arts and their services and retreats here.