By MIchele DeLuca
Niagara Gazette — They say that everyone who walks into the new Soma Cura Wellness Center on Grand Island seems to notice it. The place feels peaceful.
“The minute you walk through the door you feel as if you are in a sanctuary,” said Lynn Schutt, a yoga teacher at the new facility at 2710 Grand Island Blvd. “You feel calm, you feel like it’s a place you can go for peace.”
That is exactly as owner Sue Zinter planned it. The yoga practitioner and massage therapist opened the facility recently in a former medical arts building on the island. What sold her on the place was a huge room formerly used by medical transcribers. She and her husband, Matt Green, moved out desks and recording equipment and pulled up the carpet to reveal what was their idea of a perfect yoga studio, gently lit by windows overlooking the woods. They tiled the floor with natural bamboo tiles and decorated the room simply with Tibetan peace flags and yoga supplies. Zinter has been to many yoga centers around the country, and pulled her favorite touches from each, including small statues and a quiet reading corner.
A former pharmaceutical saleswoman, she found that career didn’t meet her desire to help promote natural healing. She learned massage, and then yoga, and late this summer opened her healing center in the same location where she used to sell pharmaceuticals. “I didn’t believe chemicals were the answer to every problem,” she said simply.
As such, her center offers a variety of natural healing options, from gentle cranial sacral manipulation to a form of Japanese acupuncture delivered through touch instead of needles, called Kata. The yoga classes offer a variety of options to those who want to practice yoga, from beginner to advanced practitioners, and in a variety of styles, such as yoga done in chairs to a restorative yoga practiced in just a few postures.
Zinter, who teaches the chair yoga class, says participants use a chair to provide support while doing the postures, adding that while sometimes seated, sometimes not, chair yoga can still provide a good workout. “I had a 20-year-old guy sweating up a storm,” Sue noted, smiling.
There are also restorative yoga classes offered by Jennifer Nuwer, who wrote a master’s thesis on the benefits of yoga on the mind, body and soul. “I use pillows to help people get into positions that will help them be more comfortable,” Nuwer said. “The pillows allow them to sit in poses and relax while still stretching their bodies and practicing yoga.”
Nuwer also teaches the free meditation class which is held at 10 a.m. on Saturdays. She said that both yoga and meditation help a person reduce anxiety which allows the body to heal more swiftly. The practices both help with emotional issues as well, she said.
Schutt, the yoga teacher, agreed, noting “We teach people how to breath because if you are thinking about your breath you’re not thinking about your “to do” list or the other things that are causing you stress. When you can come back to your breath, it’s like you just took a brief intermission from your life and when you do that you come back to calmness.”
Yoga is an ancient practice but the center is working hard to bride the ancient techniques with the 21st century. “People can find classes and book appointments on our website,” Zinter said. “And we’re on Facebook,” she added, noting that Twitter is her next conquest, but her tweets are still a work in progress.IF YOU GO • WHAT: Soma Cura Wellness Center • WHERE: 2710 Grand Island Blvd., Grand Island • WHAT: Offering yoga, massage, and other natural wellness treatments • WHEN: Classes offered everyday. The schedule is available at www.somacura.com. MORE INFORMATION: Visit www.somacura.com or search Soma Cura Wellness Center on Facebook or call 773-1369. Contact Features Editor Michele DeLuca at 282-2311, ext. 2263.